“Oh God of all creation,
Bless this our land and nation,
Justice be our shield and defender,
May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty,
Plenty be found within our borders.”

Well, that there is the Kenyan national anthem derived from a Pokomo lullaby. Pokomo is an ethnic community from Coastal Kenya. Kenya on the other hand, is a country in Africa (not a country within a country allow me to say) Africa has 54 other countries. That bit of information there seemed insignificant for a moment but actually, it is a greenstone because now you know Africa is not a country.

I am an African; I speak Kiswahili- a bantu language used as a lingua franca in East Africa because I am theoretically Kenyan; Moru- a central Sudanic language because it is my awakening and the window to my soul; Arabic- a lingua franca of the Arab world because my roots go deeper. I also speak French- the romance language of the Indo-European family; German- the most widely spoken and (co.) official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Italy and the German community of Belgium and Liechtenstein; English as well- the language brought with the Angles, Saxon and Jutish settlers to what was to be called England because I just have that linguistic flare. And NO, I DON’T SPEAK “AFRICAN” BECAUSE IT’S NOT A LANGUAGE.

Perceptions of Africa remain rooted in troubling stereotypes of helplessness and perpetual crises. Well, until the lion has his own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best stories. Stereotypes! Stereotypes- the pre-conceived, the oversimplified opinion, the prejudice attitude, the uncritical judgement- a canoe which unfortunately most people are in. Who are we Africans? According to Herodotus, a Greek historian (C. 484-425BC), Africans are wise men occupying the upper Nile, men of long life whose manners and customs pertain to the golden age, those virtuous mortals whose feasts and banquets are honoured by Jupiter himself. I must acknowledge his utter understanding of Africa.

“The danger of a single story is that it creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”- Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi.

By now it might have dawned on you that I’m not primitive yet I’m African. Ludicrous, right? Africa rarely makes waves in international consciousness and when it does it is invariably for the wrong reasons: coups, rebellion and famine. BUT, those who have
been lucky enough to visit “zanj” or the “dark continent” (as referred to by the likes of Henry Morton Stanely) often return with stories of a warm and generous population in Niger living in ancient caravan cities at the edge of the Sahara; of Rwanda- the land of a thousand hills; of Nairobi, Kenya- the city under the sun- the safari capital of the world; of Zambia- the air-conditioned state; of Mozambique- home to the scenic Bazaruto Archipelago; of Swaziland- home to the Lebombo Mountains, the backdrop for Mlawala nature reserve; of Dakar, Senegal which features the ancient Médina district and esteemed Musée Théodore Monod- a display of African art…

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What if I told you that, that is the actual picture of my Africa, the picture you choose not to show? That, that is the Africa I know, the culture I relish in, the one that was born in me? Because that is the Africa that has taught me not to be an octopus but instead die like a hammerhead shark, that has taught me to be brave, because that is my Africa and my Africa is beautiful!



  1. Michael Mayamba August 2, 2017 — 7:28 am

    Enlighten my Africa innate spirit this morning.kudos for enrichment work

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on paulmessluthercom and commented:
    Check this out guys


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