Plenty of times I find myself being asked what it means being African?
I found myself asking other people the same question too- what it means to be African?
Well, in this article I am going to sum it up and give you my perspective of what it means to be African, I am also going to touch on other related subjects. So this article wont just be concentrated.
To me being African simply has more to do with one’s pigmentation or geographical positioning. after all we all can move to a place and claim it as our own. We all can use skin products to adjust our pigment to fit the skin tone we want.
To me being African is about ancestry and “spiritual connection”. With “spiritual connection” and ancestry comes a deep sense of belonging, longing and relationship. Hence you still find many people abroad who still feel the need to come visit Africa and connect with the people genuinely. I am not talking about a typical tourist who just wants to see the landscape and hunt the king of the jungle.
It pains me to see that in this day and age you still find people (the worlds’ elite) misusing Africans and treating Africa as if it is their playground. They extract minerals, resources and ideologies from Africa to benefit only them and not us Africans.
It is incumbent for a young men like myself to stand up to the systems that allow this sort of activities and behaviour to happen/take place. Especially that I, myself consider myself as African and want better for Africans.
I hate to see us suffer from social ills and the injustices that we see happen on a daily basis, not only perpetuated from foreign forces but people we consider as our own. To combat these ills we need to be a united front and a plan of action has to be put in place. A wise man once said united we stand divided we fall (and please do take those words to heart). All Africans whether black, white, Indian, pink or purple.
We owe it to those who have came before us, who have planted their roots in this rich soil and sacrificed their lives for us to live out our dreams.
I believe the economic system needs to be analyzed because it can never serve a common man. A structure must be be put in place to corollate with the African way of life-meaning African cultural structures, family structures and so forth should be incorporated in politics, economics etc. Independence instilled in our young people. Focusing in the advancement of Africa. Good leaders being supported and any seditious acts against them be dealt with swiftly. Art platforms being utilized to speak to our people and educate them. Instill this dream of liberty in their minds on a daily basis.
I see Africa as a beast that has been put to sleep for the past centuries but it is finally starting to awake with this generation of young brilliant minds.
I want to be a part of this great change… In fact I am going to be part of this great generation that wakens the beast.
Let me leave you with kind words of the great Thabo Mbeki;
“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.”
Think you will also find the below video interesting;
Image Art Credit: Jon Jude Palencar