Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest modern physicists, is reported to have once said that we are on a minor planet of an average star located within the outer limits of one of a hundred thousand million galaxies.
Are our challenges here in Africa really significant then, in light of this?
We walk this Earth for but a short while. Why not become devoted to having only a wonderful experience?
Why not dedicate ourselves to leaving a powerful legacy for our future generations?
Why should we, African countries, continue to act and behave like second-class citizens in this world?
It’s time we uplifted ourselves and recognised the richness of our own existence.
At the recently held World Federation of Democratic Youth Conference, young people from different parts of the world echoed the same sentiments that they have had enough of countless resolutions being passed at the United Nations that do not include the needs and aspirations of African people but rather seek to serve the interest of the already developed world.
With the exception of our own outstanding President (Mugabe) and a few others in Africa, we continue to see African heads of state failing to defend their own policies, legacies and aspirations of the people at these international forums.
To some extent it seems they are falling prey to the festivities and activities at the UN while accomplishing nothing on behalf of their continent and their countries.
Young people in Africa more than ever now demand government delegates that represent their national interest and not diplomats who betray the national mandate at the drop of a hat.
Take South Africa, for example, right now there are restaurants and places reserved for whites only. The sign posts screaming “Whites Only” have been removed, but the reality is that these places are still off-limits to blacks.
It is clear for anyone to see in the composition of the South African national cricket and rugby teams that the system is biased.
The ratio of blacks to whites in these heavily funded sporting disciplines is a cause for concern. It is really not because black South Africans cannot play cricket or rugby but it just shows how their development in these areas is being blocked and sabotaged right from the grassroots.
African governments must deal with such discrimination.
This is not only in sport, it is in property ownership, , land tenure, natural resources and economic freedoms and liberties of Africans.
Instead of only enjoying flights and hotel rooms at these summits, African diplomats need to do more and start accomplishing on behalf of their people and the continent.
I mean, how can we have a United States of Africa? One envisaged by the late President Kwame Nkrumah if some of our sister African countries continue to serving the interests of the EU and the United States?
As we wait for our African governments across the continent to put their act together and represent us, we also need to demonstrate that as African individuals we can perform better, create inventions and take over the world.
Just because we are lagging in terms of development does not mean we cannot develop past them.
Africans have long been compared to animals in the Theory of Evolution which teaches that as humans we simply are a sophisticated form of an animal, with no more or less intrinsic value than any other creature.
The underlying message in this theory is that a human being has no inherent source of self-esteem.
Rather he needs tangible accomplishments to feel “successful”.
What tremendous pressure! And as Africans we have grown up agonising with this kind of mental pressure and we now have developed an inner ability to withstand it.
We need to continuously train our minds to believe in ourselves that we are able to perform. Things are always created twice. There is always the mental creation which precedes the physical creation.
Visualise the wonders you seek to accomplish in this life and they will materialise as your subconscious mind starts to focus on the attainment of each goal.
This is a true law of nature. The late Steve Jobs, when asked how his Apple invention come about, said: “It’s like when I walk in a room and I want to talk about a product that hasn’t been invented yet. I can see the product as if it’s sitting there right in the centre of the table. What I have got to do is materialise it and bring it to life, harvest it, that’s exactly the way I saw the Macintosh and it has come to life.”
To catch up with the developed world, we need to constantly remind ourselves that we cannot be productive without harbouring an intense desire for accomplishment; otherwise we will end up just being busy.
Everything is scheduled. Yet, still, months pass with no important milestones accomplished.
We need to plant in our minds and in our circles the truth that if any person that has walked this Earth in Europe or America can achieve anything whatsoever, we can also achieve the same with the right mental attitude, perseverance and industry.
Limiting thoughts and weak mental images must be banished. Our focus must now be on the attainment of goals that are truly important and relevant for our progress as a people.
- Innocent Katsande is the communications officer of Zimbabwe Youth Council