It is encouraging to see that despite the challenges of this world and the hurt going on there are still people who sacrifice to save lives. On Friday night 27 June 2008, I was watching the 46664 concert live on television in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday. The concert held in London was graced by a number of international artists under the theme, ‘It’s in our hands.’
Annie Lennox is one particular artist who touched my heart in her efforts to make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. During the concert she showed the audience a picture of a 7 year old child with full blown AIDS whose poor health was being worsened by malnutrition and lack of treatment to boost the immune system. She then showed another picture of the same child after taking treatment and following a proper diet . . . this was such a moving experience to me.
It got me thinking that if each one of us had such a selfless heart, this world could be a better place. I believe that even the smallest of gestures like helping a neighbor in need either in cash or kind means a lot to the recipient no matter how small. Echoing Madiba’s words, ‘there is still so much work in Africa’.
What upsets me is the fact that some of the challenges we face in Africa are self inflicted. For instance, to look at Zimbabwe and the way the economy has gone down and the health delivery system also deteriorating, some individuals still find time to intentionally cause physical harm to others, all in the name of politics. Surely this should be a time for those who directly or indirectly perpetrated violence during the election period to reflect on their actions and what they think they achieved.
It is time we realize that indeed, the responsibility to improve the world we live in lies in each and every one of us. Africa belongs to us Africans and it is only us who can make conscious decisions about our future.