Proudly AFRICAN

You are a gem, dear child, you should be Proud of your motherland- for Africa is no heathenic* place, but rather it is full of history, talent & remarkable potential.

I am Proudly African- here is why .

I have for a very long time struggled with my ‘identity’. Being of Indian descent ,yet growing up in a fairly ignorant community I refused to call myself a true Indian- Xenophobia can take many forms ,it can often express itself through stupidity very well. Being an ‘Indian South African’ – overtime, seemed to fit. Then Grade 11 happened, and this black girl tells this black boy from Mozambique that they should not call themselves “African”- because they are … Black– she justifies this by saying, “Look at them…” (she points at me & some other Indian kids) & continues to say “they are born here, they are South Africans & where are we from- here in Africa, so we are ALL African. Being African does not mean you can only be black” !

That made me think. Can I call myself African- based on that logic -I could. Then I thought to myself ,Why am I only now thinking about this ? I was raised (not really by my parents) but by a society that is still blinded by the gross* system of ‘Apartheid’ ! A system that told non-black “blacks” that they were not as ‘good’ as Whites but not as ‘inferior as blacks’, & so they believed that they were something special & that the black domestic workers (maids) which cleaned their homes & helped raise their children- were worthless or at least, significantly below them. I did not want to be associated with an (often thought as) ‘black’ term because I was conditioned to see myself –because of my ‘different-type-of -brown’ skin, as better, or above ‘them’.

Now I have come to realise the importance of one’s identity(/ies). For those particularly in Africa .

Africa is faced with many issues ranging from within its various troubled governments up to destructive social issues & the scars of previous horrors & downfalls. African people do not necessarily need a collective identity- but a proud & representative identity, one that does not dehumanise them but one which inspires & empowers them. It is disheartening to see that a land once motivated to reform itself for the betterment of its people by revolutionaries like Thomas Sankara & Patrice Lumumba- now sits in some parts as ruins, war torn, corruption torn, and in some proud cases- somewhat, moving forward.

Africa can only be liberated by those which inhabit it- and so African people must stand up to develop their nations, they must remove themselves from the propagandist ideologies of colonialism & reject the corruption & inequalities within their own nations, they must rise up & call for change, or change will never come (at least not by their hands). They must understand their potential, come to realise their value & begin to forge a way forward for Africa & themselves- while Africa can never be tended to as a whole, various African states have the potential to do great things & so the people of those nations must liberate themselves (regardless of whether that liberation is done in the literal sense or the figurative sense- the literal being the restructuring of their social & political orders & the figurative being the liberation of their minds & souls) & they must not cower under fear, disapproval or injustice !

Be Loud.

Be Proud.

Be True to Yourself.

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