Last night I attended an invitation to the very trendy part of Johannesburg, where the Consciousness Café held a meeting. The room was filled with people from varying backgrounds from New York, Portugal and many locals.
The organisers were brilliant as they facilitated the dialogues despite how absurd or contrary our points of view to the subject of “Who is really African?”. As the various people shared openly their views and heart-felt struggles we saw walls, fears and expressions of sadness, joy, and pain being voiced with the words trying to communicate hoping that someone was listening — and we were all attentive. Hearing the heart-beating of the words going beyond our head and responding in compassion.
I was amazed that there is a group of educated and sophisticated young people arising from South Africa with great maturity and respect for dialogue and to which sadly the media fails to portray — instead we see news coverage of student violence, irrational behaviour and thus showed me a new generation is arising and hope is on the way.
The dialogue led us to contemplate what it really means to be African. To which can only be summed up that it about our shared values – and if so, what are they? Is it about our roles and responsibilities on this continent? Is it about a shared struggle consciousness? Are we African when we have the desire to reconnect with the Ubuntu that has been choked by capitalism?