Tuesday, January 18, 2011


From an early age, I knew I was an African. But I can say now that it didn’t mean anything special for me at that time to recognize my race. As I got older, watching flicks like Sarafina sort of opened my eyes to a lot of things going on around me. School taught me a lot about what a flourishing race we were before the white man came and took our land and subdued us to humiliation for decades. I learnt so much about the white man and his ways growing up, that sometimes it is easier to identify with his ways and forget my heritage. While I was learning all this things about Europe, Americas etc, I forgot about my home, my people, our pride.
In the past two years I have been blessed to travel within the continent. And I realise that Africans mostly know stereotypes about each other. That’s the equivalent of gossip might I add. Think about it. We hardly know anything about each other but we know a whole lot about other continents.
The label the white man gave this continent ‘the dark continent’ is sort of apt here as we are like strangers living under one house. The truth is we are all just one big family.
This continent has all you need. Trust me. Everything that you need is here. Wealth, wonders, culture, and beautiful weather you name it. But we prefer to go on holiday in the Bahamas because we probably know more about the Caribbean than Kenya which has more flora and fauna and it will cost you less.
The sad reality is that because we refuse to learn about each other, the continent remains divided. We lose out. We bleed ourselves dry constantly on our knees to the other continents who in essence are our peers. We have reduced ourselves to beggars, whoring ourselves out for loans when we have the resources. We are letting our brothers fight and kill each other in wars; you lie to yourself if you think civil wars in Africa have nothing to do with you if you are an African. We let them slander our brothers in ‘their’ media so as to create a greater rift between us. It affects you it affects me.
That’s all I’m saying
To be continued...


  1. Word!!! What do we do about it as Africans? Keep writing home girl. Im waiting for the next instalment with bated breath

  2. I agree Kwambox.I heard them speaking about Africans.I watched them planning for Africa.in the other hand the speeches of africans about Africa almost killed the good spirit in me.I blame us for being so stupid to let them rule,divide and kill us.I blame us more for being good watchers no action.Lets see the way the ivory coast saga unfolds it will give us a clue.Proudly african.Good job sista

  3. Beautiful, sheila,u know while u were on bba,that was ur strongest point,the fact that u knew so much about yr country and spoke so very knowledgeable about africa,showed how intelligent u were,u educated us at home,most time we all wished others will stop talking and let only u do the talking.pls continue to educate us.thanks so much for sharing.1 luv.

  4. Very well said! When i was growing up, i couldn't care less about other African countries...to me they were just in existence! there was nothing significant about them.Living abroad has really opened my eyes to see things differently- I see people from other parts of Africa now as family. I have friends from diff countries in Africa...and have learnt a lot about there cultures, food, marriage etc.
    Its liberating and good to know that we are all one.

  5. Nice piece, Sheila. I would like to add that we Africans need to learn that the REAL POWER is held by THE PEOPLE, not by our leaders. Too many African leaders have used the resources of their country to enrich themselves beyond belief while happily leaving their own people uneducated (because they they don't ask too many questions!) and living in appalling poverty. There are still so-called 'leaders' doing this and there will probably be others in the future. Us Africans need to take back our power and realise that just because someone managed to become a president doesn't mean they are the best person for that position or that they are doing the best for the country. Just one bad apple in the box makes the other apples bad too. The same applies to governments. Bad 'leaders' surround themselves with other bad people who they can manipulate. A struggling country had a negative affect on all the countries around it.
    We HAVE to learn to put pressure on governments (not necessarily by force) to serve their people, not themselves! 'Leaders', bleeding their countries dry and desperately clinging to power for decades and decades must become a thing of the past so that our beloved Africa can become the best that it can be and so that AFRICANS can be the best we can be.

  6. We need to appreciate eachother as AFRICANS and have a huge attitude change. We begin by loving ourselves and eachother.

  7. Thanks Sheila for this down-to-earth expression. Your blog is already generating a new wave of thinking about us and our heritage, and since thoughts are things, we look forward to a better continent in no distant future. Cheers!

  8. we need more exchange programs for african students within africa,to learn more about each other.the colonialists painted evil pictures to us of each other.until we get over this and realise we are the same people with a common destiny,not much will be achieved.we must encourage intermarriages as we will become cousinsmaunties and uncles.the false barriers created by the colonialists will gradually disappear.i will say kudos to the organisers of the big brother africa.i as a person learnt a lot about other african cultures.i now have alot of kenyan and south african friends and im looking forward to visiting these countries.

  9. Thanks sheila,we are affected by the lives our parents lived by them showing interest in western culture and tradition and they imbibing in us that africa ways of doing things are wrong,what happened to comminal living.In our varios home we use to care about our neigbour,there were mighty fences round our houses and if something is happenig to a ur neigbour u tok the problem as ur own.We use to disciple children even without telling thir parent.Now we have high fences and don't care.UNTIL we go back to caring for our neigbour we can now extend it to caring for africa.A simple step at a time.AFICA 4AFRICA

  10. oh what a continent fill with all beautiful sites the world has ever known. This is the only place as an African where you live and be the REAL you. Thank you for this write up it is a wake up call to all African to see this place as ours and help to build it rather than join forces with those that want to destroy it.


    I know "AFRICA" is my continent but i must confess i have little understanding of it...

    I know AFRICA has got the large size, rich natural resources & plenty of people who are quite diverse all at our disposal, but yet we are still slaves in our own minds...

    I know not everything in AFRICA is right like polygamy(my opinion), but hey neither is high divorce rate.
    They say we are marasmic & all but hey obesity is also a disease the last time i checked.
    I'm saying ~There's no perfect person or condition.~

    I know the world is now a global village of which AFRICA is definitely a part.
    So i say, AFRICA let's unite & promote our good (even the acquired ones, yes!) while letting go of the bad.

    I know AFRICA is my AFRICA...
    The change begins with you & me!!!

  12. If I may add we are our enemies, we let our leaders divide us along tribal, clan or religious lines for them to gain political millage. We tend to forget that the moment we raise a hand against our neighbor who we believe does not come from our tribe or clan or does not profess to the same religion as we do, we are killing and maiming our own.

    Do we ever stop to think that we are being used by these leaders who claim to have our tribe's, religion or clan interest at heart? Do we really need an outsider to point out for us where we are failing as a people. The wearer of the shoes knows where it pinches the most. Africa as a continent knows its problem and it can surely come up with its own solutions. We need to stop being selfish and becoming selfless.

    We also need to choose leaders of high integrity who do not put people in leadership positions in major government offices because they owe them favors.

  13. Sheila, this is very true. Its about time we stand up as Africans to help one another. Lets appreciate what we have so that we can grow as a continent. Thank you for this piece and let us stay united forever.