Traffic came to a stand still in Mali at the start of the Polycentric World Social Forum (WSF) as about 6000 people marched in Bamako’s Independence Statue through to the stadium called Stade Omini Sports Modibo Keita carrying banners with different solidarity messages saying Another Africa was possible.
The march brought together activist of a global and African social movement who are fighting neo-liberal systems synonymous to poverty, starvation and violence for over three out of four parts of the world population.
The African songs, dress and dance characterised the march with a flavour of solidarity messages and banners in different languages. Traditional masked people where a wonder to look at as they danced and marched while others majestically rode on Camels depicting the life of the people in the Sahara desert.
Campaigns Coordinator for Jubilie South Africa Makaoma Lekalakala was happy to see that 70 percent of the people marching where women.
“ I am happy to see that 70 percent of the people marching are women. Even when I can not hear what they are saying, and read what there banners say, I am happy to see the African flavour of their songs as I could dance to it,” said Lekalakala.
She said that African women where the cradle of Africa. Many women marched in their boobous. chitenges and clothes that had solidarity messages.
Lekalakala said that she was happy about the march as it portrayed an African mode in language, music and emotional being. She added that music was a kind of communication that spoke for it self and that is why even without any translation she was able to connect and dance to African traditional music where drum beating was the order of the day.
Awa Coulibery a street vendor in Mali said she was happy to see and be part of the march. She said she knew this would come to pass as she heard this on radio and television.
Awa was selling fried groundnuts and hoped to make some business as she had just started selling by press time.Many women said their joined the march to raise voices saying another world was possible.
Wahu Kaara from Kenya said the woman’s voice and action finds it’s rightful place in the social forum as the key argent of the social transformation in that the World calls for construction economically, politically and socially.
The WSF is an event of great importance to African people whose very first opportunity for a collective and democratic expression that will enable them to conceal their fights with those conducted in the other continents as confronted to a wild capitalism, hegemony, and also confronted to domination and exploitation of people and their resources.