A poetry presentation entitled The Africa I Want written and performed by Ms Dzifa Gomashie, Deputy Minister of Culture and Creative Arts at a youth, culture and sports programme in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is to be translated into four languages that are used by the African Union.
The presentation, which made waves in the Ethiopian media would be made available in English, French, Swahili and Portuguese across all AU countries.
The AU Commissioner for Social Services, Dr Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, has thus initiated the processes of translation with the permission of Madam Gomashie.
Madam Gomashie, who chaired the experts in film making committee at the event, where the panel discussed, the power of film as a tool for cultural diplomacy and re-activating the interest of the youth in their culture and heritage, told the Graphic Showbiz in an interview that the discussions from the committee informed her choice of the title of the poem, when she was asked to present a poem for the event.
She was of the view that the rich African architecture which fits its temperature and puts its people in touch with its culture and heritage was no longer the case, as such had given way to western architecture which embraces the development of skyscraper buildings with glazed windows as development.
The second session of the Specialised Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sports, which was on the theme, “African Year of Human Rights, Promoting Ethics and Culture Diversity as an Essential Right for the people of Africa” came off on June 13 to June 17, with representatives made up of sports ministers, stakeholders in the arts, tourism and culture in attendance.
The conference was aimed at promoting the youth, culture and sports sectors and their roles in promoting cultural diversity, integrity, ethics and build a culture of peaceful coexistence in the continent.
Madam Gomashie’s poem gave an insight about how Africa has lost her rich cultural heritage, architecture, and the acceptance of western heritage in the name of modernity and development.
The poem which partly read, “ I am black, dark, ebony, noir, with a well-endowed chest and behind like the dondo, I was raised to believe that was beauty.
“ I thought that was the definition of beauty, till I was told I could not consider myself beautiful with a neckline like this and a hair as nappy as that of my goat.
“I was named Abla Dzifa, Nkrumah, Nyerere, Kuntu, Balofu and Lantey, names that made meaning and honoured my creator Mawu Sogbo Lisa.
“ O yes, the names may be difficult, to pronounce, but they gave me identity, then you came along and named me Julius, Jason, Romeo, did you say Beyoncé? I believed it and stopped addressing myself with the name my soul recognised and identified with”.
It also explored the destruction of the continents environment leading to severe climatic conditions being experienced as a result of global warming.
Cataloguing moral decadence among young people, the poem posited how young people today cheat, and lie their way through every situation.
Madam Gomashie, is seeking to use these thoughts to inspire young people on the continent to join forces to reclaim the rich heritage that has existed for years.