Rwanda Day reminds us of the fundraising events during the liberation struggle.
Although the war has ended, the cause remains the same; one of recognition and self-worth; a struggle for dignity. The general too, is still the same: rallying his troupes to launch an assault on our new enemy: poverty, suffering and brain drain. Suddenly being a Rwandan migrant, student or resident in the west takes a new image: that of a soldier. And the urge to return home is reinforced.
Every African country should emulate this. Or rather, every African should attend Rwanda day. It is a true example of Africa’s Renaissance, showcasing a dynamic continent of hope, a new epoch of perspective; of pride. Where Africans meet to talk about their challenges, but also celebrate their successes.
A complete paradigm shift: from the drama fables, made-up in search for refugee status, to stories of business opportunities; from the language of aid plea, to the language of equitable bilateral trade, flourishing economies and self-sufficiency. from subservient allegiance to western cronies, to Agaciro (pride), dignity and self-worth.
It is the day when Africans are recognized, vindicated and valued; where our resolute to keep our heads up is renewed. It is the day of fellowship; a great African mass!
Western media did not cover that; they were usually busy covering Ebola and Boko Haram; instilling fear in westerners and African migrants alike, not to travel to Africa…
As usual they partly succeed: just the other day, some Liberian ministers refused to return home, I presume, after watching a horrifying coverage of the ebola outbreak in their country. Last year when Kagame traveled to the UK for Rwanda day, Congolese threw eggs at him; a habit they picked up there… To be honest, they were angry. Not only do they, like most migrants, eat McDonald’s, work three shifts and live in the cold, with no hope of going home anytime soon, the media tells them that they have Kagame to thank for it.
But they were wrong to shoot (eggs) at this messenger; Kagame was actually bringing good news-different news from home. They should aim their eggs at the biased reporting of our continent. One that is advising not to travel to Africa at these times
Times where East Africa has just discovered massive oil reserves; times where Ethiopia is building the Renaissance Dam, capable of lighting more than half the continent; times where the war is ending in DRC and the country’s GDP is clocking 8.5%; TIMES where Nigeria has become the leading and most dynamic economy in Africa.
Western and Chinese companies know it; they are relocating car manufacturing to Ethiopia, while Nigeria… well, it’s making its own brand. This is what is trending in Africa!
THIS is the time to comeback to Africa. Therefore, it is the times, perhaps, to increase the steam of fear about our continent, lest the world risks waking-up one morning to a different continent: one where there is no war, nor diseases, one that does not need help or pity, one that bargains at the right price its natural resources; one that the world actually dreads!
Rwanda day aims to showcase the Africa that wins. So, if there were only a few non-Rwandan Africans in attendance, Rwandans are partly to blame; they’ve been selling the event as a Rwandan get together; modesty obliges…
That is a missed opportunity; the success stories that Rwandans are able to share are similar or even better told in Senegal; in Gabon, in Guinea, in Tanzania and in Ethiopia. Ghanians have reasons to celebrate their steadfast growth and stability, Senegalese, their unwavering peace since the time of Senghor and Ivoirians can take pride in their stability and renewed growth, after recent hurdles, etc.
No mater though; the message shared at Rwanda day, was ‘valid’ to all Africans. Like Lupita Njongo’o’s Oscar was celebrated across the region, Rwanda day, Uganda Day, Zambia Day should be celebrated by all Africans.
I was about to say that other African heads of states too, should organize theirs, but two minor problems arise: There are African leaders who have entirely lost any legitimacy to give motivational speeches – to fearless and willing partakers, that is. (The likes of Jacob Zuma, Yaya Jammeh or Isaiah Afewerki). Their frequent, narcissist monologues held in their respective countries are only attended by coerced, sycophantic crowds, or the usual cheerful oxymoron, convinced that leadership comes from God. The euphoria in these gatherings is the end; the message, usually a rant of threats towards the opposition and the west, deeply lacking substance…
And then there is Africans’ incapacity to come out of the box. This is Rwanda Day! don’t regard it as ‘our’ exclusive day, or as ‘their’ day; that will be missing the rationale, but also the federating impact of such an event organized in western capitals.
Fellow Africans, next year don’t miss: If a country that sank at the lowest of Africa’s moment twenty years ago can celebrate its rebirth today, every African should join in, #AfricaWins
Posted 29th September 2014