The African Personal Identity Story

Feature Article The African Personal Identity Story
NOV 13, 2014 LISTEN

I am an African. I was born and raised up in the African society. I am not alien to the problems of Africa. I grew up as a witness of the African problem. The fact is I don't need anyone to remind me or try to move my heart with pitiful images from Africa. A mechanism the West has utilized to repress the image of Africa. But I will not so much blame the West. Even Africans do moralize the West in such damnable condition of Africa to solicit for help. I had a different vision of Africa.

For many years I have spoken of Africa as an exclusivist. I have criticized my continent as though I was the only wise man alive in it. I have lamented over Africa as though hope has expired for the continent. Sadly, I forgot one crucial thing; that was, THE AFRICAN PERSONAL IDENTITY STORY. Perhaps I should have asked myself foremost the question “Who are Africans?” I read a different story of Africa. I was so blind and proud, just wallowing in identity crisis. I missed the true story that the African identity was a personal problem not continental.

Today, I am awaken. The African story is me. I see my whole life as part of the African story. Whether the story of Africa is good or bad, I am part of that summary. Whether Africa is progressing or retrogressing, I am part of that schizophrenic story. How I live my life on daily bases, the choices I make each passing moment, and my social interaction with other people, all form part of the African story. It is the story of each individual in Africa that has given birth to the story.

The African story is not what I read from books. It is what goes on in my daily life. We didn't get the true story because we were concerned with other voices. Voices of stereotyping, racism, repression, imperialism and bad leadership. We gave our confidence to political leaders hoping to experience a magic transformation in return. But we forgot that they too were part of the African story.

If something seems important to me right now, it is how my own story will become the story of Africa. I must be conscientized, both in imperative and priority terms, that what I write about myself is so important than what I read about Africa. I must likewise acknowledge that the consequences of my actions are so powerful that one single act of goodness from my life can rewrite the whole story of Africa. On the contrary, one single act of insincerity, corruption, and selfishness, can perpetrate from a single page to distort the harmony of the African story. When each African wakes up to understand this personalized story of Africa, we shall understand the technical know-how to development and traditional maintenance of human dignity, self-sacrifice and accountable leadership. The African story is my story and it is your story. What you write in your page is the whole story, don't expect none from anywhere.