[Translated from a contribution by Ahou The African Chick]


Success has several meanings in the dictionary. It may be about a happy outcome, a job, a sporting event. For a public figure, it may be a favor, a public hearing. It is also about pleasing someone, seducing someone or achieving a desired goal. In all these definitions, one thing is certain anyway, one must work hard to achieve a marked success. But today, success is regarded as the result of practices which are unorthodox, shady or even occult. Anyone who gets successful is systematically accused of having made a deal with the devil.

Nowadays, in many people's mind: "Once someone has been dirty, they can never get the right to become clean". Some (mostly public) people have seen their past resurface and be exposed to public scrutiny. We don't have anything better to do than to draw upon people past history and mistakes, hence giving rise to avalanches of accusations that are all equally wacky.

I wonder if we are no longer allowed to succeed on this earth; if we are bound to die poor and unhappy; if we should remain in a state of failure instead of trying to improve ourselves.

As of today, I, Strella, am neither the daughter nor the protégée of anyone. I have been knocking on every door while hoping for help, but those doors usually remain closed. Nevertheless I persevere and I continue to move forward. I struggle as much as I can. Sometimes, I work without being paid. While I am in the face of adversity, no one shows up, there are no rumors about me, there are no nude pictures or videos of me anywhere.

But tomorrow, when I will start taking off, just a little bit, even my mother (may she rest in peace) will come back to life and will suddenly get some "twin" sisters. I will be everyone's protégée. And they will not stop there at all... Some will go as far as suddenly finding photos or videos exposing my anatomy. This is the part where I am told that I am dating all men in the whole world and that I am the mistress of the president himself. And that my success is due to my village's mascot or to a magic cauldron that I laid at some mystical crossroads. Even though I worked hard to get there. Of such fantasy are ignorant people capable.

When you are going through a tough life, nobody hates on you. They do not even pay any attention to you. You are neither the daughter, nor the protégée, nor the friend of anyone. But look at how some people react towards the success of their peers. They would start hating on you for any reason or for no reason. It's like you started a world war.  They will dig into your history, bring up your past mistakes, tarnish your reputation and wage war against you. It's as if people would like to see you remain in poverty, debauchery and idleness.

If a young girl had been sleeping around with the whole neighborhood, and then decides to settle down, that would provoke a big "international outcry", especially if some guy decides to marry her despite her controversial past.

If a person deprives himself of distractions, works hard and ends up succeeding, some will still remind him that he comes from a modest background or whatnot.

There are people who commit to expressing their arts. In the event that they produce some popular hits, their victory is attributed to their presumed pact with the devil. But when their projects fail to take off, no one would assume that the devil intervened. If a producer or a singer works hard, it makes sense that his music becomes fine. It's that simple. It's possible that some people may resort to the occult sciences, but let's not generalize.

Enumerating people's past mistakes leads nowhere. You better make a proper use of time by working, investing or thinking about a business, so that you will achieve success too.

Not all successes come from the devil, God is good and generous. If a person keeps learning, it's quite normal that they become better. So let's stop worrying about others and let's try to move forward in our own projects, because while you spend your time tracking their flaws, other people evolve, get married, have children, they are happy. While they become independent, you still live with and depend on your parents. Let's appreciate the success of others, because success also comes from God.

At the sight of all this hurly-burly around the success of people, I humbly conclude that it's better to stay in the shadows with your success in order to avoid seeing your past come back and being called names. Therefore, before proclaiming your success and advertising your victories, think of all the collateral damages you could be creating for yourself. That may imply having your origins and your past exposed to the entire world. Choose carefully with whom you want to share your success, or else...