The Mythology of a Unified African Identity

The Mythology of a Unified African Identity

If we were honest with ourselves, we would see Africa as a rich patchwork of identities, each with different requirements for development. If we continue to see Africans as all the same, we destroy the cultures which constitute its diverse and rich history to the detriment of sustainable development. Africans need to have this conversation.

If Africans wish to democratise, they need to acknowledge local units of power in a federalist arrangement that recognises autonomy and limited self-determination within a unified political entity capable of achieving a viable economy of scale. - by Justin Steyn

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Houseboy and No Longer at Ease

Houseboy and No Longer at Ease

I remember enjoying Oyono’s Houseboy (published in 1956) which I found to be an honest but humorous work. For instance, I could not, for the life of me, picture Toundi, an African man, working as a “houseboy” and washing his Madame’s soiled undergarments. This was just too appalling in the African context. I must confess that back then, I might not have fully understood that as the storyline progressed and Toundi struggled to find his identity, having moved from his rural village, it was also a time when Africa, in the wider context, was trying to maintain its unique identity and shake off colonial rule and some of its atrocious consequences.

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Abuja

Abuja

My trip to Abuja a few years ago was highly rewarding.  I found Nigerians to be friendly and felt right at home in the capital city.  Getting around the city was very easy with its well-laid out roads.  Sustainable water and electricity can be a real challenge in parts of Nigeria though.  Generators have since become standard household items and it is quite normal to buy drinking water.

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What Africans have to say about themselves and their continent…

What Africans have to say about themselves and their continent…

My ethnicity is my identity. There is more to my skin tone and my “foreign accent.” It is the privilege I have to live in two different worlds. I am able to enjoy the benefits of globalisation from the western world and at the same time enjoy the simplicity of my culture. Being African to me is a mind-set. I have a list of rules and beliefs engraved in my mind. A set of rules and beliefs that cannot be altered by external influences. My mother’s voice is my conscious and my family are my examples. Her word goes and going against them is my sin. My family is my identity.

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