Sunday, 21 December 2008

Why I Blog About Africa

I was tagged by Loomnie to write about Why I Blog About Africa

It is almost impossible to be original about this because most of us who get tagged would simply answer that we are African and we almost always express a form of anger, a disappearing sense of pride and have a hope for Africa that we never think can be realised in our lifetimes - try, can the United States ever have a black president just about a year ago.

Having clarified the reason why I cannot be original, part of what I write is Nigerian-centric and in other cases applies to Africa as a whole, but here goes.

Because I am African

In fact, it is because I have the best of all worlds, I am English by birth and Nigerian by descent – I am able to thrive in the West because my formative years were in Africa, it means like I have written many times before, my blackness was always part of me and hence I do not have to sweat about my identity, my purpose and the right to be anywhere I choose to be.

Without Africa, I would be less of who I am, just as without the West I would not be completely who I am, I am a product of both cultures and as a result I comment and blog on how ideas, events and people affect me in those places and further afield.

Because I am angry

We think that it is the exclusive preserve of the West to be pragmatic, objective, compassionate, honest and willing to implement change. Take an upright African into the bear pit of politics and commerce and he gets names for wanting to do the right thing, this must change.

We have leaders we have not genuinely elected as the express wish of the people who lord it over their countries like fiefdoms, who let their countries degenerate into anarchy, chaos and penury without any consideration about it but for staying in power – the winner takes all model of democracy needs to be revisited – it should not be a do-or-die affair.

We have taken religion to a new level, everyone is seemingly in a religious house but very few have the innate virtues of integrity, trustworthiness, honesty and candour, we are superstitious to the extreme and really believe in nothing but self-preservation to exclusion of every other – Gosh! I am cynical.

Because I am really angry

Yes, I am angry that I am proud of being African as an identity for myself but ashamed to be an African for the things that are done to my people by eternal incumbents, tyrants, despots, dictators, leaders, elders, politics, religion and tribal associations.

Rather than address those issues head on, we find excuses for everything rather than solutions to the problems and situations – for one; colonialism has long left Africa, we have been in charge for too long to be hoodwinked by that anymore.

Oh yes! I am angry, but this is not the day to do too much of that, I would still blog about Africa, I earnestly search for good news that genuinely improves the lot of Africans – I really do.

That is the sum of Why I Blog about Africa.

If I may, I crave the indulgence of tagging Chxta, Ijebuman and Imnakoya.

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