Why embrace Africanism

Panelists during the African Wisdom Summit as they share ideas on preserving and restoring African identity. PHOTOS/DAPHINE NAKABIRI

In the current era, Africa and its beliefs have been majorly eaten up by the Western cultures and norms that include increased skin bleaching, dress code, artificial hair pieces, naming by numbers and animals, homosexuality, transgenderism and use of foreign languages.

The decadency in morals of Africans has thus lured African leaders, representatives and organisations to converge during the first ever African Wisdom Summit in Africa in Uganda to share knowledge and ideas about the importance of preserving, embracing and restoring African cultures, values and norms especially to inspire the young African generation below the age of 35.
During the summit, Christine Musisi the CEO of INOZA explained that the increase in moral degeneration has led to a loss in intergenerational connection. 

This is where the young people have access to modern wisdom with new world influences shaping global norms which the older generation is not well versed with and the two cannot seem to connect and also advice each other.

Ms Musisi said, “This disconnection has somehow stolen a very critical part of our African life, identity and our ability to pass on good wisdom from generation to generation.”

In a bid to close the gap between the two generations, Ms Musisi said that as Africans, people need to renew their thinking, belief systems and have a collective mindset that can transform African behaviour and choices through ultimately using wisdom to guide them.

She said, “Wisdom is important to us as Africa because our aspirations are also huge as a continent. We will need to renew our mind in order to move to the next level.”

Education and Sports Minister Janet Museveni, believes that although the young generation greatly admire and emulate foreign cultures through their extensive use of social media that influences their behavior, these societies have lost what they themselves once valued, lived by and honoured. 

Ms Museveni also added that it saddens her to see young people living many of their African countries in search of greener pastures abroad and end up in situations of forced labor and modern day slavery in foreign countries where they cannot set themselves free. 

She thus called upon African leaders and encouraged them to lay emphasis on inspiring a sense of patriotism and pride of the African identity in the next generation as the first step towards fostering the right transformative attitude.

Why African identity 
According to Ms Dorothy Kisaka, the Executive Director of KCCA, she explained African identity as something that begins with one knowing who they are, where they come from (their heritage), why they are the way they are and finally  embracing it.
 
African identity in this sense includes the use of proverbs to teach, local languages to communicate, eating together, humanness, community integration and so on. Therefore for one to be identified as a true African, it starts with one loving who they originally are, embracing this form and that is their identity.

While African identity characteristics have been replaced with the global public square of social media that is struggling with an identity crisis through misleading social trends among people, Dennis Ssempebwa, the founder of Africa Wisdom Summit suggested for a need to proactively craft an Afrocentric value system that is meant to protect and preserve the African rich heritage and that will also allow for writing the next chapter of the African story.

In so doing, despite the African young generation being crippled psychologically with Western norms, and yet they are free from this enslavement, the challenge identified is the lack of a platform for influencing them with contemporary good quality content about their African identity. 
Ssempebwa thus advised PanAfricanists as he said, “Let us prioritise the propagation and dissemination of ageless wisdom consistently to help fight corruption, poverty and backwardness.”

Other solutions pointed out by various speakers during the summit towards restoring African identity include teaching children their mother tongues and allowing them to be used right from home, preserving cultures in museums about African history, speaking the truth about theses cultures, creating African systems where algorithms such as search engine basically have African content and mentoring Africans about the beauty of being African through encouraging them to embrace their natural skin color and hair.