Africa has a gold mine, a hidden treasure in the tool called collaboration. On the one hand we have so many African brothers and sisters living in the diaspora, missing home and desperate to find profitable and meaningful ways to reconnect with Africa. On the other hand there are those who have remained home, weathered incredible storms and survived great challenges, yet could use some help to start and grow something significant in their home country. With two different sets of strengths, skills and perspectives, Isn’t it time, these two groups had a real conversation about how to form Voltron?
Voltron is a cartoon I used to watch as a kid. Most Zimbabweans anywhere close to my age would know him. He was the defender of the universe against evil monster robots intent on destroying civilization. Five robot lions, all different colors (races?), would fight individually to defend the land they loved. They were strong, intelligent and bold – all heroes, but sometimes, many times that was not enough.
So they formed Voltron.
By combing their strengths to form on giant robot, these 5 lions become far more powerful than either could ever be alone. In this way, they defeated even their greatest and most fierce enemies.
Africa too has great monsters to fight. Chief among them is poverty I think. Yet, with lions at home, and lions in the diaspora we can form Voltron to defeat them.
My friend, Bruce Tendai Mubayiwa and his team from Homecomingrevolution are doing important work in this regard. They’re committed to inspiring Africans In the diaspora to return home. Not to nothing, but to a land full of opportunity. Not to waste away but to prosper and help rebuild the continent.
It’s hot off the press from their Homecoming Revolution blog, so I thought I’d share with you, his thoughts on the subject…here’s Bruce, unedited…
“There has never been a more exciting time for collaboration between those at home and those in the Diaspora. Those in the diaspora have the experience and skills gained from different parts of the world. They have a different view about things at home which can come in very handy.
Those at home have unique insights into the socio-economic and political developments, evolution and structures. They are on the ground. They know what’s going on. It is one thing to read about a country in the media. It is another to be in the country. Those at home live it and experience it. They have seen the transitions in the economy, the politics, the country.
Those at home and in the diaspora make a formidable combination. They have a symbiotic relationship. They need each other. Those in the diaspora can’t make a difference at home without people on the ground at home. Those at home can’t advance their cause without their brothers and sisters in the diaspora. Both groups are very important. The result of their collaboration is far greater than the sum of their individual efforts in isolation. Sons and Daughters of Africa at home and in the Diaspora, let’s explore synergies every single day!
The advances in technology and social media mean that we can collaborate from different parts of the world at any time of the day. Let’s take full advantage of this. Twitter just needs 140 characters. Could it be too much to ask to write 140 characters. If you need something more formal and businesslike then how about LinkedIn, the largest professional network. Then there is Facebook which I am using write now. These are just a few of the tools, so many to consider BBM, WhatsApp, Viber – we are truly spoilt for choice and of course good old email! There are really no excuses ladies and gentlemen when it comes to communication.
To overcome the challenges in Africa, we need all hands on deck. The great Kwame Nkrumah once said, “I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me”.
If you connect with Africa, if you love Africa, if you feel Africa is in your blood reach out to others. Let’s build this great continent. Let’s create a legacy that our children and their children can be proud of. We can do this. We have the power. Wherever we are Let’s Connect, Collaborate, Conquer! It is indeed possible for Africa to Conquer its fears, problems and challenges through the Connection and Collaboration of those at home and in the Diaspora.
Homecoming Revolution’s Africa Expo in London on 15 and 16 March will showcase the opportunities on the continent. It’s an opportunity to Connect, Collaborate and Conquer. Homecoming Revolution Africa will be hosting over 26 top companies at their London Expo this weekend in an attempt to woo top diaspora professionals home. These include Barclays Africa, Standard Bank Group, KPMG Africa, Diageo, Ecobank, Africa Health Placements, Chicken Republic, Globacom, Group Five and Deloitte.