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I am an African
Politics, 8 Sep 2006 - Cape Town Magazine
Thabo Mbeki

A good introduction to what started 10 years ago, and what is continuing every single day: Freedom, democracy and peace in South Africa.
 
Click here.
The movie is accompanied by text (see below) and some incredible, thrilling images. This movie revolves around the statement of the then Deputy President Thabo Mbeki in 1996, on behalf of the African National Congress and on the occasion of the adoption of the constitution of The Republic of South Africa.

Chairperson,
Esteemed President of the democratic Republic,
Honourable Members of the Constitutional Assembly,
Our distinguished domestic and foreign guests,

Friends, On an occasion such as this, we should, perhaps, start from the beginning. So, let me begin. I am an African. I owe by being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.My body has frozen in our frosts and in our latter day snows. It has thawed in the warmth of our sunshine and melted in the heat of the midday sun. The crack and the rumble of the summer thunders, lashed by startling lightening, have been a cause both of trembling and of hope. The fragrances of nature have been as pleasant to us as the sight of the wild blooms of the citizens of the veld. The dramatic shapes of the Drakensberg, the soil-coloured waters of the Lekoa, iGqili noThukela, and the sands of the Kgalagadi, have all been panels of the set on the natural stage on which we act out the foolish deeds of the theatre of our day. At times, and in fear, I have wondered whether I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito.
A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say - I am an African! I owe my being to the Khoi and the San whose desolate souls haunt the great expanses of the beautiful Cape - they who fell victim to the most merciless genocide our native land has ever seen, they who were the first to lose their lives in the struggle to defend our freedom and dependence and they who, as a people, perished in the result.Today, as a country, we keep an audible silence about these ancestors of the generations that live, fearful to admit the horror of a former deed, seeking to obliterate from our memories a cruel occurrence which, in its remembering, should teach us not and never to be inhuman again. I am formed of the migrants who left Europe to find a new home on our native land. Whatever their own actions, they remain still, part of me. In my veins courses the blood of the Malay slaves who came from the East. Their proud dignity informs my bearing, their culture a part of my essence. The stripes they bore on their bodies from the lash of the slave master are a reminder embossed on my consciousness of what should not be done. I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngungunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom.
Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that - I am an African.Today it feels good to be an African.
 
Thabo Mbkei
 
(Source: ANC Archives)


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I am an African: foto
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Sites for this article:
video message Thabo Mbeki
http://www.capetownmagazine.co.za/pulse/movies/A-legendary-speech-accompanied-by-incredible-images~69

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