While Africa prays for the rest of the world, forgetting how the rest of the world has a history of preying on Africa, who prays for Africa?
I’m not talking about the preying on Africa that has anything to do with slavery or colonialism. That is in the past, right? Or is it?
The recent mudslides disaster in Freetown, Sierra Leone opened my eyes wider to the reality of the relationship between Africa and the rest of the world. I’m bewildered at the realisation that Africa almost only sees itself through the eyes of other world communities. Perhaps, that’s also why Africa as a wilderness is the typical mental picture that stays in the minds of those that have never reached the Shores of this continent.
It is not without irony that Freetown, having such historical significance to African history has received so little attention in the tragedy that befell her this past week.
Before Freetown was Freetown, she was a Slave town. She was easily the biggest ever exchange point for the Slave trade. Slave traders brought our Ancestors to this trading place and sold them as Slaves.
And then in the 1700’s when Britain abolished slavery, the slaves were returned to Africa. They got dropped there and the Place was called as such, Freetown referring to the Freed Slaves.
Enough about ironies rooted in the annals of history.
What I have come to realise in general is that Europeans care about each other much more than Africans do about each other, for some reason. The Eiffel tower in Paris gets switched off in solidarity with wherever tragedy would have occurred at that time, in Europe. A moment of silence is held across all nations before games in all the important sports with black armbands on their arms.
Seemingly, africans mostly stand UNITED in Solidarity to the European UNION or the UNITED states of America.
The concept of African UNITY isn’t as appealing to Africans as these other UNIONS & UNITIES (by others).
There’s more enthusiastic effort into :
and only a weak lip-service on :
It is high time Africans start caring for themselves more than they care about others.
In Freetown according to AP, 450 people were killed in mudslides and flooding earlier last week. More than 600 people remain missing. Rescue officials have warned that the chances of finding survivors are decreasing each day.
At least 200 people were killed in the North Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after a Landslide swept through a fishing village on the banks of Lake Albert.
In the very same week was the Barcelona tragedy where a total of 13 people died, and more than 100 injured when a van ploughed into a crowd.
They are all regrettable incidents and not a competition, but I have seen my fellow Africans showing solidarity with Barcelona a whole lot more than their brothers & sisters in Sierra Leone or the DRC. Most news outlets covered Barcelona more as well. It’s a regular sight for individuals to change their profile pictures to European flags. And hashtags like #PrayForManchester will trend on social media for hours or days on end.
We can’t blame most people, and these borders designed by the Berlin Conference in 1884 were meant to divide and conquer. And conquer, they did. Our so-called “mainstream media outlets” are biased towards Western content, we are fed this as the norm from a young age, So it all looks healthy that we care about the Europes more than we care about ourselves. Almost like we are dispensable. Like #BlacklivesMatter doesn’t really matter.
We get angered and bewildered when we experience racism and all that. But on a daily basis, we subtly and unconsciously send self-hatred vibes in how we don’t stand together. I wish we could adopt a new mantra that says :
It’s time for Africans to write African stories, it’s time for Africans to care about Africans, it’s time for Africans to wear and eat African.
It’s time for African voices to be heard by African ears, it’s time for African Musicians to go double Platinum without features. Africans need to take ownership of the African Land. Africans need to care more about Africa.
It’s all in our minds, and we can change the scripts despite having carried them since birth. Afterall, mental script-flipping is what eventually brought an end to political (not Long-term psychological and certainly not economic) slavery and colonialism.
It is up to us to continue from where the revolutionaries of the previous generations left off. And we don’t even have to do anything dramatic like carrying guns and hide in bushes.
All we need to do is flip the script, fully embrace the who we are part and start loving us a bit more.
They say love you before you can love someone else, does Africa even like herself?
I swear by the height of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Length of the Nile river that no one else will love us if we don’t love us.
Selective outrage is when we go nuts over 13 people in Barcelona while 400 are dead and 500 missing in Sierra Leone, and the incident gets a shrug and minimal media coverage. Charity begins at home. If the Sierra Leone tragedy had happened in Europe, the World was going to come to a standstill.
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the people of both nations of The Democratic Republic Of Congo and Sierra Leone. In total, we lost 1200+ Africans in the past week we should pay attention to this.
With close to 500 already confirmed dead & mass burials, any idea on how bad it has to get for media to Really care? #PrayforSierraLeone🇸🇱
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) August 20, 2017