Sometimes, and precisely at the moments where our formal education and capitalist upbringing direct us towards selfish decisions, we should use our hearts to direct us towards actions that transcend commonness, and choose to use our talents and blessings to end the suffering of our people. This is Africa. Where energy is death's kryptonite. Land mass of ancient Kingdoms. Home to the youngest population in the world.
Since the end of colonisation, never have we had such a tangible potential. And never have we been as ready as we are today, to lead as individuals, taking conscious decisions everyday to empower one another.
Trends have come and gone here and once they pass, we forget and even belittle those left still holding the torch of an old flame. So when I say it worries me that your love of self may run out when the cool kids laugh at your fist still held high.
We need to be willing to become whom and what the revolution needs us to be. We need to be strong enough to keep fighting for the socio-economic freedom of our people, regardless of the slow pace of transition and the resistance from the systems in place that hold us and our people back.
I hope and pray that you don't tire and that the winds of time have no effect on the fires burning within you. Brave through the PTSD creeping up on you as a result of the movements you have birthed. Brave through the leadership positions you take on when all you wanted was to be another voice in the crowd. Brave through the biased reports. And the questions. And the confusion. And everything else...
In this letter I hope to advise and comfort you as a loving sister would. I hope in time you will all advise me too and that we can all learn from one another.
On The Elders
The leaders who are currently at the helm of Africa have become easy to criticise. They are partly to blame, but the fast pace at which political change has taken after the struggle for political freedom was won, has a lot to do with this too. The Jacob Zuma's (South Africa) and Robert Mugabe's (Zimbabwe) of Southern Africa spent a majority of their lives fighting against systems and ideologies. We have been born into a time where we have to fight for the advancement and development of new systems and ideologies.
Respect does not have to be admiration.
The answer to every one of their struggles was to fight against; whilst the answer to every one of our struggles is to fight for. One cannot use this as an excuse for their mounting blunders, but this can allow you to understand why it is hard for them to see that the struggle is in fact not over for the African child. They believe they have won the war, when in fact a war is still in progress, and we are not in any way on the winning side.
Respect does not have to be admiration. The ability to respect an elder is a valuable commodity when the devil is banking on your unhappy home to cause you to lose your focus. Good energy is vital for progress. Abandon the urge to play the blame game and move towards participating in creating change, in being part of the answer to the struggles of our nations and always looking for progressive methods to fight for this long awaited socio-economic freedom of our people.
On Group Economics
We will be sentencing our people to an eternal poverty if we fail to recognise that we are the ones that Africa has been waiting for. Our ideas, our beliefs and our passions. There is an old saying that goes "an injury to one, is an injury to all". I believe that this is true, it is even truer when it is placed side by side with the Nguni saying "umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu", which can be translated to "I am, because you are." The same factors prohibiting our people from making it out of financial tatters prohibit our Governments from strengthening our currencies.
There are so many ideas floating around young Africa. So many young people wanting to become entrepreneurs, so many talented artists, musicians, designers, dancers and writers. But capitalism, greed and selfish intentions are an immense roadblock. Embrace group economics and teach yourselves accountability to one another. Barter services, give your time to each other and grow together.
We are only as strong as our most vulnerable nation. And with so many states facing threats from within, we all need to ask ourselves how vulnerable we are and what we can do as young people to ensure that differing views and differing beliefs do not result in any loss of life
Don't spend money you don't have in the hopes of making money; you are starting off at a minus. Sell your talent for an associate's talent. Barter your artwork for web design, or your catering services for posters placed at the tuck shop down the road.
On Civil War, Boko Haram, Sudan, DRC and Somalia
Earlier this year, in a meeting with a few youths from the DRC, Nigeria and Somalia I was highly impressed with the efforts of my peers in protecting their communities from the effects of war. It is a terrifying reality that many of you are in vulnerable locations where your lives are in danger, and in areas where the fight for Socio-Economic freedom and equality cannot as yet be a priority.
We are only as strong as our most vulnerable nation. And with so many states facing threats from within, we all need to ask ourselves how vulnerable we are and what we can do as young people to ensure that differing views and differing beliefs do not result in any loss of life. Our involvement in the governance of our nations should fill the spaces we occupy with tolerance and acceptance.
I urge you to be the generation that lives to see the end of all the wars and struggles inspired by intolerance that are waging on our continent. I hope and pray with you all, that peace is achieved in your nations and that you do not tire in your efforts to bring this peace about.
Some Last Thoughts
The music you listen to holds within it the power to either inspire productivity or move you in the opposite direction. Create a sound track for your success. Listen to more music that builds you.
Embrace your heritage. Read up on the history of your people.
Educate yourself on your own set curriculum.
Support the lady selling veggies in your CBD instead of buying them at the supermarket.
Host your events at venues within townships and villages.
When your friends start businesses, support them.
Don't be an island. Be a continent! Have your borders, but don't let them prevent you from sharing or receiving what others might have to share with you.