NELSON ROHIHLAHLA MANDELA (aka Madiba) once said.
“Everyone can rise above their circumstance and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do”
The continent of Africa is a truly blessed continent, a continent brimming with talent, blessed with diverse natural resources, and very few natural disasters. A continent that has hope everywhere you go. Such accolades for one place make one wonder why it was tagged at some point as ‘The dark continent’. Perhaps, it is because we are people that are misunderstood or because the rest of the world sees that we use to exist in isolation. These words make one laugh hysterically. How does one live in isolation with a continental landmass of 30.37 Square Kilometers? The explorers of old should have made more efforts to discover us before concluding.
Africa is a motherland of 54 countries according to the United Nations and has a population of approximately 1.26 billion people with a very impressive growth rate and a maritime coastline surrounding most countries. In all these, what impresses me the most is the spirit of the African people, commonly called the AFRICAN SPIRIT. The people define Africa, their diversity, their ethnicity, their resolve, their tenacity, and their will to fight through all the difficulties that come their way.
Africa as a continent has had its fair share of conflicts, be it in form of civil wars, ethnic rivalries, border disputes, etc. The African people always seem to come out stronger. Granted, there are many challenges we need to surpass as a continent, but still, we rise. As a continent, our combined love for sports and the friendly rivalry that comes from it makes one quirk with excitement. The never-ending banter of whose cuisine is the absolute best (Nigeria vs Ghana vs Senegal Jollof for example) will not be settled any time soon though we know the truth. I leave that to the imagination of the reader to decide who wins that battle.
Then fashion, fashion has never been my strong point as an indigene of Africa, but I doubt if there is any continent in the world that comes close to the diversity of fashion trends we have. Clothing in Africa is so diverse, that I might need to write a whole blog about it. African fashion is characterized by brightly coloured fabrics, embroidered robes, colourful necklaces and beads. Tie and dye fabrics are commonplace in West Africa. The Senegalese kaftan, east African kanzu, the southern Africa Madiba, or safari shirt. The list just goes on and on. Recall my disclaimer that one blog will do no justice to African fashion.
On to the politics, an aspect I personally have an interest in. According to readily available statistics, only 11 African states are listed as free under the freedom Index. Freedom in Africa is not comparable to the western world, but we make do with our own unique version. Most of the other nations in Africa are ruled by ex-warlords and democratic presidents/heads of states who can be called the modern-day dictator.
Internal disputes as mentioned earlier have threatened the existence of most African nations, some notable ones include – the Rwandan civil war, the Libyan civil war, the Liberian civil war, the Nigerian civil war, the Sierra Leone civil war, the Egyptian uprising, the civil war in Somalia and Sudan – and so much more. Africa has also and is still battling its fair share of terrorism with various radical groups cropping up every now and then and causing mayhem. In all these, we still rise as a continent.
I am tempted to keep going because there are so many things to love about this continent, however, I pull my brakes here and say, I AM PROUD TO BE AFRICAN!!!
God bless AFRICA.