"With Confidence You Have Won Before You Have Even Started" Marcus Mosiah Garvey
“If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence you have won before you have even started.” Marcus Mosiah Garvey
Regardless of it having been articulated almost 100 years ago, to this day we still draw inspiration from what could arguably be considered one of the most meaningful quotations by Garvey. The above quotation should be seen, read and interpreted for what it is, at individual (personal) level and as a collective. If as an individual you do not have confidence in what you do then all you do is in vain, as all your endeavours are bound to fail, you will definitely be twice defeated.
At the level of the collective, Garvey is speaking directly to the Global Afrikan Family; are we defeated or do we have confidence in ourselves as a race? The answer to this question, in order for it to be realistic, honest and true has to be sought at individual level before we can begin to talk about collective responsibility.
It is my contention my dear Brathas and Sistas that if, as individuals, we do not have confidence in ourselves, personally, then there is absolutely no way that we can have confidence in other members of the race. If I am defeated personally, it is highly unlikely that I will see my relevance in race related issues and therefore have confidence in the race for us to win. As we think this through I would like you to take time and analyse your personal vision, vis-à-vis your life, and also your personal vision, vis-à-vis the Global Afrikan Family. If you have no vision, known to yourself, there is no way that you can be part of the vision of the Global Afrikan Family. What is your vision? Do you have confidence in yourself or you are just walking around twice defeated?
As a race, where do we stand? It is most sad that in many ways we are just defeated and have had our confidence totally sapped from us. Many a thing or a people or both have created the condition(s) that we are in but the issue that needs to be addressed is that of our confidence to prevail and overcome and not so much what our enemies have done to us and have in store for us. We spend so much time and energy focusing on that which is keeping us down and under and therefore defeated and hence very little time and energy in that which develops and boosts our confidence so that we can win before we start. Many of us have come to a point of accepting that for Afrikans survival is just enough and no longer seek the abundant life.
An example of what I am talking about is The School of Afrikan Awareness, despite being in existence for so long we have had a lull of some years now, with little or nothing going on, we had almost become like an NGO (Nothing Going On) but just existing. The reason for this was that we focused a lot on what we did not have, especially in the form of financial resources as against having confidence in ourselves and hence the organization being inspired by our vision and relevance to the global Afrikan people’s cause. Now we are back with the confidence that we need and definitely we have won, there is nothing to stop us now, and yes we still do not have sponsorship from anyone or entity but self-help and self-reliance will see us through.
My Brathas and Sistas let us make it a point that everyday of our lives, instead of finding something to complain about; about our race, our conditions, our so-called leaders and some such related issues, let us channel positive energy into what we can be, and have confidence in the fact that we are great people and must push ourselves to be the best that we were created to be.
Before you can talk of collective responsibility look at yourself and address the question as to whether you are taking responsibility, personally or not. There is no doubt that the starting point to collective responsibility has to be individual responsibility.
Let us briefly look at Garvey on this point of confidence. As far as I am concerned, Garvey did not just live what he preached he actually preached what he lived. He did not spend time and energy preaching and preaching in the hope that one day he will start living what he preached, instead he preached what was real to him, as a lived experience. Confidence was a reality to him. Let us just look at a few things he achieved which we are yet to achieve now, despite the massive technological advancements which Garvey did not have the privilege of having:
1. He created the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) which is by far the biggest organization in our history, boasting a world membership of well over 6 000 000 (six million) members.
2. He started a newspaper that circulated to different parts of the world including the Afrikan continent and Asia.
3. He had branches of the UNIA-ACL in different parts of the world including Southern Afrika.
4. He started a shipping company (The Black Star Line)
To put everything in perspective, Garvey was no millionaire, he came from humble beginnings, he was not highly educated either, what he definitely had was CONFIDENCE. He made by far the greatest mark on the history of Afrikan people and definitely Garvey shall not die, he will live on forever and ever in the hearts, minds and realities of the Global Afrikan Family.
The questions that arise therefore are:
1 Are you the man or woman with the confidence to make a difference in the transformation of the realities of the Global Afrikan Family?
2 Do you have what it takes to be part of the collective confidence of the Global Afrikan Family?
3 Do you want to actively participate in the transformation of the Global Afrikan Family’s realities? If yes please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your interest.