Friday, September 3, 2010

"Hi...i'm from Africa"

I am in the 7th week, the tail-end of my 8-week trip in Europe, across Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. I hope to write about my encounters later, when i get back to Nairobi.
Meanwhile, i have found myself explaining and describing things about my country and my continent...from the political situation, the language, about culture and food...and generally, about life in Kenya. In the process, i discovered that in actual fact, i dont really know as much as i should about my country and continent! The year 2010 is a special year for Africa. 17 African countries mark the 50th anniversary of their independence. But a closer look at the 50 years, reveals little to celebrate. From the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the Central African Republic, to Somalia...many African countries seem to be still languishing in poverty, conflict and corruption. Coups, rebels, mercenaries, conflicts and refugees seem to be a daily vocabulary.
But 2010 is also the year that the World Cup...the greatest sporting event in the world...was held for the first time on African soil...since the inaugural tournament in 1930. A young South African Jesuit, Rampe Hlobo, (who is also the first ever Jesuit from Soweto!), observes: "....(the World Cup) was a turning-point not only for South Africa but for the whole continent. The experience of preparing for and hosting this prestigious tournament has taken the South African nation to another level that we had not reached as a country: the efficient infrastructural delivery, including meeting deadlines, the provision of public transport system, providing effective policing and a justice system, revamping and giving our cities a beautiful facelift – all of this was done in a relatively short space of time proving that where there is a will, there is a way."
President Mwai Kibaki signs the new constitution into law at a public function witnessed by the Nation at Uhuru Park, Nairobi. Standing by is Attorney General Amos Wako 
Where there is a will, there is a way-now that's a strong statement that should keep resonating across the continent. Back in Kenya, during the month of August, the headlines were filled with headlines such as 'Rebirth of a Nation' and 'the Second Republic'. The Kenyan people peacefully went to the polls on the 4th of August to participate in a referendum vote, to decide on a new constitution, that proposes many positive radical changes in the governance of the country. This was followed by a massive ceremony at Uhuru Park in central Nairobi, on the 27th August, during which the President signed the new constitution into law, heralding the 'birth' of a new nation. Not simply a 'story' of hope but a real experience of change in the present and steps towards a more prosperous future.
And i could only follow it all from the news...6000 kilometers away! But it feels very good to say, 'Hi!...I'm from Africa!'

1 comment:

  1. This is really great, am proud to reply.." from Africa too"..keep em coming

    Evalin - Kenya