No one is irredeemable
Life is about change, movement and shifts. Shifts in culture, shifts in life’s perspective, shifts in what motivates one’s mind to do things, shifts in what and how one thinks about self and others and how it all affects the overall wellbeing of the community and society at large. Every shift in life or in a culture always begins with a thought and such thoughts are motivated by what one sees, hears, feels and smells. Meaning that everything that will happen to our world and societies as regarding making a shift towards better realities always begins with a thought. For as a man thinks so is he and as a collection of men or the entire society think, so they are and as they consciously continue to think, so they will remain. Meaning that to change a society for the better, ignite a shift in thinking in the minds of a few and by the law of multiplication and replication, other minds can be affected and massive thought energy can be created for the intended shift. But the question will be, what should be the motive behind the motivation of a shift in Afrika?
The Afrikan way of Ubuntu
If there are a people that has been wrongfully oppressed and marginalized on the world stage, it is Afrika. We as a people have been wronged from all directions and it’s ok to be angry with those who have wronged us. But permit me to say that I have never seen anyone build a living society or make a goodly shift using hate and revenge. It has never worked and it will not work. Meaning that the time has come for Afrika to make conscious shifts in our thoughts, as regards going forward.
Gathering information for this magazine from all over Afrika has opened my wife and I to many Afrikan writers, thinkers, scholars and all that. Sometimes we meet those who are amazingly passionate about the Afrikan narrative for change and they go all out to do their quota with good and positive hearts and attitudes. Sometimes we meet those who are passionate for a better Afrika, who are trying to do things about it, but from a negative attitude towards the Afrikans that they say that they are trying to change, simply because they think and compare Afrika to Europe and America. Such are never tired of complaining about everything. And by such wrong attitudes, they never get anything useful done. Then we meet others who just think there is not a single hope for Afrika, they are happy living their borrowed lives in the borrowed foreign land that they are living in. To them, anything Afrika is useless. Some are just outrightly wrong in their approach towards the change in the Afrikan narrative. They, more than is needed, use the information they have about Afrika for condemnation, rather than for a spark of compassion. They are just constantly playing the card of condemnation and the negative attitude about Afrika. But the truth is this, no matter how passionate you are towards others, you can’t reach them, if the only cards you have in your bag are complaints and condemnation. It’s not possible. No man wants to bear the burden of condemnation alongside the already heavy weight of whatever they are going through or what they have done. Afrika does not need more condemning tongues lashing out, she needs people that are bold in speech but with a good spirit and attitude of love and care. She needs people that will speak the truth the way it is, but with the intention of creating the room needed for change.
There is light in everyone
There is light in everyone, no matter how dark their lives may seem, we just need to find it and give it life. I have had my own share of scolding from the Lord concerning having a wrong heart and attitude towards people. I first came to Kenya in 2016 for a fellowship meeting. I loved the entire Nairobi environment because the weather was different from that of Lagos where I had come from. It was cool and refreshing as against the hot and humid weather of Lagos, which looks more like Mombasa. And I also loved the not too hasty nature of Kenyans in Nairobi. Coming back in 2017 and having to get married and to make my home here changed some things about the entire love story in my head concerning Kenya. I got closer to people, moved a bit more around other places in Kenya, outside of Nairobi, from which I had drawn my initial conclusions about Kenya, and then I began to see things I didn’t expect. I felt very disappointed and deceived. Three years later I was still nursing some issues in my heart concerning the entire Kenyan story. One day as I was on my morning walk, the Lord started teaching me a few very important lessons. He said to me “do you think you have the right to be disappointed at a people that you have not invested love, hope and compassion in? You can’t condemn what you have no power to redeem.” I knew He wasn’t talking about me alone, but about the wrong attitude we all have towards others when we think they are not what we expected them to be. I learnt that good lesson that day and I hope to use it well for the good of others going forward.
No one is hopeless
No man is born evil or irredeemable; we all are just victims of the things we picked up from the journeys of our lives. Meaning that right within the heart of that man that looks unreachable, is a spark of light that if given the right wind will burgeon into a huge furnace that will give warmth on the cold days of life. The Afrika that we need now is not the one complaining about the past years, but the one that is not afraid to step out in boldness, face the fears and make the change that is needed.
The media is loaded with all manner of weird attitudes towards Afrika and Afrikans, and almost all the time from twisted and negative angles. We can understand when these views come from outside of the continent, but when these things are also shared by Afrikans themselves, then we have a bigger problem because the power of the media to influence culture is well known. When they turn this weapon against Afrikans, as Afrikans, it is a high form of betrayal. For if we, as Afrikans, use our gifts to join in with those who have chosen to harm Afrika, who then will be left to render a different opinion if all that the people hear, repeatedly, are how poor, awful and wicked they are? We cannot continue to take up arms against ourselves. We must use our knowledge, tools, gifts and abilities to transform the narrative of Afrika for the better and we must look at this as a sacred trust and duty to perform for the current and future generations.
Remember: We cannot change anything in Afrika and in all the world outside of love, compassion, faith and hope in people. There is light in every heart, we just need to find it.
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Samuel Phillips is a writer, graphic designer, photographer, songwriter, singer and a lover of God. As an Afrikan content creator, he is passionate about creating a better image and positive narrative about Afrika and Afrikans. He is a true Afrikan who believes that the true potential of Afrika and Afrikans can manifest through God and accurate collaborations between Afrikans. Afrika is the land of kings, emperors, original wisdom, ancient civilizations, great men and women and not some road-side-aid-begging poor third world continent that the world finds joy in undermining.