“ Until the Lion has a historian, the hunter will always be a hero.” – African Proverb
This has to be the most poetic expression of the African story. I recently attended what I call the Development equivalent of the ZCC annual pilgrimage: a conference on current Development issues and measures to intervene. My high expectations were shattered 5minutes into the first plenary session. I was harshly reminded of Chimamande Ngozi’s TED talk on “The danger of an single story”; here were 350 intellectuals and industry leaders in the development sector sitting in central London discussing Africa as if it were one country that was deserving of everyone’s patronizing well meaning pity on the backdrop of a lost people riddle in poverty and catastrophe.
Now is a good time to mention that I am very cautious of Western intervention to the developing South, and pro-South to South interventions. I believe no one knows better your plight than some one who has risen from it.
I realized at that very moment that we have a responsibility as Africans to tell the stories of our nations. The stories that wont make headline news, the stories that only a handful will hear depending of social strata, the stories of triumph, of relentless pursuit for a better life, the stories of courageous acts of humanity. Not forgetting the stories of our everyday lives, the lives we have left behind in the rise to success; because it is only when we tell of where we come from can the world really appreciate how far we have come.
This week I would like to challenge you to go out there and read a book written by an African telling the story of her nation. Journey through South Africa’s maiden democratic voyage through the eyes of a brilliant Maliaka Wa Azania; or appreciate how far the girl child has come and her struggle for equal opportunity in education in Tsitsi Dangaremgba’s Nervous Conditions. These are but two examples; discover your continent and be inspired to tell your story in an effort to shape the worlds view of our beautiful Africa.