17 August 2017
During Rototom Sunsplash’s Celebrating Africa, the Social Forum has heard a whole host of stories: some about perceptions, others about shaping our destiny at the same time as being aware of certain realities in Africa. New perspectives such as those proposed by Mamadou Dia, Saba Anglana y Remi Joseph-Salisbury when talking about Afropolitans and Panafricans: contribution to the African Diaspora in Europe.
We treated to three new perspectives from people who have to leave their smaller home country behind, heading to Europe and leaving their lives as well as their idols behind along the way. In the case of Saba Anglana, she had to abandon her small country of origin, for this reason she doesn’t believe in a sense of belonging but it is rather people’s vision that’s key. En her case, she is considered white in Africa and black in Europe, but ultimately she is person like you or I: “Our pride has a lot to with how we feel, not skin colour”, she emphasises that “our constitution is very complex”.
Mamadou Dia story touches on how an African arrives in Europe with the idea that he is heading to a cherished land. Throughout his education, in his own country, he was taught that the model to follow was that of the white man; and this was to be his inspiration. For this reason he decided to return to his home country, to demonstrate that Africa can grow and be developed, by achieving this he was sure the continent would follow suit. It was in Europe when Mamadou woke up and realized that he had bigger dreams, not like the dream that the Western model had forced on him. He wanted to put all his efforts into finding his own model, by “documenting reality and realizing the power that lay in our hands”. In essence, he became empowered: “It is time that Africans made their own destiny”, cried out Mamadou Dia.
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translated by Lewis Allen