I must begin by thanking you for the honour of this invitation to address you. I am glad that I did not have to decline, pleading the truthful excuse that I am, unfortunately, still saddled with a heavy load of unfinished business elsewhere. In any case, I have come to accept that it is a condition of human existence to be saddled with this particular affliction - unfinished business – that sense of an incomplete mission. The difference between one individual and the next is perhaps that some know this, while others do not. With individuals, this distinction does not matter a great deal. We go into retirement with a sigh of mission accompli, convinced that one’s self-imposed, fortuitous, or mysteriously transmitted mission in life has indeed been fulfilled. Or perhaps we simply shrug our shoulders in resignation, saying, ‘Enough is enough, let others take over from here.’ No matter the variant, we are still buried with our own self-assessment, accurate or misconceived.
RECOMMENDED DOCUMENTARY: We Will Not Lie Die Like Dogs
WE WILL NOT DIE LIKE DOGS profiles AIDS activists from Nigeria, Uganda, Burkina Faso, and Zambia. Honest and provocative testimonies of individuals living with the epidemic include two HIV-positive women fighting stigma and discrimination, a doctor working to care for HIV-infected children in rural villages, and a reggae artist using his status among youth and the media to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS. Conceived of by two African medical students at Yale who were tired of African portrayed only as victims to the epidemic and directed by international health specialist, Lisa Russell, WE WILL NOT DIE LIKE DOGS helped launch the National Black Programming Consortium’s new television series AfroPop that focuses on contemporary pop culture in Africa.
It must be stressed, however, that decolonization does not mean ignorance of foreign traditions; it simply means denial of their authority and withdrawal of allegiance from them.
- Chinweizu Ibekwe
The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.
- Ben Okri
When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool.
- Chinua Achebe
Power is domination, control, and therefore a very selective form of truth which is a lie.
- Wole Soyinka
Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.
- Igbo proverb