From the darkest hour to a vision of an emancipated Africa and African

Today, Africa has emerged from this dark passage. Our Armageddon is past. Africa has been reborn as a free continent and Africans have been reborn as free men. The blood that was shed and the sufferings that were endured are today Africa’s advocates for freedom and unity.

Those men who refused to accept the judgment passed upon them by the colonisers, who held unswervingly through the darkest hours to a vision of an Africa emancipated from political, economic, and spiritual domination, will be remembered and revered wherever Africans meet. Many of them never set foot on this continent. Others were born and died here. What we may utter today can add little to the heroic struggle of those who, by their example, have shown us how precious are freedom and human dignity and of how little value is life without them. Their deeds are written in history.

Africa’s victory, although proclaimed, is not yet total, and areas of resistance still remain. Today, We name as our first great task the final liberating of those Africans still dominated by foreign exploitation and control. With the goal in sight, and unqualified triumph within our grasp, let us not now falter or lag or relax. We must make one final supreme effort; now, when the struggle grows weary, when so much has been won that the thrilling sense of achievement has brought us near satiation. Our liberty is meaningless unless all Africans are free. Our brothers in the Rhodesias, in Mozambique, in Angola, in South Africa, cry out in anguish for our support and assistance. We must urge on their behalf their peaceful accession to independence. We must align and identify ourselves with all aspects of their struggle. It would be betrayal were we to pay only lip service to the cause of their liberation and fail to back our words with action.

To them we say, your pleas shall not go unheeded. The resources of Africa and of all freedom-loving nations are marshalled in your service. Be of good heart, for your deliverance is at hand.

As we renew our vow that all of Africa shall be free, let us also resolve that old wounds shall be healed and past scars forgotten. It was thus that Ethiopia treated the invader nearly 25 years ago, and Ethiopians found peace with honour in this course. Memories of past injustice should not divert us from the more pressing business at hand. We must live in peace with our former colonisers, shunning recrimination and bitterness and forswearing the luxury of vengeance and retaliation, lest the acid of hatred erode our souls and poison our hearts. Let us act as befits the dignity which we claim for ourselves as Africans, proud of our own special qualities, distinctions, and abilities. Our efforts as free men must be to establish new relationships, devoid of any resentment and hostility, restored to our belief and faith in ourselves as individuals, dealing on a basis of equality with other equally free peoples.

Today, we look to the future calmly, confidently, and courageously. We look to the vision of an Africa not merely free but united. In facing this new challenge, we can take comfort and encouragement from the lessons of the past. We know that there are differences among us. Africans enjoy different cultures, distinctive values, special attributes. But we also know that unity can be and has been attained among men of the most disparate origins, that differences of race, of religion, of culture, of tradition, are no insuperable obstacle to the coming together of peoples. History teaches us that unity is strength, and cautions us to submerge and overcome our differences in the quest for common goals, to strive, with all our combined strength, for the path to true African brotherhood and unity.

There are those who claim that African unity is impossible, that the forces that pull us, some in this direction, others in that, are too strong to be overcome. Around us there is no lack of doubt and pessimism, no absence of critics and criticism. These speak of Africa, of Africa’s future and of her position in the twentieth century in sepulchral tones. They predict dissension and disintegration among Africans and internecine strife and chaos on our continent. Let us confound these and, by our deeds, disperse them in confusion. There are others whose hopes for Africa are bright, who stand with faces upturned in wonder and awe at the creation of a new and happier life, who have dedicated themselves to its realization and are spurred on by the example of their brothers to whom they owe the achievements of Africa’s past. Let us reward their trust and merit their approval

On May 25, 1963 the Organization for African Unity (OAU) was established with a permanent headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, was selected as the first President of the OAU.  A few words from his acceptance speech.

You are invited to " The Bongani Festival: 2 Miles To Emancipation.

This will be held on the 1st August. The celebrations commence with everyone meeting at the Emancipation Statue, better known as the Bussa Statue for 6.00 am. This portion of the festival will include, the laying of flowers at the monument and the honoring of those who gave their lives for the idea of a free and redeemed Africa and African wherever they may be.

Following this an Emancipation Procession will travel from the Emancipation or Bussa Statue, making its way through the Tichbourne and Ivy communities, ending at Blenhim A playing field in the Back Ivy.

There an Emancipation Village will be constructed that will consist of persons selling craft, jewelry, clothing, literature, food (including African cuisine ) and drinks. You will also find in the Emancipation Village holistic healing arts such as yoga and reiki.  Information booths will be a prominent feature of the Emancipation Village. These booths are designed for various organisations to disseminate information about themselves.

Throughout the day a number of short solidarity messages will be delivered. You can also look forward to entertainment in the forms of dance, drum,spoken word and song. Joining in the Emancipation celebrations will be the Mighty Gabby, Winston Farrell, The Haynesville Youth Group, Queen of the drum Onika Best, and many other entertainers.  Celebrations end at 6pm.

As the Emancipation features continue you will be further informed on what you can expect at the Emancipation Village.

The Bongani Festival:2 Miles to Emancipation organisating committee looks forward to seeing you on August 1st. Bring the family and spend the day with us.

If you would like to have a stall space in the Emancipation Village or just want more information on the activity please call 231 3185