Dear Dr Kwame Nkrumah
Writer: Ramabina Mahapa
Conversing with you Kwame seems to be very therapeutic. Maybe the Psychologists are right in advising people to let out what they have bottled up inside. But I fear that this might be a temporary solution to a long lasting problem. I wish that the African youth could rise up with a unified voice, unrestrained by the constraints of nationality or political affiliations. A voice that yearns for a better Africa, an Africa at peace with itself. Where the person is treated as both a means and an end, not merely as a means to profit maximization.
This week Kwame, I have two burning issues I want to converse with you on;
4) Economic emancipation
Africa is on the brink of a moral crisis, the cracks are starting to emerge. The Marikana massacre, the brutal rape and murder of women and children, xenophobia attacks, the existence of slavery in some part of Africa case in point being Sudan, high teenage pregnancy and alcohol and drug abuse, high corruption cases of our public servants to name a few. As much as our economic emancipation should be a priority, it should not supersede our moral and mental emancipation. Only once we have resolved our moral crisis should we then accelerate the fight
for our economic emancipation.
By pursuing economic prosperity while coupled with moral poverty, we would be misleading our nation into believing that money is the singular element for which we should struggle to attain. That mentality will only perpetuate the creation of youth groups such as Skhothane. If we attain our moral emancipation, no man would build a R246 million estate while his neighbour lives in a shack, no man will steal from the poor for the benefit of himself and his family, and no man will think that a woman is a tool, for which she can be used and disposed of. We shall all live under one guiding principle of Ubuntu.
Mahatma Gandhi advised that the world should guard against what he called the seven deadly sins, and they were: Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, science without humanity, knowledge without character, politics without principle, commerce without morality, worship without sacrifice. A simple analysis of current African leaders should inform you about what the fruits of commerce without morality yields. The notion that our generational mandate is primarily “economic freedom in our lifetime” will only serve to rationalize corruption, money laundering, and ill-mannered behaviour. It is a notion meant to blind the majority while profiting a minority. We must be very careful who we regard as our leaders, for some do not have the interest of the people at heart, but are looking at their own material prosperity.
5) Africa’s future
When reflecting on Africa’s future former president Thabo Mbeki sheds some light;
“I dream of the day when these, the African mathematicians and computer specialists in Washington and New York, the African physicists, engineers, doctors, business managers and economists, will return from London and Manchester and Paris and Brussels to add to the African pool of brain power, to enquire into and find solutions to Africa’s problems and challenges, to open the African door to the world of knowledge, to elevate Africa’s place within the universe of research the information of new knowledge,…. education and information.”
I believe that education plays a pivotal role in Africa’s future, Herbert Vilakazi defined the function of education as follows: “Education serves, first, society; second, the individual person; and, third, the civilization, of which both the person and society are members. It serves society by producing the labour skills needed by society to survive, to reproduce itself, and to develop. Education serves the individual by equipping the person with skills and knowledge that shall enable one to make a living within a particular society. However, the human being “cannot live by bread alone”. Molefi Kete Asante said this of you; “It is rare in human history that one discovers a
philosopherpolitical leader whose voice resonates with that of his people as clearly as that of Nkrumah. He’s at once a consummate political activist and a master of the internal tensions of history and politics…His creative energy and massive range of interests were great enough to encompass the continent and the Diaspora, but also his depth in terms of philosophy, science, social development, and revolutionary anger and action was profound. I like the fact that every word, even if I disagreed with some of his words, appeared to have been thought about,
pondered, and perfected by his keen Afrocentric and social sensibilities.” Africa shall forever remain indebted to you, Great son of the soil.
In closing, I would like to say;
Mother Africa, why have you forsaken us?
Why have you abstained your protection?
The African soil used to be a fertile soil,
where we could all share in the riches of the land.
Now the hatred, greed and selfishness is depleting the rich soil.
Gone are the days when it used to be “one for all”, now it is “all for one”
There is so much distrust in humanity that we build fences and walls around our homes.
Gone are the days when we use to eat together in the same bowl as a community.
Is this the Africa we want to live in?
Yours in devotional service to Africa