The Tragedy of Africa

By Idai.C.Makoni

A friend of mine sent this image to me a few days ago, and at first I could not find anything wrong it. So I looked closely, and then I saw it. My friend laughed, because like several other people, I did not see anything wrong with the fact that South Africa is missing from this map. I laughed too; and in that moment, I had an epiphany.

Africa Map without SAIn the same way that I failed to spot the anomaly in this seemingly normal map, we as Africans have failed to see that we are in fact one continent. We have created imaginary barriers and segregated one another at a time when we need each other the most. We have allowed our children to look down on their culture and have not done much to stop them from forgetting their heritage. Fellow Africans, it pains me to say that we have simply accepted that Africa is a broken continent.

We live in a world where almost every aspect of our day-to-day lives is influenced by Western culture. Whether it is in music, food, fashion or television, western culture is like a fast spreading disease that is slowly replacing the rich heritage that every African nation has inherited from our ancestors. It is this very heritage that binds us, brings us together as one and makes us family. When I look at my generation, the Youths of Africa and Zimbabwe, it saddens me to see that we lack a spirit of patriotism. What surprises me is that majority of Zimbabwean youths show more school spirit than patriotism. Is this what Africa has come to? The Youths of today are tomorrow’s leaders, and if majority of us dream to leave the continent and see university as our ticket out of Africa for good, what does the future hold for my beloved continent? If the cream of Africa flees to Europe and The United States, who will heal our brothers and sisters suffering from incurable diseases such as Ebola?

If our best journalists and writers deny their heritage, who will give Africa a voice and put an end to the stereotypical idea that Africa is a backward and struggling continent? We as the youths of Africa are the answers to all these questions, and it is time we realized that we are capable of transforming our continent.

It is true that change is inevitable, and it is important for us to accept cultural differences. However accepting cultural differences does not necessarily mean we must adopt them too.  Let us not forget who are and what we are capable of. Africa needs us.

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