Dec 15, 2010

Do.Your.Part

“A story about a place, a people or a nation can be used to dispossess and malign depending on how the story is told. A story can also be used to empower and repair broken dignity.”
“As Africans we risk losing our culture and heritage by constantly co-opting those of others in our dress, language, music, and value systems.”
I am sure you’ve seen the above statements in one form or another, and have probably even used them too. Your responses likely ranged from incredulity to anger or disappointment to shame. But now I ask a question of you – what are you doing to channel those feelings towards something positive? What’s your active in reversing the negative stereotypes and the ignorance that so aggravates you?

I am not here to preach or guilt tip anyone. I firmly believe we can all make a difference. This won’t happen by some act of God, individual governments, UNESCO or NGOs. It will be you and I to do that work!
  • Speak to your kids in your native tongue(s) – THEIR native tongue(s). Without this ownership our connectedness diminishes and languages are lost.
  • Challenge yourself and others to read books by indigenous writers. Make the suggestions in your reading club, social circles or whichever platform you are engaged.
  • Make your voice heard during constitutional review processes or other forums targeted at citizenship engagement.
  • In the way you are voicing concerns about Julian Assange’s arrest and imminent extradition, do the same about the mounting political pressure on free media in countries like Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Likewise do the same about the erosion of democratic processes such as handpicked succession planning crammed down the throats of voters. 
Above all, do not allow apathy and laziness to rule your thoughts and actions. If you do, then do not expect anything to get better. Take the leap faith to jump off whatever ledge you're desperately clinging!

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