What does it feel to be an African in the 21st century?

3 min read

I wrote this piece when I was 17 years old trying to make sense of everything around me. It is the reflection of the standpoints I originated from.

It's hard to tell what to feel about this title. So I cleaned my mind, as you know life is so stressful these days, so I managed to go somewhere green and quiet. The sun is about to set. The place is spectacular, but I am not here to admire the place rather think about something, to write about something. As a member of my continent, I am black; my country, I am poor; and as being myself I am a teenage girl who lives in Africa in the 21st century. What does it feel like to be an African in the 21st century?

In Africa, almost all countries are in the 3rd world category where economic freedom, ideology freedom, and advanced education are under question. We have always been dependent and also marginalized for many centuries. Because we have been the recipients of everything that was made by the others and still poor. When you ask people whether they are proud of being African, they may say " Yes I am proud." But is it just a symbolic saying or do they mean it?

The next morning, I looked at myself in a mirror and wonder what I got from this color. I live in a place where there is a land full of fertile soil, which is the origin of life in the world but that doesn't make me proud. That will not give me the courage to say I have the best continent. Living in an unstable situation and leading a poor life are the main indicators of life in Africa. We have lacked good governance. We have been dominated so far. In the name of globalization, the dominators have taken our resources, have been involved in our political and economical system. They even colonized us, the teenagers, by our own wills using their media. This just means we don't look out for ourselves: We will always be under them and this has to stop now.

Thinking about this title, I have got more to say but let me just conclude with these. Africa needs the real black Panther all over its countries, a good government and we the teenagers have to respect our culture and also be confident in what we have and what we are. Being black is not a curse but a unique gift and we must be proud of it, not symbolically but really from our hearts, because we are who we are, where we came from but that doesn't decide who we want to be since we have the responsibility of what we become.

image credit: Getty Images

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