I am an African. I borrow these words from Thabo Mbeki in his speech on the occasion of the passing of South Africa’s new constitution. I have the affairs of Africa at heart. From the North to South and East to West, I identify as none other but an African. I lay aside restrictions set by the boundaries of our borders because when the sun goes down and the narrative is told, I am viewed not by my ethnicity or nation but an African. Suffice I say then that the story of Africa is one; It is just right that Africa is identified by some ignoramus, permit me to say, as a country.
Sometimes, in fact most often, I think and ask myself, where did it all go wrong? Once upon a time a great light beaconed over the face of Africa, shone brightly through her darkness and her son, Kwame Nkrumah, like great Martin who had a dream caught a glimpse of the eternal glory that did await the African. He said, “the black man is capable of managing his own affairs”. I hold that declaration still to be true. But like the failings of electricity in some African countries which leaves citizens living in the dark, hope was once again engulfed in darkness. Our misleaders as a people indeed lead us amiss. Very obvious when a continent that is capable of supporting the world and herself supports the world but not herself and is bound by the shackles of poverty. The world she helps is the world that supports her, with aids. Sad.
The beauty of life is this: that darkness remains not forever. Day always breaks. Hope when lost will someday be found. The beautiful ones have been born and to them I do write; to them I do call. In our darkest hours as a continent once upon a time, from within were birth sons and daughters to lead us to the light. And in our darkest hours now have been born, sons and daughters to lead us out of the night. Africa will look not outwards but within for her redemption. Africans must show up.
In the words of a Ghanaian Ode Yen Ara Asaase Ni, which is translated to mean this is our land, I ask that all remember that our duty is to our land. Arise for Africa, the continent demands our devotion. It is time to unite to uphold her, to make her great and strong. Africa is our land. Africa is home. An Africa for Africans. “Today, it feels good to be an African!”