“I will therefore not allow myself to be trapped in Western thinking, which has presided over thought and ideas and has dictated to the world what to think.”
Wally Serote’s article in the Thinker 31 poses serious questions:
“We can no longer be professional students of the west.”
I hope that magazines like the Thinker will help in the debate on the path forward. We need to change the “terms of trade” as Best would say and we need to develop solutions that fit our reality.
The crisis in the Caribbean economy finds little debate within the region and all that is proffered is the failed mantra from the IMF and other Western sources.
Can we not do better?
Is it that the we allow CNN and Fox to fracture our thinking and believe all that is offered by them as gospel?
Where are the critical thinkers? All we are hearing is the voice of the right trying to prop up a failed model.
We must and can do better.
Godfrey J. Martin
We Hope to be in Time for Dialogue
by Wally Serote
The issue here is, since I believe that the Western sun is setting, most of the answers we seek for the 21st century exist outside of the West and among people of the South. Wherever we are, although belatedly, we have to search for a paradigm shift to survive during this century and set the basis for the survival of future generations.
“We have, from an African perspective, to make a decision that we can no longer be professional students of the West.”
Africa is in a position to play this role, given its cultural diversity, historical experiences and continental resources, human and natural. It will therefore be necessary to think outside of boxes, but not re-invent wheels. I will therefore not allow myself to be trapped in Western thinking, which has presided over thought and ideas and has dictated to the world what to think.
“Still, we depend on the benevolence of the poor. We depend on their patience. We depend on their goodwill. We depend on their wanting to wait and see…”
I am sensitively aware of the fact that humanity now lives in a global village, and as we do, I cannot call it the safest space to be in. We have, from an African perspective, to make a decision that we can no longer be professional students of the West. We must venture into new paths and revisit old ones, which we create and which were created by Africans. It is not only Africa which is awaiting this change, it is all of humanity including those who live in the west. We must come up with answers: what is it that we must do to change the circumstances of the world and make it a habitable, livable and peaceful place.
“Is there a possibility that Africa has its own solutions to its objective problems which are different from those of the West?”
Read the entire article in September’s The Thinker: We Hope to be in Time for Dialogue (PDF)
Thanks to an old friend for passing on the email to BFP
Mongane Wally Serote (born 8 May 1944) is a South African poet and writer. He was born in Sophiatown, Johannesburg and went to school in Alexandra, Lesotho and Soweto. He first became involved in Black Consciousness when he was finishing high school in Soweto. His presence in that town linked him to a group known as the “township” or “Soweto” poets, and his poems often expressed themes of political activism, the development of black identity, and violent images of revolt and resistance. He was arrested by the apartheid government under the Terrorism Act in June 1969 and spent nine months in solitary confinement, before being released without charge. He went to study in New York, obtaining a Fine Arts degree at the Columbia University, before going to work in Gaborone, Botswana and later London for the African National Congress in their Arts and Culture Department. (Wikipedia: Mongane Wally Serote)