In celebration of Africa day, I’ve written a letter to young Africans to inspire them.
My dearest young African,
You were born in the richest continent in the world. A continent where there is gold, diamonds, oil and fertile lands. I know it doesn’t seem like it to you because you’ve been told Africa is a third world continent that would not survive without help from other continents. Well my dear that is a lie.
A lie told by those who wanted the gold, the diamonds, the oil and the fertile lands for themselves. Those who came and through what is known as colonisation, took from our people what did not belong to them. They “discovered” our lands the way David Livingston “discovered” Victoria Falls even though our people had always known of its existence. What was he saying? That our people walked past it until he, a man from the west came and showed them the light?
The world is telling you that because you are from Africa, you do not come first but you are of a third world. Do not listen to these lies and these man-made classifications. You are of your own world, a world full of gold, diamonds, oil and fertile lands. Young African, when people ask you where you are from tell them proudly that you are an African child. Tell them you are born of kings and queens of the most beautiful lands on this planet. Tell them you are a prince, a princess with royal blood flowing through your veins. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
Young African you are made of sterner stuff. Your great grandparents were strong and you are made from the same cloth. As you take your walk in life, you are not walking alone. Those who came before you are guiding you.
Your heart beats to the rhythm of the drum which is why rhythm flows naturally out of you. Your walk can’t hide the rhythm that lies in you. Young African are you going to ignore the song that is in your heart? The song that wants you to share it with the world.
What is your song? Is it a song of the periodic table or a song of rock formations? Is it a song of building structures or a song of legal briefs? Is it a song of chalk boards and white boards or a song of pen and paper? Is it a song of dance or a song of playing with a ball resulting in millions? Is it a song of coding and C++ or is it a song of diagnostics? What is your song young African?
When you know it, practice it alone where there’s no one watching. Practice it until you know it well. Practice it with others. When the time comes sing it loud and proud for the world to hear. Show them what Africa has to offer. Give them something to talk about.
With love, Sibo Hlabangana, an African Queen.