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On the Cover

Century of Africa

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo by Taryn Elliott/Pexels.

“As long as the African people continue to struggle with daunting challenges, then as fellow human beings and global citizens we should share their sufferings.”[1]

—Ikeda Sensei

In this month’s issue, we feature an interview with Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, co-president of the Club of Rome. Table Mountain in South Africa, home to Dr. Ramphele, graces this month’s cover.

On his first visit to America in October 1960, Ikeda Sensei visited the United Nations Headquarters in New York while the 15th U.N. General Assembly was in session. Among the 17 nations that were admitted as new members of the U.N. during that session, 16 were newly independent African states. Filled with hope for the future of Africa, Sensei declared that the 21st century would be the century of Africa and that the world should support and nurture the young sapling of African independence and freedom. In the excerpt below, Sensei speaks about the significance of naming the 21st century, the Century of Africa.

Those Who Have Suffered the Most Will be the Happiest

By the Century of Africa I mean a century in which those who have suffered the most will be the happiest, a century in which those who have suffered the greatest humiliation and indignity will walk proud and tall, with their heads held high. There will be new leading actors in the drama of human history. Those whom the world has oppressed the most will carry the world into the future. Those who have experienced the extremes of human cruelty have a mission to change humanity.

The Century of Africa will be a century of life in which all living beings are together in peace and harmony. The time has come for the entire world to learn from the energy, strength and wisdom of Africa, which never lost its pulse of joy in spite of all that was taken from it.[2]


  1. September 12, 1997, World Tribune, p. 12. ↩︎
  2. Ibid. ↩︎

Q: The word prayer sounds passive to me. What is prayer in Nichiren Buddhism?

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