Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme, who founded the South African Native National Congress which was renamed the African National Congress in 1923, earned a reputation as an oratory master with his The Regeneration of Africa speech.
The speech, which was delivered at Columbia University winning him the institution’s highest oratorical honour, advances the belief that “no race holds a monopoly” of “genius” and that “there is a place for all at the Rendezvous of Victory” to borrow from Aimé Césaire. In his speech, Seme not only calls attention to Africa’s historical achievements, the African people’s resilience while wading through their ‘onward tide swelling with tears’, to paraphrase from the speech, but he also advocates for ‘The Regeneration of Africa’.
“Yes, the regeneration of Africa belongs to this new and powerful period. By this term, regeneration, I wish to be understood to mean the entrance into a new life, embracing the diverse phases of a higher, complex existence. The basic factor, which assures their regeneration, resides in the awakened race-consciousness. This gives them a clear perception of their elemental needs and of their undeveloped powers. It, therefore, must lead them to the attainment of that higher and advanced standard of life,” Seme wrote in his speech.
The Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Foundation Trust will launch a creative space where Dr Seme’s ideas and philosophies will be reborn through various art forms.
The gallery will be launched during The Regeneration of Africa Art Exhibition to be held at The Gallery on 40 Fenton Road in Durban.
Through visual and performing arts, music and other media, exhibitionists will espouse Seme’s beliefs of elevating the African continent and its people to the zenith of spirituality and academics.
After noting in his speech the gallantry of the people of the Congos, the moral standing of the people of Bechuanaland and the sacrifices made by a leader such as Menelik, Seme pens: “[O]h, if you could read the letters that come to us from Zululand – you too would be convinced that the elevation of the African people is evidently a part of the new order of things that belong to this new and powerful period.”
The Gallery supported by the Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Foundation Trust will open The Regeneration of Africa art exhibition on the 1st of February 2018.
The opening night is open to the general public.
We will receive speeches from Mr V.M Seme representing the trust and he will use this opportunity to inform the attendants about the trust, its involvement with The Gallery and future plans. Raees Easthorpe, CEO of Our Portion Property Development will speak about the Fenton Node project, the relationship with The Gallery and the cultural significance of the projects. Mpilonhle Ngema the content curator for The Gallery will speak on The Gallery as a creative hub and The Regeneration of Africa art exhibition.
Guests will be treated to a light meal, non-alcoholic drinks and a live performance by Durban’s very own Radio Steez.
The multi-medium exhibit will only be showing black and white works, this is reminiscent of the time Dr Pixley Seme lived where images were black and white and black artists worked mostly in black and white because they could not afford colours.
Please join us to celebrate Dr Pixley Ka Isaka Seme’s legacy, build the future of Durban and have your voice be a part of The Regeneration of Africa.