Letter of consciousness to a black African child

By Shivute Kaapanda [Think Tank Africa]

Dear African Black Child,

First let me make time to say I owe my being to the blood, the very endemic blood that precedes my existence and carried responsibility for me, my ancestors, the blood that instructs my consciousness in writing this noble piece to the upcoming blood of the bloods.

An African child is the new blood of the same blood in which critical consciousness shall find fertility and homage.

Despite all that the sour ages taught the negro which amounts to slavery and or servitude, an African child shall never be intimidated but continue, with critical consciousness, to believe and defend what belongs to mother Africa endlessly.

African son, the concept of Ubuntu shall lead you in every aspect of your life for it’s the mother of unity, strength and progress; it heals the wounds of poverty and hopelessness and provide solid meaningfulness to living in Africa as elsewhere.

A person is a person because of other people, unity, friendliness, peace and revolution shall find solace in your consciousness. A happy person is the one that makes right decisions rightly.

Respect your indigenous environment, respect nature, respect humanity but above all respect your language and culture at all cost and preserve them.

If a foreigner comes to learn of your language, welcome him or her and if need be learn his or her language but do not hate your own for it’s through your own hate that things begin to work out of your favour.

Do not do self-hate, love your skin, love your hairs and the whole structure of your body, do not let anyone to define you the way they want because that will be the end of your consciousness.

African daughter, your beauty is final and nobody can change or modify it, embrace the fact that there are in existence other races than your own, treat them as equal as your own, the world may not allow you to do so but do not feel inferior at all, by nature no race is above another but it might be a different case with social construction.

Nature is the mother and the foundation of beauty so be you.

Do not fight or kill your fellow race for your fight will be to the benefit of other races; I repeat no race is superior to another, to belong to a race is to belong to nature, nature is the mother of all races.

Your culture is the foundation of your-self, your education, your morality, your religion and your humanity, do not undermine your culture for you will get lost into another culture that will undermine your own.

Owe your being to your culture, define yourself as per your culture, name things according to your culture, live by it, and be proud of it no matter the circumstances it may bring forth but do not be limited by it, you can go as far as your consciousness may take you but always come back home, come back to your own self, the reflection of yourself give homage to your own consciousness and solitude.

Do not ignore your environment, do not ignore your people, be aware of the leadership around your environment, partake if need be in whichever way possible.

Get your moral education at home and not at church, go to school if need be, education might be a key to the future but the key to your future is not solely in the hands of formal education as the formal education curriculum might have been manufactured elsewhere out of Africa.

In the world dominated by money, do not hate yourself, your brother or your grandfather for money, your conscience must take you further than that, but make all time available to make money for it’s almost the only way to take care of anything including yourself but remember man made money and money makes man mad.

The world might get you attracted to study and live in the most so called developed world but that is not the way to go, it might be one way to go or the other way to get lost, one of the best ways is to study what the other worlds are doing and where feasible apply it in your world but not with the same exactitude for a bird cannot build a nest under water knowing it cannot breath under water and the fish cannot build its nest on land for it can only swim and not fly.

Things are not to be judged or put on the same scale always, the world is diverse, and some say the world is round. The definition of what the whole world is can be from the most powerful people on earth but remember time changes and you can be the change the world would like to take.

Africans that are Aawambo would always narrate a proverbial expression which says. “Ouyuni owa ehongo lyekugu, wa matuka weufiyapo, wa ende wekufiipo” or “Ouyuni Uukwanamhinyuka” meaning “the world is subject to change and it is either the change benefits or betray us, we should all accept such change”.

An African child should at all times be Afro-optimist and do the best for Africa. An African child should be politically and historically conscious; an African child is a patriot child.

Dear African child, this world is created in founding father’s image of white supremacy, that however should not deter you from fighting for justice, social justice should be one of your conscious raising messages.

To be born black has quite for a longer time been perceived as to be born poor, hungry, sick and sometimes with low-low intelligence, however that is not a meaningful perception. One should not live in an unexamined world; an unexamined world is very shallow, full of stupidity and has shallow beliefs.

An African child is a skeptic child full of energy and confidence to teach the world about him or her and the knowledge he or she has.

One should not suffer from low self-esteem and black inferiority complex because of the imposed social patterns, an African child got to confront the world anyhow and for whatever reasons.

African child do not be scared of the world rather let the world be scared of you. If you are a religious child, do not operate by the whims of religious boarders. Do not try to impress the world by coming to it but let the world come to you on your own terms in everything, a black African child should own him or herself, proud of his or her blackness.

An African black child should be able to understand with consciousness that to be black is not a sin and it’s equally not a sin or silver to belong to other races. That blackness has always been associated with lower standard is a nerve-wracking norm that needs rejection.

Dear African child, we shall never know freedom in our lifetime for as long as we continue to be deeply Muslims, or deeply Christians, with the narrow understanding of God through the lenses of other races.

Religion is the cultural understanding of the spiritual, that is why the Indians are Hindus, Chinese are Buddhists, etcetera. It’s a cultural way of understanding the supernatural through your cultural lense and not through other racial or cultural lenses therefore once again I remind you to be conscious and respect your culture.

The independence of our culture is in our own hands, without a cultural revolution our political revolution will never succeed. Revolutionary consciousness shall dictate the mind of an African child.

The world sometimes will create scenes out of your favor, in that case just know that to be black cannot be reduced to inhuman or less-intelligence, a black African child cannot be reduced to stone-age religions, foreign education, to be doctors, lawyers or engineers only but they can be if they want.

A black African child can never be reduced to fake movie-watching, ghetto-living, landlessness, gown-wearing and an employee of another race.

Yes it may be well understood that the survival of the fittest as per Darwinian theory of evolution may in the name of capitalism be used to justify capitalism and racism but to a conscious mind it may well fit to understand that rulership shall not cross the boundaries, one shall never use the colour of their skin to justify or be in a position to decide the basis of morality for other races, morality is by the way relative, no race shall rule another.

An African child of yesteryears has seen black revolutionary leaders such as Steve Biko, Thomas Sankara and Muammar Gaddafi executed in day light solely for speaking for black people.

Dear African child, this, “I command”, you shall not allow anymore. We have forgiven enough, if a giant come and provoke you again right in your land either directly or through capitalistic propaganda of what de-colonial scholar Job Shipululo Amupanda calls “Development plantation” an African child shall without fear confront any giant right at the giant’s doorstep.

An African child shall at all times be ready to fight any enemy or intruder; intelligence is the best tool to fight an enemy with, it never fails, if it does an alternative will do.

Dear patriotic African child, finally in this struggle I feel I should emphasize the solid words of Frantz Omar Fanon that “Each generation must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill that mission or betray it”.

African child, do you want to betray your mission in this struggle? If so, before you do let’s quickly visit the words of one of the African kings of Oukwanyama kingdom in Namibia who had so much love for his people and fought the Portuguese intruders from Angola.

He left us with these words “Death and slavery are one and the same”.

African child, never take an enemy for a friend, never take an intruder for a guest, never take anything for nothing and you shall live life according to yourself. Your conscience will rule you, if you decide it doesn’t then somebody’s will.

Once again be Afro-optimist but don’t hate, be free but don’t intrude, believe in yourself, find meaning in your territory and trouble no human.

I deliver this letter to you for the love of Africa and for the intellectual independence of the African continent and black people!

– Shivute Kaapanda is an African intellectual, traditional theorist, political critic, and black consciousness author. He can be reached at: