When I Write About Africa.
When i write about Africa, i want you to read it while reflecting on the words of Margaret Mead “ Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.”
When I write about Africa, do not argue with me about how i should feel about being African in Africa, do not ask me to be grateful for the bag of potato seeds you sent to my people who are victims displaced by your people. Do not remind me to be grateful for colonialism which bestowed upon us education and medicine as if my people never had teachers or healers.
When I write about Africa, do not ask me to focus on the wrongs of my people. 50 years into self rule, my people have a right to be troubled. They have a right to hoard up resources in fear. It is the trauma that we so often ignore that would explain the corruption and the greed. Our trauma is unspoken, our fears have no voice and our pain has been locked up in a vault at the heart of our sub-conscious. So when i write about Africa, do not ask me to forgive my past oppressors because those who oppress me now are my brothers who are labelled “the best students of colonialism.”
When i write about Africa; dear white people it is not about you. Do not say to me “stop whining about discrimination, i am often discriminated against too.” Tell me human, do your children mine minerals for phones valued in foreign lands; do they mine diamonds for rings you will never see on the fingers of your mothers, sisters or wife? Are your children sold into slavery to vendor yams and roasted corn? When i write about Africa, do not seek to compare my experience to yours. Be grateful for what you have. It is my land, my resources and my sweat that has awarded you what you have.
When i write about Africa, shut up and read. Do not try to justify why, do not try to educate me about me, do not explain to me how you are saving Africa from Africans. When i write about Africa, just shut up for once! After three centuries of misrepresentation, we have earned the right to speak up and be heard!