Africa. The Motherland. The place where humanity started.
Africa with her beautiful wild animals and her breathtaking landscapes.
Africa and her glorious but hidden and unknown rich history. Kemet, Ancient Mali, Great Zimbabwe.
The woke community knows it all. We are restoring African history to debunk European lies. We read Cheikh Anta Diop, Ivan Van Sertima, Runoko Rashidi and for the first time in our lives we are proud of being African.
We talk about her glory and we wish we were alive when Tombuktu was at its height. Just like Marcus Garvey we want to “return”, find our roots, learn our lost culture and live happily ever after.
But wait, aren't we fetishizing Africa? Aren't we reducing it to something that is long gone?
When I went to Senegal it felt good. I was home, I was with my cousins and grandparents. I had longed for that and my dream had finally come true. That joy and excitement however only lasted a couple of days, after that life just went on.
When we talk about Africa we talk of a continent that is no more. What about the Africa of today? Do we know how many nations there are? We know Mansa Musa but do we know who the president of modern-day Mali is? How many inhabitants does Zimbabwe have? How does neo-colonialism affect them? What about continental Africans? How are they? How do they feel, what are their worries?
I expected Mali and Senegal to save me from a life spent surrounded by toxic whiteness and to a certain extent they did, but there's much more to it. We cannot use the Motherland only for that. The glorious past is over – we have to actively work to recreate it.
There's no use in knowing what happened hundreds of years ago if we and continental Africans are still victims of injustices. Studying our history may have freed us mentally and made us proud but we have to move forward. We have to use that knowledge and pride to unite against all of those who loot and pillage Africa wreaking havoc everywhere they are.
We have to learn Africa and Africans' present reality, talk to our brothers and sisters on the continent and help us all to find freedom.