How African is the language I speak in and the clothes I dress in? How african is the music I listen to? How african am I when I choose to go against western thing?
I can show you how African I am by being proud of my culture and being in my own skin. Not comparing anything at all, but accepting the things I find interest in. Africaness stems from the roots of my being true to myself and highly valuing my family. To being integrated in the community I live in and appreciating the differences I share with the people I encounter. Celebrating the fact that God made us uniquely beautiful each one of us. In culture, in colour, in tongues and food.
When I’m dark in shade just know the sun loved me and gave me a warm embrace. Burning my heart to carry this warmness to the people around me. Calling it ubuntu. Realising that humans are relational beings so I proclaim the simple truth, ukuthi: umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.
There’s nothing african about ibeshu. But there’s something african about dressing to reflect who you are and respecting yourself and the people who share this earth with you. There’s nothing african about iqukwane but the communing that goes on inside, and the embedding of family values and traditions. However all these things that we have from our ancestors serve as an african heritage to give us an overview of where we come from. A priceless legacy. Our attitude towards these things, the way we receive them and the way we carry them to future generations is an extent of our africaness.
Africa is a mother that gave birth to these children. So even though you are from another country you are still my beloved brother. These boarders shall not serve to divide us. Our differences shall not distance us from each other. On this land let us unite and fight against hunger, thirst, slavery and the strife among us.
Let’s not rob ourselves by selling our birthright to live according to another man’s standards. Trying to change ourselves for a man who never understood us or have come to see our true beauty. Let’s not try to re-create our identity from his thoughts of how we should be. Like Esau sold his birthright for food, we sold our birthright for another man’s “flashy” ideals. We devalued what made us who we are, we have forsaken what brought us through all those centuries. Africa you have prostituted yourself for something that doesn’t feed you but kills you. You have lost your self esteem trying to compare yourself in vanity. Working yourself hard for the things you had already owned. Ignorance is killing you. In every sip of blissful poison. Claim back your honor and take charge of your body. Put back on your dress of many colors (no more grey and black colored slave clothes). Open up your eyes to see your blessings, see how rich you are. No longer should you depend on a man who abuses you.
De-colonize your mind to know your worth and be free to stand apart. We are not the “third world” because we are not part of a vain competition. By what standards have we been rated anyway? How do I compare my mother to another? The woman who fed me when I was young and tender with full breasts and nourished me till now. Africa love yourself and seek your truth, then you shall be free.