Why I Am A Pan-Africanist

Chika Oduah
7 min readJul 18, 2020

There was an ancient city called Great Zimbabwe built by the Shona people of southern Africa created between 1100 and 1600 AD.

Great Zimbabwe is a medieval city in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mutirikwe and the town of Masvingo.

There’s not much left of the city, but the remnants are quite spectacular. Whenever I think about them, I have to admit, my lips part into a smile.


Take the mystical beauty of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an African Christian heritage that dates back to the 4th century; the resilient republicanism of the culture of Igbo people; the deep regard for matriarchy among the Asante and their beloved Queen Mothers; the enchanting traditions of poetry from the Acholi and Somali people; or the glorious gracefulness and strength of the Wolof people’s sabar dance…when I think of all this, my heart swells with pride.


And I constantly hope for a more united Africa. So, yes, I am a Pan-Africanist. Any day, any time.

Pan-Africanism is an enduring hope and appreciation for the continent, the people of it and what it can offer. With 54 countries, Africa is a vast land mass — 11.7 million square miles — that can contain the United States, China, India and the whole of Eastern Europe.

The true size of Africa

But even so, there is so much shared history between the people of the continent. For centuries, people in Africa migrated across the land, sharing cultures, exchanging ideas, trading with one another. There were wars and there was peace. As a Pan-Africanist, I want to see more peace.

Pan-Africanism. Sounds deep, right?

Well, let me explain what Pan-Africanism is not nor should be.

Chika Oduah

Africa-centric news, notes and observations from a journalist | poet | photographer | filmmaker | writer travelling through Africa * chika.oduah@gmail.com