Project Five Fifths #5: One Month Review

This post is part of a weekly series from the Founder, exploring all things Project Five Fifths. Follow our work on all social media @Project5Fifths and via our website

One month ago I clicked into the Creator Studio of my YouTube channel and pressed ‘public’ on the ‘Project Five Fifths: An Introduction’ video, launching this organisation.

Any respectable organisation has to give its employees a review after their first moth of employment, right? So here’s what happened when I sat down with myself during my one month review.

Q: Let’s start on a lighter note Kwame, what has been the highlight of your first month at Project Five Fifths?

A: Firstly I just want to say thank you for the opportunity to work here, I’ve enjoyed so many things over the first month but I think my highlight has actually been writing weekly posts on Medium. It’s a challenge because I often don’t think about what I’m going to write until the morning before I release the post, but in some ways that makes it more exciting because it tests my creativity under pressure.

Q: That’s really encouraging to hear, being able to meet deadlines and working under pressure are important qualities for an employee to have, they will certainly help you to succeed here at Project Five Fifths. Which of these posts is your favourite?

A: Funnily enough, my favourite post is always the last one I’ve written. It’s probably because the memory of writing it is most fresh in my mind and it is actually the process of writing that I enjoy a lot. So at the moment, Areopagus is my favourite.

Q: Yes, I enjoyed that post too. Although I think ‘converse [verb]’ is my favourite, mainly because of the intricate links between sci-fi, civil rights and your event with Streets Kitchen. On that note, how have you found planning and hosting these events with Streets Kitchen?

A: Honestly, it’s been a real test. That first event meant so much to me because in organising it, executing it and seeing it actually turn into something that I wanted it to be, that boosted my faith in God and my faith in the whole Project.

Initially, the first event was meant to happen in November but we pushed it back because it just really wasn’t going to happen successfully on that date. And even on the new date in October, I got to the Solidarity Centre not really knowing what the event was going to look like. So for it to form something that people seem to be enjoying and looking forward to, something that I can liken to the Areopagus, that for me is just a gift from God. Even during the event I described it as “everything I wanted it to be, but not what I planned”. There’s a lot more I can say about it but I think that’s enough for this meeting, maybe we can speak more about it once the probation period is up?

Q: Yes, that would be a good time to speak more. Would you say that planning this was the hardest challenge you’ve faced?

A: Not necessarily planning the events, but definitely the battle with the thoughts and emotions that underlay the organisation of the first event. By this I mean putting out content or putting on events without worrying about the response or outcome.

Tweet from Natalie Lauren @msnatalielauren

That tweet from Natalie Lauren is actually something that has carried me through all this. She’s a musician I’ve followed for quite a few years and she is partial to dropping some real fire on the TL. I mean… she often speaks words of wisdom on social media. So the challenges haven’t necessarily come from practical issues, but more from me needing to strengthen myself mentally to just persevere.

Q: It’s good that you are able to engage in self-critique, again, another skill required to succeed at this organisation. What improvements would you like to see from us as an organisation over the next month?

A: So far, the organisation has done well to establish itself and stay consistent with the media it is producing, whether that is the weekly Medium posts, the weekly podcasts for The Streets Kitchen Podcast or the monthly events with Streets Kitchen. In terms of improvements, I would like to see more clarity within the consistency. So even if people don’t exactly understand the whole vision, they will know what it is you do and don’t do.

Q: So increased visibility?

A: Yes, that is part of it. But more so ensuring that people know what they are seeing. For example, when people see The Streets Kitchen Podcast, they should know that this is content produced by Project Five Fifths, through a partnership with Streets Kitchen. But I guess, as we build up and establish more partnerships, this will become clearer.

Q: Yes, that’s a good point. I agree that as we produce more media and have more partnerships people will have a clearer picture of what we do. Then eventually, they will understand the vision. Okay, final question: do you feel like you are growing in this role?

A: More than ever. During just this year this is my fourth different job, the other three have been in really great organisations where I learnt and grew so much, I really am thankful to those organisations. But this is a different level for me, it is the most tasking mentally, but it is the most rewarding because it feels like a role that was made for me, by me.

Q: That’s so great to hear Kwame. I look forward to speaking to you again next month. Before you go, take a look at an interview our Founder had with the LSE Human Rights Blog, he’s a real character!