Daisaku Ikeda’s ‘Ode To Africa’

John-Dramani-MahamaAfrica, my treasured friend,
I respect you from my heart,
Africa, motherland of all humanity!
The twenty-first century will be a century of Africa.
Those who suffer most earn the right to the greatest happiness.
Africa, you are the light that shines with a great mission to change the history of humankind.

There may be fading days of sadness and misery, and nights of anger and despair; yet, my friends let us talk quietly under the moonlight;
Let us gaze at the Milky Way.
When times are trying, have hope!
Hope is of essence; nothing more is vital!
Therein lies the indomitable spirit of Africa.

Listen to the beating drums that ignite the passion for life within us; sing the songs celebrating the beauty of diversity and the flower of harmonious coexistence.
People, awaken to your true greatness.

Be proud of your inherent dignity!
The treasure trove of wisdom
exists within you.
When you yourself shine as the sun,
the darkness of the world will be dispelled.
We are one family,
brothers and sisters.
Learn from Africa!
Follow Africa!
Only then will the world change,
Will the new dawn of humanism come.

I pray,  single-mindedly pray.
Let the sun of hope rise
from the land of Africa;
let the songs of joy by my friends
resound throughout the world,
today, tomorrow and for all eternity.

Presented on April 22, 2013, by Daisaku Ikeda, Founder, Soka University and President of the Soka Gakkai International.
Soka Gakkai International is a lay Buddhist organisation dedicated to achieving peace culture and education.

President John Dramani Mahama, who was visiting Japan on May 3 to attend the 5th Tokyo Conference on African Development (TICAD V), met with Soka Gakkai President, Minoru Harada, before the conference started.

In their dialogue, President Mahama said  the relations between Ghana and Japan were very close and that the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) had played a very vital role towards that end.
He stated that the SGI President, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, had made great contributions towards the Ghana-Japan cordial relations for which he remains grateful.

The driving force behind the network of friendship in the SGI that is expanding throughout the African continent is Sensei’s (Dr. Ikeda’s) declaration that the 21st century would be the century of Africa.

In 1960, the year the SGI president assumed the position as the 3rd president of the Soka Gakkai, was also known as the “Year of Africa.”
Cameroun won her independence that year, which was followed by Senegal, Togo, Gabon and 17 other African nations.

In October of the same year, President Ikeda visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York and having seen the new African leaders filled with the spirit of rebuilding their nations, he declared that the “21st century would be the century of Africa”.

President Ikeda’s unflinching belief in Africa’s potential has manifested in his holding dialogues with leading figures and thinkers of Africa and through his creating bridges of peace, culture and education with the African continent.
With the visit of President Mahama, the SGI president composed the above poem.

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