Sonstar Peterson braved the sensitivity of tackling such a touchy subject like slavery and colonisation, destiny of the black race. Who would have thought that 400 years after African men were shipped to Virginia into a life of slavery, a group of youth would be tracing their history in wanting to understand the past?
Kunta Kinte’s name still lives. Our forefathers’ struggle with colonial rule are unforgettable. It is sad that a rogue education system brutally works to disengage many Africans from their real histories. The world is increasingly getting noisier. The quality of life keeps watering down. While technologies have arisen to create a global village out of this vast earth, there are more wars and broken families, uncountable diseases – many created by scientific racism, corrupt political systems and heart-breaking disharmony.
Sonstar Peterson was blunt. He cited that the Bible is not a white man’s book. That its misrepresentation has created the evil of religion hence the huge misunderstanding of Christianity even by majority of its faithfuls.
The black race is the beginning of humanity, according to the Barbadian born preacher who now resides in Kenya. He cited quotes from his book “The Destiny of The Black Race” in which his passionate delivery takes the reader through a riveting adventure.
An attentive audience gave in to his words.
In the earlier discussion, people aired their views on what they thought is ailing Africa. The importance of Africans getting past their daunting history and developing themselves as it was in Ancient Egyptian civilisation. But how shall we overcome our corrupt governments and tribal wars? 50 years have gone but much of the continent is still virtually in the hands of her colonial masters. The socio-economic and political systems Africa has adopted have hugely contributed to neo-colonialism. And now, religious wars in the Central African Republic, the recent Kenyan post-election violence, a stubborn Boko Haram reigning havoc in Nigeria and the ideological differences that continue to breed woe in South Sudan, haunt African citizens.
Hiphop artist and poet Jemedari Flows challenged us to rethink the course of Africa rising. What does it mean? Where is Africa going? Where is it from? Can we pose these questions to ourselves and work to answer them? Because our ignorance is killing us. The West will keep taking advantage of our resources if we do not realize our power. If we do not rise in unity, in harmony, in love.
Kenyan poet, Olivia Odhiambo, added that Africa should deal with the current issues affecting the continent. That we need to be present in our understanding on the place we stand in the world economically, digging into our major loopholes that hinder our people from developing.
“If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.”
– Nelson Mandela
The dancing group ‘Dream City’ wowed us with a dazzling performance that showcased the beauty of Africanness. All of the evening’s performers were debutants, offering a fresh stint of sound on our stage and a beautiful diversity of youthful artists speaking for Fatuma with their works of art.
We ate a bit of time past the official closing hour. Sonstar, who began his presentation with a powerful poem, still had a lot to tell us, but he ran short of time. It was evident that there is a lot to find out about who we are and what we are capable of. Our potential as the African continent need not be hijacked to serve the outside world while leaving us empty handed.
How do we then engage with the world while developing our homes? Embracing cultures came up as one of the solutions even though it was a debate. We asked ourselves the meaning of African culture as it is often used to justify how we make decisions and agree to live amongst ourselves as compared to accepting western culture. And is western culture bad? What defines it?
This was a wonderful evening of thought and splendour. We meet again on September 10th for Gufy Poet’s #MisimuZangu. Until then, think what value you can add to your country and start doing something about It.
#AfricaRisingInKenya SOCIAL COMMENTARY