The Afrikan Arts, Something to Enthuse over!
For the longest of times I have, like so many others, sat back and endured the telling of borrowed and reconstructed narratives. The distortions of truths and the loud and shrill voices of countless ‘world renowned’ journalists and networks as they went about telling the world about Afrika. Afrika the disease ridden, poverty stricken, disorderly and cannibalistic continent slash country. A continent of so little a mind it had to be re taught its history, re-educated as our minds were bought and sold on the mental slavery market.
At first I was both aloof and naïve, sold on the dreams of who I was told to be as an Afrikan, to aspire to be anything but.To be ashamed of those who were there before, taught me, to adopt every single thing foreign. As I grew up like any other teenager, popular culture was never Afrikan, I sobbed a little during the Pax Afro days. Being Afrikan was never ‘cool’ whilst everything Western was from rhythms to morals. I recall never knowing what being Zimbabwean meant, yet alone Afrikan, though I do remember what it felt like; shameful and inadequate. When I came back to Harare, I was thrown knee deep into what I now call “Zimbabweanness”.
More specifically music, cultural diversity, live events, theatre, dance - it was then that I got awestruck.
When I began to realise how much this nation, this continent has and continues to birth as creativity, talent, ambition, optimism and fire. That left me with an array of questions; how could anyone be ashamed of being part of such a people, a nation? Why didn’t I know about this? The questions rung in my head and stewed there until I woke up one morning with my mind made up. I would help tell these stories; I would tell those stories until the rest of the world stood and applauded my Afrikan people for their gifts in the arts and ceased frowning at our heritage. That I as a black Afrikan woman would take back the Afrikan narrative until at long last we could all tell our own stories.