Saturday, March 01, 2008

Beauty Speaks

adwoa, during her ten minute speech on self re-making in Canada . In the photo, the mayor of KW and MPP of Conestoga.
I am thinking more and more about beauty. I want to speak more and more about beauty in particular reference to the continent of Africa and especially Sub Saharan Africa which is often displayed naked, hungry and sick and whose beauty struggles to be seen within and without. Last week I was at an event at which I told a story. It was a story of origins which explored ideas od identity and belonging. The story went very well indeed, bringing itself alive in ways I had not expected. Sometimes, I speak with a voice much wiser than my own. The response from the audience was tremendous and as I basked in well wishes an elderly gentleman approached and asked where I came from originally. Of course, I said Ghana. "Ghana is poor, right?" he said.

"No." I said. "We have had some struggles but we have found oil. It is getting better." I smiled at his confusion. Not for five minutes could he handle the beauty of the story I had told. The beauty of Africa! All he wanted to see was the Africa of rags and hunger, disease and despair. Yes, we know it is so but show us please....the Beauty! This year I have determined to increase my profile as a public speaker. In January, I spoke to the Third Age Learners on Awakening the Sleeping Giant- the place of arts and culture in Africa. Infact my speech was about beauty. Last week I spoke on 'Re-inventing Yourself in a New Environment'.
When I speak about Africa, my focus is beauty and possibility. It is my hope that we may all discover beauty in life; our lives as well as theirs, whoever they may be!

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