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I Am African

I Am African

I refuse to write about any other thing without first writing about the motherland, Africa. When asked where are I am from, I usually reply with I am African. I’m not sure if this clearly tells you all there is to know about me or the beautiful continent of Africa. I know science says that humanity originated from Africa (who am I to argue with science), but these three words mean so much more.

I was born in the West African nation of Sierra Leone. However, being African is not just about being born on the continent. It has to do with a connection so profoundly rooted in the motherland that it is almost spiritual in nature. When the continent hurts, your soul hurts. If you can sit by and watch others rampage Africa and not be moved to act, then you are not African. Africa is the most diverse continent on planet Earth, yet it has become the land of pillaging opportunities for the rest of the world, mainly the western world.

When I tell you that I am African, do not look at my complexion and say you could’ve figured that out because my answer has nothing to do with my skin. I am African because the blood of the lands run through my veins. I am African because the breath of the grounds is in my lungs. I am African because after you are done exploiting her, it is my duty to heal her wounds. I am African because I have seen her cry for her sons and daughters. I am African because all I do is to ensure that her future generations have a future. I may currently reside in America, but one thing is for sure, "You can take the child out of Africa, but you will never take Africa out of the child”.

This is a response to some of the "you don't look African" comments that I get from foreigners as well as other Africans. I honestly do not understand what society expects an African to look or sound like. Even amongst my fellow Sierra Leoneans, I have heard that I do not look or speak like a Sierra Leonean. If you must know, I am a proud product of the Temne, So So, and Mende tribes. I guess you can't please them all and why would I want to really?

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