Roger Dickinson


Wake up everybody no more sleepin in bed
No more backward thinkin time for thinkin ahead
The world has changed so very much
From what it used to be so
There is so much hatred war an' poverty

The world won't get no better if we just let it be
The world won't get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me

The life of a Social Entreprenuer revolves around 2 often seemingly, diametrically opposite goals. One to make a decent living for yourself and your family; the other to make a meaningful and tangible impact in a hurting and dysfunctional world. Hope and despair, elation and depression are constant alternativng partners in this journey!

I recently added the iconic song Wake Up Everybody by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes onto my Sportify playlist to to reminds me about the need to stay focused and also that positive change always only happens with taking action rather than just letting things be.

The world won't get no better if we just let it be

The world won't get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me


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In his book (which I’m currently finishing up) Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity Dr Peter Attia point out that the odds are overwhelming that an average middle-class person will die as a result of one of the chronic diseases of aging he calls the Four Horsemen. These are heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, or type 2 diabetes and related metabolic dysfunction. For those who care about these things, the Four Horsemen imagery is taken from Revelation 6 in the New Testament of the Bible. I choose not to go into the Revelation 6 imagery's meaning and symbolism here but maybe suffice to say that it is intended to convey the coming of chaos, hardship and eventually death. How it also relates to Attia's point is that the Horsemen come in response to choices made by individuals and groups of people.

Attia’s view is that one of the Horsemen or a combination of them will eventually kill you and me, before out time.  This of course apart from the proverbial bus that could knock you over, another global pandemic or Vogons destroying the earth for an intergalactic highway (this is a nod to the The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy -which I’m also rereading).

The Horsemen bring sickness, stress and depression before they bring death. Their cumulative effect puts incredible strain on individuals,  families, communities and countries.

Turns out however, that the Horsemen are mostly constructs of our lifestyle choices, modern middle class living and personal neglect.  We can choose to be taken by the Horsemen or not! And even if they get us eventually, we can choose how long the chase lasts and on who's terms it all ends.

We will all eventually die of something but an unhealthy, painful, unfit pathway need not be the way to go!


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Why Blog? And Why Selah?

Posted by Roger Dickinson on 25 July 2023, 09:50 SAST
Roger Dickinson photo

In starting this blog, I only realised in talking with my Daughter yesterday, that I had not set out my intentions for it. She asked me why I was doing it and the first thing that came up was: “For my mental health”. Which is a slightly weird thing to say but probably is the truest thing. There are other reasons I am doing this, which I will expand on later in this blog, but keeping myself sane and more or less aligned to my life purpose and goals, seems like a good thing. So, this should probably have been the first blog but maybe now that I’ve actually started it is good to set down some markers.

 I have always found writing things down clarifying for the mind and the soul, and maybe this will be an extension of that. I also get and acknowledge the inherent narcissism and self-promotion that comes with thinking that you have amazing or profound things to say for everyone else to read. I’ll own that and see if there is possibly a balance between all of that and my need to express myself and to set out clearly who and what I want to be.

Let’s see!

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Anyone following my social media profiles or those of our African Spelling Bee partners, will be inundated with posts and videos about our upcoming spelling bees. (If you haven’t - then you please do check us out at.


Spelling Bees are an integral part of our programming at A Better Africa Foundation but were never intended to be the primary focus. A concern right from the start of our programmes in 2009 was whether spelling bees actually assisted in literacy improvements or if they were simply a distraction.

14 years later and our spelling bees have now expanded to partnerships across 25 countries with hundreds of thousands of spellers coming through our various competitions each year.   

The questions still persist though.

 Do spelling bees help in improving literacy skills or are they simply hyped-up competitions for those can already read and spell? Or do they have other benefits?

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I often hear (and use) the phrase: "Well its not a silver bullet". This is often said in reference to a quick fix or easy pathway for some complex or difficult problem. In particular I hear it used in regard to the education system in which I spend most of my time. The unspoken belief however, is that there actually is a silver bullet to be found. And once we find it all our problems will go away.

I wonder now if the metaphor actually gives us more clues to our problem, and a way forward, than we may think?

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