The Problem of Africa is Not Africans!
It’s common to read articles online where Africans share their sentiments on how Africans are the reasons why Africa is facing the challenges it’s facing today.
If Africans want to change Africa, they have to be empathetic to their own kind.
Despite what Britain is going through with Brexit, have you ever heard any British person saying that the problem with Britain is British people?
Trump has his fair share of haters, are you reading anywhere online that the problem with America is Americans? Even when China had their 1 child policy and daughters were being killed in a bid to get sons, did we read anywhere that the problem with China is Chinese?
It may face problems different from those in other continents, but that doesn’t mean that our problems define each and every African.
Africans need to learn from the rest of the world, to be kind on themselves.
I guess no one has taught Africans to be easy on themselves. They grow up being told to work hard, to do what is best for the community, but no one ever stops to tell them, “Love Yourself.” Slavery did not help with the process, a period in which they were taught to be hard on ourselves.
I am the Late Nduta wa Kore’s (Google her) Grand Daughter and I was brought up in a value system that appreciated Justice and fighting for what is right no matter the cost. My Grand Father died in the war, and we grew up respecting him and his sacrifices for the country.
I can’t dare compare my actions with those of my Grand Parents, but I do know that I am willing to give up a lot for what is right. I’d rather have a bit of discomfort if it means doing what is right, it’s just the way I was brought up and I am proud of it.
That said, living in Europe taught me to be easy on myself, to love myself, to know that I am worth time to become a better person. I can’t say that I learnt this in Kenya. If anything, I still haven’t forgiven myself for getting 390 out of 500 in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). I always feel like a failure because I wanted to get above 400. I always feel the need to share that I got 432 in Mocks, which was typically harder than KCPE. Even though I know there is standardisation of marks, that year the highest marks in Math was 83 and I had 81 - I still feel terrible to date because I wanted to make my Dad proud. I know KCPE means nothing, and may be one day I will heal completely and let it go.
But that’s exactly my point, Africans need to learn to be easy on themselves and nurture our shortcomings with Love. You need Light to take out any Darkness, so writing articles online saying Africans are the problem of Africa doesn’t shed any light into the continent.
I look at Mombasa and I get very irritated on how it is dirty. I live in a rainy country and I know the Irish would do anything to protect Mombasa if indeed they had the chance to call it their city. But then again I understand that our Education System does not include learning subjects on protecting the environment, so children don’t turn into adults that learn to protect the environment. On top of that, there is no fine for throwing that banana pill on the road, but where I live, you will be fined $50 if you step on train seats. You can’t bribe anyone, if you are caught, you pay up. Which in this case, the problem is that African Leaders have not put measures in place to nurture a generation that protects the environment willingly.As far as I am concerned, Africans are working hard daily, they have paid enough taxes for the governments to be able to clean our cities, but here we are.
When I applied for a role at Google, a recruiter worked with me to improve my CV. She taught me how to include impact in my achievements, and I was so happy to see how my CV looked like after the process. That’s why as Miss Independent I have always created time to review CVs on LinkedIn and have willingly shared my CV publicly so that others can learn from my experience. I can’t get annoyed when I see a bad CV because I know very few people are taking the time to nurture the African Youth on CV writing skills. I understand, because I too have been there.
My point with this blog post is that we need to be proud of Africa, and we need to nurture ourselves with love to overcome the challenges the continent is facing. Self-hate will not change Africa. Instead of saying Africans need to change, be and nurture that change. Today I have used my blog as a tool to inspire more love within the continent, because anything powered by love is done better.