Month wherein black pride is vlogged

Black History month makes one think deeply about what it means to be African

In Summary

• Wode Maya, husband of Miss Trudy, is a bearer of the black sunlight of Accra

The Mino of Dahomey in full regalia
The Mino of Dahomey in full regalia
Image: Chris Hellier/Getty Images

One of the leading vloggers on the continent of Africa today is Wode Maya. He is from Ghana. The country is called the great black star of Africa. It produced great Panafrican leaders like the Osagyefo Kwame Nkurumah and Gerry Rawlings.

Prone to leadership, Ghana is the home of the matriarchs of Black feminism, such as Efua Sutherland and Ama Ata Aidoo, and great scribes such as Ayi Kwei Armah, who actively campaigns for the study Egyptology and modern use of hieroglyphic alphabet as a Panafrican strategy.

You may remember that the great Ghanaian poet and professor, Kofi Awonoor, died at the Westgate Terror Attack of September 2013, while mentoring young Kenyan creatives. It is 10 years today since and we continue to salute him for his courage.

I digress. Back to Wode Maya, here is a young man of 33 years who has become a continental sensation. His YouTube videos resonate well with many across the continent. He has covered more than 10 countries so far and inspired many from near and far.

His videography is replete with stories of Africans who have made it in life here on the black continent. They range from farmers under 30 years of age to real estate developers, from males and females to young and old all paraded as testimonies.

Maya’s videos based on travel and modern African lifestyle both in rural and urban spaces have instigated interest among Blacks of the African Diaspora, too.

Black History Month is celebrated annually in February in the North American continent. For years, it has been adopted by various African societies both at home and abroad. It is the month where one sits down and cups his head to think deeply about what it means to be an African.

Africa. What does it mean? As the second decade of the third millennium unfolds, what lays ahead for us Africans?

Is it the topography currently under a sustained attack from climate change? As the lush grasslands and ancient water holes of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa diminish, with sun heat increases and decrease of rainfall, Africans of these spaces intensify their love for livestock as they do hatred for each other.

The end result is a widening bracket of violence whose brunt is bore more by the children and womenfolk of here. Is this zero-sum game a metaphor of Africa as the sinking ship all that there is as one peers into the future decades?

Maya thinks differently. He says in every story, there is more than one point of view. We may choose to focus on such negative reports from Africa. Also we may choose to take another point of view and see the rays of sunshine that portend great energy powering the continent in a positive direction.

One once said that there is Afro-optimism and there is Afro-pessimism. Those who choose to focus on the positive dimensions of the continent and those who choose the exact opposite. The nature of the Ghanaians, as is proven by their leaders in various sectors from politics, to economics, soccer to literature, is to always invest heavily on optimism. Wode Maya is a child of this heritage.

Since attaining independence as the first Black nation to do so, Ghana has been a star in the black skies of the continent and Diaspora. Come 3rd of next week, in March, the country will be turning 66 having been under the British until 1957.

A creative content-developer, Wode Maya is a bearer of the black sunlight of Accra. YouTubers come in different form and content. His form and content combines both a sense of urgency for the young to energise the continent and the call back home to those of here who dwell elsewhere today.

Three main motifs cut across his YouTube vlogs. Each of them underscores both his personal Panafricanist ideologies as well his roots in Ghanaian heritage. They are what transform this vlogger from a youth on adventure to a leading commentator of Black Consciousness today.

The first one is the idea that agriculture is the best pillar around which to build African nations. We own the most arable lands of the planet. Yet hunger assails us. It attacks us in our sleep; it ravages us when our stomach awake like our eyes is. This has to change. The stories of young farmers from the DRC to South Sudan resonate well with the reality that our antidote to perennial begging for grains from other continent lies in farming Africa.

The second motif is that of return to the motherland. More Africans live in the Diaspora than ever before. They have been a main pillar of our nations due to remittances they make back home. Whereas the financial remittances are welcome, Africans in the Diaspora should take advantage of digital technologies to widen their interactions and investments with the continent, especially those who look up at them from here: the youth.

The third motif is that of travel. We need a borderless Africa. Black consciousness and Panafricanism should not be ideologies only. They should be enacted by allowing Africans to travel and trade across the colonial borders that define nations of the continent today. Travel is the mother of learning and it is the heart of ,rt, too.

Wode is married to the talented Kenyan vlogger Miss Trudy.

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