This question is indesolubly connected with what it is that constitutes the future and destiny of a people whom for a long time and even in this time are still bieng oppressed , manipulated and denigrated the global economic system and status quo works against the seed of our future , thus the challenge arises to clearly define ourselves as individuals in our respected communities , as tribes , as nations and as a continent . That is why it feels imperative to begin by asking you – WHO IS AN AFRICAN ?
By Olusegun Obasanjo, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Olusegun Obasanjo is a former president of Nigeria and a member of the Africa Progress Panel, chaired by Kofi Annan. The views expressed are the author’s own.
Images of starving children, epitomised in news coverage from Ethiopia in the 1980s, have given Africa a reputation for famine that does an injustice to the continent’s potential.
This bieng the first of many to come it would rather be courteous for me peharps to start by introducing myself , so i hope this interview with myself would give more insight into knowing who i am and what i hope to archive with this blog , thank you
Q- YOUR NAME IS WADZANAI MAZHETESE ?
Q-WHERE ARE YOU FROM ?
A; i was born in Gweru ,Zimbabwe but i come from Zaka in Masvingo
A; you see that question for most Africans like myself where you come from does not particularly mean where you grew up ,see we grew up in the city but our roots are in the rural areas ,that is where our ancestoral roots can be traced back to.
Q-WHICH PLACE WOULD YOU LIKE TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF WITH?
A;Zaka would be appropriate because it can also easily identify itself with me too
Q-I GUESS THAT MEANS YOU ARE A TRADITIONALIST
A; what do you mean ?
Q-DO YOU BELIEVE IN AFRICAN TRADITION AS A RELIGION?
A; i don’t think any of what i ve said depicts me as a traditionalist yet i am not denying that as well.My religious orientation is grossly distorted ,i find myself in this dilema where christianity is most appealing and easily acceptable , and African tradition has everything to do with me , my identity and my history a part of me that can’t easily be erased ….
Q- OKAY , WHY DID YOU START THIS BLOG?
A;i grew up singing praise and worship songs to the liberation movements in this case it was the ZANU-PF , i remember singing one song in particular wich went more like this “simudza gumbo ,harizi rako , ndere musangano ….” which means lift your leg up , it is not your leg ,it is for the party ,this directly meant that the party was bigger than the people. Such songs made me wonder everytime my father would come home every other day empty handed and there is no food on the table , i could not understand how it was possible for a liberated nation to watch its own people starve and at times even die.This was the early nighteen ninties and to find myself some twenty years later in a foregn nation with yet another liberation movement trying to starve its own people to death makes me frankly terrified. Tell me if this does not compel you to take a stand ?
Q-SO YOU SAY LIBERATION MOVEMENTS DESTROY PEOPLE ‘S LIVES?
A;No , not at all , i am saying power does , remember the song we used to sing , it was us giving too much power to individuals which i see happening again here in South Africa.I read that “power leads to corruption and absolute power leads to absolute corruption “
Q- SO WHY DID YOU START THIS BLOG?
A; Africa is a place where knowledge is not easily availlable,thanks to technology anyone can share their minds uncensored . The greatest assert we can give our people is information (knowledge) , to help them make informed decisions.i believe at the end of the day it is our collective informed decision that will count. This is why i have created this blog , and if we could just take a moment to listen to one another we could probably find ourselves much better than we could imagine.
Q-ARE YOU AN EDUCATED PERSON?
A; when does one become an educated person , i am a student of LAW
Q-WHO DO YOU TARGET WITH THIS BLOG?
A; i am targeting the youth of the world ,even the old .It is the youth that can change by bieng the leaders of tomorrow i believe they are crucial to our future .Also those in power , with the hope that they will know how the person on the ground really feels and not misconstrue criticism as an attempt to decampaign anyone .
Q- HOW DO YOU INTEND TO ARCHIVE YOUR GOALS ?
A; We will be brutally honest , on this blog we will call a spade a spade , however if you intend to insult anyone you are not invited , i am sorry we welcome only developemental criticism.To archive the desired effect we need not reduce ourselves to cheap politicians because we are not , we are not politicians for one , we are citizens of this continent ,when they go to war, we become refugees , when they steal from state caufers it is us who get hungry , so i beg you to take a moment and take us seriously
Q-WHO ARE AFRICANS ?
A; today that question is interesting , but for me Africans are not defined by colour ,race or creed, anyone who today has been legally accepted as an Africa is , whether you are here or in the diaspora .But i would like to make this our first point of discussion . thank you