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D. Masupa: Address to Africa Summit

Address to Africa Summit 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, Nov. 21–25, 2018


I greet you all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I say “Welcome!” To the UPF founder, Dr. Moon, and indeed Chief Mandela of the royal house of Mandela, may I just say that I recognize the presence of UPF International Chairperson, Dr. Thomas Walsh, their royal highnesses, religious leaders, ladies and gentlemen, and all protocols observed.

Before I get down to share with you the passion that I have for this iconic leader whose legacy we are honoring this morning, I want to say that we come here as a nation, Zambia, where Nelson Mandela worked hand in hand with Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.

This morning I intend to talk to you little bit about the importance of dialogue, which Dr. Jenkins indeed emphasized. Indeed, I want to talk to you about cooperation and tolerance as religious leaders. So many things from yesterday! When we opened the session, we talked about this iconic man whom we are celebrating in the name of Mandela. We are saying we are honoring his leadership. But I want to tell you that as Zambians we came to honor but also to live his legacy.

So many things have been talked about. We have heard all kinds of good words about Papa Mandela, but the question that I want to pose before all of you assembled in this august house is, if Papa Mandela were here, what is it that he would want us to remember him for? Or, how do we continue living his legacy?

Therefore, as for me I will indeed not only honor him, but I want to continue living his legacy. We are aware that Papa Mandela was there in the forefront to liberate us from the yoke of bondage in our struggle for political freedom, but I want to tell you that we have a gigantic problem still in the whole entirety of Africa. St. Paul said, “It is no longer I but Christ who liveth in me.” I want to tell you today, it's no longer us who liveth but Mandela today who is living within us. And if Mandela today is living within us, what is our duty as religious leaders?

Let's look around and open our eyes. As Dr. Moon said, the last shall be first. This is our time as Africans to look around. We have economic emancipation yet to accomplish. Political and freedom emancipation has happened, but we need economic emancipation. We have failed to develop because as I speak to you there is massive inequality in the whole entirety of Africa.

I cry when I see infrastructure development here in Cape Town. But when I go to Soweto, I see the way the people are living. Therefore, we should not merely honor Nelson Mandela, but we should live his legacy because you and I have the responsibility to liberate people economically. We had the responsibility.

Dialogue is very important.  You have a responsibility as religious leaders because dialogue is a tool to create peaceful change.  Therefore, I call upon you to be change agents for peace. Our speakers have been remembering that when Nelson Mandela came out of prison, the first people he wanted to dine with were those who persecuted him.

Therefore, I challenge you this morning that you ought to become peaceful change agents. There has to be cooperation. Jesus said in John 15, “Therefore, abide in me and I will abide in you, for without me you cannot do anything.” Without Muslims, Christians cannot do anything. All of us are needed. There has to be cooperation among all of us. That is the only way we are going to foster the development that we want to see.

We need to tolerate one another. We need to bear divergent views. We need to be patient, to learn, and to listen. We need to put ourselves in the shoes of others. We need to endure the pain that they are going through in order for us to appreciate the other side. It has got to be a win–win situation. Dialogue is not a debate. Dialogue is not a deliberation. Dialogue should be a win–win situation. I thank you.



To go to the 2018 Africa Summit Schedule page, click here.