My Online African Dream

I believe in The African Dream.

If you ask me exactly what it is- the African Dream- honestly I wouldn’t tell what it is. I cannot pin point to you all the elements that make it all up. Pit me against an American Layman advocating for the American Dream and I will be dry… speechless and wordless- forget that I am a lawyer.

But if you ask me what I see when I close my eyes to dream; it would be a mouthful. I would tell you that it is the last thing I think about when I close my eyes to sleep. I would add that it is the first thing that crosses my mind when I wake up. It is that thing that keeps me in bed and makes me hold my bowels in the middle of the night since I don’t want to go to the washroom in the fear that the dream would get lost, or that the dream would be distorted. So dear do I hold that dream that I would trade my favorite TV series, Shark Tank, just to get a few more minutes to dream it. Such is the nature of my commitment to the dream.

Now therefore, with us is Kabarak University Online (KABUO). Finally we have the platform where we could to it all online, regardless of time and space. Then it begs the question; what exactly my African Dream has to do with KABUO, right?

See, KABUOgives us endless opportunities. Bill Gates, in developing Microsoft once remarked, “This is software… everything is possible!” That was ages ago. Back then the concept of software- that we could actually rely and trade on abstracts that we can’t even touch- was the gospel of the hyena selling its milk to the cow. Decades down now, imagine what we could do with that platform online. Imagine that we can and will do our studies online. Picture this: that those things we wowed about when we saw in movies are now a reality on our fingers- literally.

Remember those days when we would watch in movies wazungu kids studying online and we would just wonder. I took them for geniuses and very honest people that they could do that. I didn’t see how it is feasible that a boy, now the man I am growing to be, could ever do that. Simply put, there was a time when that was a reserve to the elites.

But now the opportunity is here. It is here for grabs. You know what’s more; it is here for us all.

The African Dream then will be realized by us all if we ceased this chance and made good out of it. This opportunity of our studies, and basically almost everything online, puts us on the global map. It enables us to compete on a level scale with the entire world. But then it won’t be a new big blow to the western and eastern world since they developed this technology, so therefore we cannot rely on the element of surprise. However, history reminds me that as Africans, backward as we may seem to be, we have been endowed with special gifts and talents like no other race on the face of earth. Given this technology and same opportunities as all other peoples, I bet my pen that we will emerge the first!

This then means that since we all have this technology, what will put us on an advantage is if we embraced it, and made it our own; part of us. See, if we embrace this concept now as it is still young and green amid the minds of many- including the creators in the west- then we will be a long way to getting there. But not just getting there, but getting there first.

It has been remarked by Africa’s greats, the likes of Nelson Mandela and Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi that the key to Africa’s future continues to be education, especially the key out of the pit of poverty. And those are not my words… but my words are that this then is Education Re-defined. With KABUO, and what we envision as education in the years to come, embracing it will be one of the best decisions we will ever make in our lives. But in addition to that, we must not accept it on a personal level… no, we must accept it as an African People.

If this formula is sure to work on a personal scale, then how great will it be if we employed it on a continental scale? I mean, if two join to form one more, then how much more will be formed if tens of millions paired up to all form one more each?

The analogy is simple for my African Dream. It is that success for one may be reflected and stretched as success to all in our house.

Back in Kakuma Refugee Camp where I run a legal aid and awareness program, I have a friend who is a very old grandmother of Somali descent, call her Mama Maimuna. Many times I would sit with her and she would tell me stories of a better Somalia for a better Africa. Had I been sitting on that small stool chair in her kitchen and told her what I say here, she would look at me in the eye the whole time. She would then ask me to think of the future as an African and where it will find us. Only, in her native Somali language she would remark, “Waxa laagare waxti oo laga fikiro aytinki danbe, Frank.”

By, Frank Cheluget

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