This is for our mothers. The women we love. The women who love us. The brave ones who sacrificed for us and gave us a platform. The women whose love and advice gave us a foundation. The women who keep on praying and supporting and believing. This is for them.
This is for our fathers. The men who love us. The men we love. The men whose support never waned. Whose love and foresight we mistook for hatred. But they saw the bigger picture, and we have seen it now. This is for them.
This is for our leaders. We are tired. Of the same failed promises, of the non development, of the stagnation in our countries and continent at large. We have endured and suffered in silence. And we have had enough. The time has come for the torch to be passed and for the fire to burn brightly once again. Our eyes are open and we do not like what we see. So, our leaders who grow fat while we die, who destroy our educational system and send their kids to study abroad, who disrespect the struggle of our forefathers, this is for you.
This is for our women. Our beautiful, strong and intelligent women. Whom we have trampled on and overlooked for so long. Our women, who through “culture” have been pushed to the shadows to hide, instead of being brought to the forefront where their numerous talents and gifts will shine. Our brave women, who despite the limitations we put on them, still thrive and show us the tough stuff they are made of. This is for them.
And this is for our forefathers. Who dreamed of a great Africa. Who fought with sweat and blood to see us liberated from oppression. Who saw a bright future and decided to sacrifice their comfort and peace for us. Our forefathers, who must be rolling in their graves at the disaster we have become. We will right our wrongs. This is for them.
This is for Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka. This is for Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and Mariama Ba. This is for Nadine Gordimer and Aminatta Forner. This is for Ayi Kwei Armah and Chimamanda Adichie. The men and women who tell our stories as they are. Who show our history as it is. Not in a distorted form as the White man would have us believe. We see your work and appreciate it. This is for you.
This is for Wizkid. This is for Asa. This is for Sauti Sol. This is for Nasty C. This is for Lady Donli. This is for Odunsi. And this is for Tochi Bedford. We thank you for pushing our music to new heights. For new and beautiful sounds. For redefining African music. We thank you, more importantly, for taking Africa to the world. For showing that we are more than basic. For putting our sounds out there and introducing the world to the beautiful work of art that is African music. We hear you and appreciate it. This is for you.
This is for the depressed. For those among us going through hard times. For those of us who think there is no hope and can not find a reason to live. For those of us who think they just can take it anymore. Do not despair. We are behind you. We love you and care for you. We also know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we believe you can overcome the struggle. This is for you.
This is for Adedayo Laketu. This is for Chukwuka Nwobi. This is for Niyi Okeowo and all the others like them. Young African creatives using their gifts to impact Africa and to impact the world with Africa. This is for MoreBranches and the people like us. The people who believe Africa has a story worth telling, a perspective that should be seen and a voice that deserves to be heard. We appreciate the work you’re doing. This is for you.
This is for Fela and Mandela. This is for Anwar Al Sadar and Kofi Annan. This is for Ken Saro-Wiwa and Desmond Tutu. For Martin Luther King Jr and Tupac. For our heroes who fought against Injustice. The people who sacrificed their lives for the struggle of people of color. Whose voices were loudest in the chants for freedom. We appreciate your struggle. We will continue and not let you down. This is for you.
This is for the motherland. This is for AFRICA. Raped and plundered over the centuries. Despised, overlooked, forgotten. Insulted and abused but still holding out. Still strong. We understand the pain, we feel it. We do not hide it, we embrace it. We are AFRICA. We are AFRICANS. We understand the struggle and we will continue in the vein of those noble ones before us. Pushing our continent to greater heights in all fields and endeavors. Making sure we stand tall in Technology, in education, in business, in the standard of living, in our health system. We appreciate everyone of us who is contributing towards AFRICA’s development. This is for you.
And finally, this is for me. And this is for you. This for every single African youth. Fighting a system that wants us to fail. Fighting a society filled with stereotypes and standards that hinder us from expressing ourselves and our gifts and being the best versions of ourselves. Facing a society that subjects our women to abuse. That subjects our men to abuse. Facing a government with terrible leadership. This is for every single African youth. Determined to survive, determined to win. Determined to overcome obstacles and make something for themselves. Determined to change the way things are done. Determined to make equality a reality and remove prejudicial barriers that hold us back. This is for me. This is for you.