Thursday, May 7, 2009

Through my eyes

Recently I have been in conversation with a lady on one of the forums I am a member of. Lightly dwelling on differences in culture and dwelling slightly the different systems of governance between administrations in our separate countries. I hope we will continue as I enjoy discourse about others perceptions and life styles. I think that I would like to give my perspective of Africa, seen through the eyes of an African who is white.

The greatest thing about Africa is the sense of space you have. I don’t mean in the urban surrounds ,but away from the cities. Expanses of bush and scrub,desert and almost desert,the dry heat of the central plains and the moist dampness of the lower coastal areas.The land changes slowly as you move on. Gone are the vast herds of wild animals that used to roam freely. Wire and fencing breaking up the  expanses. It is not as if the fenced in lands are productive farm lands ,but just bush and scrub which has an owner, who may never ever make use of that land.  But it is his and so must be marked out and jealously guarded. Wild Africa does exist, though it gets increasingly harder to find. To me it seems that everything alive or dead is owned, everything that moves or fixed belongs and is owned in some sense by some one.

I can only really talk about Southern Africa because this is the area that I have experienced personally. I have made very fleeting visits to other parts but only really stop over's.

The perception that outsiders have of this land has been swayed a lot by what ever the popular news of the day dictates. It is hard place to live. You cannot compare what is here with what is else where. Colonialism is blamed for the Africa we have today . I truly cannot blame that. It is of course a factor ,but for myself I can't see it as having actually held up the development of Africa. The whole of Africa south of the Sahara has been colonised , decolonised time and time again by different African peoples and  those from outside. If it holds true that man first came into being in Africa  and migrated else where over the eons ,then we are all African by decent ,so colour of one’s skin should be no way of differentiating one person as being African and another not.

Neither should religious beliefs be the way, animalist,Jewish Christian , Muslim it makes no difference . You are born into a belief system it is not what makes you who you are, but it can govern who you will be and your lifestyle.  I am white and I am African,I was born here and for many generations back my ancestors were too. Africa nourished us and gave us a home ,I am native to this soil. For without it I would not have come into being.  I am an inhabitant of this world, the planet earth. So I am part of all life that is the make up of this little ball in the universe.

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