25 May, today has been declared Africa day. What exactly does it mean? What did it mean when it was declared to those who declared it? Without perusal of historical documents pertaining to the declaration of today as Africa Day this day falls off due to lack of significance within our consciousness. It should be taught at school and home what today means. Today it is Samadhi for the African mind.
Today represents the rallying point for the Rastafarian in terms of his/her affinity to African self assertion and unity. At a heightened level it is a divine episode in which what the incarnation of God Almighty, Emperor Haile Selasie I ‘first incient King of iration in October 1963 in the mother land spake of when he declared war against inhumanity as a primordial tenent of the Organization of African Unity. The honorable player of instrument and musician OM immortalized the emotionally charged rhetorical words of HIM in the album Rastaman Vibration (1976).
Today is the day when the predecessor of African Unity – Organization of African Unity was founded in 1963. 30 of 32 independent states of Africa signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia uniting Africans to stand together towards common destiny – freedom for all African states from colonial domination and steps towards self resilience were envisaged. Those conversant with historical periods should be conscious of the 60s as a great awakening of self rights and awareness for humanity – precursor period for the many rights we enjoy today.
I hereby see it fit to reprise one of my earlier thoughts expressed in my writings concerning the problems of separation that Africans are experiencing. What will follow is actually my response to the Xenophobic attacks that took place in South Africa. Many, my self included, feel that not much has taken place to remedy the situation in order to avoid another inhuman uprising against humanity that we have experienced last year May.
Today is a day that will go unnoticed to those who have no passion for the development of this continent in its destiny to reach the pinnacle of human existence – freedom. Perhaps some people will not be reached by the full blaze of today due to illiteracy.
The freedom that Africa cries for today is that of economics, it cannot reach self resilience without achieving the latter. For this it needs African leaders who take the aspirations of their country men and woman to heart. Africa can do away with those leaders in whom it put trust but they prove themselves to be totalitarian and absolute dictators, selfish and murderous as far as deprivation to their own countries is concerned.
Africa must have an education system that will through and through acknowledge the past, be conscious of the present and forge in the mind of learners problem solving skills that will help them be assets to the continent. This tripartite attitude will make us conscious of who we are and what challenges we find our self battling with and forthright it will encourages a proactive approach to solving modern problems facing the continent such as food shortages, infectious disease new job creation to boost Africa’s varied economic systems. But all this must be preceded by one fundamental entity which is of paramount importance towards asserting Africa’s position in modern world history. This is the love for one self, the love for another African and the love for the continent and its advancement; and A yearn for unity.
I shall not dwell on the qualifications of being an African. However I shall say a few remarks concerning that equation – in celebrating today.
That in post-modern society where people are spread out across the continent, Where people stay in one place briefly and move on, where there are people of other ethnicity who have been born and brought up and up-righted in this our beloved continent, that the acknowledgement of Africa’s past and presence and delving into problem solving for the sake of Africa is a positive step towards acknowledging mankind’s common origins – Africa. That it makes no sense for a black man or woman to deny people of other pigmentation their affinity to Africa based on their appearance whereas they acknowledge the history and cultures of Africa and are making contributions towards its positive developemt whereas they themselves who look the part are negative and suicidal towards the positive developments of Africa. Those who find the definition of being labelled African charming and are negative towards Africa let them stand aside from the aisle for they are hypocrites and are floating and undecided as to who or to what they are affiliated.
On the question of being black as a definition of African, A time will come when even a European will think twice in defining himself or herself based on colour because of hybridisation and immigration that would have taken place. In developed nations a new people is emerging. The cosmopolitan, the globalized person who is neither of here nor of there – this is the future, its sure symptom is the disappearance of certain languages and cultures.
As Africa is swiftly being affected by this pandemic of uprootedness (through forced immigration or self imposed exile due to lack of opportunities in one’s own country and warfare disruptions) and is still battling with its economic development and survival following its independence, let the African who claim to be African (despite skin pigmentation) acknowledge what its means to be African. They should contribute through work either in their communities or professionally towards the uprighting and development of mankind’s original homeland. This is out most Intelligence! Rastafari, Selah.
25 May 2009
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong