I am not going to get on the “Bash Kony 2012 video” train like everybody else has, even though as an African, I may feel deliciously justified in doing so.
One thing that has struck me the most has been the angst that has arisen among critics of this “movement”, mostly from people like me – other Africans. And boy, has it been empowering.
It is not certain that the release of the somewhat ill-informed video was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but what followed was a backlash of epic proportions. Activists and people of African descent alike, both on the continent and in the diaspora, as well as writers and journalists from Uganda’s?Rosebell Kagumire?to Nigerian-American novelist and photographer, Teju Cole instantly?spoke out?against the video and its dangerous domino effect. TMS Ruge, Ugandan born co-founder of Project Diaspora aptly described the?sentiment?that most of us feel, but may not have had the courage to say publicly.?
One thing for sure is that in the midst of all these voices, one central theme rings “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”!
African voices have been ignored for the most part in the global debate on issues that affect them. Some of this allegedly dates back to the era of colonialism where our roles were dictated to us as we were tasked to do the masters’ bidding. The ability to think for ourselves was severely diminished due to the limitations that this structure presented. In many ways, this has persisted, perhaps with more subtlety till this present day where in different spheres and arenas, we have typically had non-Africans tell us what our problems are and how they are going to solve it for us. This has been done largely without our input because whether they want to admit it or not, we don’t know any better. However, little by little, this is starting to erode or shall we say, implode?
If there is one lesson we have learned, it is that as we emerge as pioneers on the global frontier, our voices have become stronger and even more relevant than ever. Let us use our voices to engage leadership, shatter prevalent stereotypes and with a merge of empowered minds and creativity, take the lead in providing solutions to our own problems.
We are not defined by our conditions and we will not be reduced over and over again to helpless and hopeless victims waiting to be helped. KONY 2012 has taught us that there is power in our voices; let us continue to use them to tell our story.
The Voix?is a creative platform that empowers the voices of global storytellers. For more information, visit: Thevoix.com.