It was nice to sit back this evening and enjoy a year in retrospect as much of the television programming looked back over the events of 2011. It was scary to consider that in almost the mere blink of an eye, a whole twelve months had slipped by and we were standing in the shadow of the dawn of a whole new year once more.
What was even scarier was that so much had happened in such a short space of time that it brought home a bit of a reality to me that individually we are but a small almost insignificant part of this world of 7 billion human souls. While we struggle to survive and touch the lives of people around us, in the big scheme of things there is little we can do to stop a financial crisis, war, famine, flood, earth quake, tsunami. The reality is that as humans we are actually quite vulnerable and exposed to Mother Nature.
But our humanity is what makes us who we are. It is the hope and faith that tomorrow will bring something better, and that together we can find a solution that keeps us determined to carry on.
This point was really driven home to me as I watched a program profiling the Royal Family through 2011. I could not help but think that despite some pretty horrible events through their history and the way in which they have watched almost powerless to change what is happening around us, yet theoretically they are the power of the land, it dawned on me that through the Royal Family we draw hope, inspiration and comfort.
I hear those of you that are firmly of the opinion that the Royals are a waist of time clambering to protest my last statement, but humour me for a moment and consider this.
Through turbulent times, personal grief, tragedy and great loss, the Royal Family has dutifully and honourably served our nation and its people. No one would have blamed either of the Princes for curling up and giving up after the very public humiliation of the marriage of their mom and dad, and the press crazy death of Dianna Princess of Wales.
You couldn’t blame the Queen for throwing in the towel in the face of continual harassment and criticism from the anti Royal brigade. You wouldn’t have been surprised if the whole Zara and Mike affair had blown up into an ugly personal battle.
Oh there are a multitude of things that I could point too and say that it’d make the excuse easy for the Royals to just give up, but as that oh so wonderful saying goes, “Keep Calm and Carry On” is the attitude at the very heart of the Royal Family that I admire.
They actively serve their nation in the armed forces. Travel the world promoting the UK and its interests, build bridges with International enemies, bring millions of tourists to the UK every year, and lie at the very heart of Brand Britain.
What other wedding in the history of the Planet has or will attract 3 billion viewers ever again? Who else in the UK does more to promote and showcase Brand Britain better than the Royal Family? How can we do anything but quietly respect and admire the tireless work and service that the Royal Family do for our nation?
It got me thinking. There is a lesson in the success of the Royal Family here in the UK for Africa and its Royal courts.
It is high time that African Royalty got up and started to take a leaf out of the book on the British Royals. Despite the fact that the African people have a built in loathing for the West, it is only logical to duplicate that which works to the good of a nation and its people.
If the African Royal courts took more interest in promoting Africa, and showing it off t the world, wouldn’t the world become more attracted to Africa in turn? I often go on about Brand Africa and the things that we should be seeking to implement to improve the perception of Africa in the eyes of the world.
Personally I tend to think that if the Royal Courts of the various Royal households throughout Africa took time out to develop a structured theme of Royal integration in the national and international affairs of their nation, that it would go a long way in enhancing the image of African affairs.
Why can’t an African Wedding become the next big talked about thing in the International Media spotlight? Why should African Royal courts not have a Parade of the Colour or a Jubilee celebration? Ok yes, perhaps use less Imperialistic names for the events, but if only the African people showed off their beauty, vibrancy through a bit of pomp and ceremony, maybe the world would sit up and pay a little more attention.
We all love a big celebration, none more so than the African people. So let’s take pride in our heritage and utilise the wonderful history that we have in our African Royalty to attract attention to African issues and events. Let us use the Royalty of Africa to drive tourism and trade. Let’s make use of the respect that Royalty are naturally given, and channel that into laying the ground work for meaningful dialogue on trade, the environment, national development plans and so on.
There is nothing wrong with allowing our minds to dream the fairy tale we grow up learning about Princes and Princesses in big palaces and castles. There is nothing wrong with allowing the Royalty we have to endorse these day dreams, and give us something to smile about when we see the parades and get to enjoy the excitement of a Royal Affair. It is part of our humanity in finding hope through the dreams and aspirations we all have growing up. Every girl wants to be a princess and every boy wants to be a brave prince, sweeping to the rescue of the damsel in distress.
These are the things that dreams are made of, and our attention flocks to when a fuss is made over them. It certainly wouldn’t hurt Africa to allow its Royalty to build on its profile and enhance their involvement in National Interests in the years to come. Who knows one day we may even be able to say that 4 billion people watched the marriage of an African King and Queen.