Africa. My sweetie. My darling.


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Tjovitjo! Fuck it. I don't know what that really means, but I'll say it nonetheless. Heita! Hola magents! Shap shap! uGrand! uGrand grand! Ayoba!

Am I some isiphukuphuku mlungu attempting to get down with the lingo? Could I be trying to shake off my white guilt by attempting to pick up the street slang or the lingua franca of the masses? From an outsider's point of view, maybe. Yes, I'm a white man in Africa. Not exactly a new thing is it? The pale race has been stomping around here for centuries. We stole it from them, they stole it from those guys, they were here first, we came after them...


I'm a white man in Africa and I love it.

I don't need to quote grandiose presidential speeches that proclaim: "I am an African!" It would be an insult to me to infer otherwise. I understand that my so-called heritage, blatantly betrayed by the colour of my skin, is in fact European. So what? I'm pale. I'm white. But I am African. To the core.

I'll tell you why I'm African.

It's in my blood. It seethes through my spine. Every breath I take is the air of Africa. Every morning I wake, it is to the sounds of Africa. Every sunrise I witness, every sunset I admire. Every blade of grass I bend; every grain of sand I disturb, is African. I was born African. We were ALL born African (study your anthropology/archeology/evolution you idiots!).

There is an absurd, magical magnetism to Africa. Perhaps, as a so-called interloper, I feel this even more than most? Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe I'm finally home. Home to a place that some of the self-appointed indigenous people take for granted. I'm 3rd generation South African. I am African to the very marrow of my bones. Perhaps my pioneering forefathers were simply coming home? Drawn by this mystical magnetism that is Mother Africa.

Beyond any other anthropological discovery, this is the home of humanity. It belongs to all of us. Its beauty. Its enthralling embrace is nothing but the welcoming arms of a Mother. Shit went down.

If you care to study the history, just take a look at Mfecane - The Crushing. The less said the better. Apartheid? Yeah, same shit, different race.

You can't OWN Africa (Caveat: nín hǎo to my Asian brothers and sisters).

Africa OWNS you.

There's an acronym that has distinguished itself from the swarm of acronyms in this world and it is: T.I.A. This Is Africa. Some try and make it disparaging and accompany it with a shrug and the usual Afro-pessimism. Fuck you!

T.I.A means This Is Africa.

When you're standing on the balcony of your Llandudno Villa staring at the African sun casting pastels over a silvery-sheened ocean, maybe you should consider what is so BAD about this place? When you're on a game drive and the silence is deafening, but suddenly punctuated by the deep roar of a male lion... perhaps then you should consider why this is such a BAD place? When you're lazing in your hammock, contemplating the awe-inspiring sight of a clear Milky Way, maybe then you should consider why this is such a terrible place to live?

When you pull up at a petrol (gas) station and someone fills your tank, checks your oil and washes your windscreen... perhaps THEN you should think about the green, green grass of Ireland? When you're only earning a middle income and your domestic servant and gardener rock up at your pad to make sure your life is as comfortable as possible (after travelling 3 hours via public transport at 5AM)... yeah, maybe that's a good time to think about how blessed you are to live in this paradise?

When you're spending 8 hours a day moaning on Facebook about how it's impossible for a white man to get a job, while you're supposed to be doing yours... well, then, that's just a perfect time to whine? When you're driving in your luxury car (alone) on your way to an exclusive gym, while listening to your iPod... yeah, why not whine and complain about your terrible life?

The problem with my race - and the entitled classes - is that they can't see past their privileges. They have absolutely NO idea about their fellow man, let alone how to associate, empathise and connect with their fellow man.

They are ungrateful.

They do not count their blessings.

They most definitely don't realise that they are African.

Next time someone says T.I.A. as if it's a curse.. please bitchslap them. Make them count their blessings on each finger.

Africa is not for pussies. If you want to live a "first world" existence, with a mommy-coddling state where everything "works" and life is just clockwork peachy, then go there. Really! Africa is not for sissies. It's a wild, unadulterated, raw, beautiful, awe-inspiring place. If you can't handle it, if you can't count your blessings, if you can't live without your fucking iPad, if you can't survive one night, alone, in the African bush... then go to where you feel your heart belongs.

My heart, my soul... is African. It is within the people. All of them, whomever chooses to call themselves African. Anyone who sets foot on this continent and when they leave, they leave a piece of themselves behind. That is the power of Africa. I never want to leave a piece of myself behind. My soul is African. It is within the very soil under your feet. It flows in the rivers and the breeze off the ocean.

I am African.

Feel it. It's always been here.

PS: If Europe calls, tell them I've gone native.

1 comments for this post

Yebo! I agree and I am African too.

Posted on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 2:21:00 PM GMT+2  

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