It is frequently said that the African needs to find her/his African identity. Surprisingly no one seems to be telling us what the African identity is. Really, what is the African identity to the African? As a matter of fact who is the African, what does she/he stand for and represent? Okay, let’s make it easy who is the Ghanaian, Nigerian or South African?
Eurasians have several stereotypes attached to Africa which are quite offensive and highly inappropriate which fit perfectly into some sort of Western agenda. Some are just hilarious, example, Africans sleep on trees, Africans live with lions, Africa is one big country, Africans cannot feed themselves, or that the whole of Africa is suffering from Ebola or some weird disease and many other silly ones.
So who do Africans say they are?
According to Edwin Baffour, a Communications Director for Food Sovereignty Ghana, the African is the modern day ambassador of the greatest ancestors of humanity. Divinely blessed with melanin, they are the representatives of the ancient cultures and people that gave so much to the world from science to music and the understanding and appreciation of the creator and an adherence to the natural laws of life.
A film maker, Ivan Quashigah, also said, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s thoughts on the need to form a political and economic union for Africa, explains why it is very difficult to say what positive values Africa stands for. There is total confusion in the minds of Africans themselves and as we are not able to define what we stand for, the world is not able to ascribe anything positive to us except the negative images they created of us in the Tarzan movies and other media platforms over the years. Tony Blair once said Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world.
Ivan Quashigah added, Africa represents to many in the west an environment of war, hunger and disease which is due to the failure of the African leadership which we have been cursed with for years.
Nonetheless, Ivan Quashigah remains optimistic, saying Africa is rising and as we educate our children and place emphasis on science and inventions and continue to tell our own stories Africa will definitely rise to take it’s place of dominance sooner than later.
Another proud Ghanaian who is a member of Ghana’s parliament, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, said, the African is the strongest physical specimen of the human race and potentially the strongest – mentally and spiritually. He said the only tragedy is that the African is the least awakened of all the races. Not too far off the aborigines of the world.
According to Fifi Kwetey, Africans have had some vistas of spiritual knowledge which Africans could have leveraged on to leap frog not just spiritually but also intellectually but it’s ever been the problem that we blow every opportunity and cannibalize our best prospects.
Others also defined Africa and what it stands for as one who hails from Africa or the representation of blackness.
Until we as Africans clearly define who we are as a people and our place on earth, the rest of the world would gladly tell us. The next time you are asked, as an African, if you sleep on trees don’t be upset of the level of ignorance rather be upset that you failed to clearly define who you are.
By Ayerkie Narnor|3news.com|Ghana