ONCE UPON A TIME IN ASIKO
(MY PAN-AFRICAN STORY /VISION)
Once upon a time, a kingdom was established near the regions of the greatest lakes on the continent. A powerful Prince and Spiritual Guide (Madiaw), ruled his kingdom surrounded by many warrior tribes. At the time, a severe drought plagued the kingdom, killing all the crops of the land including its inhabitants. A Month Before Ramadan (Shabani), the Prince went to Ibrahim, The prophet of God (Raimi) to find out a solution for this terrible situation. The gods were angered by the prince’s decision to bring along the wife of a warrior who had gone away on a mission. Upon The Return of The Warrior (Akinwande), Madiaw ordered for his execution. By sunset, across The Sky Line (Ademasu), he knew that the execution was done. This was the reason for the long drought.
At the palace, Raimi asked Madiaw to offer a sacrifice for the gods and instructed him to avoid touching the warrior’s widow for a period of one year. Madiaw did all this, except for the last instruction. Furthermore, he had predicted that a beautiful princess with a Big Frog (Chibombwe) glued on her right hand, would be Born at Night (Atieno). After a year, the princess was born but not as predicted. She was Born on Sunrise (Onyis) but Chibombwe was there!
Daddy’s Girl (Uwase) became a Boring Child (Tchetmi) with Chibombwe always croaking on her hand. The liberation of this young princess Born into Wealth (Olabisi) became a great challenge to bring back Peace (Erin) and Joy (Nyakallo) into the queen’s heart (Moyo). Lastly, Raimi ordered that Uwase must be liberated immediately and that a warrior should kill Chibombwe with any Projectile (Makongo) into the darkness of hell situated only in the kingdom where Bees obey him (Lalibela). Any warrior who was successful in rescuing Uwase would be able to marry her. Lalibela became The Attractive Spot (Kazungu) of the kingdom, which many warriors had tried to conquer. Warriors who had the misfortune of missing the target and injuring Uwase were subjected to execution. Many of the warriors by that time were frightened and refused to accept this challenge. Finally, one unexpected, young soldier Absolutely (Fitsum) accepted this test. As a defensive source of Makongo, a knife, an arrow, and a stone where on display for Fitsum to select from. He picked a stone and entered into the dark cave. After two days and two nights, Uwase was out of Hell with free hands, followed by Fitsum.
(This short story just shows us how great our African names are. We should be proud to get those names and to act accordingly to their meaning. “Do what you are supposed to do”. This is my vision of Pan-Africanism! We gather in Addis Ababa, from different countries, backgrounds but with the same identity, dream, to build a free Africa. As artists and curators who come from diverse contexts, we see things differently and we claim it. We are free).
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