How I see It

Posts tagged ‘Africa’

To Non-Africans; Response to coverboy James Charles’ Twitter ignorance

Dear non-African people guilty of this,

Why is it that when you visit a country in Europe, Asia or the Americas, you’re usually specific about where you go, yet when you travel to somewhere in the CONTINENT of Africa – which by the way has 54 countries, you refer to it as if it’s one country?

If you had an amazing experience at Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, went on a Kenyan safari, or hiked Table Mountain in South Africa, PLEASE do NOT say “I had a blast in Africa”. It’s a small minded thing to say. You wouldn’t say “I had fun at La Tomatina festival in Europe”.

Educate yourselves freinds. I’d say grab a map but Google already did that for ya.

To my non-African friends who know better, teach your friends, share your knowledge.

While I’m on the subject of the CONTINENT of Africa, let me say this; not all children are starving. We don’t all live in huts. Yes, Africans have skyscrapers, electricity and running water. No, we don’t live in trees either. It’s not all muddy/dirty/ridden-with-disease or underdeveloped.

You want to know what Africa is like? Do PROPER research.

Sincerely,
A pissed off African

We Must Fight

I have a question….

Disclaimer: this question might be considered offensive to some folk.
P.S, it is not intended to spark hate or be offensive, it is intended to spark conversation…

Ok so here’s my question… If given the chance in today’s America or perhaps today’s world, for black people to enslave white people the way they did blacks during slavery, would Black people do it?

Our wounds are deep and our scars will never fade. The history can never be forgotten. But will hurting the ones who hurt us make the pain go away? Will holding on to this pain somehow make our struggles less of a burden?

This is what I say. I say the only way to beat racism is to take our wounds, our scars, our history, and make it beautiful. It’s to rise up to excellence and be majestic and unapologetic about who we are.

We are a people, stronger than chains or beatings, stronger than plantation farms or forced labour. Stronger than abuse or insult. We are strong even when we are at our weakest.

So while we can never forget who we are because we will carry our scars until the end of time, we can also not live in perpetual hate and limit our possibilities. We must not find every excuse to relive our torture, to blame, even though the blame is very justified.

We must wear our scars with pride, and March in strength to excellence, for the strong were born to fight!! We must fight!

Happy Fourth America!

Our Path To Greatness Gala

Last Sunday (May 22, 2016) I had the privilege to attend a gala fundraiser hosted by the Non-Profit organization Our Paths To Greatness. The reason for this fundraiser was to provide affordable education and other resources to Makoko village in Nigeria. This village, suspended over a body of water has over 85 thousand inhabitants, who fish as a primary source of living. The village only has one school for the thousands of children who inhabit the area. optg-infographic-d

OPTG aims to provide oportunities for “underserved africans, equipping them with the skills and resources to compete in their communities and the world, through investments in education, enrichment in arts and culture as well as various projects to aid communities in need”.

I had the opportunity to perform (back up) with Tosinger, a Nigerian folk singer and story teller who uses her art as a means to shed light on African culture and life.

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Left to Right: Gabriella and Tosinger attend the OPTG Gala

I also met with Laolu Senbanjo, a lawyer turned body paint artist who has made a name for himself as the guy who worked with the models in Beyonce’s Lemonade video, and now has a design contract with Nike.

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Left to Right: Laolu Senbanjo and Gabriella at the OPTG Gala

I was accompanied by a few of my fellow Legacy House Inc. members. Jason Nkwain, a poet and Leslie Njuakom, our financial secretary. Legacy House Inc. Is in its beginning stages of creation but we have been around for almost 4 years. Our mission is to expose african Art of any form (music, dance, literature, fine arts, etc ), to mainstream media.

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Left to Right: Jason Nwain, Leslie Njuakom and Gabriella attend the OPTG Gala

I learned so much from being around like-minded indivuduals who strive to excell at what they do and move Africa forward. This gala reminded me of a few things:

a. Keep doing what you love to do. You will see your hardwork come to fruition soon.
b. Do your best to give back. There is never nothing to give. We each have something to offer.
c. Enjoy life. At the risk of sounding cliché, I say we only live once and we must make the best of every moment and recognize how blessed we are each day.

Happiness is a choice. Live life, No Worries.

 

North + Sahara + South = 1 Africa

African culture is a combination of several, with Africa being the umbrella. The idea that there is an “African culture” that is entirely separate from the Arab cultures north of Africa is exaggerated. I like to think that Arabs and Muslims in Africa share the land with the rest of the continent and their culture or religion is just as “African” as any other.

The issue of an identity crises  facing Arabic nations in Africa only exists because of the mainstream understanding of “African Culture”. When you mention “African culture” it is immediately associated with tribal practices common mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. This excludes most of our northern counterparts making people more inclined to finding a distinction where there shouldn’t be one.

But the issue begs this question; do the nations north of Africa want to be considered African?  They look different, and speak different languages. In addition, being African undoubtedly carries a stigma based in the roots of slavery and racism. I won’t go into a history lesson here. What I’m getting at is this; having lighter skin and soft curly hair plays into their identity and the great, vast Sahara desert divide doesn’t do much to help. It is human nature to identify more with those who share one’s beliefs and customs. As such, Northern Africans gravitate more towards their middle eastern neighbors than they do with their brothers South of the Sahara.

So, how do you include someone who doesn’t wish to be included?

The answer is the Map. Africa was drawn they way it was for a reason. If we are to exclude the northern countries from the African culture, we would have to re-draw the map and make them part of the Middle East.

Yes they look different, talk different and act different. I say we embrace it! This difference only goes to enhance the beauty and diversity of the -in my opinion- highly coveted continent. The Saharan-divide between north and south should be a unifyer and not a divider. We can help each other and learn from each other.

North + Sahara + South = 1 Africa. The future of a unified and thriving Africa depends on this concept.

How To Be An African Child: 27 Do-Nots

Here’s what I tried not to do as a child growing up in Cameroon.

 

  1. Do not – under any circumstance, talk back to your parents. 
  2. Do not take anything from your parents or older relatives with your left hand.
  3. Do not be left-handed. That hand gets slapped every time you attempt to use it.
  4. Do not be too needy.
  5. Do not complain.
  6. Do not get in fights.
  7. Do not ask for allowance. 
  8. Do not grumble. Take all punishment for wrong doing remorsefully, and in silence.
  9. Do not look anyone older than you in the eye. Look to the ground in respect.
  10. Do not keep any money received from relatives. Hand all money to parents.
  11. Do not address elders by their names. Refer to them as Auntie or Uncle (whether they are relatives or not).
  12. Do not throw away used containers or jars. They are for storage.
  13. Do not fail a test.
  14. Do not forget stuff.
  15. Do not play too much.
  16. Do not throw unnecessary tantrums in order to get what you want.
  17. Do not ask for too much. Take what you are given with gratitude.
  18. Do not pick a career choice other than Medicine, Law or Engineering. 
  19. Do not hide anything from your parents. They will find out.
  20. Do not sleep too much.
  21. Do not eat too much.
  22. Do not dodge a blow coming at you.
  23. Do not desire luxurious things that your friends might own
  24. Do not bring friends of the opposite sex to your house.
  25. Do not visit a friend’s home without permission.
  26. Do not stay at a friend’s house past sundown.
  27. Do not have a boyfriend or girlfriend.