I Have a Dream

Kudakwashe Manjonjo
Harare, Zimbabwe
I say to you today my friends - so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream…I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: all men are created equal… the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character... I have a dream today. 

What is your dream today for Africa?

The introduction was taken from the words of Martin Luther King as he rallied the black men and women in their fight against segregation that was rife in the structures, soul and society of the American state. Similar to our current situation in Africa where the structures, soul and society are segregated from the best the world has to offer us. And that is when it becomes necessary, as Africans to have a clearly enunciated dream for ourselves, our dream for Africa.

At the African Union Summit earlier this year, Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma spoke of a “grand reality” to the African Presidents to what she hoped Africa would be in 50 years, some calling it Vision 2064. Her dream written as a message to a hypothetical friend in 2063 had the highlights of a high-speed railways, a common language, diplomatic clout, cutting-edge fashion, and leadership in space exploration.

The distance between Cape to Cairo is roughly 7 200km and imagine the possibility of waking up in Kenya by the Serengeti and by midday being by the Pyramids in Egypt and planning to be by Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe the following day while travelling on a high-speed train! Although imagined by Cecil Rhodes, this could be our grand reality.

And as you travel, language could be a problem as it would be difficult to find someone fluent in Arab, Swahili and Ndebele, but this in 50 years could be a thing of the past, a new continental language being mustered by young and old alike, making the tribal feuds we saw in Rwanda 1994 an event of the past and the Sudan conflict we see today an episode in our history that will never happen again. And we no-longer will be referred to as Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone speaking nations, just simply African.

And in 50 years, our leaders and the people that follow them will not have to wear the black suits that are clearly not meant for our weather but will be proud and seen as trendy in our African overalls, like the ones in Nigeria. And it will be simpler to make it a continental trend because by then, we won’t be 55 states, but a confederation of states, a nation not only by the mere desires our generation has, but the fact that by then I will not need a passport to move from DRC to Algeria.

And similar to the way Louis Armstrong strolled on the moon claiming a huge step for mankind with his step, an African from Malawi could jet off from the Space station in Blantyre and be the first man ever to land on Mars. And imagine that in 50 years, Mercedes-Benz, BMW will be announcing the closing of their factories in Africa due to be out competed by the African created, headed car manufacturers that use renewable energy the most efficiently!

Surely our reality can be one as grand as the one pictured above. For us Africans, dreaming is important for us so as to forgive the horrors of the past, have a reason to live in the present and strive for the future. It is possible that the letter sent by Dlamini-Zuma to her hypothetical friend will be read and then she will be seen as having prophesied the future. And that responsibility of making Africa a “grand reality” has been laid on the 600 million youths on the continent. It took one man called Pastor King to change the trajectory of one of the greatest nations and it was because he had a dream. What could you do to change the future history of possibly the greatest continent by just dreaming? What could you do for Africa?

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