Reject labels robbing us of our Africanness

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Saviour Kasukuwere – HAPPY Unity Day fellow African brothers and sisters! It has been an interesting road from the time our founding fathers formed the Organisation of African Unity envisaging a united Africa 57 years ago.

In the words of Kwame Nkrumah “We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the world!”

The quest by Kwame Nkrumah and the youthful cry by Julius Malema connect the aspirations of the past and present and should deliver the future Agenda 2063 of the Africa We Want!

Let Thabo Mbeki’s famous speech, “I Am An African” spur us into action. The indefatigable preacher and song-writer Enoch Sontonga, wrote Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. This song made us dream of and expect the best for Africa.

As we sang the words, with our heads held high, we believed the entire continent to be a village that belongs to us as African children — a place where one could move from Cape to Cairo without being asked for a passport.

A borderless Africa is an ideal we must achieve within a decade. A borderless Africa should end the words “refugee” or “foreigner” on the continent.

Let us reject any labels which rob us of our Africanness. No African leader should be allowed to exile another African.

No child should be forced to leave his village. Bully villagers should realise that to murder, injure, persecute and jail your opponents is as outdated as Nazism and colonialism.

Differences of opinion should never be a basis for the uprooting of another child from the village.
Let us resolve disputes through dialogue with no bloodshed. Let us sit down and under the African moon, thrash the differences and affirm together “Umuofia kwenu!” as was written by Chinua Achebe.

2020 was declared the year of “Silencing the guns” by the African Union. Where there is no peace, there cannot be meaningful development.

We owe peace to our founding fathers, we owe peace to ourselves and we owe peace to our future generations. Let the African drum unite us as a family and deepen our love for each other.

The guns in Somalia have now fallen silent and the country painfully gathers her energy to walk. Mayibuye iSomalia. Let peace and unity lead us.

In this year where the Covid-19 pandemic has overshadowed all other agendas, it is crucial for us as Africans to realise that without unity, this pandemic cannot be defeated.

There will be less positive results for Africa if each country shuts its borders and acts in isolation. No man is an island. We are one. Our borders are but mere colonial constructs.

Let us synchronise our responses to the pandemic united by the common purpose of preserving the life of the black child.

We must tailor our solutions to suit our unique environment.
Our economies are largely informal, meaning our people depend on informal trade for their daily bread.

Our solutions therefore must ensure that we protect livelihoods, strengthen healthcare systems, and pay particular attention to minority groups including women and children who are disproportionately feeling the effects of the virus and measures taken to contain it.

Africa birthed architectural marvels that still stand today. Let the knowledge of Timbuktu and the great ancient civilisations in Egypt and Zimbabwe be part of our advancement not where we ended.
Africa has the people; Africa has the resources.

Many who have gone before us, including President Robert Mugabe, emphasized and enacted the ownership of land by black Africans.

The youth should guard this resource backed by statecraft that enables them to realise maximum use and gain from the land.

Without ownership of the land, there is little a meaningful inheritance that we can leave for the black child.
The time is now, let the youth pick up the mantle.
Everything the light touches is yours to take!

Economic freedom remains elusive as leaders remain bound by colonial ties rather than exploit our resources for the benefit of our people. The coal, cobalt, copper, gold, diamonds, phosphates, oil, nickel, and natural gas are African. Let us use it to change the fortunes of our people and not enriching individuals at the expense of the poor child and woman.

The vulnerable expect a lot from the leadership yet, leadership exploits the poor and the nation at large, sucking national coffers until they are dry.

Isn’t it time now that we enjoy and drink from our golden cup together as a family? Isn’t it time the great Inga Dam project is implemented and lights up Africa? Isn’t it time that the phosphates in Morocco are used to fertilise the entire African landscape? Isn’t it time the car industry in Algeria and South Africa embrace the Makerere University students’ electric bus innovation?
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika!

There is no longer a place for any form of colonialism of Africans by any group of persons. Africa indeed belongs to all Africans. Let us create a home conducive for Africa’s diasporans to return to their homes and not be troubled in distant lands.

Those who perished seeking our independence are turning in their graves at the ill treatment of their descendants in lands far from home. Bring them home to mother Africa.

The great athletes of Kenya, Ethiopia, Algeria are ours and let us collectively cheer them together.
The great drum beat by Oliver Mtukudzi, Oliver N’Goma, Fela Kuti, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Youssou N’Dour, Koffi Olomide are ours to dance to together. We need the Gamal Nasser, Julius Nyerere, Haile Selassie, Kenneth Kaunda, Modibo Keita, Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Samora Machel and Sam Nujoma of modern day Africa!

Let the words of the African Union anthem ring through our land today and remind us to “Let us all unite and celebrate together, the victories won for our liberation, let us dedicate ourselves to rise together, to defend our liberty and unity”

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