Pride In Our African Identity.

It's disheartening to know that some Africans still believe that "if it's not white, then it's not right." This mentality is faulty and must be changed.

Growing up, I was made to believe that 'whites' are a superior race. Society and some other contributing factors fashioned my mind towards the belief that every aspect of their lives is flawless compared to our so-called primitive ways. It's not so surprising that the idea of western superiority has overwhelmed a lot of people in Africa today. Apart from the fact that society made us think that way, the western world is better off in reality. The whites are superior, in the aspects of technology, civilization, and humanity...but that isn't enough reason to feel inferior toward them as Africans.

As a kid, I instinctively preferred everything 'white-themed', be it movies, novels, food, hairstyles, or music, to mention but a few. I was just an iconic representation of a typical African child who would always wish they were born 'white' if given a second chance. Back then, when I was in secondary school, I even wrote a book whose theme centered mainly on teenage fantasies and juvenile acts. It was only after gaining some insightful knowledge about colonialism that I realized I had made a very terrible mistake by trying to make my book purely western. Right from the characters, use of language, food, music… I tried to feature the western ways in absolutely everything.

Whereas come to think of it, I can't be blamed so wholly because despite the problems I encountered in writing and trying to incorporate their borrowed ways in my book, what kept me going was the knowledge that that's exactly what everyone's craving to read. Even the coolest writers on the block featured white people in their story books. This was because back then, we had to innoculate the western ways into our books if we wanted them to be captivating and interesting to other students.

This issue of low self-esteem towards the Western race is treated with sheer levity and absolute nonchalance in the whole of Africa. I do not remember anybody meticulously helping me as an individual (while growing up) to change my views and opinions towards the Western world. It's so disheartening to know that a lot of Africans deem it fit that their offsprings have inferior and degrading definitions of their identities. Somehow, it has managed to be a cankerworm in African society. It's so terrible that a lot of people still believe that "If it's not white, then it's not right." People, just like my young self, have trusted the wrong process and yielded the wrong results because of the primitive superiority notion that has been engraved on our minds.

Martin Luther King Jr once said in his very popular speech that he has a dream that one day, the two sons of America would be brought to a table and will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their hearts. Boiling down to the roots once again, an average African has to work very hard before he/she can be brought to a 'table' to be judged on the content of his/her heart before a white man. This is why I feel it's high time we started working towards our personal development. It's time to create an ideal society that is void of inferior notions. It's time to wipe the fog off the eyes of the people and to bring to the realization of every African soul that we are the best in our beautiful way. It's time to prove to the world that the difference in skin pigmentation has nothing to do with the personality or heart of a person.

Our identity should be worshipped as blacks. There is nothing, absolutely nothing displeasing about the pigmentation of our skin. From the deep ebony to the ebony, to the deep chocolate to the coffee brown, to the almond to the caramel, and what have you?! We are all beautiful and completely awesome! There is absolutely nothing normal as regards inferiority complex, especially when it's got to do with one's identity! The names of those who have made our territory proud internationally, those who still uphold the African staff and rods wherever they find themselves should be rung in an ear-splitting sound over and over again. The likes of Chimamanda Adichie, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa thiong o, Alain Mabanckou, Buchi Emecheta, Ben Okri, Laila Lalami have made a name for themselves in the world despite the discrimination should spur the whole African populace in general.

Now is the time to take unapologetic pride in our identity, heroes, history, and the cultures that have helped to advance our cause in life! Now is the time to appreciate our spongy, thick, and adorable afro! Now is the time to teach and inculcate the spirit of Africanism into the existing and upcoming generations! Now is the time to curb inferiority complexes, and unnecessary placements of superiority! Now is the time to glorify our rich black skins on our fliers, our notebooks, and whatsoever will be hung along the streets!

We might not be "there" yet, but that is no reason for us to feel inferior. A lot of dreams have been thwarted, and a lot of destinies misplaced as a result of low self-esteem in the Western world. If I didn't stop writing western stories, if I had continued in that stance, I wouldn't be saying this today and that would mean nothing but a misplaced destiny to me. We are Africans! We are not ashamed of our identity! We love 'us' for who we are. We love our skin! We love our hair! We will strive and sweat till we successfully break through the bias and barriers that the society and its elements have placed on our identity!

- From Africa to the world.🔥🌍

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