Book Review – Being Afrikan

by Mandivamba Rukuni (Penguin) ISBN: 9780143026808

Being Afrikan by Mandivamba Rukuni is the most inspiring, enlightening, educating piece of information I have read in a long time.

The blurb says: this “is a book that will change your view of what of what it is going to take for us to co-create the Afrika we want.”  Rukuni tells you what he has seen and heard all over the world. He acknowledges the uniqueness of different cultures, traditions, races and religions. His motto is: if you are an African, do not westernise, but, modernise. I am making this my mantra.

He encourages people, to stay true to who they are. At the end of the day, we all worship the same “higher-power” He specifically encourages children of the African soil to remain true to the dust, herbs and “powers” that saw their ancestors through turmoil.

I share the same worry as him, Europeans and others, come here and “expect” Africans to change into certain things that they are not. He advises “us” to borrow from the Indians (meditation), Chinese (technology), Europeans (English language) and others, only to better what we already are (soil; flora and fauna; African healing; uBuntu, and the list is endless). Let us not lose ourselves.

Great Africans, among many others, such as: Credo Mutwa, Alemseged Tesfai, Barolong Seboni, Bessie Head and Nelson Mandela, have paved the way. Let’s follow.

Refilwe Thobega