When you look at the dead body of a leader who you believed in, who you revered, who gave you so much hope about life, African leadership and Africa’s abilities, so much confidence so that you can face the world and be proudly and unapologetically African, how can you still have hope when you feel defeated?
When you wonder of how life would be like in his absence, and think of all that could have been if he had lived a little bit longer, how can you still have hope when you feel defeated?
When his life was a blessing, his leadership touched the soul of poor men who had lost hopes, his kindness touched the heart of women who later put their Khangas and Vitenge on the road for the car carrying his dead body to pass on, how can you still have hope when you feel defeated?
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When you experience communal grief, when you have been hit by a loss that has shaken your community’s dreams but for a moment, how do you still have hope when you feel defeated?
When a death has changed your world overnight, your country’s leaders in a matter of days, when all of this is just so new for you to experience, how do you still have hope when you feel defeated?
Hope is found in healing together, hope is found in seeing how we grieved together, how we showed up even though the news of our leader’s death has caused some of us to not sleep well for days, hope is in believing that he has shown us an example, he has shown us that it can be done, he has led by example, hope is found in the young children who grieve and salute his body in the coffin, hope is found in believing that these children’s worldview is changed, their view of Africa’s leadership and Africa’s resources is impacted for the better, hope is found in knowing that the way they see themselves has changed, the way we see and speak of and about ourselves has changed and what brings more hope for Africans than mental emancipation which is the beginning of the reformation and development, hope is found in knowing that our leader is now our ancestor who will forever look after us, our hope is found on us looking forward, carrying the torch where he has left it, because that’s what good ancestors do, they pass the torch and their arms so that we can move, we can keep on fighting, we can follow the path that they have created and shown us.
How can we have hope when we feel defeated? By knowing that our ancestor who died wouldn’t want us to hold on to this feeling for long, he wouldn’t want us to stay defeated by his passing on forever, he would be proud if we keep on moving, if we carry the torch bravely and walk on the path he has laid out for us as boldly as he would have.