Quote of the week and a crisis of the imagination


"To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of the ocean by the frailty of its foam.
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame on the seasons for their inconstancy."

— Kahlil Gibran in his beautiful work, The Prophet. That is one book I will never tire of reading and being inspired by.

This quote makes me think of how a lot of people have distorted visions of Africa – including us Africans! Any negative headline quickly confirms what was assumed. The positive? It's plenty but its almost invisible for those who cannot imagine it. Both in terms of people looking in on the continent and in terms of African's looking within themselves. 

Africa's biggest crisis may just be a crisis of the imagination. 

4 thoughts on “Quote of the week and a crisis of the imagination”

  1. I feel you on this thought. One can only go as far as the imagination- if ‘it’ is inconceivable, there is no chance it can become reality. And I do think Africa’s imagination has been ‘stunted’ in a sense, after decades of negative mass media portrayal that many seem to continuously buy into.
    I think a lot of issues that are being portrayed as ‘African’ are not necessarily- much of what is going on is not unique to the continent and is unfortunately universal (i.e. corruption, HIV/AIDs as two really broad examples!) But I really do believe that Africa has endless possibility and untapped potential that can not come from anywhere else.

  2. That’s such a great point – many of these things that tarnish people’s perceptions of Africa (and indeed Africans themselves) are universal! Why are the really obvious things so obscure?

  3. it’s become really clear to me after a 5 week work trip around Asia- how closely-linked development issues are, and I truly don’t understand why Africa is singled out as the ‘face’ of all these issues.
    I don’t know why the obvious things are so obscure, but it really seems to be that way! Ah, we need a discussion over tea- I’ll let you know next time I’m in Manchester to see my sister and you have to do the same when you are in London!

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