The Awakening

In a speech titled ‘Our Awakening’, Ghanaian activist and novelist Ayi Kwei Armah writes that we are and have been in a deep slumber; kept in a sleepy state through a series of cultural and intellectual anesthetics, which he refers to as dope. The effect of this dope makes us believe that we, as Africans, are nothing, and from this, he writes, we need to awake. 

Our awakening, Armah offers, is a process of regaining knowledge of ourselves. This will not be easy as we have encountered great historical catastrophe. Due to this, in order for us to regain this knowledge of ourselves, we have to cultivate healing values. We need mental, intellectual and spiritual clarity that would provide us with the capacity to heal.

As we are, we are presently divided in accordance with cultural and physical borders. As Africans, we need to make means to grow passed this for the cultivation of a renewed African identity. It is not sufficient to just accept what has been done, we have to move forward and to do that, we must aspire to create a new life; to develop new plans and build new institutions,  to write down our own stories in new, interesting, and unified ways.

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