THE DECOLONIZATION OF THE AFRIKAN MIND PROJECT
Mission, Vision & Value statements
Mission statement: To decolonize the Afrikan mind.
Vision Statement: To bring together as many young people from different Afrikan countries, backgrounds and cultures as possible, under a collective vision of empowering Afrika and the Afrikan people. Through monthly ‘Google Hangouts Live’ sessions with the Afrikan youth, The D.A.M Project seeks to reverse the effects of colonialism on the Afrikan mind, through conversation aimed at raising cultural awareness. I believe that without a cultural revolution (a resetting of the Afrikan mind), any other form of revolution, be it political or economic, remains retrogressive as we lack understanding of who we are, making it difficult, if not impossible to know where we are headed. It is only after finding ourselves, through our history, that we can truly address the predicaments Afrika faces today.
Values Statement: The D.A.M Project is a non-religious, non-political platform, not limited by gender or sexuality, nor by formal education level or nationality, that believes in equal opportunity, and a world where opposites can co-exist. Just as night and day beg each other a pardon and the waters make room for land, we do not always have to agree, but all participants show respect for one another, regardless of intellectual divergence in opinion. Participants are expected to be truthful, to the best of their knowledge, and strive for excellence by being well informed on the subjects they wish to discuss, while remaining honest when unsure. Participants must remember there is no shame, only integrity, in saying “I am not sure”.
ABOUT THE D.A.M PROJECT
In the words of Marcus Garvey, “a people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots”. Knowledge of self serves as an anchor, and it is not until we find our roots that we can have a solid foundation to truly change the Afrika of today and build a better one, for not only ourselves, but for generations to come.
I come from a legal background, with an LLM in International Commercial Law from the University of Surrey, U.K, but my love for story telling and writing, surpasses my interest in Law. I came to a realization that as much I enjoy penning my thoughts and sharing ideas, the most efficient way to effect change, is through active dialogue that includes the voices of those my writing is intended for. It is from this conviction in the importance of cultural awareness and realization of the need for a platform for youth voices, that The D.A.M Project platform was birthed.
The mission and vision of The D.A.M Project was inspired by Kenyan based Pan-Afrikan Writers’ Collective Jalada Africa’s translation of Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s short story ‘Ituĩka Rĩa Mũrũngarũ: Kana Kĩrĩa Gĩtũmaga Andũ Mathiĩ Marũngiĩ, (translated The Upright Revolution: Or, Why Humans Walk Upright)’ into over 30 languages, most of them being Afrikan languages, making it the single-most translated short story in Afrikan history. I wrote an article on why this goes beyond just literature, and why it is culturally significant, titled ‘Decolonizing the Afrikan Mind: A Cultural Revolution’, which you can read from here.
Taking advantage of modern day technology, The D.A.M Project, through a series of Google Hangouts live sessions, will bring together young Afrikan minds to discuss the various issues facing Afrikan nations, that are rooted in colonialism, and how these can be addressed. We will question beliefs that have become the norm, for example, why eloquence is only associated with the English language, or why young Afrikan kids grow up knowing of Zeus, the Greek god but never learn of Amun, the Ancient Egyptian god from whom Zeus was imitated? Through these discussions, participants will question mental bondage and the whitewashing of Afrikan history, in order to not only raise awareness, but to also find ways in which we can address some of these dilemmas.
The D.A.M Project is a platform open to every Afrikan youth interested in voicing their opinion. Though not limited by gender, sexuality, education level or nationality, as aforesaid, it is unfortunately limited by language. Ironically, the English language is the only one through which ideas can be communicated across the board, for now. In future, with more resources, the project plans to break this language barrier by producing high quality discussions in different Afrikan languages and offering translations.
The D.A.M Project platform believes in the freedom of expression. However, below are a few guidelines that must be followed by ALL participants:
- RESPECT THE AUDIENCE AND THE PLATFORM: Remember, every time a viewer tunes in to a live hangout or watches the videos at a later time, the integrity of the platform is on the line. Participants must therefore be honest at all times and make well thought out arguments. Participants must understand that by being a part of the project, they take on a responsibility to not simply have an opinion, but an informed one. To ensure this, topics will be sent out a month in advance, to allow for research. Willing participants must then send in a 200-worded (minimum) proposal of their argument by the end of the second week, to not only demonstrate their seriousness, but also their level of commitment.
- RESPECT OF OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Although strong language is not encouraged, it is not completely ruled out either. The platform takes into account the fact that, sometimes our passion for the subject matter, or frustration from it, can only be expressed through strong language. Participants are thereby asked to do so only when necessary for expression and are expected to be mature, act on said maturity and exercise their own discretion in knowing when strong language is necessary for expression. This, however, is only limited to the expression of one’s idea, and cannot, at any point, be directed at other participants.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: BY PARTICIPATING IN THE D.A.M PROJECT, PARTICIPANTS GIVE THE D.A.M PROJECT THE RIGHT TO PUBLISH AND RE-PUBLISH THE SESSIONS IN ORDER TO ADVANCE THE AGENDA OF THE D.A.M PROJECT.
Interested in being a part of The D.A.M Project?
Join The D.A.M Project Facebook Group HERE.
Not on Facebook? Contact me HERE.