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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Africa Day: What I Wanted To Say Yesterday

Yesterday was a day to celebrate the continent and our freedom to forge our own destinies.  I was unaware until I had a chat with MINI MI that for some African countries, this day is just another day even though it marks the commemoration of the African Union as well.  Nigeria does not seem to acknowledge the day.  It has been an official holiday in Zambia as far as I can remember. I think it is an important day for the continent to reflect, to take pride in who we are and resolve to be trailblazers who defy the world's expectations and become the great peoples we have the potential to be.  I say peoples as although we share a commonality in the African experience, we have unparalleled diversity that should be preserved and celebrated as well. 

It is an interesting time for Africa.  Sudan will be split into two soon.  Egypt is witnessing the cost of freedom.  Revolution is a long process and the media have not helped in perpetuating the illusion that demanding change culminates to democracy overnight and when they aren't oversimplifying they are spreading gloom and doom.  Unfortunately the Libya situation is worse than ever, and my fears have been realised.

However, progress has been made in Cote D'Ivoire with President Ouattara rightfully being sworn in as President as the people had chosen at the end of last year.  Let us hope that this is a huge step towards sustained peace in the region.  I hope that they finally deal with their human rights issues.  Here is a video of the inauguration:

As for me Africa Day was particularly invigorating.  The day before I saw David and Goliath battle in the 21st Century, when Rafa beat John Isner after being pushed to 5 sets for the first time at Roland Garros.  I have gushed about Nadal before, but I have gained a new level of respect for him after watching that match.  Watching him fail to find a way to penetrate Isner's game after he lost the break in the second set and seeing him transform in the fourth by taking a chance and going for Isner's mammoth serve and finally making inroads to break and take the last two sets to win was awesome possum :)))))).  Seeing him adapt and change, persevere and call on his inner-strength to will victory was just wow! My favourite match of his on clay for sure. Definitely a classic. You can watch his interview after the match here, (look for Day 3).

How does this relate to my Africa Day? Nadal's win despite what seemed to an insurmountable obstacle in his way gave me the strength to declutter my life literally and figuratively so that I can be receptive to God through faith in myself and my abilities.  The only person who can help you is yourself.  You have to find the strength within when you are faced with external trials and tribulations.  So I spent the day cleaning my personal space and clearing my head and I am now prepared to move forward with energy and optimism and most importantly faith in myself, my abilities and my contributions to life.

I will end with my fav African song of the moment.  Africa let's "hustle and stay focused" :)

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