Its my birthday today and i'm forcing myself to introspect a number of things in my life. I look at the state of the world, the emotional and spiritual state of those around me and the friendships and relationships in my life...and i realise that i have been given much...much hurt and much joy, much love and much pain at the same time. I look at the state of Africa and where we are going as a people and how we are perceived and interpreted by the nations of the world and I realise that today...more than anything, I'm proud of being an African. Whatever your defenition of being an African is (because trust me I've been attacked by someone who thought they knew what being an African was and some how he thought all Africans must be that way or no way at all) SO, it really is open to interpretation because we have over 40 countries with millions of people, hundreds and thousands of languages and even more cultures and religions... I am grateful for the way Ive been raised, the principals and values that have been installed in me... and i'm grateful for the people that i've met on this site, the chance to write a column. I dont know how birthday are meant to be as one grows older or what they are expected to mean. But i know that the older I get (though 24 is still young man!!) I"m becoming more reflective about the whole thing and every year I just want to get better as a person, spirit, soul..and I want to hear everybody's views. What do your birthdays mean to you? parties, presents ,cards, wild music and party hats and balloons!! or just a chance to appreciate those close to you and really be grateful about life? It could be both actually... I've decided to have a good day today what ever the events that penn out... Happy birthday to everybody that shares a birthday with me and to all the September people as well!!!!!