Blackmailing or desperately trying to arm-twist God is a defeatist mindset, programmed and susceptible to manipulation. ‘Man, Know thyself—this simple admonition by Socrates speaks volumes. If you take it as a command, then hearken to it and work towards understanding who you are, your life will have more meaning. The match towards an African cultural renaissance is not a speculation that should be left hanging on an ivory tower but rather a reality that is praxis-oriented.
Interestingly, so much has been written about how to move Africa forward along the path of peace, progress, and prosperity. Even the so-called experts have identified challenges that are endemic to the continent. They include poverty, disease, hunger, destitution, war, corruption, and leadership crises. According to the experts, all of these challenges bogged down the continent. The challenges are like a hydra-headed monster: as one challenge is tackled, another one springs up, leaving experts rather bewildered as to how to go about the Africa Question.
Regrettably, the root causes of these numerous challenges are diverse and interconnected, including economic deprivation, corruption, social inequality, ethnoreligious tensions, weak institutional capacity, and ineffective law enforcement. The adverse effects of these challenges are evident in the high levels of poverty, unemployment, social unrest, and growing disillusionment among the populace on the rich continent of Africa. Thus, it has become imperative that we apply the mindset of the African Renaissance to the challenges confronting our beloved continent of Africa, thereby simplifying the complexity of governance.
Furthermore, it is worthy of note to explain the importance of the African Renaissance as a philosophical and political movement programmed to end violence, elitism, corruption, and poverty believed to have plagued the African continent and to replace them with a more just and equitable order. Africa has numerous ethnic nationalities, all with varying qualities such as language, dishes, greetings, dressing, and dances. However, all African peoples share a series of dominant cultural traits that distinguish African Culture from the rest of the world. For example, social values, religion, morals, political values, economics, and aesthetic values all contribute to African Culture.
Additionally, the call for a cultural revolution does not mean a call to primitivism; it is not a call back to cultural practises such as the killing of twins, patriarchy, human sacrifices, or the visualisation of Western education as taboo or abomination, as some groups hold (The Boko Haram misadventure). Also, it is not a call to close the door on the cultural revolution. This contribution argues that for Africans to be Africans, they must know what makes them Africans with regard to their cultural heritage.
As a rich cultural revolution and blessed continent, we need to move from the chapters of challenges to the pages of triumphs. Similarly, expressions of culture are abundant within Africa, with large amounts of cultural diversity found not only across different countries but also within single countries. Even though African cultures are widely diverse, they are also, when closely studied, seen to have many similarities; for example, the morals they uphold, their love and respect for their culture, as well as the strong respect they hold for the aged and the important, i.e., kings and chiefs. Therefore, the mantra ‘African Solutions to African Problems’.
In as much as Ghana’s economy is deteriorating under his leadership, President Nana Dankwa Akuffo Addo never minced words in saying the truth to the face of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, re-echoing what the “Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah” stood for, that “if Africans are left alone, we’ll be able to decide our own destinies”. Right now, the supposed emergency ECOWAS meeting to be held in Accra, Ghana, has been cancelled because the Ashantis objected to military intervention in the Republic of Niger. This is a clarion call for all, and we should support the francophones who are saying enough to “Neocolonialism” and not be against them. We need a united Africa, not a divided one.
So, there is a need for caution. Not hubris! Times like this indeed call for a measure of sobriety, and there are lessons we can learn from what is happening in other countries. France provides a ready example. Let me be very clear, watching the video clip of Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu advising President Tinubu not to join ECOWAS to wage war against the Niger Republic! It was African Solutions to African Problems’ that resonated with the message. He did that unapologetically! As a Distinguished Senator, patriot, and statesman who is concerned about Nation-building.
Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, advising the Military Junta, profoundly posited: “I am appealing to the conscience of the Niger ruling military junta to release the Ousted President, Mohammed Bazoum, and allow him to go on exile to another country. No one will bring war to you if you release him and his family, because it’s not necessary. The leaders should also plan a transitional programme that would see to the return of civil rule in earnest.” It is thus, imperative that Africans take responsibility for their development.