One Africa is a 3-part Spoken Word series written to foster Peace building, Social Cohesion and Intercultural collaboration among African individuals and communities. One Africa 3 is in support of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021 by promoting Unity and Social Cohesion between African nations.
In One Africa 3, Mac Alunge uses a mix of 3 languages (French, English and Bakossi) to convey his message. French and English being the official languages of Cameroon, and Bakossi, which is a tribal language among over 200 indigenous languages in Cameroon. This message is addressed to all Africans. The writer is displeased with the present state of the African society and so calls on his fellow Africans to listen to him and come together as one to make positive change. Just like in the first part of the One Africa series where the writer seeks to promote Peace and Unity among African societies, Mac Alunge in One Africa 3 comes out stronger in urging Africans to remember that they are one and must therefore collaborate in every way possible to achieve a better future. The message in this slam inspires Africans to discover and understand who they really are and regaining control of all that went off tracks.
The opening lines of the slam show the pride and beauty of Africa which are now being forgotten by many who only choose to see negativity. In this slam, the writer depicts how much Africa has been belittled and underestimated in the face of the world. It is Ironical that a land so full of riches is now characterized by misery and disharmony. The writer lays down a series of questions about who brought down Africa from “Grace to grass” – “But who called us third world?…Who made black mean lack?, Who let us off our own tracks that we cracked, quenched our sparks and fell on our backs?, Who took the goodness of blackness out of black?”.
It is revealed that we are the cause of our own problems because we “forgot our history in a hurry and borrowed our own story, when we forgot our glory and majesty and allowed ourselves be branded with imagery of tragedy, misery and disharmony, when we let catastrophe become our only, our defining story”. However, this can be remedied if we stop and think for a moment about our history which is the true definition of who we really are. In doing so, we will be able to see the reality and be our own judges.
The audience therefore, is made to understand that Africa needs Africans to solve her problems – “African problems crave African solutions”, for we are innovative enough to promote our advancement. So, the African society is called upon to unite with one another individually and nationally and be determined to succeed in every aspect – “We’ll rise and fight every giant, till poverty and hunger are both out”. Also, the writer makes us see how a better Africa will look like if we join hands together with dialogue, understanding and implementation of actions towards achieving a common goal.
“Child labor we’ll eradicate”
“Illiteracy, we’ll terminate”
“More jobs, we’ll create”
“And more systems, we’ll innovate”
The writer through the above stanza discourages child abuse/child labor and encourages education which is a fundamental human right and has a vital role in the economic, human and social growth of the community. This is because with more educated people, the higher the development will be which aligns with Nelson Mandela’s line “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” in his speech commemorating the launch of Mindset Network on July 16, 2003. Therefore, putting an end to illiteracy will make better citizens and make us more productive in increasing the progress of our society.
As Africans, we have lost so much economically, physically and socially enduring very traumatic situations that we believe things cannot be remedied. One Africa 3 is here to tell us that all hope is not lost as the writer motivates and encourages the society to never give up in the fight to reach our peak of glory. In this slam, we are encouraged to be motivated, resilient, determined and to never lose focus. However, we must also be wise in our actions “So we will not sell our eggs around the fight”. We are urged to look back into our history, take back our lost glory and write a changed story of harmony and glory. Achieving a general state of peace and harmony cannot be realized by one person alone. This is why being united to work together is of paramount importance. So, our ambition to achieve a greater and a much brighter Africa should never end.
Moreover, the coming together of African nations to participate in the on-going African Cup of Nations (AFCON) as a game aids to promote unity and solidarity amongst individuals, cultures and nations. Also, social solidarity is of vital importance to the achievement of peace without a gunfight.
In this slam, Mac Alunge uses the word “Ubuntu”, a Nguni Bantu term which means “humanity” or “I am because you are” to further make his message understood by his audience. According to Barbara Nussbaum, “Ubuntu is the capacity in African culture to express compassion, reciprocity, dignity, harmony and humanity in the interests of building and maintaining community with justice and mutual caring”. This brings about the idea that as human beings, we cannot live on our own because we need to be interconnected with one another. The writer is urging Africans to follow and practice this philosophy of Oneness because with this way of life, we can rekindle our quenched sparks and regain the rich and prosperous Africa in all it’s glory.
Overall, One Africa 3 is out to remind Africans to cultivate the spirit of “Ubuntu” so as to build a one and indivisible Africa, void of violence and hate speech. So, we must pursue love, justice and build peace in order to live in a Hate-Free Cameroon and a Hate-Free Africa. With togetherness, comes heightened productivity which will cause a highly-developed Africa to emerge.
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