I wish Someone told me to be like Dolly Parton…

“I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them – or lessons they learnt. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by our event’s guru Llewellyn.

I recently traded my emails for a bit of Netflix to push me right into downtime. December holidays give us the time to reflect and refresh before we start a brand new year…in this case a brand new decade! And while I find it very difficult to relax and not do any work, it is important to simply disconnect at times.

My partner Francois selected a documentary for us to watch – probably one of the most iconic female stars in America…the one and only Dolly Parton.

Growing up in the music industry I know how difficult the industry can be and how fame can sometimes consume people. Watching this documentary brought back so many memories of touring through the country and interacting with interesting people.

One part of the documentary stayed with me and I personally will take this as my motto for the new decade. Dolly was asked by the presenter if she ever gets offended by the people laughing at her and basically portraying her as a joke. Her answer gave me so much motivation and I hope that all of us can be more like Dolly Parton:

“People may laugh at me and think that I’m a joke, but the joke is actually on them as I can be anything at any time I want to.”

We are so scared of being different and standing out in the society that we live in but that same quality that makes you stand out should make you feel proud.

If it means putting on a wig and living your dream then who should have the right to stop you and judge you for being different?

Put on your coat of many colours and embrace every second of the new decade being the best version of YOU. I’m excited to join you on the journey.

Llew has been working with CN&CO since 2015. At first he engaged with us via his events company, Urban Motion. In 2018 he joined the greater CN&CO team and has run many successful events, including the African Insurance Exchange, InsureTalk, FIA Awards and Summit, African Insurance Organisation conference and the OR Tambo Memorial Lecture.