Acha Harrison
Edo State, Nigeria
A son once asked his father a noteworthy question which every African must ask himself, if we are to make our continent better. “Daddy I want to change society, I see our society beyond this level. What must I do?” asked the young boy. The dad was dumbfounded for a couple of minutes, not because he lacked the answer to the young potential change maker’s question, but because he was amazed with the passion and burning zeal he saw evident in him as he paid attention to him. "If you must change society, the first bold step lies in changing yourself" the dad replied. He continued, "you must be a reflection of what you desire to see in the society, with that, all your desires will come to fulfillment in due time."

What is your dream for Africa? Are you among those who still feel that Africa's issue shouldn't irk your life? It is time to think again. Let me use this opportunity to once again remind us that the solution to Africa’s problem has not gone outside Africa, it’s still in Africa. We are the solution. Don’t ever make the mistake of zooming out the solution from other continents. You have a role to play, I too have a role to play. Together we can build a better Africa.

Africa is nothing but you, me, and our perception and patriotism towards her. Many a time, we tend to be cajoled by conventional societal belief; unending complaints and blames. Africa still remains the second largest continent after Asia. Endowed with natural resources stretching through 57 countries and having a population of 1.111 billion potential change makers with exceptional je ne sais quoi. Do I believe in myself? Do I believe in this Rising Africa? These are questions that strike the mind, bleeding with a passion for change.

Mahatma Gandhi was not foolish to have said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. This advice given by the great philosopher in his wisdom was for no other person but we Africans - you and me. The greatest enemy Africa has ever had, is called "self change". We feel and believe that the only people answerable to the call of change are the leaders. Hell No! Why must the government change when YOU have bluntly refused to change? Have you forgotten so soon that we are the government? Our society today is structured on egotism, political crisis and violence! We tend to focus on laying blames and complaining about what the government has not done - Believing the Government will change while we watch, has not really helped us. This negative alacrity always rubs on us negative feedback. Let us begin to cultivate that energy of self change. Instead of asking what the leaders have done for you, why not ask what have I done for myself and the society? Rise up from the dust of lamentation and false excuses, shake it off and let us build our mother land.

Did I just hear you say, you cannot change Africa? It seems we have forgotten the pride we have being an African. If you can change yourself, you can change Africa. We are the change Africa wants, we are the change Africa wants to see happen. Nothing worth celebrating started big, but little by little, bold steps amounted to something big. Africa has the potential of being one of the most powerful continents in the world. IT IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE.

 Gone are the days when Africans shy away from who they really are, due to racial discrimination. We must not forget that we have great potential, which is yet untapped. Now is the time to unlock that great potential within us. This is a clarion call to the citizenry from the 57 countries that make up Africa. Let us rise up in spirit of love and unity, to build Africa and bring the plans of our fore-fathers to reality. GO, CHANGE YOURSELF, CHANGE AFRICA!

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