The thing about Africa…
Africa is an anomaly – it is a continent unlike any other. Africa is beautiful and wild. Africa is bustling and hot. Africa is nature and not. Africa is crowded and desolate. Africa is savanna and desert. It is the smoke that thunders. Africa is Africa.
I posted an African proverb the other day. It goes like this: “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter who you are, lion or gazelle, when the sun comes up, you’d better be running”.
I was sternly reprimanded for sharing the content on LinkedIn. Now, I welcome various opinions on my posts. It is, after all, the reason I post them. I yearn for other inputs. Thoughts that I have not considered. I like pushing my boundaries as far as I can.
The person pointed out that comments like this make people think Africa is a Jungle, a country, and a dense national geographic site. Which is mostly true apart from the fact that Africa is home to many countries. It has big cities with dynamic economies and vibrant colors. Sounds and tastes that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. We make do with what we have. Many exciting and innovative things originated in Africa. Did you know that Pratley’s Putty, a proudly South Africa adhesive played a part in making the moon landing a success? Did you know that the first successful heart transplant was done in Cape Town, South Africa, by a South African doctor, Chris Barnard?
The comment got me thinking, though. What does Africa mean to me? I am African. Born and bred in Africa. I have felt the African sun on my skin and her rain in my face. I have traveled across Africa from South to North and from East to West. All across this beautiful continent and I have broken bread with many people from many cultures. We are friendly people at heart, but we are tough. Africa is not for the faint-hearted.
I heard a saying: “Once you drink from the waters of the Nile, you will always come back.” The sentiment rings true, but for me, once you have felt the dust on your feet, a part of you will always remain here.
So if you have not been to Africa, experienced the raw beauty and diversity Africa has to offer, I suggest you head on over here to try it out.
The thing about Africa is that no one is immune to it’s charm.