for mama africa

October 4, 2018
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By Daniel Mbava, AFROPUNK contributor


It’s 5:43 AM and the sun is rising. The air is cold and unwelcoming but a glimmer of hope greets me from beyond the horizon — the sun. I take a moment to pause and soak the radiance in. I inhale. As the sun washes over my skin, I ponder my place in the world. I live in Africa yet I do not feel African. I exhale. I call myself African but am I really African? My clothes? Western. My phone? Western. My hair? African… yet cut and altered to satisfy Western approval. Acknowledging these thoughts, my eyes drift off into the horizon and I whisper to myself, “Who am I? ”

The African child is born into a world of war, anger, grief. A society where she is shamed for her naturally curly hair, her dark skin, the thick accent born from her mother tongue. How did a continent that is the provider of all natural resources (so nobly dubbed “Mother Africa”) become an ill-conceived consumer of Eurocentric culture? Colonialism.

Most African countries gained independence in the last quarter century. Yet, in light of recent racial injustice brewing within South Africa and the world as a whole, I’ve grown wiser to the importance of self-identity. To be African is to be proud, fearless, strong in the face of adversity. I am where I am because of all the black mothers and fathers who fought for our land, our soul, our culture…our pride.

The Nubian skin is blessed with melanin from the sun hence it shines blue in the moonlight. Traced with scars that serve as a reminder of where we come from and where we are yet to go — no other shade of color has this.

By design — my blood is royal. Within it lies not the only the strength of my ancestors, who struggled for us, but also the hunger and desire of an entire generation. We, the youth, have been given the opportunity to shine a new light on our ill-represented home. Our rapid growth and innovation in art, technology, and infrastructure are a sure-fire sign of a bright future.

Our destined success is not only for our people or our fallen ancestors but…

For Mama Africa.