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In search for a personal identity, Fritz Kanyile Ka-Ngwenya discovers three compelling strategies to his identity crisis; first, he takes time to distinctly define himself through telling his gripping story. How did his name affect his life? How did the father he never knew influence his views? How did his beloved mother find the strength to support and give him such rich gifts? And how has his cultural history and heritage shaped his life? Secondly, Kanyile believes in succinctly celebrating one’s own life as the wise say— celebration causes for more celebration. Thirdly and most importantly, he discerns that to follow your true altruistic instincts by encompassing the African spirit of ‘Ubuntu’, a sense of humanity, can help make a difference in the world in one’s own small but special way. The Potential Within: Pursuing Our African Dreams is about tapping into one’s inert potential in the pursuit of our Dreams.
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Colonialism and imperialism have dealt damaging blows to the continent, but I believe we must transcend this often brutal legacy and take responsibility for shaping our future. And the problems we face are ours to resolve: tribal conflict, genocide, xenophobia, illiteracy, poverty, disease, uprisings, and leadership issues. This book seeks to promote a greater understanding of these problems—their sources and their potential solutions. In Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu’s words, “If we go within, we will not go without.”
The passing of struggle icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela means the torch is being passed to us – the next generation. However we are confronted with a magnitude of issues that we inherit from our forefathers, issues that we need to address and redress to the best of our ability with the amount of time and the big and little resources at our disposal.
Like peoples everywhere, our future lies in the hands of our children—and the ways in which they are able and willing to exploit their talents and achieve their goals. In this twenty-first century, I passionately believe that we Africans must look deep within—and then begin building the foundation that will allow the next generation of young people to pursue their African dreams.
But what is the nature of that dream? What is the ultimate African dream? It may take several forms, but I believe at the core it is closely related to Nelson Mandela’s dream, ‘An Africa which is at peace with itself”. More specifically, I envision:
• An Africa that provides access to education
• An Africa that erases poverty
• An Africa that offers health care
• An Africa that respects human rights
• An Africa that governs justly and effectively
• An Africa that knows no borders
• An Africa that shares its wealth
When these goals (and others) are achieved, when crushing social and political problems begin to recede, Africa will begin to find a unified vision—and to establish a continent in which all Africans are fully free to pursue their dreams and realize their potentials. This book is dedicated to exploring that dream and defining the paths that will lead Africa to a noble, prosperous, and peaceful future.
It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year.
It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow.
Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.
~W.E.B. Du Bois, American scholar and civil rights pioneer~