Happy Africa Day, everyone!
This day has me thinking.
First of all, we can use today to celebrate all that our continent has achieved – to focus on the continent; to realise that step by step, we are breaking out of the perception that Africa is ‘poor’ or ‘lesser.’ So here’s to the people and structures that are positively contributing to our society! You have the power! Let’s rejoice in this!
“Africa leads the world in female representation in parliaments and the continent has one of the highest rates of female entrepreneurship. Let us be inspired by these successes and intensify efforts to provide Africa’s women with better access to education, work and health care and, by doing so, accelerate Africa’s transformation,” – Ban Ki-Moon
So, it’s great to reflect on the progress that we’re making. But another question that I have to ask myself, as an aspiring African-of-impact (if you will), is what more can I be doing to create a better continent. “Activism” is great: I love speaking about change on social media, or television, or at conferences, but I often feel removed from the situations I am talking about.
And even though I do try to become more involved in these communities through (as I hate to term it) “volunteer work”, I feel like it’s not enough. Okay cool, so I coach kids debating once a week, but then I go back to my pretty privileged life, and think of it as removed from the situations that I volunteer in.
I would say a goal of my life is to feel like the change that I DISCUSS, or want to see happen (when drafting resolutions, or after ‘working groups’), is also change that I IMPLEMENT in some way. And at the moment, I am itching to get there. As it stands, I feel like my attempts to change policy, or raise awareness about social issues are somewhat hypocritical as I am not implementing them myself, or seeing it through that these policy changes are implemented.
So yes, I feel like I’m in a pickle, but I’m also not here to just complain about it, and go on being in the same pickle.
I think I’m going to start small. See a policy change that’s been suggested/implemented; follow it to the root; see what’s being done; if nothing, question the people who are supposed to get things done.
It’s a process, really. So I’m going to have to take it step by step.