Let me be a little kinder,
Let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
Let me praise a little more;
Let me be, when I am weary,
Just a little bit more cheery;
Let me serve a little better
Those that I am striving for.
Let me be a little braver
When temptation bids me waver,
Let me strive a little harder
To be all that I should be;
Let me be a little meeker
With the brother that is weaker;
Let me think more of my neighbor
And a little less of me.
~ Edgar Guest ~
I’ve read a couple of books and articles on this topic. From Chinua Achebe’s Home and Exile to Chimamanda’s “The danger of a single story” and the speech given in my previous post. I also read what ThisDay’s Style magazine, fab magazine online and some other African magazines and blogs had to say about L’uomo Vogue’s ‘Rebranding Africa’ issue. Currently I’m trying to read Giles Bolton’s Africa Doesn’t Matter: How the West has Failed The Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It.
I’ve been looking for a copy of the speech made by French President, Nicholas Sarkozy in Dakar, Senegal on July 26th, 2007; in which he mentioned “… the African man has never really entered history…” Please, if you have the link or a copy, you could send the link to me through my askbox or my e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not remember when I developed an interest for Africa’s image and how colonisation affected us; but it’s a shame if any African doesn’t have an interest in the topic actually. It is important that these days people (from artists, musicians, designers, business men, writers, leaders, most people really) are interested in the Rebranding of Africa. Though some, especially the from the West, do it to an extent that they ‘take advantage, per se, of the poverty of Africa as a continent just to use it as a medium to showcase their charity; like Africa is a helpless continent, whereas they are the same ones that have contributed immensely to the present state of Africa’.
I may not be able to fully express how I feel about this yet because I really do not know so much, but it is really important to me and I’ve been trying to get my hands on every piece related to this topic. Already, I’ve come across shocking, eerie, odd, insulting, and highly degrading remarks made about Africans. I used to feel offended and very angered. But now, maybe due to the fact that there are so many of them (the remarks) out there -made by ignorant people and people who fail to speak about things as they truly are- so many of them that I can only accept that I cant change what has already been said by getting angry. I can only channel my aggression and hurt into making Africa a better place, improving the way Nigeria is and the way the world sees my country and my continent.
Support and co-operation from the rest of the world, more love and charity -as opposed to patronization, which the West has not failed to ‘bless’ us with- is what I believe Africa is in need of.
I really do love Africa.
*PS. If you havent already, I think you should watch the video I just posted on Chimamnda’s speech in Holland about Europe. It’s 39 minutes though.