Why I blog About Africa And Zimbabwe

I happen to have been tagged by Solomon over at Nigerian Curiousity to take part in a continental "meme" on the subject of why I blog about Africa. This great idea was started by Theophile Kouamouo.

The welcome message on the screen of my mobile phone is that classic Apple pay-off line: Think Different. I have always been very clear on this, at least to myself. I believe that the world has come full circle and it is once again Africa's turn to take up the mantle of leading the world as it did during the amazing age of the pharoahs. And I believe the task which falls to my generation is to bring this about or to take Africa so far down this road that no tyranny will ever be able to compel her make an about-turn.

I blog about Africa because I actually do believe that true democracy and the freedoms that come with it are essential prerequisites for the greatness of any nation or continent. Greece proved this. As did Rome, which rose only after casting off its Etruscan tyrants. And lately, of course, the American empire, which rose after casting off the stifling rule of the mad King George.

In each case, as man was freed from petty tyranny, his horizons broadened. His thoughts turned from surviving to thriving. So it should be with Africa if we are to attain the greatness which is rightly ours in the 21st century. And it is doable. Japan was a pile of rubble barely fifty years ago. Where is it today? It is likely that if you look around your home right now, or your office, you will find it stocked half-full of Japanese-made goods. Even here too, it was the neutralisation of an Emperor who was literally considered a god, and worshipped, that freed the great Japanese inventive spirit.

So, I blog about Africa because I believe that making Africa the preeminent continent in the world is the defining challenge of my generation. I believe the task given to my specific generation by both history and the future is to make Africa the envy of the world yet again, 4000 years after the Pharaohs first put it on the world map.

It is not beyond this continent to become a superpower. The first step is allowing her people the freedom to think different. Casting off the culture of fear, conformity and timidity which envelopes most of our African politics will free the continent's people also from the fear of thinking big, free them to try new things and attempt the impossible.

Because no nation ever became great without attempting the impossible, from Ceaser's crossing of the impenetrable Alps to America and Russia's leap to the moon.

But none of these great feats can be achieved in an atmosphere where people fear to express the simplest thought, where hard work is not rewarded but punished, where success is not applauded but ridiculed, envied and finally destroyed. None of the negative things can happen to any significant extent amongst a people emboldened by a sense of purpose and ambition to give meaning to their transient passage through this earth.

If I were to sum it up, I would say I blog about Africa because I believe that it has fallen to my generation to pick up the challenge of bringing Africa out of the recesses of fear into the bright lights of a bold new world, in which a united or even semi-united Africa will take its place amongst the great nations of history.

It may sound ambitious and grandiose, but I actually believe that raising my voice above the mute resignation of Africa, I may, together with other great African bloggers like Solomon, ChrisM in South Africa, Fungai James and Eusebia here in Zimbabwe, in whatever small measure, help Africa realise that she is not destined by Divine Providence to be a Third World forever.

Our time has come, and the world must hear our voice. First, of course, we will have to clear out the cobwebs, tyrants and tin-pot dictators in whose interest it is to keep us fearful, timid and lemming-like followers even as we fall off the face of the earth.

That is why I blog about Africa.

In turn, I would like to tag Bankelele, Emeka Okafor at Timbktu Chronicles, Uganda Insomniac and Nubian Cheetah to tell the world why they blog about Africa.

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  1. Mad King George? What a foolish thing to say. He gave how many billions of American dollars to Africa?

    For someone so well read, you are rather ignorant.

  2. i have already answered the meme (http://bankelele.blogspot.com/2008/12/why-i-blog-about-africa.html)

  3. I am surprised at your response.

    America for its independence from King George of Britain in the 1700s. King George was clinically insane. BONKERS. MAD. This is not my opinion but a historical fact.

    King George never gave a cent to Africa.

    I presume, you have jumped the gun and thought I am speaking of George Bush? It is understandable for Americans who support him and his party to believe that any reference to a George in relation to America has to be about George Bush. They have a complex that way.

    The truth of the matter is that, George W. Bush was wrong on so many things, yes, but I do agree with him that freedom is a precondition for the prosperity of any nation.

  4. That should have read, "America fought for its independence from King George of Britain..."

  5. Denford, merely because something "should" happen, doesn't mean it will, surely? While I agree that Africa's "turn" has come, in what way is it capable of grasping it?

    I went to a talk given by Eric Bost last year, Bush's political diplomatic appointee to South Africa. He made essentially two points.

    1) When Americans have a problem, they sit down and talk about it, agree on what to do, and then do it. When Africans have a problem, they sit down, and talk about it. If, after a while, they look up and the problem is still there, they sit down and talk about it some more.

    2) If you ask an American, does he like the Republicans, and he aswers, hell no: if you then ask him who he is going to vote for, he'll say Democrat, of course. If you ask a South African, does he like the ANC, and he answers, hell no: if you then ask him who he is going to vote for, he'll say, ANC, of course.

  6. @Anonymous

    Welcome back, Dave! I agree that "should" does not mean will. But that does not mean we "should" stop trying.

    I hope the redesign is helping with your browsing issues!

  7. Denford - thanks for clarifying "Mad". I stand corrected.

    I have family in Zim. Keep up the reporting.


  8. I am very interested in what you said and I agree with you. It is Africa's time.

    Africa is a continent with such tremendous natural resources. I think in addition to resolving the serious political problems such as in Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Congo, it is time for those natural resources to benefit those IN AFRICA not Europeans, Americans, or anyone else.

    Having economic clout will go a long way to help African nations be equal players on the international scene.

  9. Thank you. I've been enjoying the insight and analysis and back-reading on your blog. So much of our exposure here in the U.S. to what comes "out of Africa" is limited to the latest cause célèbres. I did follow the Kenyan elections & violent rioting/massacres in the recent past and continue to find that situation fascinating as well.


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