The African struggle, the African dream and the African opportunity

The author of the column says the African struggle sought to dim Africa’s light but failed dismally. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

The author of the column says the African struggle sought to dim Africa’s light but failed dismally. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 25, 2024


The passing years only prove that the African struggle should not be forgotten nor ignored. Even to this day, with many African territories paying homage to the many sons and daughters of this precious continent who did more than what was just enough to create, nourish and sustain the African dream, the African opportunity is still remote to many Africans.

The African struggle is largely defeated. The African dream stands firm. Now, the African opportunity demands our focus. The deprivation of the continent’s resources and the abuse of its people dismally failed to bring Africa to her knees. While it claimed the hopes, dreams and lives of the many who dared to fight for the noble course of African justice, it could not hinder the continent’s future. The descendants of those who suffered, fought and died, still got to live the African dream.

The African struggle was a very badly thought tactic that sought to dim Africa's light. When this light continued to shine, its architects sought to put this light under the table. When the Africans in the room raised their hands to speak out against this anomaly, they were silenced. When they stood up in reaction to the stimulus of darkness, they were physically hurt and driven out of the room. They were locked out and the party went on inside.

The deprivation and dismissal of these Africans united them in their pain despite their differences. It did not matter where exactly in the room initially sat. They all fought together that all their parents, siblings and children and grandchildren be allowed to sit and dine in the room. It did not have to matter what language they spoke or who gave birth to them. They were all united in achieving the African dream. They fought hard because to them the African dream was more than just a dream. It was a deserved reality. And because they were determined, they achieved it despite the unfair treatment.

As we again celebrate Africa Day this year, we prove that the unfortunate project to make Africa a dark room because its light was put under the table failed dismally. We showcase that the unjust idea of driving them out into the cold also failed. Our celebrations should be testament that our continent is not the “Dark Continent.” It is the continent with golden opportunities.

Our celebrations showcase that we deserved to be in the party. And we did not need an invitation because this is our home. It is now even more so because our forebears suffered, fought and triumphed for us all to be part of this celebration. Their pain is our ticket, not just to the celebration but also to the opportunity that lies before us. This African celebration is legitimate. It was earned.

Celebrating Africa Day is even more important not just because we overcame African suffering or are currently living the African dream that was initially only reserved for other parts of the world. It is important because before us looms the African opportunity.

This special opportunity is so special because it promises to benefit us all. The African opportunity is even more ideal because it comes to these lands at a time when many parts of this continent’s governance, leadership and financial systems are not only maturing but also spreading to reach many people and hopefully, ultimately all of them.

The African opportunity is guaranteed to bring meaningful returns on the investments made on the different parts of the continent. The investments made by the African governments through the provision of basic services in the communities yield progressive and happier citizens who play their part in extending the African opportunity. The investments made by governments providing modern services in remote areas have seen the governments also benefiting from the various economic activities that now take place there. In this era, where insight is key to smart-development and smart-growth, government officials can now easily connect with citizens in what was deemed unreachable zones.

What the African opportunity demands is that African governments move away from creating laws and policy with the intention of hoarding power. As African societies mature, citizens have gained more insights on how to add value in their communities and lives. This then gives them the upper-hand in solving the great chunk of ills and problems that throttle the continent’s ideals. However, most Africans are still unable to play a meaningful role in not just enjoying the African opportunity but also in ensuring that it brings inclusive benefit for all. Not because they cannot. But because some African leaders harbour very disempowering perceptions. These perceptions unfortunately find a way to the citizens. As they manifest, they threaten the African opportunity.

* Given Majola is a multimedia reporter at Business Report. He writes in his personal capacity.