Pearl Thusi on the lifelong lessons travel has taught her

Pearl Thusi
Pearl Thusi

Being an emigrant is a lesson in resilience. I’ve never had as much respect for emigrants like I did when I moved to New York. I couldn’t rent a place because I didn’t have a bank account, and I couldn’t get an account because I didn’t have permanent residency. It takes someone who’s willing to process that much new information, at an older age, to truly survive a place with no safety net. 

Spiritually, nothing divides the human race. We don’t need words to connect with people and I learnt this very important lesson during a trip to Brazzaville, Congo. Fighting amongst ourselves, because of our differences, is a waste of time. 

READ MORE: “I want to have an impact greater than I can fathom,” - Peal Thusi

African confidence and power come from within. I’m excited about being in Lagos this November to host the All Africa Music Awards. Watching Nigerian people be their best selves will inspire you to believe that you are enough as an African. I believe the success of their entertainment industry is rooted in the fact that people love and validate each other within their own space. 

Never judge people by the reputation of their country.I dropped my purse in China and an old man who didn’t look well-off chased after me so he could hand it back to me. I tried giving him money to show my gratitude but that offended him. The people, there, are so honest. 

France has hot firemenand policemen too! Oh, and the airport staff in Amsterdam are gorgeous [chuckles]!”


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