I am born of the late 80’s, with no personal experience of what the apartheid struggle is, I’ve seen riots on television, heard intense interviews of broken hearts, anger and yet full of hope from the people of this land on channels such as radio streaming, some instances hit straight into my soul, they were close to my home.
The Africa that I think of is;
A pain of brutality to casualties from the mere results of Bisho Massacre under the leadership of Oupa Gqozo in the formerly known Ciskei, in 1992.
I had seen the people at the age of 6 years, at our villages during traditional ceremonies after drinking uMqombothi, cried while singing the song titled “the 7th of September in Bisho, where are our Sons?” it sounded like a gospel theme and I felt it that our people were really hurting.
The Africa that I think of;
It is through music, like sound of Tiyo Soga’s ‘Lizalise idinga lakho Thixo wenyaniso’ or the Methodist Enoch Sontonga‘s ‘Nkosi sikelela iAfrika’, South Africa‘s National Anthem. Africans pour their hearts through hymns to evoke what is built within us, spirit of fighting, of togetherness to oppose against indecency and discrimination, to fight inequality against those who held power in their capacity and used it in their selfishness to make African people inferior, and particular black people.
Have we lost that strength, of unity, of UBUNTU?
The Africa that I think of, in a South African context, through the struggle songs that touches our emotions because of its meaningful content, you will relate. Today! post apartheid, I am one of those who still sings the struggle songs not because I’m still holding onto the past or being discriminative or racist but because they have a special place in my heart.
The Africa that I think of;
Through the power of written word. great speeches, great qoutes when you finaly get hold of substantial African archives. In Thabo Mbeki’s words ‘I am an African‘ to the packed shelves of national libraries that infuse of the rebirth of African continent, history, and other relevant wealthy stories.
Today’s Africa day, bring us the freedom we once yearned, so that we may live in peace and harmony.
The Africa day, I feel it from the hand of Nelson Mandela in the “long walk to freedom”, the pain as I teary read the seven days of detention of Steve Bantu Biko which resulted to his death, I like it when he said; “I write what I like”.
The Africa day, I feel it from the story of a mother who hoped to see her son (Mbuyisa Makhubo) after he carried an injured 13 year Hector Pieterson, to one day come back home alive, I’ve given birth to a young girl, which makes me wonder, will I ever feel the pain that Thabo Mbeki felt on his son’s disappearance cause I am a parent too. 491 days of Detention is not something can be celebrated for a woman who gave birth to daughters in a brutal society and one would expect Winnie Madikizela to be ‘okay’ with that as if nothing happened.
The Africa day I remember, are the Soldiers who died in Central African Republic, 2013, post apartheid.
Imagine not the pain of growing up without a parent rather the trauma experienced by Chris Hani’s children as he breathe through the wounds of a pistol right in his home driveway, these are just few numbers too many of those that never get publicized… The Africa that I think of.
“Tell my people that I love them and they shall continue to fight” Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu.
The Africa that I think of, is in the tongue of comrade Tambo and his idealistic nation that “it is our responsibility to break down the barriers of division and create a country where there will be neither Whites nor Blacks, just South Africans, free and united in diversity” I quote.
The Africa day that I would think of; lies in the story that MaGcina Mhlophe portrayed, the praises shared by Zolani Mkiva, and other great poets, the story that John Kani and Mbongeni Ngema depicts around the world in the stage of theatre and cinemas. I would think of the journalists that keep us informed and alert of current affairs via freedom of media. I would think of the variety beliefs from the old traditional healers to the Christian prophets who keeps the Rituals, Culture and Christianity alive, the sanity in a life of a man. Makes no wonder why Africa is so strong in body. Well done cadres!
It is therefore today that we thank those who have contributed their life and time in the common African dream. Mission accomplished!
The Africa day that I would think of is probably the day one would; Thank the compatriot who made it their mandate to align forces with other foreign continent to see African liberation attained. To be able to regard Tanganyika as history and welcome Tanzania as the future after the colonization by Germany 1884. Oh Julius Nyerere, thank yoo for letting them cluster, crowding, and loiter in your doorstep as refugees, for feeding them, for being a faculty of excellence in defense of South African liberation. A luta Continua!
The Africa day that I would think of is probably the day one would; Thank Dar–es Salaam for worthily receiving comrades from the ANC when they were banned in South Africa, accommodating and educating the children of South Africa in exiles
The Africa day that I would think of is probably the day one would; Thank Botswana, Rhodesia, Zambia, Angola, and Libya for being a home to MK soldiers, hosting their camps for the armed wing, the role played in training and issuing material resources to execute the liberation struggles of soldiers, for being a bridge, joining force to send Guerrilla trainees in an undergoing military training in China, Cuba and Eastern European countries to seek military training facilities.
The Africa day that I would think of is probably the day one recognizing such work of other African brothers and sisters, Thanking them deeply for looking over our shoulders, for carrying us through while every road seemed dark and painful. Where we had hopes, high and yet uncertain, as we lost track of getting to the Mountain top while fumbling through the road of protests, uprising and all other sorts of fight. The dream seemed so far, fainted as we fought tirelessly; Mother Africa you allow underground meetings at your back yard, allowed the facilities/resources to be at the best of use without particularly aiming for something in return, only in the name of peace, and equality.
The Africa day that I would think of is probably the day one would; Thank Mother Africa for having eyes and a heart beyond our dreams, for instilling belief when life went astray, put us before the needs of your own people, risking the life of the communities where we settled in. God! You people, are of wonder, pondering heart.
The hand of God the hand that gives is blessed and shall receive in multiples, Salute!
The Africa that I think of is made of, imagination of the journey of the comrades who travelled the world of anger, hatred and despair; from this heart I’ve suffered the heartache of the warrior woman and man who fell shot in the veldt of this mother continent as they suffer the cause of liberation.
I would then take a look at our achieved dreams which are made out of tears and bloodshed of those who suffered the cause of freedom, the bleed of internal and external wounds, the dust and air we inhale that comes from the blood and ashes of those who died, brutally murdered, discovered and buried, and those who perished and their body never been located nor recovered… we have dreamt and wish the mandate of those who died trying however selflessly fighting for a future they would never be part of, the new bill of rights and constitutions that will suit the next generation to come.
The African dream in the words of Nkwameh Nkrumah “I cannot believe in the impossibility of achieving African union anymore than I could ever have thought of the impossibility of attaining African freedom… Africa must unite we have before us not only an opportunity but historic duty” and the answer lies in comrade Mandela‘s analysis “it is in our hands“