We in Africa are endowed with a vast bank of heritage which will continue to shape the future of the world. Universities across the world have dedicated departments for African studies. This concentrated interest therefore bears testimony to the relevance of Africans as ancient people with deep social bonds dating back to millions of years. Africans have so far managed to preserve their heritage despite calculated efforts by the West and Europe to render it irrelevant and not worth a space in the annals of history.
In South Africa, we have dedicated September as Heritage Month, thus ensuring that this noble character continues to find resonance in our daily struggles to better our lives through the preservation of our heritage. It is therefore befitting that we should celebrate and commemorate our heritage in order to ensure that it doesn’t slide into oblivion. We also need to revive our erstwhile commitment to the preservation of our heritage through the work of our historians, writers, traditional dances, Ubuntu, love, peace and an unending bond of solidarity. This will embolden our resolve to shape the development of our continent on the basis of our own wishes and terms.
The time is now to develop a continent-wide spirit of solidarity so as to ensure that our diversity harness the development of our continent. South Africa today, renders host to a lot of African brothers and sisters, our own kith and kin with tremendous skills that can be injected into our economic activity. The sporadic xenophobic outbursts that flare up here and there are a sad drawback to our hope of achieving the much needed African unity. It is therefore necessary for society to begin to mobilize for a clear understanding of the essence of unity of Africans. We cannot take comfort by deceit and undermine that which kept Africa together for so a long time.
As we celebrate our heritage, we need to galvanize all our energies to work for unity and catapult Africa onto a developmental pedestal. We shouldn’t narrow the importance of our heritage to a selfish point thus undermining our diversity as Africans. Let us therefore put positive impetus on our heritage by resuscitating the mobilization of the African youth so that they can be able to work in unity for the development of our beautiful continent. History will always be correct to say to us that democratic South Africa is partly a product of the contributions and support of our sister African countries. The Pan African spirit needs to be revived and our intelligentsia has a very pivotal role to play in this regard.
In essence, the most important gift that we can give is African solidarity. Our heritage makes us the real practitioners of Ubuntu/Botho. We owe it to our heritage to strive for African unity. In the absence of a common African language perhaps we will be correct to endorse Swahili to be our continental language so that we can begin to communicate as easily as possible. This will enable us to learn other African languages with ease and enjoy the wealth of our heritage in diversity. We need to break the language barrier in order to intensify our unity and make Africa a better continent to live in.
It will be great if we were to celebrate our heritage daily by a way of returning to our ancient practices that made Africa an enduring and resilient continent. How wonderful and joyous will it be for Africa to host a continental festival wherein we can feast our minds, souls and hearts with our indomitable melodies like: Indlamu, Sokkie, Mushongoyo, Makgakgasa, Kiba, Umxhentso, Xibelana, Rumba, Borankana, Riel, Mokhibo, Umhlanga, Bharatanatyam, Tshikona and many more of our glorious dances and songs. This can be turned into an annual event that should culminate into a concerted drive by our universities to develop and fit them into our curricula. We need to be proud to be Africans and raise the continental flag even higher as we celebrate our heritage.
There should be a concerted effort to reverse the suffocating hatred of one another imposed on us as Africans by our erstwhile colonial masters. Africa is not as dark as it is deliberately caricatured by our former colonizers. Ours is such a beautiful continent with very humble people. African governments should play a central role through programs that seek to consolidate the unity of Africans. We indeed possess massive heritage, the diversity of which cut across all spheres of life. Our continent is just at the beginning of the realization of a long held aspiration which our forebears fought so gallantly to defend and preserve: African Unity. The remnants of our past afflictions are beginning to peel away to give way to the renaissance of our beautiful continent
It was not by fluke that South Africa became almost the last African country to attain its freedom. It is equally not an accident that other Africans are flocking to it in large numbers. It is because they are Africans and believe that South Africa has an important role to play for the continent’s development. In a nutshell South Africa has to work with other Africans to ensure unity, peace and stability for the prosperity of the continent. It is therefore very important for all to dig deep into the archives and retrace the positive side of the continent and work tirelessly to position Africa as an equal player in world affairs. We can achieve such a mark by first being proud to be Africans, respect and preserve our heritage in words and practice.
South Africans across all spheres of life are celebrating heritage month informed first by their own resolve and by the resilience of those patriots who continue to work very hard for its preservation. It is therefore very encouraging that we still know where we belong and this noble act will continue to define the future of the world. It is therefore comforting to see South Africans celebrating their heritage as this will embolden their resolve to remain Africans with a mission to unite the continent. South Africans should therefore celebrate heritage month with open hands to embrace Africa as a whole.
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Politics & Governance