I am an African, Thabo Mbeki’s speech. Possibly the greatest African speech ever.

June 18, 2009 § 85 Comments

Today, the June 18 is former president Thabo Mbeki’s birthday. Perhaps it would be prudent to famaliarise ourselves with his great speech, “I am an African”.

On 8 May 1996, then deputy president Thabo Mbeki made a speech to the people of Africa and the world. The speech tells of President Mbeki’s belief in the capacity of all people from Africa.

“On an occasion such as this, we should, perhaps, start from the beginning.

So, let me begin.

I am an African.

I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.

My body has frozen in our frosts and in our latter day snows. It has thawed in the warmth of our sunshine and melted in the heat of the midday sun. The crack and the rumble of the summer thunders, lashed by startling lightening, have been a cause both of trembling and of hope.

The fragrances of nature have been as pleasant to us as the sight of the wild blooms of the citizens of the veld.

The dramatic shapes of the Drakensberg, the soil-coloured waters of the Lekoa, iGqili noThukela, and the sands of the Kgalagadi, have all been panels of the set on the natural stage on which we act out the foolish deeds of the theatre of our day.

At times, and in fear, I have wondered whether I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito.

A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say – I am an African!

I owe my being to the Khoi and the San whose desolate souls haunt the great expanses of the beautiful Cape – they who fell victim to the most merciless genocide our native land has ever seen, they who were the first to lose their lives in the struggle to defend our freedom and dependence and they who, as a people, perished in the result.

Today, as a country, we keep an audible silence about these ancestors of the generations that live, fearful to admit the horror of a former deed, seeking to obliterate from our memories a cruel occurrence which, in its remembering, should teach us not and never to be inhuman again.

I am formed of the migrants who left Europe to find a new home on our native land. Whatever their own actions, they remain still, part of me.

In my veins courses the blood of the Malay slaves who came from the East. Their proud dignity informs my bearing, their culture a part of my essence. The stripes they bore on their bodies from the lash of the slave master are a reminder embossed on my consciousness of what should not be done.

I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngungunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom.

My mind and my knowledge of myself is formed by the victories that are the jewels in our African crown, the victories we earned from Isandhlwana to Khartoum, as Ethiopians and as the Ashanti of Ghana, as the Berbers of the desert.

I am the grandchild who lays fresh flowers on the Boer graves at St Helena and the Bahamas, who sees in the mind’s eye and suffers the suffering of a simple peasant folk, death, concentration camps, destroyed homesteads, a dream in ruins.

I am the child of Nongqause. I am he who made it possible to trade in the world markets in diamonds, in gold, in the same food for which my stomach yearns.

I come of those who were transported from India and China, whose being resided in the fact, solely, that they were able to provide physical labour, who taught me that we could both be at home and be foreign, who taught me that human existence itself demanded that freedom was a necessary condition for that human existence.

Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that – I am an African.

I have seen our country torn asunder as these, all of whom are my people, engaged one another in a titanic battle, the one redress a wrong that had been caused by one to another and the other, to defend the indefensible.

I have seen what happens when one person has superiority of force over another, when the stronger appropriate to themselves the prerogative even to annul the injunction that God created all men and women in His image.

I know what if signifies when race and colour are used to determine who is human and who, sub-human.

I have seen the destruction of all sense of self-esteem, the consequent striving to be what one is not, simply to acquire some of the benefits which those who had improved themselves as masters had ensured that they enjoy.

I have experience of the situation in which race and colour is used to enrich some and impoverish the rest.

I have seen the corruption of minds and souls in the pursuit of an ignoble effort to perpetrate a veritable crime against humanity.

I have seen concrete expression of the denial of the dignity of a human being emanating from the conscious, systemic and systematic oppressive and repressive activities of other human beings.

There the victims parade with no mask to hide the brutish reality – the beggars, the prostitutes, the street children, those who seek solace in substance abuse, those who have to steal to assuage hunger, those who have to lose their sanity because to be sane is to invite pain.

Perhaps the worst among these, who are my people, are those who have learnt to kill for a wage. To these the extent of death is directly proportional to their personal welfare.

And so, like pawns in the service of demented souls, they kill in furtherance of the political violence in KwaZulu-Natal. They murder the innocent in the taxi wars.

They kill slowly or quickly in order to make profits from the illegal trade in narcotics. They are available for hire when husband wants to murder wife and wife, husband.

Among us prowl the products of our immoral and amoral past – killers who have no sense of the worth of human life, rapists who have absolute disdain for the women of our country, animals who would seek to benefit from the vulnerability of the children, the disabled and the old, the rapacious who brook no obstacle in their quest for self-enrichment.

All this I know and know to be true because I am an African!

Because of that, I am also able to state this fundamental truth that I am born of a people who are heroes and heroines.

I am born of a people who would not tolerate oppression.

I am of a nation that would not allow that fear of death, torture, imprisonment, exile or persecution should result in the perpetuation of injustice.

The great masses who are our mother and father will not permit that the behaviour of the few results in the description of our country and people as barbaric.

Patient because history is on their side, these masses do not despair because today the weather is bad. Nor do they turn triumphalist when, tomorrow, the sun shines.

Whatever the circumstances they have lived through and because of that experience, they are determined to define for themselves who they are and who they should be.

We are assembled here today to mark their victory in acquiring and exercising their right to formulate their own definition of what it means to be African.

The constitution whose adoption we celebrate constitutes and unequivocal statement that we refuse to accept that our Africanness shall be defined by our race, colour, gender of historical origins.

It is a firm assertion made by ourselves that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

It gives concrete expression to the sentiment we share as Africans, and will defend to the death, that the people shall govern.

It recognises the fact that the dignity of the individual is both an objective which society must pursue, and is a goal which cannot be separated from the material well-being of that individual.

It seeks to create the situation in which all our people shall be free from fear, including the fear of the oppression of one national group by another, the fear of the disempowerment of one social echelon by another, the fear of the use of state power to deny anybody their fundamental human rights and the fear of tyranny.

It aims to open the doors so that those who were disadvantaged can assume their place in society as equals with their fellow human beings without regard to colour, race, gender, age or geographic dispersal.

It provides the opportunity to enable each one and all to state their views, promote them, strive for their implementation in the process of governance without fear that a contrary view will be met with repression.

It creates a law-governed society which shall be inimical to arbitrary rule.

It enables the resolution of conflicts by peaceful means rather than resort to force.

It rejoices in the diversity of our people and creates the space for all of us voluntarily to define ourselves as one people.

As an African, this is an achievement of which I am proud, proud without reservation and proud without any feeling of conceit.

Our sense of elevation at this moment also derives from the fact that this magnificent product is the unique creation of African hands and African minds.

Bit it is also constitutes a tribute to our loss of vanity that we could, despite the temptation to treat ourselves as an exceptional fragment of humanity, draw on the accumulated experience and wisdom of all humankind, to define for ourselves what we want to be.

Together with the best in the world, we too are prone to pettiness, petulance, selfishness and short-sightedness.

But it seems to have happened that we looked at ourselves and said the time had come that we make a super-human effort to be other than human, to respond to the call to create for ourselves a glorious future, to remind ourselves of the Latin saying: Gloria est consequenda – Glory must be sought after!

Today it feels good to be an African.

It feels good that I can stand here as a South African and as a foot soldier of a titanic African army, the African National Congress, to say to all the parties represented here, to the millions who made an input into the processes we are concluding, to our outstanding compatriots who have presided over the birth of our founding document, to the negotiators who pitted their wits one against the other, to the unseen stars who shone unseen as the management and administration of the Constitutional Assembly, the advisers, experts and publicists, to the mass communication media, to our friends across the globe – congratulations and well done!

I am an African.

I am born of the peoples of the continent of Africa.

The pain of the violent conflict that the peoples of Liberia, Somalia, the Sudan, Burundi and Algeria is a pain I also bear.

The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation of my continent is a blight that we share.

The blight on our happiness that derives from this and from our drift to the periphery of the ordering of human affairs leaves us in a persistent shadow of despair.

This is a savage road to which nobody should be condemned.

This thing that we have done today, in this small corner of a great continent that has contributed so decisively to the evolution of humanity says that Africa reaffirms that she is continuing her rise from the ashes.

Whatever the setbacks of the moment, nothing can stop us now!
Whatever the difficulties, Africa shall be at peace!
However improbable it may sound to the sceptics, Africa will prosper!

Whoever we may be, whatever our immediate interest, however much we carry baggage from our past, however much we have been caught by the fashion of cynicism and loss of faith in the capacity of the people, let us err today and say – nothing can stop us now!

Thank you


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§ 85 Responses to I am an African, Thabo Mbeki’s speech. Possibly the greatest African speech ever.

  • Warren says:

    It is a great speach

  • Munya says:

    Great speech, thanks for publishing it, excellent political history. I think Thabo gives Robert Mugabe or Obama a run for their money.

  • lutho says:

    this is one speech that, till today, makes me proud to be and take a stand as an african. It is, and will be for some time, the greatest speech ever… I am an African, Thabo Mbeki’s speech

  • Tumelo says:

    This is one of the best.Let any President beat this one.He just one of the intelligent.He is a legend

  • nompumelelo says:

    this is too beautiful and makes me proud to be an afican we do owe our being to the valleys and the hills and i applaud that he acknowledges everyone

  • Magadla says:

    An inspiring speech indeed. A true definition of an African,”A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say – I am an African!”

  • Pumlela says:

    excellent speech,wich goes to show,we AFRICANS!, Lost our faith in him,we let him down at the time he needed us most. Thabo will always be my president, no matter what Africans!say. THABO you’re the best

  • Lungisa Gaqa says:

    Indeed i’m a an african “that’s a great, encouraging but lovely speech by the inteligant fomer President

  • TSHEPO says:


  • Director says:

    To me as an Afracan this is the best speech although others have lost faith in him (Thabo Mbeki) but it will never change that he is the best. This is one of the speeches that i will never forget in my life.Indeed I am an African

  • Ntokozo says:

    Thabo Mbeki will always reign as the greatest African president that ever ruled. This speech vindicates the above statement, he is a meticulous writer, a legend in the making. I love Thabo Mbeki.

  • andiswa mtshabe says:

    Excellent and lovely speech indeed.And i’m proud to say, “I AM AN AFRICAN”…….. Period

  • tina says:

    this is classic,it asures me that i’m an africa, Mr mbeki’s legecy will live on no matter what, it does not with this speech, every time he takes a stand one word out of his mouth is a build to ones soul..long live Zizi!!

  • tina says:

    this is classic,it asures me that i’m an africa, Mr mbeki’s legecy will live on no matter what, it does not end with this speech, every time he takes a stand one word out of his mouth is a built to ones soul..long live Zizi!!

  • Mmeli says:

    As individuals that has made this country to be of great as it is, to me,i still believe president Mbeki will always be a hero.To me he is Africa & he is the world.This was a speech and half.

  • Tayo says:

    The best President Africa ever had in recent times.I have already framed this speech. Mbeki seem to have have a monopoly of knowledge and wisdom.He will forever be my HERO,no more , no less. He is my candidate for the presidency of the United State of Africa.

  • zakhele mashele says:

    President Mbeki will remain the president of Africa, with his hyper and super interlectualism that he displayed during his time in politics

  • Mandla Manzini says:

    This speech will always remind the greatest president we ever had. Say what you like, this is the poweful speech by a powerful man. Long live Zizi Long Live

  • However improbable it may sound to the sceptics. africa will prosper. When the truth and all that represent goodness comes out, people will know what truly did the great son of the African soil did. He was truly a servant of the people, who worked tirelessly to ensure that South Africans in particular and Africans in general, gets to live a decent good life. Truly you are were and will forever be an oustanding statesman. You were a God gift to Africa. We shall never despair in our atruggle to emancipate the people of africa from the shackles of poverty.

  • Thandiwe says:

    Beautiful intelligent words… He will always be my president, my hero and my role model. South Africa is lucky to have had such man as a president he is beyond description… I AM AN AFRICAN!

  • Landikaya Mabandla says:

    This is one greatest son of the soil who had a great vision for Africa but a few of his own were just not ready to undergo modernization. They had this deep hatred of him either informed by misunderstanding of him or by jealousy. History will always put him in his rightful place – “Top”. He always reaches out to me whenever he talks – There are people who talk and talk but you find that they just don’t reach out to you.


  • Ebony says:

    Halala zizi,u r the best president ever,will always lav and respect u.i’m so proud of you.

  • Lieketso Mohoto says:

    Wow… I always feel so blessed when I hear this man’s words. It is as though I were standing on the edge of greatness, poised to jump into my ultimate dream.
    Mbeki is the literature godgather I’ve always dreamed of!

  • Rams says:

    “I am born of the peoples of the continent of Africa” – an I nod in agreement to the statement. Africa has always been central to President Mbeki and forever it will be. He built a library in Mali to preserve the priceless Timbuktu Manuscripts. This one is probably the best speech by an African head of state. I have read it more than 200 times and everytime I read it again it is still fresh…. Mbeki is the man – for those who don’t know, this speech was analysed by many political science students throughout the world and everybody agrees that it was penned by someone massively intelligent.

  • Ovizikhungo says:

    I happen to come across this speech just a day after the President of South Africa J Zuma has given his State of the Nation (2010). I cant help it but feel that S Africa has been robbed once more. I couldnt help but concur with TM Mbeki…”S. Africa will prosper”…it wont take 10 years to destroy our resolve as Africans to prosper..the reversal of all the gains we have made a SAfricans cant be destroyed by the current crop of leaders that have been forced on us….men will come and men will go…TM Mbeki, like both his parents is a TRUE SERVANT OF OUR PEOPLE. God will richly bless him.

  • Retief says:

    I am also an African and proud of it. His speech actually also included me as an African.

    It is just a pity that Mbeki’s actions made it very clear that I am quite a bit less of an African than he is, due to the colour of my skin.

    This speech also sounds especially good against the background of what we had to endure last week …

  • Mabutle says:

    Today it feels good to be an African. Time will tell a true story about Thabo Mbeki, he who made it possible for Africa and Africans to occupy the centre stage of the world politics during his time, he who was prepared to fight tooth and nail for the development of his continent and his people, he who is/was a principled leader which costed him politically, he whom today we miss so dearly because everytime he opened his mouth, we learn one or two things. Thabo Mbeki, wherever you are, whatever do you now, I amcertain that history will exonerate you from those who villified you unjustly so. I for one will forever hold you in high regard and it remains my wish to meet you in person.

  • vincent MOGALE says:

    He is a doyen of the AFRICANS . . .intelligent and may the good Lord bless him wherever he is today

  • vincent MOGALE says:

    Oh! THABO . . .
    He is a doyen of the AFRICANS . . .intelligent speech from an intelligent person and may the good Lord bless him wherever he is today.

  • kenny says:

    great indeed……big up Thabo


  • Sehlomola Mohale says:

    How i wish S.A and Afria can always nurture people like TM. I doubt if there’s anybody who misses him in our political landscape like i do, that man was first and foremost a teacher who always sought the best for his teacher. I believe a statemen must indeed have that kind of intellectual rigour as Tbos which is necessary in modern politics. I wish he can write a book even if it published posthumously, (only if i will still be alive coz i am 25 years young) for us who followed his thoughts with keen interest. I have realised that he hardly have time for petty issues which is good for a public servant that he was, despite a struggle with our media which is largely driven by its class interest than progating the truth. “I am an African” made me to be interested on who this man while i was still in high school. Long live my teacher long live.

  • Sehlomola Mohale says:

    How i wish S.A and Afria can always nurture people like TM. I doubt if there’s anybody who misses him in our political landscape like i do, that man was first and foremost a teacher who always sought the best for his students. I believe a statemen must indeed have that kind of intellectual rigour as Tbos which is necessary in modern politics. I wish he can write a book even if it get published posthumously, (only if i will still be alive coz i am 25 years young) for us who followed his thoughts with keen interest. I have realised that he hardly have time for petty issues which is good for a public servant that he was, despite a struggle with our media which is largely driven by its class interest than progating the truth. “I am an African” made me to be interested on who this man is while i was still in high school (By then fears were already said him which made it difficult for many(me included) people to have confident in him ). Long live my teacher long live.


    • Ramaditsi says:

      I just read the speech again… for the 91st if my count is correct. Please forgive me if you think I am crazy, but this speech makes me proud just to be me and appreciate this continent, indeed “I am born of the people of the continent of Africa” – that’s a fact and good feeling I don’t regret….

  • Wanga Xongwana says:

    His intelligence and wisdom made it possible for him to write such a wonderful speech, i am free to say he is one of the best leaders the Republic of South Africa has ever had.

  • Landikaya Mabandla says:

    Our country today badly cries for leadership in politics and there is just nowhere to get this. Even when our current president visits other countries he has to defend his polygamy, his huge number of children, his sex out of wedlock with a friend’s daughter, his unprotected sex with an HIV infected friend’s daughter. Chaos is ruling in the tripartite alliance, the ANCYL is in the news daily for all the wrong reasons, the ANC spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu was arrested today for drunken driving, Winnie Mandela has completely lost it.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Thabo Mbeki’s heart is sore when he sees all his hard work being wasted in the manner it is, notwithstanding the fact that he warned about this and his warnings are exactly what made him fall out of favour with the greedy ANC members. Zizi, you left a vaccum in our politics because they are no longer progressive, in fact we no longer have real politics. What a loss!

  • Sphokazi says:

    TM, thee man!! Captain my captain!!! Thank you for making me appreciate who I am… I too, am an African.

  • Thembinkosi Dyonashe says:

    Yet you haven’t loose your sanity though it has invited pain for you. ENKOSI NGALO MZEKELO! (thank you for being that example). It feels somehow embarrasing for me to be reading this precious scripture for the very first time. I very well feel blessed by all these verses because I AM AN AFRICAN.

  • sibusiso says:

    I am also an African and proud of it, I always feel so blessed when I hear this man’s words,I wouldn’t be surprised if Zizi heart is sore when he sees all his hard work being wasted in the manner it is, you are the best president ever and im pround of you. we as south african miss your intelligent

  • Bongiwe Matha says:

    …..Everytime I hear the short clip of this speech from metro fm I feel so proud indeed! I remember his last speech to the nation as if it was yesterday….. I am trully proud to look back and remember what it meant to say I am proud to be an African, even though we have been disgraced as a nation it is great people like Thabo Mbeki who make us smile still in the face of adversity and proudly say nor matter what I am proud that I am an African….

  • Unathi says:

    I miss Thabo Mbeki so much. He was such an intelligent man who could give Obama a run for his money. This country is now in tatters and lacks any kind of leadership. All we see is infighting, powere hungry people, people being ‘tjatjarag’ on the international forum. It’s so sad.

  • sibabini mancunga says:

    This is the best speech ever from a african man,it makes you feel important and proud of who you are.THABO MBEKI was the best thing that eve r happened to south africa after mandela.the man has demostated his leadership skills not only in south africa but also internationally.SOUTH AFRICA seats on the G20 Because of him,the father of AFRICAN RENISANCE.THIS IS THE BEST ITERGRATED president we have ever had thus far.

  • Ludwe Mtati says:

    Mhhm how I wish this poem could be taught and instilled in every school from Cape to Cairo. So that our children can grow up being proud of being an African, knowing that however it may seem to the skeptics, AFRICA WILL PROSPER. Thank you President Mbeki for your vision, and yes Africa will prosper.

  • mbekisa says:

    no words can describe the way i feel when i read this speech…

    Siyabonga Tata, history will judge us harshly for our silence after you resigned.

    We miss u and I know that you are working behind the scenes for Africa.

  • Legodi Pule says:

    Yes i am an African. Thank u Mr Mbheki for contributing your knowledge to this continent. With your speech we unlocked the chains of slavery for good, we thank u.

  • Stella says:

    long live tata Mbeki my hero, my heart feel sad at the humilliation that he went through, they treated him like a criminal, happy birthday for the 18th of June 2010. This poem just uplift my spirit, I wish it could be repeated again on our national TV & radios & newespaper on your big day

  • sipho phaziwe says:

    good day african

    south africa was blessed with this great TM AND i just wish he could be everywhere in the corners of our country to facilitate political education.


  • joey says:

    thabo mbeki is larger than Mandela.he sacrificed the presidency because he believed in being an african.Mandela sacrificed being an African in order to be a so called hero of democracy

  • thabiso says:

    It will definitely take a century before Africa have a leader like Mr Mbeki. He is the greatest ever, a Kwame Nkurumah of our time. I thank God he ruled during my lifetime. How I wish he could still be running this country. Forever my president. Yes I am an African. Inspired Mr Obama. I am an African!

  • Indeed i feel like i’ve been robbed of a true interlectual.i voted because of my confidance in his wits,objectives,leadership and the oh so ever present charisma and calmnes.it is people like me that believe TM should be serving on the AU.africa still needs him.indeed ur an african.and i’m proud to have witnessed ur era.aluta.

  • kenneth mkhize says:

    yes thabo mbeki freed my heart from hatred….his speech was wow….

  • kenneth mkhize says:

    if we had to vote for ex-president again, definately i was going to….our economy to grow need such a great leader..enkosi thabo siyabulela

  • i wish i could turn back the clock mr Mbheki there’s a huge space and this space is unreplaceable and we cannot fill that space honestly i have never seen a brilliant person like

  • Siyabonga says:

    Let me start by saying thank you ZIZI for the great spheech,everytime i’m facing difficulties from the racist of this counrty whom always will make you feel inferior just because you black,i know when i get home and read this speech i’m revived and come out walking talk and feeling ready to face and challanges.

  • Tina says:

    ‘However improbable it may sound to the sceptics, Africa will Prosper”
    Zizi, we have prospered. Having hosted one of the biggest events in the world, creating history for Africa affirms our prosperity.

    Long Live Thabo Mbeki….Long Live!

  • Tubatse says:

    It makes me very sad. Great speech, great man. Time will tell a true story about Thabo Mbeki.

  • Sipho says:

    Thabo Mbeki captured my imagination as a young boy and kindled my spirit to persuits greater than my personal problems. He widened my horizons and made me believe that true happiness for All can be achieved. I love Mandela but I would vote for Thabo until he’s 90. God bless him dearly.

  • Zimisele says:

    ” I have a dream” was a strong and a powerful speech but as an African.I feel that this is the best intelligent and well executed speech of all time.You made us all proud and I just cannot stop reading through it until I can sing it.Enkosi tata,sisafunda lukhulu kuwe ungabuyi ngamva.

  • Ernest Sekano says:

    Wow! What a lovely speech. Thabo Mbeki will remain 1 of the greatest people if not president in the entire world. This speech will also remain the greatest for decades i guess. I`m proudly an African becuse of Thabo Mbeki to be honest. He is the one who made me realise the beauty of our Native Land, the necessity of our ancestors and never to discriminate. Am proudly an African!!! We shall never be dispondent when the wheather is “BAD” nor shall we be “TRIUMPHALIST” when the sun is shining. Thabo Mbekis last words as a president. I lov i lov!!!

  • Mongikazi says:

    I miss you Thabo Mbeki!

  • THANDI says:


  • frederick setshogo ntladi says:

    I have read this speech a couple of times now, and is still touches me. Needed some inspiration and it worked. I cannot wait for some of his future writings.

  • Sivu says:

    “I am an African” speech is to Africans what Psalm 23 (by King David) is to Christians. Never before and never again did David himself and writers subsequently, ever composed a poem so beautiful like that. So it is with TM. Great speech. Great leader he is.

  • silika mokgotlhoa says:

    is it wise of south africa to have limitations on the flow of information?i dont think so.we the people on the ground depend on this media for information communication.should the proposed bill be passed,there would be no protection for whisle blowers for an example and the would be an editorial done by the government before any news can be published on conveyed to the general masses.
    dont get me wrong.i am just exercising what later will not be, my freedom of expression.is this what we voted for?

  • silika mokgotlhoa says:

    why is it that you cant even get a comment from Thabo Mbeki with regards to the state of the political sphere.
    is it that he is so wise that he doesnt want to comment until the snake has bitits own tale?
    i am a card carring member of the party that axed this wonderful leader.im am loyal to this organisation like he is but not to individuals like how the texture and the fabric is turning out. i am thinking of resigning to a healthier environment,but where?

  • michael moila says:

    when ever thabo mbeki opens his mouth, i feel encouraged. i do not want to miss every single word from him. this september 2010 i attended him when he was giving a public lecturing in TUT Pretoria campus. he is a leader by example, he knows his story. it feels good to be an african….i love you thabo

  • michael moila says:

    keep it up to unite AFRICA THABO

  • S'nikiwe Shange says:

    Ncaaaaow man! This is too great…i thank God to have live in the most intelligent’s man existance….i just love ubab’uThabo Mbeki! **teardrop**

  • Shumi Bukosini says:

    That is the great speech “I am an African” which will standup forever and the one in Sterkfontain Cave & Marupang “South Africa belongs to all who live in it” That is also the good speech but what hapen during the Xenophobia? No one remembed about this speech. If can all be human & show our humanity (Ubuntu) than we’ll be all South African as a whole.

  • mitchell nortje says:

    What a beautiful and insightful speech. I truly feel african now. my heart beats with africa’s!!!! You are wise Mr Mbeki!

  • Intelligent man(Thabo mbheki) indeed and the I am an african speech is 1 of the greatest speech I’ve ever heard!* I love it*

  • Mbhekiseni says:

    Mbeki may be gone but will never be forgotten for his insighful and logical analyis of policy and politics.When i was a student at Wits, I took a module of Policy and Governance in my degree. There i was so astounded how Mbeki created an intricate policy link of ANC decision into the South African state institutions and gearing those towards adavancing NEPAD.

    In deed he will be counted as one star in galaxy of African intelligentia. I still hope that the Africa need to utilise this gem talent to advance Africa position in international politics

  • Mado says:

    I dont see the part Mr Mbeki talked about, we share names with big cities like city of Berlin.

    He talked abt Sara Bartman.

    tell mi if i am mistaken Khaya.

  • Kwena says:

    My soul dancess everytime I read this speech by one of our great leaders. Today it feels great to be an African.

  • ntuthuko says:

    One day our generation, will rule the population, we’l keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change. Family of theo walcott and alex ox chamberlain will not be travelling to euro12 because of fear of racism. White south africa still insensitive to the pain caused by apartheid. The dutch have a public holiday where they mimick black people in holland. But still I wait for the world to change. I was born in africa, this is my land, I breathe the same air as my ancestors, I will die here. Believe africa, believe. We’ve been through slavery, we’ve been through colonisation, but we stay believing for a better tomorrow, we went through apartheid and yet we still believe of a better tomorrow. I love you africans, thank you for teaching me never to give up. Remind everyone though, they need to remember what our people have been through and yet still believed. Our youth don’t believe anymore, they have the wrong heroes. They don’t have education, they don’t have sports because there’s no fields, they don’t have knowledge, they have alcohol and drugs. The poverty trap is getting deeper, and it will only result in revolt. But I still believe for a better tomorrow, because I am an african, my ancestors went through worse.

  • Blessed says:

    I am also an African and I must say that this is the best speech in my to ever fall on my ears and I miss you so much Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbheki.South Africa will always love and cherish the contribution that you made towards the struggle.

  • Orcan mgwenya says:

    This poem is one,that we as africans can pride our self of without reservation. A new era has sprung, we must be encouraged and be very ambitious to achieve more. Am an african

  • emelia says:

    This is a speech a lot of people need to read especially our learners.it makes me feel even more proud to be an AFRICAN

  • […] This column was inspired by Thabo Mbeki’s very inspiring, “I am an African” speech before parliament when he was Nelson Mandela’s deputy. here is the link to the speech http://khayadlanga.com/2009/06/18/i-am-an-african-thabo-mbekis-speech-possibly-the-greatest-african-… […]

  • Monametsi says:

    The speech talks to an African in its encouraging and guiding content. President Mbeki is an African and I say I’m an African.

  • papaot says:

    simply amazing speech,its outstanding and flawless.Mr Thabo Mbeki is a true African hero.Gives me a sense of pride to be African and hope in afro optimism.The die is cast for the United States of Africa,lets go folks.



  • nadia manjate says:

    Wow beautiful* what a speech! Hbd thabo mbeki

  • Thobani says:

    It would be nice to hear comments of White South Africans in majority.

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You are currently reading I am an African, Thabo Mbeki’s speech. Possibly the greatest African speech ever. at Khaya Dlanga's life on the "internets". All on one blog..


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