“Africa is no warehouse for problems but a powerhouse of ingenuity waiting to be tapped. Make your mark.”
Pan-Africanism is what they call the ultimate and core belief in the African ideals with belief that we share a common interests, aspirations and should thus be unified. Unfortunately, this has been a pipe dream from the times of Sankara to Gadaffi. I wish it would come to be but as the narrative goes, when the white master left, we got black masters acting the script of the white with black subjects playing the role of the oppressed dependent. Always extending a hand to beg for aid. It has grown to a point where being African is synonymous to poverty, or rather suffering, for some are poor but with their dignity intact.
I feel at a loss when I see my fellow comrades and compatriots play second fiddle even on matters they have authority over. Why would I write my story to reflect an expected truth from an outsider’s view which ultimately plays out to their interest? This is a challenge I keep contending with especially in the realm where we as writers operate. When I write, I keep asking myself the value of my script for when it is done, it will be online for my readers to read, others to reflect on in the future and may at one point be a reference for another. Imagine if I filled this blog with lies and half truths? It means that the narratives that people in the future will be referring to and benchmarking with will be as dishonest as I can be when I do that. Ultimately, the foundation is lost. This is a challenge that I have for my fellow young Africans, we have the chance and we have to do the right thing even if it does not promise the fancy things we so much hope and wish for. In the moment, it might be unappealing but in five to ten years time, you will be proud of yourself for doing the right thing.
Today I started my day with a review of a couple of articles that had been shared to me by a great friend of mine, reflecting on the impact of COVID-19. I was delighted to acknowledge that there are young people keen on doing such works, and for that matter it means we are building a repository of content we can reflect on in determining the way forward in anchoring our systems. It is a great feat to have such, but to my dismay, I realized that almost all African papers have a negative stint to them. Scientific or not, there will definitely be a feature of destitution, failure and at worst, shortfalls in the entire system. How can we operate from a system where we fail to see any good but failure all along? With such a mindset, rather than seeing solutions to the shortfalls, we see them as problems and worst of all expect interventions from foreigners. I doubt this is happening anytime soon and this is our failure as Africans. To the youth, we have a chance to right the wrongs and set a new narrative anchored on hope, authenticity and dignity.
I acknowledge we have challenges in Africa but it is no warehouse that we keep taking stock and hosting a gala to showcase our misery. It is time we saw this as an opportunity to change the narrative and bring forth solutions to our shortcomings. I have not seen any right thinking man coming out to tell the world he has problems in his house from the top of a tower. Unfortunately, as Africans this is the very thing we are doing day in day out hoping someone will have pity on us. Nobody is coming to help us. We either help ourselves or hand over suffering to future generations coupled with consistent negative self talk on how we are full of suffering. It is our choice.