Everyone has a story that needs to be told. The longer I assimilate into this world on this dark continent I realize that the story of Africa has yet to be fully revealed. The reason so many questions persist concerning the state and future of Africa is because we have supplied answers before we knew the story, the history, the reasons why it is what it is.

Ever since fully becoming a part of the team in Bulembu, I have been a strong advocate of preserving and restoring the history of this place. Bulembu is rich, if not one of the most concentrated places of Swazi history. Even dating back to 1963, Bulembu facilitated a minor union strike, which ultimately led to the nations independence in 1968. In our General Manager’s office, one can still find the authentic letter, signed by each strike leader which was sent to the British delegation.

In my spare time I have been working on a personal project with a few others. We are trying to assort old pictures, artifacts and history to put together and create a museum to tell the story of Bulembu. Today we drove up to an adjacent village to meet with a number of older gentleman (93 and 89 years old) in order to discover their wealth of knowledge concerning their experience in this place. One of the old “Gogo’s” we saw down in the village and decided to bring him up to the lodge – a place where no blacks were allowed until 20 years ago. It was amazing to see his hesitation to sit with us and have tea and bread in order for us to hear his story. I couldn’t even imagine what it must have been like – what an experience for him. These older men just reveled in the opportunity to have white leaders hear their story.

To some degree I believe it is situations like these which bring healing and reconciliation. What happened here in Bulembu was an injustice – but we now have the opportunity to make what was wrong – right. To start with the older generation who were here before the British came in 1930, the deepest impact can be made.

One of Africa’s deepest core issues has been the peoples inability to lead. Leaders are few and far between here. Many times I find myself constantly frustrated with the lack of initiative and lack of independent thought – not only in a business sense, but in a general leadership sense. But I certainly do not blame nor hold it against Africans. Rather, what else did we expect from any culture after having been told what to do for generations and generations? Here in Swaziland, for too long the colonizers told the Swazi’s with extreme specificity how to run their lives. There was no chance for independent thought. It reminds me of a 55 year old I was knew who was never allowed to drive or even unload the dishwasher – everything was done for her. Can you imagine what her level of independent thought was at that age? A whole life of commands and no responsibility – it breeds this… unconscious dependence.

The story of Africa – I feel it is slowly becoming somewhat clear to me. The more time I spend releasing my ideologies formed in my ivory tower and replacing them with questions and a pursuit for the African story – I am finding understanding. Africa can only be understood on its terms, not with logic or rationale. There is a story in every mud hut just waiting to be told.

The power of our stories and the opportunity in which to share them has been greatly underestimated. Truth will bring light and to this dark continent and dark history – that light is needed more and more each year.