Captives of our past

Sidique-headshot2For us in Australia it is hard to escape the reality of our African heritage. Unfortunately, despite the comfort we enjoy from living in the west, our complacency is spoiled by the seemingly constant exposure to graphic, television images of the violence, suffering and injustice suffered by so many in those African countries we left behind.

Recent and ongoing atrocities we have witnessed include: the callous abduction of over 200 schoolgirls by militants in northern Nigeria; the spectre of execution by stoning of a pregnant woman in Sudan; indiscriminate bombing of innocent Kenyan civilians and open warfare between Christian and Muslim militias in the Central African Republic.

The instigators and perpetrators of these abuses remain free, as African leaders continue to blame western negligence or indifference, and maintain the self-righteous excuse for doing nothing which has plagued Africa for generations.

Can we of the diaspora do anything to influence events in Africa, and, if we answer in the affirmative, should we? I believe and suggest that we must.

Expecting others to resolve these issues is a betrayal of ourselves and our continent, because turning a blind eye makes us as equally culpable for the atrocities. We must act collectively; our communities must voice their opposition to the corruption which goes hand in hand with the abuse of power; we must ignore the artificial boundaries of our origins and present a united, unified front to ensure the underlying causes of injustice and intolerance are addressed; we must stop these atrocities.

SALT Magazine believes it is time for African-Australian organisations to make a stand; we must start somewhere.

For our part we will continue to remind you of our responsibilities’, we will continue to support the work of people such as Beatrice Mtetwa, and we will continue to provide the means for you to broadcast the contributions you are making to bring harmony to Africa.

As stated so well by Edmund Burke – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

This is the fourth edition of SALT Magazine and we thank our readers, our contributors and our advertisers for their support as we continue to share the experiences of Africans and their communities. We trust you will enjoy the articles in this issue, and welcome your comments and feedback.

Sidique is the founder of Salt Magazine. He came to Australia in 2001 after fleeing a civil war in his homeland of Sierra Leone. He studied journalism at Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone and worked as a reporter for the Statesman Newspaper. He studied a Bachelor of Arts specialising in Multimedia Studies at the University of South Australia.

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