NGFP African Futures

Tribes of Future Past

It is a journey of self. It takes you to the future of African innovations and discoveries. It’s a call to self-consciousness to build the Africa of our dreams.
Mutsa Samuel

The Seeds of Afro-Posterity

You are in your chair: look around you. What do you see? What can you smell and touch? Take note of what you are wearing. Is your body telling you anything? Any tension or strain? Just take a moment to become the observer of your surroundings; and your Self. Listen to and become aware of your body. Be in this present moment; because you cannot appreciate the future without acknowledging the past and present. Now come, sit around this virtual fireplace and let me tell you a tale about an astonishing person who changed the world in 2050. Let me tell you the story of you.

Introduction

You wake gently from your dreary sleep with remnants of a dream lingering in your mind. You try to recall it and know it had something to do with your past; and its connection to your present. It was like you were in two places at once. You notice a slight knot in your left shoulder – becoming aware of this flashes a scene from your dream – where you were wrestling with yourself in an epic battle for your evolution, with the winner being able to wake into reality. Your Smart Living Home scans your body’s hormone levels and quality of REM sleep. “Good morning! Based on your current state, may I suggest day 3 of the Interactive 10-day afro-meditation by Mutsa Samuel.” This platform has 1 African proverb you mediate on daily for ten days. Today’s proverb is Nigerian and states: “ When the roots of a tree begin to decay, it spreads death to the branches.” 

After the soothing meditation, you laugh at yourself as you acknowledge the irony – as you stare out your window and gaze at your tree. You are the only one who can see it and touch it. Since 2035, all of humanity has been provided its own “Tree of Life”. Those born on or after 2035 are only told about their tree when they are nine years old. After that, no one but them can see it. New data has shown a correlation between healthy long-lasting trees and trees that co-exists. Data is also suggesting there is a connection with what people are coining ‘black roots’ or roots that cannot be seen, only felt. Black Roots comprise this almost mythical interconnected synchronistic sentient system of ‘invisible’ roots that connect the trees. You ponder on this and wonder how the world ever existed without technology like this. You say a short, silent yet potent prayer to your ancestors; acknowledging their struggle, survival, and audacity to will you into existence. Your smile at all the unknown instances you will never know, which brought you to this future-present moment. You breathe the familial lineage beholden to the earth for her majestic excess. 

The Tree-tech was ‘discovered’ sometime in the early 2030s in a study done by the African Vaccine Initiative – funded fly AfCTA fund – all African states signed in the early 2020s. This was also co-funded by 6 African start-up billionaires. Tree and human DNA were merged to co-exist in a process that mirrored ancient alchemy. It allowed for the co-habitation of humans and trees; revealing that the healthier the human, the healthier the tree.

You remember the wars and the cruelty our forefathers bestowed on themselves. Genocide. Rape. Hatred. Death. Skewed concepts of power leaving chopped fingers, hands, and feet to souls who walk limbless and lifeless in limbo. You recall how it felt when you went to the Museum of Experience and selected the ‘Apartheid option’ where you could connect to brain simulators that accurately sense and record the emotions felt by an individual, then transfer them to another. You chose the little black girl who had watched her parents get executed and the young Apartheid officer who killed them. You were still processing which experience was worse. This Experiential-sensing was conceived by the Presenting institute at M.I.T, ledby the German lecturer Otto Scharmer, author of Theory U. Now living in New Harare. Sharmen oversees the recently built UbuntuLab Centre of Emersion (UCE), which houses the most curious minds that dare push humanity forward.

Turn on your radio-vizer, an invention by radio futurologist James Cridland, who made significant experience changes to the over 100-year-old medium. Based on your interests and how you are feeling, how many good hours of sleep you got, diet, and mood: your smart living home chooses 3 headlines. You listen and sense the first headline.

Headline 1 : Ring around the Rosey

1. Pandemic Update: The 5th pandemic in the last three years is the third man-made by nameless ‘viral-terrorists’. They are attempting to infect people with a synthetic virus, but it is only affecting those who do not have the Masihambisane Vaccine or ‘Masi’ for short. This was possible by the collaboration between the African Vaccine Initiative and UCE. The Masi vaccine was uncovered by a young Somalian girl who said her great great great grandmother visited her and informed her of an ancient root, found in abundance in the mountains near her home. That caused her village to become immune to all the viruses since its discovery in 2029. This made the basis of the latest vaccine, which had no side effects and was mass-produced and distributed for free globally, with its patent shared to all corners of the globe. You look outside your window and see a group of young girls heading to Earth School, the second of the holistic and human-centric school system modules, the first being Human School and the third Soul School. Their smiling black faces glistened in the sun, and you reactively smile when you see them. You overheard them talking about East Africa’s current election for their second Queendom. They are in admiration for the favourite candidate Passy Amayo and her catchy slogan “Ring around the Vote”– which was now a hit afro-beats song by Sauti Sol. Her popularity, particularly with young people was appealing because she was in touch with the people, unafraid to protest on the streets and get her hands dirty. An avid eco-activist, her voice had massive appeal, especially since she had founded and headed the School of African Futures (SOAF), an enhancement and evolution of the parent company School of International Futures (SOIF). I smiled as the girls sang the Ring around the vote melody – wondered if these young girls knew the tune’s dire origins.    

Headline 2: Nothing New Under the Sun 

2. Sues Canal Blockade: The Canal has been blocked again. There are massive whispers of a large conspiracy. The implications of the blockade are affecting trade, currency, and national relations. But it is said the real reason for the block, is that the biotech developed that will aid life-trees to rejuvenate and become healthy again is being blocked to enter the U.S. This bio-tech coined the “life equation” is a hindrance to a group of extremists with dead trees but are somehow still living. They thrive in this dying state off the life of other trees. Many call them soul-suckers or data-vampires as they affect different aspects of the human and tree. The extremists produced a new drug called ‘Heaven’ – which provides false bliss to the human but the tree remains in a numb state, not growing, not dying. The side effects are craving for the superficial and in extreme cases cause deep anxiety-based disorders. It was only later that the shooter who killed 8 Asian Americans in March 2020 had received the prototype of this drug. In response to a Police officer almost justifying these horrendous events by suggesting, “the shooter had a bad day,” Afro-Femi-futurist Vimbayi Kajese, also known as BIBI released her ‘When a Man has a Bad Day.’ This poem is still seen as the catalyst to the current Afro-feminist movement which has seeped into public and private institutions; shifting the focus on human-centric leadership. It is reported that America is deliberately blocking the tech needed to aid trauma-induced trees. America has the highest deaths of trees per capita, and there is strong data-backed evidence that these mass deaths are affecting healthy living trees. This further strengthens the data that your well-being is extrinsically and intrinsically linked to others; this, in turn, affects the whole. You remember the first blockade in 2021 and how in the next 3 years, extremists successfully blocked the canal 12 times, forcing the oil price to drop so much, nations converted to cleaner energies. With 66 countries achieving net-zero by 2035.

Headline 3: Tribes of Future Past 

You click on your screen. You plug into your visualiser– its tentacles that plug unto your temple remind you of spider legs. You like the sensation it has on your body as it connects to your brain frequency and puts you in a beta start. You are warm, calm, and curious. Your visualiser allows you to relive every memory you ever had in real-time. But you want to take it a step further. As an employee of UCE, you have been tasked to push the boundaries of this tech. You ask yourself “Can you change what you did in the past and somehow alter your present?” You click on the project folder titled “Tribes of Future Past” you click on the date you want to go back to… Thursday. One. April. You recall being approached to join the Pan-African cohort at SOIF. You recall your classmates, with Geci and her genius facilitations which were the seeds for your emerging future. You are slowly submerged as your visualiser turns on and seamlessly integrates you with your past and present and future, and don’t even notice… 

Now listen very carefully… 

the voice you are hearing right now is from the future: whether you want to believe it or not. It’s irrelevant. What is relevant is you. 

You in this PRESENT moment. 

What you do and feel in this moment, will have an impact on your future. Now place your hand on your heart. Feel it beating. It’s been beating since you were in your mother’s womb… It beats in all of us. It is the seat of our soul; rooting us to the Source and highest version of your-Self. Now, what seed of posterity would you like to plant? Write it as a headline for tomorrow. 

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Listen to the story

Narrator: Zainab Bala

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