- By Simbo Olorunfemi
The story of Africa is, at once, rich and convoluted, punctuated at several points by interventions from here and there. It is the story of a continent frozen by the cold arms of unfriendly intentions that keeps pushing her away from the right trajectory. What should ordinarily be a one-mile journey for Africa, has become one of a thousand miles, with the end slipping more and more out of sight, the farther the journey takes her. It hardly helps that the story of Africa has become one carefully tucked away in an envelope of false narratives, with metres of truth striving in vain, to catch up with kilometres of falsehood, planted over the years.
Africa might not have had much of a choice about a lot in its past, but dwelling on that, at this time, is only a choice. The future beckons, not minding what fate dished out to Africa yesterday, bu t w i t h anticipation of what she chooses to make of it. There is not much choice really – the die is cast. The future that is upon us is one to be lived on terms set by new realities founded on the wings of innovation. Tomorrow only truly belongs to those with the wherewithal to embrace the future ahead of its premiere. To keep romanticising victories of the past and rationalising the defeats rather than take responsibility for the future will take Africa nowhere.
The starting point might just lie with Africans taking charge of the narrative to showcase what is being done and what is possible, if we put our minds to it. If only we know, perhaps it is not as much of doom and gloom as it has been projected. Perhaps, the renaissance is real. Perhaps, it is not the question of Africa being the last frontier, but the very first for Africans to discover, explore and join hands through inter-African engagement to build. The era of waiting for those outside the continent to take the initiative is gone.
We might not have as huge a platform as others have, to tell our story. But we must find a way to do so. We must tell the world that we too have dreams. We must share with the world that some of our dreams are being realised. We must tell our story of exploits and enterprise. We must build a platform to showcase our entrepreneurial stories and innovation, so that those with new dreams can take a cue from those who ahead on the journey of enterprise.
The case of Africa is that of arrested development. It is not a terminal case. It is one of fractured dreams that can be mended. Fired by the communal sense of Ubuntu, a bright future, founded on the spirit of enterprise, is definitely within reach.
Integrity, according to Strive Masiyiwa, is better capital than money. Integrity is a key ingredient for unlocking the future of Africa. We must embrace it for our fractured dreams to mend.