January 2014, the long awaited day in every student’s week arrived. It was time to shop, play football, catch up with friends and keep up with all the things that scurrying from class to books and back to class didn’t permit for five days. Everyone but fifteen African students faced their usual or newly planned Saturday schedule. For these fifteen students, priority had changed. It wasn’t another Saturday for them but was the first of many days that will be devoted to rebuilding Africa. They named their goal “PAMOJA” meaning Africa arise.
Every other day was invested in scheming ways to bring African Students in Lugansk together. They believed that by harnessing the force of unity, we could as one voice formulate practical ways to propel our continent forward. This led to the official teaser of the convention that held on March 15, 2014.
Over hundred students came out to discuss challenges plaguing Africa; Voices from highly intellectual minds with passion to recreate Africa were heard. The synergy established that day was a strong motivation to hasten the plan for the Pan-African Convention.
As flowers bloom in May, a new generation of Africans emerged on May 2, 2014 to start the greatest gathering of Africans in Eastern Europe. The conference started with a leadership and entrepreneurial forum. Fela Durotoye, an international motivational speaker and consultant and Victor Okoye, a pioneer film producer, director and photographer were the speakers on the first day. Profound insights on the problems of leadership, resource management and steps to making the difference we hope for were shared.
The second and last day of the Pan-African convention was a cancer charity dinner. It showcased Africa’s beauty in culture. Beats and rhythms of African heritage kept the tune of freedom songs sung by our ancestors resounding in our hearts. It drew Africans from different parts of Ukraine to raise funds for the treatment of cancer in remote areas of Africa.
It did come to an end like many other events planned by a group of students but it began a new chapter in the history of Africa as students went home awakened leaders ready to make their continent the shining peak of the world.
I look forward to the completion of my course so I can return to my homeland to build but I learnt that every African I see each day is my continent and when I add value to them I’m doing it for Africa. I have taken steps to assume responsibility and create positive changes and I’ve learnt to invest time understanding the problems in Africa and working out solutions for them.