Some folks feel most fulfilled when they can function within their comfort zones. They thrive on being certain that things are going to be the same over long stretches of time. Perhaps there might be new developments to upgrade parts of what they do and the way they live, but essentially they enjoy knowing that things are predictable. Obviously, this way of seeing the world is valid, but it doesn’t apply to all of us.

There was a time when I spent a long while arguing with people who prefer to build on the things they already know about. Eventually I realised that we were all using our energies unproductively. I am not one of nature’s repeaters. Life becomes dull for me very quickly, if I don’t have a new creative challenge. When I create things that work, I am happy to present them again, but I need a break from them, to make something else before they can be revisited.

One or two people still cling on stubbornly to the idea of what I was doing several decades ago. Every phone conversation with such a person begins with a definition of the way he or she saw me at a very different stage of my journey as a creative person.

Perhaps some these issues are rooted in cultural mindsets.People of my heritage are wary sometimes about experimenting with approaches that are not tried and tested. I know that there are folks with conservative outlooks in every culture, but I believe there are differences regarding theextent of that conservatism.

At the heart of the matter, I accept that some values and ideas are timeless and should always remain intact. Everyone needs to spend some time, energy and effort on considering how to embrace new developments as well, to add innovations and refinements to the canon of things we regard as sacrosanct or important. 

With Stella Barnes at the launch of the autumn season at Longfield Hall, where I performed “Afonja’s Minstrel” in public for the first time.