‘Let’s Go Back to Our Roots’

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The struggle for the restoration of the pride of Africa and Africans is far from over. Africans need to sit in the centre and control the means of production in order to be masters of their own destiny. So said the chairman of Pacon, Johannes Tjitjo, in a press release as part of the annual Black History Month celebrations currently on. “Pacon’s clarion call is for us all to go back to our roots. The institutions we have embraced have engulfed the world with maladies and social moral decay. It is disheartening to learn that despite our fierce battles and resistance to colonialism, our gift is ceremonial political power whilst economic power remains the domain of the masters,” Tjitjo charged. He called on all Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora to unite. “Real work has to start because Africa is rich, yet poor. Our people languish in poverty, disease and ignorance. We need to fight individualistic tendencies, regionalism, continentalism and see ourselves as a coherent social fabric with common vision and goals. We need to speak and act in unison,” said the Pacon man. His organisation has helped organise Black History month celebrations since its inception in 2000. According to Tjitjo, Pacon recognises that the youth of any country or continent forms a very important section of that society. “The youth are the leaders of tomorrow. They can only build a stable and promising future if they use the bricks of wisdom laid down by their fore-bearers. A society that neglects its past is doomed to have a bleak future. Our youth of today have a tendency of not wanting to be reminded of history. For them, it’s like life started today, a serious recipe for disaster. To deny that you were there yesterday is to admit that you are indeed an infant, so helpless that all it needs is to be spoon-fed by those with yesterday, today and tomorrow,” he said philosophically. He further encouraged the country’s youth to re-write history with a view to correct its content, context and meaning. “To do research and to be factual in our presentations, we have to stop hero-worshipping of other people whilst we look down upon our own people. The youth have a tendency of worshipping America, Britain or Germany, yet, everything African is considered backward. We need a variety of events and activities in memory of the achievements of the Great Continent of Africa and her people,” said Tjitjo, who drew a comparison between Black History Month and “reactionary” celebrations such as St. Valentine’s Day. A discussion on “United States of Africa: fiction or reality”, was on Wednesday held at the Polytechnic of Namibia as part of Black History Month celebrations by the All African Student’s Conference Namibia Preparatory committee.