Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Africa Day: Something to Think About

"The city and the country,
Alarmed at one common danger,
Came forth to meet it."
- Barack Obama [on his Jan 20, 2009 inauguration Speech]

Today is Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Currently known as the Africa Union with 53 member states, it seeks to bring together the African continent to collectively address various challenges. These include, but are not limited to poverty, armed conflict, disease epidemics, political upheavals, basic needs and poverty. More Africa Day info...

As an African, it saddens me to realize that many of the above challenges still face Africans. Even worse, not much is being done both at an individual and collective level to address these concerns.
For those who dare try, policy makers often fail to offer support or even become a stumbling block, thanks to corruption, bad governance, patronage and self interest.

One way we can improve Africa is through self realization, and strongly believing is our own ability to make things better. When we first believe in ourselves as individuals, and do the needful with the goal of amelioration, we can then collectively make Africa better.

A few years ago, Gidigidi Majimaji released the Ismarwa album. Prior to this, they had released Unbwogable and Many Faces albums.

Fikira is a poem is Ismarwa, which challenges Africans to wake up, stop despising ourselves and start believing in our ability to sort out our own issues.

Following is the full text:

Afrika tumelala
Tuko kwenye ndoto, ndoto ya ajabu
Tutalala mpaka lini?
Amka Afrika, amka kumekucha.
Haujashtuka, haujagutuka

Hebu jiulize
Nimetoka wapi, na ninaelekea wapi?
Kila kitu si changu,
Sina ninacho, na ninacho, sina.
Gari ninalopanda, sikuliunda,
Nguo ninazovaa, sikuzishona,
Vitabu ninavyosoma, sikuvibuni.
Nikitaka amani, naomba msaada
Nikitaka fedha, naomba msaada

Tutaomba mpaka lini Afrika?
Tumekuwa watumwa
Tutajidharau mpaka lini Afrika?
Mbona hatujiamini?
Amka Afrika.
Listen to a preview of Fikira or get the entire Ismarwa album on iTunes.

So fellow African, what are you doing to make both your life and Africa a better place?


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