On the 25th of May 2020, the African continent was celebrating The African Day 2020, which is a commemoration of 57 years since the Organization of African Unity (OAU), later renamed the African Union (AU) in 2002, was established as an inter-governmental organization in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the then 32 heads of states of independent African countries. As of today, the African continent boasts of 54 internationally recognized states, and one unrecognized (state).
The social media platforms, more so twitter was awash with thousands and hundreds of thousands of tweets praising the far that the African Continent has come. This ranged from the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens and floral kingdoms of Cape Town, South Africa, to the Mosi-oa-Tunya falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, the snowcapped mountains of Kilimanjaro and Kenya, the Sossusvlei Sand Dunes of Namibia to the Great pyramids of Giza in Egypt. There was an aura of mixed feelings and emotions, with some people feeling that Africa is doing well, while others were complaining that the dreams of the African people have been betrayed by the African leaders, and regional bodies, up to and including the African Union. Many of them were quoting famous slogans from our long-departed heroes and heroines, both in praise and ridicule for the African continent in equal measure. However, one quote will remain etched in my mind for many days to come; the quote by the first prime minister and president of Ghana Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, “I am not an African because I was born in Africa, I am an African because Africa was born in me.”
This mixed feeling got me thinking really hard. Today, there are two classes of people, when it comes to the viewing of the African continent; the first class is that of Afro-pessimists. This group (as largely manifested during the African Day) believes that the obituary of the African continent has already been written and that Africa will never rise. They are the class of people who only view Africa from a unidirectional point of view, based on the mistakes, misgivings and failures of the African Continent. In short, the belief that the African Sun sets at noon. The second class is the Afro-optimists class of people. This is a people who are of the view that despite the problems that seem to engulf the continent, the chips are high and that the continent is on the rise. At a personal level, I am an Afro-optimist of the guarded kind. As a son of Africa, a patriot of the African continent, a Pan-Africanist and a global citizen, I believe that the African continent is still in the process of writing its story; a story of resilience, perseverance and the quest for success.
In the words of Professor PLO Lumumba, the quandaries facing the African continent are a passing eclipse that has shielded the African sun, but the beauty is that every eclipse eventually passes and the sun shines again. The different cultural ideologies and manifestations that saw their way to the social media on that auspicious occasion are an indicium of a people who are proud of their cultural diversity, who have gladly embraced it and who are actually living it. This gives me great hope that one day, the African people will stand to be counted amongst the committee of nations. However, this will only happen if the African people rise up to the occasion and as the Ancient Latinos used to say, Carpe diem-Seize the moment. On a dining table, there are the dinners, the waiters and the food to be eaten. For a long time, the African people have been waiters and the food to be eaten, but I can proudly attest to the fact that they are slowly earning the much-coveted promotion of being dinners. To me, this is a true definition of moving from ego to echo. Despite the fact that the journey is long, tedious and heavily laden with casualties, we will eventually make it to the promised land. Ladies and gentlemen, we are Africa, and Africa is our business. Long live Africa. Long live the Ubuntu spirit.
"I am because we are, and because we are, therefore I am! I hear you brother, I hear you."
"Long live the Ubuntu Spirit!
But practical moves should be made by Afro- optimists class ...otherwise hope for a good ending to the 'story of Africa' will die an natural death....and the Afro-pessimists will be right. "
"Great piece! As an afro-optimist I believe that Africa will rise. However ,mere optimisim unaccompanied by actions is pointless. African people should rise up to the occasion , make Africa great and prove the Afro-pessimists wrong. long live Africa! "
"As an Afro- optimist, I believe the first step towards the rise is abolishing capitalism and embracing African Socialism."
"As an afro-optimist I believe that we shall arise and conquer everything that has held us back as Africans with unity and vigor that has never been seen before. "
"Impressive sentiments Wakili.
This level of self realisation is very encouraging, a crucial starting point to re-write our history in a manner that would be an affirmative reference point to the whole World. We've got utmost potential hence its a matter of waking up from slumber and making good use it. Possibilities are infinite!"
"We are Africans, not because we were born in African but because Africa is born in us! Such a mind boggling quote"
"Africa will rise to greatness. It must be done and it will be done. Ubuntu ✊????"