The I am an AfriCan Foundation is an AfriCan Consciousness Movement that seeks to contribute into the Decolonize Africa Project. The foundation, established in March 2015, launched a campaign that encourages black people who have colonial names to file applications with the Department of Home Affairs in request to remove these names from their identities.
The campaign is at the center of redefining the self in the terms set by the African people in post independent Africa. It is of importance that black people disrupt the neo-colonial formations that are seeking to legitimize the imperial impositions that turned us against our being.
Changing a colonial name is one corrective step towards eliminating colonial cultures that undermine the virtues and the essence of African traditions. Whilst decolonization is a broad concept that alludes to vast facets of this phenomenon, it is also important that our focus on the macro-decolonization project does not, by any chance, render the minor issues as less important. I frankly and sincerely argue that the self has to be awakened and revived.
The sad reality is that Europeans themselves have never embraced Africanity in its entirety. They do not give their children African names because they had thought that Africans and everything that comes with them cannot be recognized and does not fit into humanity.
The larger question that comes with the decolonization project is that it cannot materialize if the subjects that are seeking it have not recovered and recollected themselves into the image that was the initial formation. Although, it can be argued, recapturing pre-colonial African formations is a huge task, with lingering doubts that they may be tainted; I believe that there are Africans origins that we can still bring to life.
The campaign gained its momentum when media houses have it a platform so that people can weight in and provide constructive criticisms. To our surprise, people applauded the intiative and encouraged the foundation to take a firm stance and continue spreading the message.
The campaign will continue to reach out to millions who have the will wholeheartedly to be part of a deep and meaningful project.