Lets get this scenario, someone comes to your home, drinks the water you drink, breathes the air you breathe and automatically thinks they know your past, are part of your present and can tell your future. The worst part is they leave, and lets everyone know their impression of your life. Isn’t that a bit upsetting?. Well I guess that’s how some Africans feel.
I am not from pre-historical times, neither have I time travelled or gone to every part of Africa or read about their history. I am just a simple girl using my imagination as my argument or case study or whatever. “Africa”, lets define Africa, the continent of the blacks? The continent of the wild animals, impoverished children, the continent that needs the most help? The continent that is the most under developed?. This is true, probably. Remember, I said “continent” and not “country”. Number one error, most non-Africans imagine Africa as a country, every part of Africa is the same, the tigers, lions, deserts and so on. I’m sorry, I live in Nigeria and I have never come across any tiger, zebra, elephant, lion and neither do I plan to.
Now, Africa (remember this is my opinion, my point of view, my imagination) I don’t think our ancestors cried out to foreigners for help. I don’t think they were bothered by their way of life. I don’t think they imagined they had a problem. They were perfectly fine, they had survived all those years on their culture and their beliefs and their resources because they could. It was their home, it was all they knew. It was all they needed. The presence of the foreigners was both our gold and our coal. Yes, they brought civilisation but that was their own version of civilisation imposed on us. They brought Christianity, they brought western culture, they brought an end to a lot of inhumane practices which we should be grateful for because some of us may not even exist today. They brought medicines, schools and so on. It was our coal because some of these good tidings were just an excuse to exploit we gullible beings out of our resources. They imposed so much on us, things we still aren’t accustomed to and left us to fend for ourselves. Many years down the line and we are still struggling. But is it our fault we aren’t good at something that just isn’t meant for us, something we had no say in? They knew we were doomed right from time, but what did they care? They were going to get their palm oil, gold, diamonds and all that and still look like heroes to the entire world for saving a “dark continent”.
I’m not sure if I read or heard this, but I am just going to quote it because its not mine ” I am African because the white man told me I am African…”. We were taught what the white man wanted us to be taught. Who knows? Maybe I was taught the white man’s version of my history since my people were known to be illiterates. I was taught what I know because that is what someone out there wanted me to know. I am a Negro because that’s what I was told. Heck, I could have originated from monkeys because that’s what I was told.
Our entire continent, from the east to the west, north and south, it was all occupied by different world powers. We were taught how to eat properly, how to live properly, how to speak properly, in some cases which was forgetting my own mother tongue and adopting another man’s, another country’s , another tribe’s tongue, all because I was told that was the right thing to do. But isn’t that why the world is diverse? Filled with DIFFERENT cultures? Isn’t that how God made it? If I had the resources and that mindset, maybe I could have gone to your country and done the same because that is what I saw as the right thing to do. All I see here is someone imposing their beliefs on me like I have a choice. We think of ourselves as dumb because that is what we were made to feel like.
Mind you, I am grateful for the technological stuff and everything else. Yes, we shouldn’t see this as an excuse to blame you for our problems. God, we do have problems! A corrupt system which is found everywhere not only just in our leaders, tribalism, insufficient power supply, flooding, civil wars and so on. Come, show me a country that doesn’t have problems?.Still, how come out of all these problems the ones the outside world seems to focus on is we don’t have clean water, our children are skeletal, impoverished, dying of cholera or HIV. You paint our continent as just a village filled with suffering children, surrounded by wild animals and muddy water. We have buildings too, we have cable, oh yes, we have Internet too. next time, it shouldn’t be just “save the poor children in Africa”.You can’t save the entire continent! Be specific, name the country or countries, and don’t mislead the public. I like to think of Africa as the most diverse continent. Nigeria alone has over 250 ethnic groups! Africa is big, Africa will be great if we aren’t continuously looked down upon, if we are actually given a chance to be completely African and let the world fall in love with the true Africa.


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