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The Meaning of Africa Month

 

Africa month celebrations offers us an opportunity:

  • To reflect on our origins, history, culture and identity
  • To embark on a journey of rediscovery, reconstruction and development
  • To root ourselves in our common humanity (Ubuntu/Botho)
  • To rediscover our inherent light and shed it upon others to become the servants of light

Africa month calls upon the youth of Africa to action:

  • Africa month calls on the youth of Africa to reawake and act
  • The phoenix (Bennu) bird calls for the African Renaissance – the rebirth, renewal and development of the continent.

The first call for the African Renaissance was made by Pixely Isaka Ka Seme, a young student of the University of Columbia in 1905. Seme delivered a speech titled: The regeneration of Africa. In this speech Seme reclaimed African identity and pride when he said: “I am African”. Moreover, Seme envisaged the sun of righteousness rising and shining upon Africa and the birth of a new civilization for Africa and Africans. According to Seme this civilization would arise from the ashes of ancient African civilisations including the pyramid of ancient Ethiopia and Egypt, great Zimbabwe etc.

Seme’s dream was rooted in the Ethiopian theology of African Redemption (Psalm 68:51). This Ethiopian (i.e. black African) liberation theology inspired Seme and his colleagues to convene the founding conference of the South African National Native Congress (1912), renamed the African National Congress in 1923.

In his opening address to the founding congress of the African National Congress (the ANC) Seme called on African people to unite, co-operate and bury the demon of racism and tribalism. When the agreement was reached to form the ANC the delegates burst into the song: God of Truth fulfills your promise (Lindalise Idinga lakho Inkosi ye Nyaniso). This song referred to the promise of African liberation contained in Psalm 68:31. In his concluding address to the congress. Seme said that the formation of the ANC was the fulfillment of the promise that God made to Africa and Africans. Thus the ANC would be the weapon and shield in the struggle for the rebirth, renewal and development of a new and unique civilization for Africa and Africans. This struggle became the sacred duty of the governing party- the African National Congress. The ANC also adopted a national anthem which recaptured its spiritual roots (Nkosi Sikelele Afrika) (morena boloka Setshaba sa hesu). Rev Mokone, the uncle of Charlotte Makgomo Manya (maxeke) from Botlokwa was the founder of the Ethiopian African Liberation theology contained in Psalm 68:31 which says princes will come out of Egypt and Ethiopia shall again raise her hands towards God.

Our icon, Nelson Mandela, traced the moral vision of the governing party, the ANC, to the Ethiopian movement. In the African diaspora Ethiopianism was also rooted in the theology of African redemption (Psalm 68:31) which catalyzed the formation of the African Association convened the first Pan African Congress in London in 1900. In his keynote address W.E.B Du Bois foresaw that racism would be the biggest problem of the 20th century. The congress condemned the use of African people as cannon fodder in the Anglo –Boer war (1899-1902). At the end of the war the British and the Boers concluded the Treaty of Vereeniging which legalized racism.

Colonial conquest, racism and racial injustice catalyzed the formation of native congress which were inspired by the Ethiopian (i.e. black African) theology of liberation. After the Anglo- Boer war Rev. Sylvester Henry Williams and Peregrina, the Ghananian journalist, came to Cape Town where they assisted Abudu/rhaman and Sol Tshekiso Plaatje to form the African people’s organization used the terms African and Colored interchangeably. The Ethiopian African theology of liberation catalyzed the birth of the Pan African movement which championed the cause of African Liberation. The pioneers of African liberation included Pixely Isaka ka Seme, a South African youth studying at the University of Columbia in the United States. Seme articulated the first definite and emphatic vision of African liberation in his speech titled; The Regeneration of Africa.

Seme won the first prize of the Curtis Medal Orations at Columbia University on the 5th April 1906. The Orations of Pixley Isaka Ka Seme laid the foundation for the present day African Renaissance movement. Seme said: “I have to speak to you on this occasion upon “The Regeneration of African, and I set my race over against a hostile public opinion. Men have tried to compare races on the basis of Seme equality. In all the works of nature, equality, if by it we mean identity, is an impossible dream; search the universe you will find no two units alike. The scientists tell us there are no two atoms, identical. Nature has bestowed upon each a peculiar individuality and exclusive patent-man, the crowning achievement of nature, defies analysis. He is a mystery through all ages and for all time. The races of mankind are composed of free and unique individuals. Air attempt to compare them on the basis of equality can never be finally satisfactory. Each is self ……in all races genius is like a spark, which, concealed in the bosom of a flint, bursts forth at the summoning stroke. It may arise anywhere and in any race.

“I would as you not to compare Africa to Europe or to any other continent. I make this request not from any fear that such comparison might bring humiliation upon Africa. The reason I have stated a common standard is impossible! Come with me to the ancient capital of Egypt, Thebes, the city of hundreds gates. The grandeur of its venerable ruins and the gigantic proportions of its architecture reduce to insignificance the boasted monuments of other nations.

The pyramids of Egypt are structures to which the world presents nothing comparable. The mighty monuments seem to look with disdain on every other work on human art ad to vie with nature herself. All the glory of Egypt belongs to Africa and her people. These monuments are the indestructible memorials of their great and original genius. It is not through Egypt alone that Africa chains such as unrivalled historic achievements.

I could have spoken of the pyramids of Ethiopia, which though inferior in size to those of Egypt, far surpass them in architectural beauty, their sepulchers which evince the highest purity taste, and of many prehistory ruins in other parts of Africa…..in such ruins Africa is like a golden sun, that, having sunk beneath the western horizon, still plays upon the world which he sustained and enlightened in his career. Seme continued to boasts of African achievements.

He asked his audience to cast their eyes from the heights of the 20th century South of Sahara Desert to see that the African race is evidently part of the new order of things that belong to this new and powerful period:

“The African already recognised his anomalous position and desires a change. The brighter day is rising upon Africa. Already it seems to see her chains dissolved, her desert plains red with harvest, her Abyssinia and her Zululand the seats of science and religion reflecting the glory of the rising sun from the spires of their churches and universities. Her Congo and her Gambia whitened with commerce, her crowned cities sending forth the hum of business and all her sons employed I advancing the victories of peace- greater and more abiding than the spoils of war.

Yes, the regeneration of Africa belongs to this new and powerful period by this term regeneration. I wish to be understood to mean the entrance into a new life, embracing the diverse phases of a higher complex existence. The basic factor which assures their regeneration resides in the awakened race- consciousness. This gives them a clear perception of their elemental needs and of their undeveloped powers. It therefore must lead them to the attainment of the higher and advanced standard of:

“The African people, although not a strictly homogeneous race, possess a common fundamental sentiment which is everywhere manifest, crystalizing itself into one common controlling idea, conflicts and strife are rapidly disappearing before the fusing force of this enlightened perception of the true intertribal relation, which relation should subsist among people with a common destiny. Agencies of a social economic and religious advance tell of a new spirit which, acting as a leaving ferment, shall raise the anxious and aspiring mass to the level of their ancient glory.

The ancestral greatness, the unimpaired genius, and the recuperative power of the race, its irrepressibility, which assures its permanence, constitutive the African’s greatest source of inspiration’’

African graduates returning home from their studies abroad to plough back their knowledge provided evidence of the process of regeneration. Seme defined this regeneration in the following terms:

“The regeneration of Africa means that a new and unique civilization is soon to be added to the world. The African is on a proletariat in the world of science and art.

He has precious creations of his own of Ivory, of copper and of gold, fine plate willow ware and weapons of superior work man ship. Civilization resembles an organic being in its development-It is born, perishes, and it can propagate itself. The most essential departure of this new civilization is that it shall be thoroughly spiritual and humanistic-indeed a regeneration moral and eternal Seme shared the same values as his cousin, John Langalibalele Dube.

In 1912 Seme and his colleagues convened the funding conference of the South African National Native Congress (the “SANAC), remained the African National Congress (the ANC) IN 1923. Seme saw the ANC as the surest vehicle for the realization of African Redemption (i.e. liberation) and for their achievement of his vision of the New Africa.

In his keynote address to the founding conference of the ANC Seme called for unity and co-operation of African people in defense of their civil and political rights. He also called on them to bury the demon of racism and tribalism when agreement was reached to form the ANC delegates burst into the song: God of Truth Fulfill Your Promise (Lidalise idinga lakho nkosi ye nyaniso). This promise was the African redemption (i.e. Liberation contained in Psalm 68:31). In his closing address, Seme said that the formation of the ANC was the fulfilment of the promise that God had made to Africa and Africans in Psalm 68:31.

For Seme therefore the ANC was the weapon (Lerumo/Umkonto) and shield (Kotse/Thebe) in the struggle of the African people for the recovery of their humanity (Ubuntu/Botho) and its inherent rights to equality, freedom and justice. These spiritual roots of the ANC were affirmed by the ANC National Anthem (Nkosisikelele I Africa/Morena boloka Sechaba sa hesu) which was adopted by other African Nations.

The First president of the ANC , John Langalibalele Dube was a self-confessed Ethiopian Christian Priest Sefako Mapogo Makgatho, the second president of the ANC, was a student of Rev. Mangena Maake Mokone the founder of the Ethiopian church of South Africa. Makgatho was also a spiritual leader and founder of the United African National Church. The third president of the ANC Zaccheus Richard Mahabane told an International conference in Brussels that Africans believe that Christianity comes from God, but they do not agree with its western interpretations.

ZR Mahabane lamented colonial conquest and dispossession of Africans of their land and its natural resources, the formation of the union of South Africa and the passage of the 1913 land Act which consolidated the colonial conquest and made African people landless, vote less, homeless and hopeless people. Thus colonial conquest degraded and dehumanized African people.

Rev. Mahabane said that the recovery of the African humanity (Ubuntu/Botho) was a prerequisite for the recovery of the humanity of all South Africans both black and white. In 1923 Mahabane persuaded the ANC national conference to adopt the Bill of Rights which affirmed the African humanity (Ubuntu/Botho) and the right of African people to participate in the economic life of the country.

Our icon, Nelson Mandela, correctly observed the ANC derived its moral vision from the church. Mandela said that: “the links between the Ethiopian church and the ANC and the struggle for national liberation in general go back to the 1870’s when the products of missionary education observed and recorded that as they put it Colonialism is a one-teased cow that only feeds feed the whites. They soon made a very incite observation that the son of the missionaries were now filling the various magistrates that were arising as a result of the rapid African land dispossession from the 1880s onwards.

The role that the missionaries played in the accelerated African dispossession of the late 19th century called for a response from in general and African religious leaders in particular. The response took a political form on the one hand and a theological form on the other. On the theological front African clergymen sought to free themselves from the fetters white missionaries by establishing African Independent Churches. These independent African churches included:

  • Modubeng African National Church (Bolobedu) in 1970
  • Lutheran Bapedi Church in 1883
  • The Tembu National Church in 1884

The process of funding African Independent Churches though covering all parts of South Africa by the late 1880s, could not be described as a movement until the formation of the Ethiopian church of South Africa in 1892.

The Ethiopian movement was more than a religious movement. Though its fundamental basis was the African interpretation of the scripture it went beyond the churches it had helped produce. The fundamental tenets of the Ethiopian movement were self-worth, self-help and self-reliance, equality, freedom and justice for all.

Ethiopian Christians like Magnet to the growing Pan African political movement. This movement culminated in the formation of the ANC in 1912. Hence, Nelson Mandela said the seeds of the ANC were traced back to the Ethiopian movement of the 1890s. The formation of the UNIA by Marcus Garvey in 1914 ushered in radical Pan Africanism which catalyzed the Harlem Renaissance according to Nelson Mandela and the others like Kwame Nkrumah and Mnandi. Azikiwe of Nigeria were profoundly influenced by the Harlem Renaissance Garvey believed in the ancient African god is a spirit and is neither black nor white and through who worshiped him must do so in spirit alone. Garvey’s followers established the African Catholic Church for the worship of god Jah. This was the god of the African mysteries known as Iao or Jah Abakara or Abaraka (Greek Abraxas). Thus the belief in this god of light (Kara) was called Karaism.

 

AFRICA MONTH CELEBRATION

The Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 deepened the spirit of radical Pan African  Nationalism advocated by Marcus Garvey amongst inter alia, Africa students at Fort Hare University who came from all over southern Africa. These students returned to their home countries to spread the gospel of radical Pan Africanism.

In 1937 Dr William Nkomo, co-founder of the National African Congress Youth League (the “ANCYL”) told a National Women’s Conference in 1937 that African people are not a subhuman race and that they too are entitled to enjoy the right of self-determination. In the same year (1937) Mnamdo Azikiwe, first president of Nigeria, published a book titled; Renascent Africa in which he lamented the colonization conquest and the suppression of the African Cultural Heritage and the African contribution to human civilization. However Azikiwe argued that Africa was not destroyed forever and it would be reborn, renewed and developed again.

African people participated in World War II hoping that after the war they will regain their civil and political rights. But even after the world war Theodor Roosevelt of the United States and Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom adopted the Atlantic Charter which deprived Africans the right of self-determination while extending it to the Eastern Europe purely on the basis of race. Thus Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana, said that after the war African people will demand less than their right of self-determination and human rights.

In South African the African National Congress adopted a declaration of African Claims which amplified the 1923 Bill of Rights and, in particular the rights of African people to self-determination and human rights. The fifth Pan African Congress held in Manchester in 1945 reaffirmed the right of African people to self-determination and Human Rights and called on African people including workers, peasants, women, youth and intellectuals to use all the means at their disposal to fight for the liberation of their countries. The resolutions of this congress found support in the Bandung Conference which forged the solidarity of the third world against colonialism, racism, racial oppression and injustice and accelerated and accelerated the decolonisation of Africa.

In 1958, newly independent African States held the first Pan African Congress in Accra which consolidated and imperialism plan. On December 12, 1962, the first International Congress of Africanists took place in Accra Ghana.

In this Congress president Kwame Nkrumah delivered an opening address titled: Africa’s glorious past. Nkrumah said that the first Africanist conference within the ramparts of an African university was a reflection of Africa’s reawakening. Nkrumah told the delegates that they were united by the fact that they wanted to find the truth about Africa and to proclaim it to the world. He observed that scholarly and academic interest in AFRICA WAS NOT A NEW VENTURE: “The desire to know more about Africa has been expressed from the very earliest times, because Africa has been the question mark of history. To Roman pro-consul: Semper aliquid novi ex Africa”. The European Colonialists ignored the glorious past of Africa in order to reduce Africans to subhuman beings in order to justify Slavery, Colonialism, racial oppression and injustice. These colonial powers ignored the Arab and Chinese records pertaining to Africa’s glorious past.

The Arabs and Chinese discovered and chronicled a succession of powerful African Kingdoms. One of those Kingdoms was like that of Ghana, the pomp of Whose Court was admiration of that age and also of ours. This kingdom bred and developed within its borders the instruments of civilization and art. Its palaces were of solid architectural construction, complete with windows, murals and sculpture, and thrones within the palaces were bedecked with gold. There were other Kingdoms such as those of Shongay, Sala, Berissa, and renowned empires of Bornu, Wangara, Mheli etc. The Historians reported that these empires and kingdoms were maintained with remarkable efficiency and administrative competence. Their splendour was proverbial in mediaeval times.

The Chinese too during the T’ang dynasty (AD 618-907), published their earliest major records of Africa. In the 18th century, scholarship connected Egypt with China, but Chinese acquaintance with Africa was not confined to Egypt only. They had detained knowledge Southern Africa and traded with the gold producing Empire of the people of the Sun (Vukaranga/Bokhalaka) and in particular Mapungubwe, the first capital city of this empire. The second capital city of Bokhalanga was the Great Zimbabwe.

The Empire of Bokhalanga collapsed because of succession disputes fuelled by the Arabs and Portuguese who wanted access to the rich mineral wealth of the area. After the collapse of the Empire the country was divided into Mukaranga in the North and Urozwi (Vulozwi) in the South. The Urozwi (or Vulozwi) Empire controlled the trade between Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe with China, Egypt Arabia and India. The descendents of this Rozwi dynasties founded the Vhavenda, Vanyai and Balobedu Kingdoms of Dzata. Thulamela, Lwaandali (now Tshiendeulu) and Lebweng in Blobedu. The European exploration of Africa reached its height in the 19th Century. What is unfortunate, however, is the fact that much of the discovery was given a subjective instead of an objective interpretation.

Nkrumah observed that in the generation of learning which was taking place in the universities and other institutions of higher learning Africans were treated as subjects not objects. It was forgotten that Africans were a historic people responsible for their unique forms of language, culture and society. Therefore Nkrumah found it proper and that that a Congress of Africanists should take place in Africa and that the concept of Africanism should devolve from and be animated by that Congress.

Between ancient times and the 16th century, some European scholars forgot what their predecessors taught about Africa. This amnesia, this regrettable loss of interest in the economic exploitation of Africa. It is no wonder that the Portuguese were erroneously credited with having some stone walled cities of Mukaranga.

The motive which led variety scholars to undertake African Studies were diverse. Most of the Persian, Greek and Roman explorers were motivated by true scientific enquiry. Even when, as in the case of the Romans, they had primary military purpose, they still tried and often succeeded in preserving some sense of objectivity. Arab explorers were also often unbiased in their accounts of Africa, and indeed they must be commented for what they wrote concerning the African past.

By the time the European writings on Africa got underway, a new motive had begun to inform African studies. Those early European works exchanged the scientific motive for one that was purely economic. There was the unbalanced trade in Ivory and Gold, and there was illegitimate trafficking in men for which those writings needed to find some sort of excuse. In short much of European and American writings on Africa was devoted to an attempt to justify slavery and the continued exploitation of African Labour and resources. Thus African studies in Europe and America were at their lowest ebb scientifically.

With the abolition of the slave trade, African Studies could no longer be inspired by the economic motive. Thus the Western experts changed the content and direction of their writing. They began to give accounts of African society which were used to justify colonisation. Even the most flattering of these writings fell short of objectivity and truth. These writings set the stage for the economic and political subjection of Africa.

The central myth in the Mythology surrounding Africa is that of the denial that Africans were a historical people. It was said that whereas other continents had shaped history and determined its course, Africa had stood still, held down by inertia. Africa, it was said, entered history only as a result of European contact. Its history, therefore, was widely felt to be an extension of European history.

WEB Du Bois said that the holocaust of slavery that spread throughout the continent for centuries was an economic, social and political catastrophe probably unparalleled in human history. As Du Bois put it:

“For four hundred years, form 1450 to 1850, European civilization carried on a systematic trade in human beings of such tremendous proportion that the physical, economic and moral effects are still mainly to be remarked throughout the world”

De Bois observed that the holocaust of slavery was perpetrated during the period of Enlightment.

Surprisingly, the holocaust was not perpetrated during the period of decadence. The celebrated period of European Enlightment brought colonised humanity nothing but darkness, degradation, racism and nursery. In his book titled “The Ties That Bind”, Prof Bernard Magubane:

“The Atlantic slave trade, the crux of Euro-American System, was the largest forced transportation of labour from one part of the globe to another in the world’s history, and for the Africans, one of the greatest unnatural, disasters of all time. It lasted approximately 250 years and estimate put the total figure of Africans transported as 40 million. . .  The long range consequences of the system, were devastating.

 The slave traders, found further support for this unhuman trade in the German philosopher G W F Hegel (1770-1831).

In his Introduction to the Philosophy of history Hegel told students at the University of Jena that:

“The Negro represents Natural Man in all his wild and untamed nature, if you want to treat and understand him rightly, you must abstract all elements of respect and morality and sensitivity – there is nothing remotely humanised in the Negro’s character. . . Nothing confirms this judgement more than reports of missionaries”

He went on to say that:

“Negros are enslaved by Europeans and sold to America. Bad as this may be, they lot in their own land is worse, since there slavery quite as absolute exists, for it is the essential principle of slavery that man has not yet attained self-consciousness of his freedom and consequently sinks down to a mere thing – an object of no value. Among Negroes moral sentiments are weak, or more strictly, non-exists”

Hegel concluded:

“At this point we leave Africa, not to mention it again. For it is no historical part of the world, it has no movement or development to exhibit. Historical movement in it – that is in its Northern part – belong to Asiatic or European world . . . what we properly understand by Africa is the unhistorical, underdeveloped spirit, still involved in the conditions of mere nature, and which had to be presented here as on the childhood of the world’s history of the world travels from East to West, for Europe is absolutely the end of History. Asia the Beginning”

Archeo-astronomical discoveries in Africa, including Southern Africa refute Hegel Philosophy and in fact show that Africa is not only the Cradle of Humanity but also the root of human civilization.

In the Sudan, Ethiopia, Mapungubwe, Great Zimbabwe etc. Archeo-astronomical research revealed that the Great Civilization of ancient Egypt, which gave birth to both Eastern and Western Civilization came out of Africa south of Sahara. This research findings enables Africans to present their history as the history of their own actions and of the ideology and principles behind them, the history of their sufferings and their triumphs.

Unfortunately, the history of a nation is too easily written as the history of its dominant in class. If the history of a nation, of people, cannot be found in the history of a class, how much less can the history of a continent be found in Europe, which is not even part of it. The history of Africa has with them been European centred. Africa was only the space in which Europe swelled up. The African past was ignored and dismissed as not contributing to, or affecting the European expansion and pretence in Africa.

 

THE AFRICAN CULTURAL RENAISSANCE

In his speech titled “Africa’s Glorious Past”, President Nkrumah told the delegates:

“While some of us are engaged with political unification of Africa, Africanists everywhere must also help in building the spiritual and cultural foundations for the unity of our continent. In East Africa, in the Sudan, in Egypt, in Nigeria, here in Ghana and elsewhere, the earth is being dug up apace – this time, not for Gold or Diamonds only, or for Bauxite and other mineral riches, but also for its rich information about our past, its testimony to our achievements and its reformation of the sombre prophets of African History. Valuable pieces has already been unearthed including evidence of the origin of man in Africa. We have made our contribution to the fund of human knowledge by extending the frontiers or art, culture and spiritual values.”

President Nkrumah correctly observed that Africans has lost their African Cultural Heritage due to the Eurocentric education system which prepared them for a subservient role to Europe and thigs European. It was directed at estranging the African from his/her own cultures and order more effectively to serve a new and alien interest. The president articulated the role of African studies as follows:

“In recovering and revitalising our cultural and spiritual heritage and values, African Studies must help to redirect this new endeavour. The educational system which we devise today must equip us with resources of personality and force a strong enough to meet the intensities of the African presence and situation.

Education must enable us to understand correctly the strains and stresses to which Africa is subjected, to appreciate objectively the changes taking place, and enable us to contribute fully in a truly African spirit for the benefit of all, and for the peace and progress of the world”

President Nkrumah urged Africanist scholars to change the course of African studies from anthropology to sociology which creates the firm nest basis for social policy.

Last but not least President Nkrumah urged “All African scholars, all over the world, to work for a complete emancipation of the mind from all forms of domination, control and enslavement.” To this end Nkrumah referred his audience to Pixley Isaka Ka Seme’s public lecture titled “The Regeneration Of Africa” which laid the foundation for today’s African Cultural Renaissance Movement.

 

THE AFRICAN CULTURAL RENNAISSENCE

The Pan African Movement culminated in the formation of the organisation of African unity on the 25th May 1963. The OAU, now known as the African Union (the “AU”) embarked on a spiritual, cultural, social and political liberation of the continent.

In our celebration of Africa month, we generally focus on political and economical liberation and less on the role of spiritual and cultural emancipation in our continued struggle to build socially cohesive and prosperous Africa in which the Value of every African is measured by our common humanity (Ubuntu/Botho/Vunhu).

The founders of the OAU (now AU) never lost sight of the importance of the African Heritage in the struggle for the emancipation of the African mind of foreign domination, control and enslavement.

From its inception, the OAU took inspiration from the Universal Declaration of Principles of International Cultural Co-operation adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its fourteenth session in 1966. In 1969 the OAU adopted the Pan African Cultural Manifesto of Algiers which put Africa on the path towards Cultural renaissance.

The Algiers Manifesto was followed by the Inter-Governmental organised by UNESCO in ACCRA, Ghana, in 1975, in cooperation with the Organisation of African Unity.

The following year (1976) the heads of state and government of the OAU met in Port Louis, Mauritius, and adopted the Cultural Charter for Africa. Inspired by this Charter and guided by its antecedents the Heads of state and government of the African Union met in Khartoum, the Republic of the Sudan, from 23rd to 24th January 2006 and agreed to establish the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance.

In its Preamble, this Charter recognises and acknowledges the role of Culture and Society and acknowledge:

That any people have the inalienable right to organise their cultural life in full harmony with their political, economic, social philosophical and spiritual ideas.

That all the cultures of the world are equally entitled to respect just as all individuals are equal as regards free access to culture.

In the establishment of this Charter the African Union recalled:

That despite cultural domination which during the slave trade and colonial era led to the depersonalization of part of the African peoples, falsified their history, systematically disparaged and combated African values, and tried to replace progressively and officially their languages by that of the colonizers, the African peoples were able to find in African culture, the necessary strength for resistance and liberation of the continent.

And acknowledges that the unity of Africa is founded first and foremost on its history.

That the affirmation of cultural identity denotes a concern common to all peoples of Africa.

That African cultural diversity and unity are a factor of equilibrium and reducing inequality and injustice to promote national integration.

That it is imperative to edify educational systems which embody the African and universal values, so as to ensure the rooting of the youth in African culture, their exposure to the values of other civilizations, and mobilise the social forces in the context of a sustainable, endogenous participatory development.

That it is imperative to resolutely ensure the promotion of African languages, mainstay and media of tangible cultural heritage in its most authentic and essentially popular form and also as a factor of development.

That it is imperative to carry out a systematic Inventor with a view to preserving and promoting tangible cultural heritage, in particular in the spheres of history, Traditions, arts and Handicrafts, knowledge and know-how.

In Article 3, the Charter established the following objectives and principles:

a)    To assert the dignity of African men and women as well as the popular foundations of their culture;

b)    To promote freedom of expression and cultural democracy, which is inseparable from social and political demography;

c)    To promote and enabling environment for African peoples to maintain and reinforce the sense and will for progress and development;

d)    To preserve and promote the African cultural heritage through preservation, restoration and rehabilitation;

e)    To combat and eliminate all forms of alienation, exclusion and cultural oppression everywhere in Africa;

f)     To encourage cultural co-operation among member states with a view to the strengthening of African unity, through the use of African Languages and the promotion of inter-cultural dialogue;

g)    To integrate cultural objectives in developmental strategies;

h)   To encourage international cultural co-operation for a better understanding among people within and outside Africa;

i)     To promote in each country the popularisation of science and technology including traditional knowledge systems as condition for better understanding and preservations of cultural and natural heritage;

j)      To strengthen the role of culture in promoting peace and good governance;

k)    To develop all the dynamic values of the African cultural heritage that promote human rights, social cohesion and human development

l)     To promote African peoples with the resources to enable them to cope with globalisation.

The Charter for African Cultural Renaissance provide the firmest basis for spiritual, cultural, social and economic integration of Africa.

 

REGIONAL INTEGRATION

Chak Anta Diop said that the history of Africa will not be complete until it is connected with that of Egypt. Today we know that the founders of the ancient empires of Ethiopia (Atape) and Egypt (Hakapta) tarced back their ancestry to the source of the Nile (Punt or Tamera). This area was also called Ukara and Afura. These names are respectively the roots of Vukaranga and Afuraka (Greek Africa).

The area of the Great Lake (Punt or Tamera) was the cradle of all African people and the root of human civilization. This civilisation developed to its peak in the North East Africa (Khem or Ta Shema) and spread down the Nile Valley giving rise to the ancient Ethiopian and Egyptian Civilizations.

 

ANCIENT AFRICAN CIVILISATION IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

The ancient civilization of Ethiopia and Egypt were founded by the African Sage Khem (or Ham), popurlarly known as ThauThau-Harama (Greek ThoTh-Hermes). Thus these came to be known as Khemetic or Hermetic cultures.

The Khemetic civilisation migrated to the Southern Africa during the eighth and ninth century when African people were driven out of the upper Nile by Arab and Semetic tribes who colonised Sudan (heartland of ancient Ethiopia) and Zindj (or Abyssinia) the morden Ethiopia.

In particular, the Khemetic culture was carried to sourhern Africa by the Rozwi-Karanga of Tovera (now Thobela) king of Naphta (Khordofan) in the Republic of Sudan. The Mambire, son of Thovhela migrated to the South and settled at Mbire, near Lake Tanganyika, in the present day Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mambire was succeeded by Nembire, Father of princess Negupo who married Mutota Chura Chamutapa. The couple gave birth to Nehanda, who was impregnanted by the spirit of the Rain Goddes Mwari (or Mwali) popurlaly known as Muhale. Nehanda gave birth to Churu Wa Dyambewu founder of the Mbire-Rozwi dynasty that founded both the Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe civilisations

The founders of these Khemetic civilizations, like their ancient Ethiopian forbearer were skilled in astrology, astronomy, metallurgy, alchemy and rain-making skills. The descendants of these Mbire-Rozwi dynasties in Southern Africa include the Moyo Rozwi dynasties include the Moyo Rozwi in Zimbabwe, the Vhavenda of Mphephu Ramapulana and the Valovedu of Modjadji. The Rain Queen.

The Mbire-Rozwi dynasty found the empire of the people of the sun (Vakaranga/Bokhalaka) Southern Africa. Mapungubwe was the first capital city of the empire. Due to unfavourable climatic conditions, the capital city was relocated to Great Zimbabwe.

The empire of Vukaranga (or Bokhalaka) collapsed due to the Succession disputes fuelled by Arab and Portuguese intereferences in the domestic affairs of the Mwanamutapa dynasty. After the collapse of the empire the territory was divided into Mukaranga in the North and Urozwi in the South.

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