The month of May is recognized as Africa month - a time when our beloved continent commemorates its multifaceted heritage.
Celebrated on May 25th, since its inception in 1963, Africa Day marks the beginning of a quest for the unity of the African continent and for the emancipation of its people, as well as cooperation among them.
As part of this celebration, Castle Milk Stout asks a pertinent question, in the launch of their latest hard-hitting Clan Can campaign:
Africa, have we lost it?
The campaign, appropriately named #GetItBack advocates for and urges Africans to re-discover and celebrate their roots.
I had the pleasure of bearing witness to a panel of prominent cultural activists and social commentators rallying behind the campaign, with a heated and intense panel discussion delving into the importance of Africans celebrating and reconnecting with their true origins.
The panel included Lebo Mashile (actor, writer and performance poet), Zolani Mkiva (imbongi ), Pallance Dladla (actor), Stoan Seate (musician,and TV personality), Gogo Moyo (web developer and traditional healer), and Ntombi Mzolo (radio and TV personality).
When asked what #GetItBack means to him, Seate asserts that, “It’s a bittersweet realization that what makes me special should not make me special. The fact that I have connected myself to the roots of language, and that today I am so dextrous in SeTswana shouldn't be special. Where I come from everyone speaks like I do. Owning our cultures is necessary, especially for the sake of younger generations.”
As a traditional healer in modern society, Gogo Moyo’s lived experience involves reconciling the tensions between Western culture and its modernity, and the ancient belief systems of ubungoma.
“The key is preservation”, says Moyo, ever so passionately. If we can know our history and embrace how our clan names came to be, we will truly know ourselves.” There’s a stigma to pan Africanism, and I fight it everyday by coexisting.
I am a child of this generation, but I cannot assimilate and adopt so much that I lose the essence of who I truly am. I glance at her feet and see Vans sneakers that match her blue hair, and this immediately debunks the misconceptions I am guilty of projecting.
Each of the panel members, in their individual capacities, use their respective creative platforms to express their heritage, and Milk Stout is championing this cause by releasing a series of limited-edition cans, specifically designed with African blended patterns and engraved with the clan praises of various South African clans.
To support the campaign further, Castle Milk Stout will be launching the first ever Clanopedia online platform where South Africans can register their clan praises. What I love about this the most is that this initiative will provide reference and accessibility of clan praises for future generations, ensuring we never lose it!