Thursday, June 5, 2014

What Makes You Proud To Be an African?

A rather sweet and well-intentioned email came across my desk about three weeks back, asking me what makes me proud to be an African. Like, could I describe it? Preferably in so-many printable words for the benefit of her initiative. 

You know, I like to support, especially the young. But. Some questions, eh. So I did what a good Tanzanian does: dwelled in silence rather than say no directly. Oddly enough, I ended up answer her question sideways through an entirely different article. Coming to an African Arguments near you tomorrow:
" evening, I sat in a pub next to a gentleman who upon learning of my nationality proceeded to regale me with tales of his colonial service, only to insist that the only reason a woman like me would be in the school I was attending was because my parents must be part of the kleptocracy. After all, no such thing as honest Africans who work long and hard to give their children an elite education, right? 
Bojo! Clearly, this man did not know he was talking to a full-blooded Mhaya. And then he dragged my folks into it. Let's just say that many of the principles by which I conduct my professional life and approach to international relations, class, the development industry sprang out of those seminal encounters."

If you're Haya and you know, clap your hands. And while you're at it, might as well put the 'L' in "arrogance."  ;) I just wanted to keep that one para intact in case they edit in the next few hours.

As Craig Ferguson would say: "I look forward to your letters." Heh.



  1. Can you be a colonialist and yet not yourself a racist? Can you be part of a kleptocracy and yet not yourself a kleptocrat? Can you reply to an Mhaya in full swing and still live to tell the tale?

    1. @Steve can you live joyously in the world and not embrace its sweet contradictions? can you eat a slice of pizza straight out of the oven and not burn the roof of your mouth? can you say "yo mama" to a Mhaya and expect that retribution might not visit you someday?

  2. He he heh! (Skipping out the way of kitchen-utensils-cum-improvised-missiles ...)

  3. @Steve ... Stop... Moving.... Around! I keep missing.


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