We do not need to introduce Africa anymore, although, we have many stereotypes to break. Indeed, the western part of the world generally think that Africa is only characterized by poor people, dirt, hunger, deserts, lack of electricity and that everyone suffers from Ebola and AIDS. We also hear things such as Africans are too stupid, not educated, and lazy and that we cannot develop because we have no experiences and not enough power. It is truly insane.
We also noticed that there are many mixed Africans who do not know about their origins, their identities. I asked around me to mixed people, “how does it feel to be African”, and the main answer was “I do not know, I do not even know me and my origins. I cannot really answer”. It was incredible how people cannot connect themselves to their origins. It is the reason why I looked for testimonies.
A friend of mine kindly accepted to answer my question and gave me her point of view in a short text. The question was “How does it feel to be African?”
Here is her answer.
“My name is Meron, I am 17 and I live in Germany.
I love history, books, photography, music and travelling.
I will graduate High school this year and will be in university this autumn. One dream I have is to publish my own book, even if it is seventy years from now. Having a book I wrote myself published would make me incredibly happy.
Well, to start,
I love being African, I love this continent so much and I am so proud to call Africa my home.
I am the child of immigrants; my parents came to Europe in the late 80s/early 90s, to allow me and my siblings to have a better future. My parents grew up in a country that was torn by war but they loved their home so much. I grew up around parents who were very proud of being Eritrean. We speak our native language at home, eat cultural dishes from time to time and have a rather strong connection to our religion. The majority of Eritreans are very religious, around half of the population is Muslim whilst the other half is Christian. I myself grew up in a Christian household.
To me being African means connecting to the Continent where humanity comes from, a continent filled with many different traditions, beliefs and rituals. I am sick and tired of the stereotypical view many people have of Africa: yes there is poverty, yes we have many issues but why do you want to label us as poor, uneducated sub-humans?
Your gold, your coffee, your phones; you would not have that without Africa. Moreover, believe it or not, but Africa is diverse, no there is no « African language », there are over 1000 languages within Africa. Eritrea itself has nine different. Ethiopia has over 80. Africa is so beautiful and I hope to see many African countries in my lifetime. Africa is my ancestor’s home and it’ll always be in my heart.”
I felt very emotional after she sent me this. Meron that lives in Germany has a positive view of Africa that was rare. As she said, so many humans think Africa is characterized by poverty, hunger barbarism.
I myself tried to answer the question. To me, it feels good to be African. It feels good to know about my origin, my continent, my homeland. It feels good to know where my roots are. Also, it is so incredible to learn about Africa, the life, the beliefs, the habits, the culture, the music, the traditions, languages, ethnicities, etc. I know every land has its history, its beliefs and traditions. However, I feel like Africa is just so much better. Do not get me wrong, I am definitely saying this because I am proud of being African. I love my continent. I love my country. I feel particular, special when I think about being African. I guess a European or American girl would feel the same way. Nonetheless, it feels hard to be African too. We have so much, but we also lost so much. Our cultural elements are so hidden, which is normal maybe. Opportunities are harder to take. Water is not clean drinkable everywhere. There are a lot of street Childs, homeless Africans, etc. Not only it feels hard, but also it feels hope. Africa is the future regarding technologies, perspectives, originalities, creativity, innovation, and so on. It is about the youth, the motivation, panafricanism, afro-futurism, the methods, and the perseverance.”
- My Africa Is The Future !