In Summary
  • ''How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.''
  • When William Shakespeare wrote these words, prejudices against humanity were most probably less common than they are today.
  • Although much has changed since, a considerable segment of humanity still needs a shoulder to lean on.

  • We’ve got a lot more power within us to change the world but that change begins with the individual self.

''How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.''

When William Shakespeare wrote these words, prejudices against humanity were most probably less common than they are today.

Although much has changed since, a considerable segment of humanity still needs a shoulder to lean on.

Susie Gubler, a Swiss Kinesiologist, and Letlapa Mphahlele, a former South African freedom fighter and member of the National Assembly of South Africa who represents the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, joined hands to found the global Co-Willing Movement to help hundreds of the less fortunate youths in Africa.

Other members of the commitment of the willing include: Acuil Malith Banggol, Allan Boyles, Gita Goven, Hans Rudolf Herren, Paul Hoffman, Rommel Roberts, Ekuru Aukot, Yeah Samake, among others.

MEETING

I had the privilege of spending the previous weekend in Kwale County with some of the members of this growing international movement that encourages good governance and promotes sustainable development in Africa, with emphasis on implementing projects specifically in compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Their annual ''Davos'' conference is held in January to deliberate on economic development issues.

Issues range from climate change, harnessing the blue economy, renewable energy, urban housing and development, natural water retention systems, practical agricultural practices, digitisation in ICTs, harnessing science, technology and innovation for sustainable development, etc.

Mr Mphahlele’s reflections about Africa were startling. This former director of operations in the Pan African armed wing, which once regarded all whites as legitimate targets as they were deemed to be complicit in the government's policy of apartheid, is talking peace and reconciliation.

He regrets that his fellow blacks have turned against fellow African when other non-Africans immigrants from Turkey, China and Philippines are flocking into South Africa seeking opportunities.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

He says that South Africa is the most unequal society in Africa.  ''We are not doing well in developing our human resource capacity, especially in science.  During the World Cup, we brought plumbers, welders, electricians and virtually all other trades from Turkey and Egypt. This is not what we fought for. Yet we know that when people are marginalised, violence is the outcome. The only way out is skills development and empowering the people.''

''There is still hope that with good leadership, we can reverse the fortunes,'' I said.

He turned his face slowly to reveal his frustration and perhaps thought that I was not serious with my utterances.

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