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Afro Colloquy – Reawakening the Spirit of a People

Telling the truth about African cultural heritage and its gallant history would have been counterproductive for the created European/African relationship since the past 500 years. This was the center of argument at the council hall of Padova, this morning.

The first annual event organized by a group which calls itself cittadini uniti per l’integrazione (united citizens for integration) was a mixture of both Italians and Africans of diverse nationalities. A good evident perhaps, in showing that it truly was a united people, but for a dual and important objectives. One is to cooperate and build a better coexistence in the city of Padova while the other is to revisit the past between Africa and Europe in an effort to possibly right the wrongs.

Speaking about the latter, Dr. Grace Folly, one of the core members of the Padova group did point out the obvious: “it’s time for Africans to team up and speak for themselves”.

Just before the conference, I spoke with an elderly member of the Afro Colloquy group, Dr. Mude Koko-kokolo, a Congolese man who has earlier backed his doctorate degree in political science in the University of Padova.

According to Dr. Mude, one of the main areas of focus for Afro Colloquy is the “African identity”, a situation he judge rather deplorable. It was further revisited during the conference, showing that many factors have actually led to the identity crises in Africa.

With some images in evidence, one of the speakers stated that when the great powers of Africa, such as Zimbabwe, the Nubian society and ancient Egypt collapsed, the destiny of the local people were in the hands of the invaded Arabs and then the Europeans colonialists. So that by the end of colonialism, Africans not only lost the process of their social evolution and cultural orientation; they have equally lost their identity, if not the true essence of being a collective people.

This may be new: with a curious European audience, many young Africans are teaming up to ask the almost forbidden question, “who are we; what have we become?”

Chances are that as more Africans are getting settled in the European continent and are beginning to understand the reality of the European society that more questions would even be asked in the years to come, and more debates would be triggered. Most especially that what have dominated the relationship between Africa and Europe for the past 500 years have mainly been lies and the falsification of evidences to sustain the lies.

Time, therefore, might have come for the so-called African in diaspora. The time to play their role, as part of the larger African family; to investigate every status quo and challenge every false evidence that has been fashioned out against Africa and Africans.

Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

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