In his famous “I am an African,” speech, which he delivered at the adoption of the The Republic of South Africa Constitution Bill in , Thabo Mbeki seeks to. Thabo Mbeki’s I Am An African speech was echoed in night vigils, In poetry and history, former president Mbeki dared to tell Africans that we. Nope, it’s not former South African’s president Thabo Mbeki’s most memorable speech. It is in actuality the beginning of an iconic speech in.

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Civilization resembles an organic being in its development-it is born, it perishes, and it can propagate itself. It is a firm assertion made by ourselves that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, Black and White.

“I am an African” by Thabo Mbeki, South African President.

Views Read Edit View history. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Languages Afrikaans Edit links. They murder the innocent in the taxi wars. The Constitution whose adoption we celebrate constitutes an unequivocal statement that we refuse to accept that yhabo African-ness shall be defined by our race, our colour, our gender or our historical origins.

#APoemADay: ‘I Am An African’ – Thabo Mbeki | Word N Sound Live Literature Movement

I have experience of the situation in which xfrican and colour is used to enrich some and impoverish the rest. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Together with the best in the world, we too are prone to pettiness, to petulance, selfishness and short-sightedness.

The most essential departure of this new civilization is that afrcan shall be thoroughly spiritual and humanistic -indeed a regeneration moral and eternal!

By this term regeneration I wish to be understood to mean the entrance into a new life, embracing the diverse phases of a higher, complex existence.

And woe to the tongues that refused to tell the truth! But it also constitutes a tribute to our loss of vanity that we could, despite the temptation to treat ourselves as an exceptional fragment of humanity, draw on the accumulated experience and wisdom of all humankind, to define for ourselves what we want to be.


The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation of my continent is a blight that we share. Catch in your hand, if you please, the gentle flakes of snow. Many great loem holy men have evinced a passion for the day you are now witnessing their prophetic vision shot through many unborn centuries to this very hour.

He has precious creations of his own, of ivory, of copper and of gold, fine, plated willow-ware and weapons of superior workmanship. You will find no two units alike. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

This is a savage road to which nobody should be condemned. Man, the crowning achievement of nature, defies analysis. This article needs additional citations for verification. This influence constitutes the very essence of efficient progress and of civilization. I am the grandchild who lays fresh flowers on the Boer graves at St Helena, The Bahamas [2]and the Vrouemonument, who sees in the mind’s eye and suffers the suffering of a simple peasant folk, death, concentration camps, destroyed homesteads, a dream in ruins.

In all the works of nature, equality, if by it we mean identity, is an impossible dream! I am he who made it possible to trade in the world markets in diamonds, in gold, in the same food for which our stomachs yearn. A human presence among all of these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say – I am an African!

The evolution of humanity says that Africa reaffirms that she is continuing her rise from the ashes. Yes, the regeneration of Africa belongs to this new and powerful period! The blight on our happiness that derives from this and from our drift to the periphery of the ordering of human affairs leaves us in a persistent shadow of despair.

I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land. I come of those who were transported from India and China, whose being resided in the fact, solely, that they were able to provide physical labour, who taught me that we could both be at home and be foreign, who taught me that human existence itself demanded that freedom was a necessary condition for that human existence.


You are commenting using your Twitter account. At times, and in fear, I have wondered whether I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito. In such ruins Africa is like the golden sun, that, having sunk beneath the western horizon, still plays upon the world which he sustained and enlightened in his career.

Because of that, I am also able to state this fundamental truth that I am born of a people who are heroes and heroines. He has refused to camp forever on the borders of the industrial world; having learned that knowledge is power, he is educating his children. Nor do they turn triumphalist when, tomorrow, the sun shines. We are assembled here today to mark their victory in acquiring and exercising their right to formulate their own definition of what it means to be African.

Email required Address never made public. The African people, although not a strictly homogeneous race, possess a common fundamental sentiment which is everywhere manifest, crystallizing itself into one common controlling idea. December Learn how and when to remove this template message.

The brighter day is rising upon Africa. To these the extent of death is directly proportional to their personal welfare. Retrieved from ” https: It recognises the fact that the dignity of the individual is both an objective which society must pursue, and is a goal which cannot be separated from the material well-being of that individual.

I am the grandchild of the warrior mbeoi and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngungunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom.

The giant is awakening! I have seen the corruption of minds and souls as a result of the pursuit of an ignoble effort to perpetrate a veritable crime against humanity.