In the space of two days, thousands of Africans have risen up and made their voices heard. In Dakar, Senegal, crowds successfully protested against President Wade’s proposal to amend the constitution to create a monarchy.
In the tiny kingdom of Swaziland, a “fundraising” concert which was supposed to be given by Jadakiss for the royal family was boycotted. Not surprising given the fact that pretty much all the revenue in Swaziland goes to supporting the king’s outrageous lifestyle.
Buoyed by this impressive show of solidarity, I embarked on a Googling frenzy. Here’s links to a couple of inspiring stories I found:
In Malawi, an ambitious project is underway to turn the country’s oldest ship into a floating clinic. This is going to save a lot of lives and wages for the 25% population who live along Lake Malawi and currently have to make a 16-hour trip to get to the nearest hospital. They are giving the clinic the unfortunate name Chauncy Maples, but that’s nitpicking.
The Sierra Leone Refugee AllStars are a group of musicians who came together during their years living in a refugee camp in Guinea. Out of two old guitars, a microphone and a shared love of music, their powerful sound was born. They’ve done world tours, put out two albums and appeared on Oprah. They also feature on a cover of the Rolling Stone classic Gimme Shelter as part of the Playing for Change campaign and World Refugee Day. Tragedy to triumph, non?
While we here were celebrating Heroes Day, our friends in South Africa were blowing those obnoxiously loud horns in the streets of Jozi in honour of Vuvuzela Day. With just hours to go before the kick-off match between SA and Mexico, I can only imagine the excitement over there.
I was in Cape Town when SA took the last World Cup Rugby title, and if that pandemonium (people streaking on rooftops, complete strangers doing silly dances in the streets) is anything to go by, World Cup celebrations this year are going to be huge.
There was some derision when the country used the benevolent wrinkly face of iconic statesman Mandela to win the bid as hosts of this year’s FIFA. There was doubt that the stadia would be built in time; or that the (numerous) muggers and hobos would be cleaned off the streets before foreigners saw the truth. There was also the xenophobia scares. And there was outrage when FIFA chose a non-African Shakira ripping off an African song whose words she can barely pronounce to sing their official song.
But we’re past all that now. The moment is here.
I’ve got my vuvuzela and K’Naan on repeat and even though Drogba and Essien might not play, I’ll still be watching and yelling and making a fool of myself. Because more than the songs and politics, it’s about the game, the actual tournament. My lovely boss is letting us off early enough to watch the South Africa-Mexico game tomorrow at 5 😀 Woohoo!! Go Msanzi!!!
join the madness!