“The revolution will not be televised,
Will not be televised, will not be televised,
The revolution will be no re-run brothers
The revolution will be live” - Gil Scott-Heron (1970)[1]

Jesus—for all intents and purposes—was definitely a revolutionary; not quite unlike Martin Luther King, Che Guevara, Pasquale Paoli and Dedan Kimathi. He, too, lived and died for the ultimate cause—liberation. The definition of liberation has evolved over the years; it has become more personal, sometimes even solitary as it became more widespread. The call to freedom stands like a lone candle flickering in the face of the turbulent winds of social change and societal upheaval. Yet, new candles are lit every day, each one’s flame luminescent with a fervor that only conviction can bear. Light is persistent in intensity; the more flames burn close together, the brighter their light. Revolutions function in the same way; each inspiring another with its passion, uniting purposes and sparking movements that will burn brighter than one lone light.

Africa understands that there is strength in numbers. Partnerships—particularly, in East Africa—have proved that Community Development is not a one-person job. My work with the Emory Interfaith Health Program’s community asset mapping project this summer taught me that today’s communities have learned that partnership is the quickest route to development. Community Leaders in informal settlements in Nairobi were willing to talk about ways in which they can make commitments to change the face of their community. They built action plans and discussed a future all the while recreating the narrative of the communities they serve. Where the world sees poverty and slums they saw economic empowerment, growth and community interdependence.

A picture with Community Leaders from Kawangware Slum in <br />Nairobi during the Community Asset Mapping Workshop.Jesus, the revolutionary, came to give abundant life by liberating not only the soul but also the body and the mind. Jesus was a revolutionary, alright! He transformed the way the Jews looked at the Torah by discussing it with them, engaging their minds and daring them to think differently. He was both a prophet and a fulfilment of prophecy and so he existed beyond the moment, doing the work that he had come to earth to accomplish. The African voice stands in the place of prophecy, to speak into its own future and live in fulfilment of it as well; Gil Scott-Heron’s words that are highlighted at the beginning of this piece function in the same way. To be prophetic is to exist in the prophetic moment, breathing life into every situation by looking beyond the present. Prophets remind us that just because we can’t see the revolution, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

“As Africans we face grim imperatives. Africa is not a world unto itself but an integral part of one world. We have to make a new Africa in which all races of men live and work together in the great task of reconstruction” - William V. S. Tubman (1964)[2]

The Former President of Liberia was a prophet of his generation too. He spoke these words to the newly liberated African in 1964, but his words ring just as true today. In the face of structural racism and neocolonialism, corrupt leadership and endless poverty, Africans must again rise to their original status.  Africans must look at themselves through prophetic eyes remember that they  are a people that were birthed from the lands of kings and queens, in a land that is rich with a wealth of Community Leaders from Kawangware identifying Partnership <br />Possibilities from existing organizations in the Informal Settlement <br />Area.minerals and precious stones, from a place where all are welcome and the table is never cleared out until all have eaten. Africa must reclaim its strength and move forward into a destiny that is more promising than the fatalistic one that has been declared. This generation has a chance to redefine itself prophetically in a world where individuals are self-made and cultural norms can be overcome.

The African revolution is still at its beginning, but it is liberation of the mind and the spirit that will start in the heart of a prophet who will tell someone, who will tell someone else until the whole community hears. African children today can look up to prophetic greats like Nelson Mandela, Ellen Johnson Sir-Leaf, Lupita Nyong’o and Ashish Thakkar. The African future is African, untainted by the mindset that has crippled it for so long. The sound of liberation is sweet; it rings loud and true, and brings hope to every light that confidently stands among the rest ready to fight for the flame that feeds it.

[1] “Revolution” poem of Gil-Scott Heron written in 1970 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revolution_Will_Not_Be_Televised_(album).

[2] Trans: "Strategic Plan of the Commission of the African Union. Volume 1: Vision and Mission of the African Union." Commission of the African Union, May, 2004. Accessed online at http://www.au.int/, on Jul 30, 2014