“Creativity Is Our Wespon.” That maxime is the motto of the Languages and Literature Society of Gulu University (LISOGU), a student association of which I am the president. We chose that specific clause because it compounds our goal as a people who are determined to use creativity to revolutionize our nation and Africa. How and why are we in full conviction that creativity is sure to succeed? A brief look at a few of the many examples of how the different realizations of creativity were used to bring change to unwanted phenomena will answer that question. First, to provide a reason justifying the course of colonialism, expatriate writers had to portray Africa as inhabited by barbaric, savage, uncivilized subhumans. That biasely false portrayal convinced the Europeans that colonialism was necessary so as to bring light to a dark continent. In time when Africans realized the folly in the colonial systems and become exposed to the biased presentation of them in European literature, they responded to clarify and erase the beliefs that had been implanted in the minds of many Europeans and readers in the world at large. Chinua Achebe, Ngugi was Thiongo, Okot P’Bitek among others ruthlessly defended the African civilization and culture in their writings. Leopold Sedar Senghor and others joined the group above to lay bare the filth of colonialism, enlighten and inspire the masses to fight for what truly belongs to them. Colonialism fell. South Africa was for over fifty years in the iron hand of the evil Boer apartheid regime. As men like Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu fought in the streets, prison cells and on pulpits, Lucky Dube, Miriam Makeba, Chaka Chaka and other entertainers were busy in the production houses of South Africa and abroad, composing music and movies criticizing the bloody regime. 1994 came, apartheid crumbled and fell. A savage barbaric government came to an end, bringing great relief to the South African. Basically, no revolution whether political, social, economic, industrial or religious has come to effect minus the use of creativity as a vehicle for carrying enlightenment to the masses and inspiring them to rise up and ask for what is rightfully theirs.Transforming the African situation would demand that we incorporate creativity in the arsenal of our struggle. Our problems are stark naked in our eyes, we see it every day; dictatorship, poverty, disease, unemployment, corruption, government incompetence; the list is really long. But we cannot ignore the fact that many of our people may be ignorant of the fact that change can be effected for the better. They may not be aware that there are ways we can get out of this ruthole. They may also want a voice that will bravely say “go”, and “ask, for it is rightly yours.” A lot is being done now by the many writers and media houses on the continent. But the fact that little has been achieved is a sign that more needs to be done. We need to embrace creativity, develop, promote and champion it. We need to raise a community of writers and readers. If we do that, we will be enabling a course of informed change, a component vital for the wholistic satisfactory sustainable development of our continent. CREATIVITY IS MY WEAPON! IS IT YOURS AS WELL?
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