Not yet uhuru as we celebrate Africa Day
On May 25 we observed Africa Day against very challenging circumstances. Africa is still a rich continent of super-impoverished people. Ransacked by imperialists and colonisers centuries ago, Africa is a land that was strangled until it gave up on its true identity.
We remember Africa as a continent ravaged by the endless wars of displacement that culminated in landlessness. The Sarah Baartmans of this continent were humiliated by being paraded for everyone to have a good laugh.
The SS Mendi ship sank with our warriors who were bundled into it, to fight wars not started by them. The visionary Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso was assassinated. The giant tree of development called Samora Machel of Mozambique fell under mysterious circumstances, while the cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani pushed back the gains of our struggle.
For centuries, Africa's minerals have been illegally and forcefully extracted from beneath its soil. African men were made to sweat blood digging up their own gold, diamonds and silver only to hand it over to foreign empires.
Today, Africa is free but poverty remains the common denominator. Today, Africa is under the leadership of Africans but inequality, poverty and unemployment still reign supreme.
Today, Africa is producing graduates, most of whom can't produce anything using their textbook knowledge. Today, Africa has become a haven for crime, human trafficking and gender-based violence and femicide.
Africa should not be like a pig that eats its own children yet gets slaughtered by strangers who feast on it. Africa's wealth should feed its own children. With an estimated 430m Africans living below the poverty line, Haile Selassie, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Patrice Lumumba and Julius Nyerere must be turning in their graves.
People of Africa, rise and reclaim your position. You are far greater than you think. Let the spirit of ubuntu manifest itself among us. Cleanse yourself Africa, it is not yet uhuru!
Malphia Honwane, Gottenburg, Mpumalanga
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