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Gidi Culture Festival: Re-Evaluating An African’s Birth Right



BellaNaija partners with the organizers of Gidi Culture Festival. So, what exactly is Gidi Culture Festival? It is a movement which serves to provoke insightful thoughts, towards the motivated and empowered African youth. It is the voice for the youth, by the youth. The African society seems to have failed the youth; unemployment ravages its populace, to the extent that the will to matter eludes the average citizen. Our society in its acknowledgement of social strata has barricaded the common man from the luxuries of quality, accessible entertainment in a safe environment. The Gidi Culture Festival bring this to an end and has been noted for its novel ideas in giving back to the community with its Beach Sweeps and Dreams project. This 8-part series hopes to send a meaningful discourse among young people today.
Every sovereign state should have a responsibility to its citizen, when all things are equal. A society will always have expectations from it ‘s leaders that translate to favourable conditions that consequently mirror the good policies, as a matter of one’s birthright. What is being described here is an ideal case, which unfortunately is not always obtainable. It is common knowledge that Africa has a great deal of socio-cultural issues to tackle. As far as the standard of living of its citizens go: the average African citizen lives below recommended standard of human existence. Never the less the United Nations and charitable organizations have continued to invest in Africa, with the hopes that it would live up to its potential. Strides have been made but we are not nearly there. Within Africa, our leaders have made attempts at holding each other responsible as seen in the African Peer Review Mechanism, by the New Partnership for Africa’s development (NEPAD), yet we see very little in terms of results.

In examining all of this it is important to point out that until we hold the next man’s hand in a joint effort to put an end to the problems in Africa, there may be no way out as the government and intervening institutions haven’t quite taken us to the promise land yet. We need a REVOLUTION!

Revolutions have occurred throughout human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration and motivating ideology. Their results have always included major changes in economy and socio-political institutions.

The American Revolution initiated a series of social, political and intellectual transformations in early American society and government. Americans rejected the oligarchies common in aristocratic Europe at the time, instead they fostered the development of republicanism based on the enlightenment and understanding of liberalism. Among the significant results of the revolution was the creation of a representative government responsible to the will of the people. Till date, America has one of the enviable democracies throughout the world.
Again, the Young Turk Revolution in Turkey reversed the suspension of the Ottoman parliament that had been enacted by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, who abdicated in a move that marked the return to Constitutional government. The Young Turk movement brought together various intellectuals and dissidents, many of whom were living in exile or as officers in the army. Although the nationalist spirit that was sweeping through Europe at the time inspired it, the Revolution restored the parliament, which had been suspended by the Sultan in 1878. The potential democratization project represented by the Young Turk Revolution had no parallel at the time among other imperial powers, such as the British and French, whose leaders were nowhere near contemplating granting self-determination to their African and Asian possessions. Imagine if they did nothing.

More recently is the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 which is also called the Lotus Revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on the 25 January in 2011. It was a diverse movement of demonstrations, marches, plaza occupations, riots, non-violent civil resistance, acts of civil disobedience and labour strikes. Millions of protesters from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. There were also important Islamic, liberal, anti-capitalist, nationalist, and feminist currents of the revolution Protests took place in Cairo, Alexandria, and in other cities in Egypt, following the Tunisian revolution that resulted in the overthrow of the long-time Tunisian president. Although Egypt continues to go through various political and socio-economic reforms, it is undoubtedly in a better place than it would have been if its citizens did not take the bull by the horn.

Make no mistake; this piece is not a call to violence, but a brief revelation of the reforms that some civilizations have gone through in the past, and how it made the difference in determining their future. While the option of sitting around and waiting on change seems convenient, we as individuals can start movements that will transform our continent, if given the dedication. ‘Self reformation’ I call it. You can say no to bribery and malpractice for example, you can choose the path of integrity as you deal with people every day, you can illuminate another man’s mind where you find that his values are misplaced. There is a practice very prevalent in our societies, people see injustice all around them but do nothing. It all boils down to a price is some instances, what is the Price for your Africa?
While physical revolutions are great, as we have examined here, you too can start a revolution today, as you go through ‘self reformation’.
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