Change comes in many forms and often at the most inopportune time. My change came unwillingly (although I wanted change for many years) in April 2014, when I was laid off from the NAACP. This layoff to me seemed unfair since my goal in life and at the NAACP was to work on behalf of the struggling African masses. What I could not understand was why someone who was working for the people would be dismissed like this when there were plenty of people who were only concerned with their wallets still employed? What I soon realized (although I knew it in theory I learned it in practice) was that capitalism does not discriminate and every Black person is not an African. (I want to clarify that I am not talking about those Black people who are down with Africa and African people-I am talking about Black people wherever you may be who have turned their backs on the people to pursue the capitalist dream-ironically they will never achieve the dream. They will spend their entire lives chasing it never to reach their goal!!!)
What I did not realize was that being laid off gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and take the chance I needed to pursue my true passion. I realized that at that very moment that I would emerge stronger, more successful (fighting for the people) and ultimately happier. This my friends is where I am today and I would like to say that the journey has not been easy but it is all worth it because my growth is immeasurable.
This change brought me to Ghana, West Africa where I took a position as a Research Fellow at the University of Ghana, Legon. This transition not only is what is best for me at this time but it will deepen my understanding and analysis of Pan-Africanism, the way forward and ultimately myself. However, the struggle is real and moving home does not mean that capitalism does not exist in Africa. In fact the disparity is more pronounced because of the underdevelopment of Africa as a result of the development of the West.
One can move to Ghana or anywhere in Africa and live in $3000 condos and have a driver and small girl in the house to pick up after you. Or one can move to Ghana/Africa and open his/her eyes about the gap between the masses of people and the elite. As I move around town I realize that the struggle is real for Africans at home-it is disturbing at best to witness your neighbor retrieve their water from the gutter when you turn on the tap. Does this mean Africans should not move home? Absolutely not it means that we should be pushing for Pan-Africanism even harder and more intense than ever before. It means that when we move home we come humble and recognize that we are all part of a larger movement.
Remember that you do not have to move mountains or move home to make a difference we can all make a difference in our own lives. What will you do to make this world a better place so that we can reduce the number of people who have to fetch their water from a gutter?
Until next time………………………………………..