16 August 2017
Learning from Africa
“He was ahead of his time” explains Boniface Ofogo in his talk, Learning from Africa: Remembering Thomas Sankara at the Social Forum. Before the gazes of the public, the story teller and cultural mediator did a recap of the life and trajectory of Thomas Sankara, the African leader who is fairly unknown to many. This is down to the distorted view of Africa while important stories such as in Thomas Sankara’s are cast aside along the way. He was a revolutionary who gave it his all in trying to go back to the roots from which Africa was created, through austerity and revolutionary measures. This ultimately cost him his life: “Even though the revolutionaries dies, you cannot kill their idea”, said Boniface reminiscently.
Thomas Sankara dared to defy the status quo; he fought for Africa and all Africans. By demonstrating that there was more than one way to govern, he recovered his country. In only four years he managed to leave behind an indelible mark. The mark of a leader who remains unknown outside of the African continent, as Rototom rediscovers his legacy.
African culture is conquering the world
Ways in which to unearth memories, as well as, above all, staying relevant to those who are in control of the future were some of the matters discussed during at the Social Forum. The power found in culture appears to disappear so often that we struggle to stay conscious of it. It has the power to transmit ideas, words, and more importantly, to make us remember. If you could categorise Africa in a certain way, it would be through its passion for oral tradition which is the glue that keeps it history, cultural values and its idols together. Africa’s roots was the focal point of the discussion, African culture is conquering the world, at the Social Forum. This involved the poet, writer and singer Natalia Molebatsi and the poet and director of the cultural association Word N Sound, Thabiso Mohare.
“Africa would like to contribute, but are these contributing truly contribution at all?” reflects Natalia Molebatasi. Natalia as well as Thabiso have worked out how to create new ways in leaving the mark of these role models, through a combination of social networks and the digital world in general. It’s a new bearing which unites people from many different countries and has permitted Africa to put its history and culture out there. It is a matter of getting out there and finding all of the African authors that are waiting to be found. They are waiting to contribute to the memories that endure the passing of time. “We must influence how our history is told”, explains Thabiso Mohare.
As I’ve mentioned before we keep forgetting our idols. The African culture has converted itself into being consumed by the world over; as shown in reggae. Every which one of us should have our own idols, in every which culture you come across they are prominent, let’s not forget our own.
Translated by Lewis Allen