Let Us Not Talk About Africa: The Truth About Struggle

MHRAF WORKU ’18
CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Let us not write about Africa. Simple.
Let us free ourselves from the exhaustion writing about Africa imposes on us. It is a vast continent after all. It only makes sense that we generalize it. Reduce its 54 sovereign states, 1.2 billion people, and its estimated 2000 languages into one blob of…nothing.
We are so passionate about Africa. We are ever so determined if not to save the African from himself then to rid the continent of the never-ending crises that seems to be swallowing it up. For those that like saving, Africa screams “Help”.
When we attempt to ward off our exhaustion from writing about Africa, we open our book of key words: Mandela, colonialism, multitude of diseases, poverty, oh, and civil wars. Naturally, they should be able to lend their voices to 1.2 billion people.
We then close our book of key words till the next time we hear about Africa. And when that next time arrives, we hurriedly open the book we never bothered get a new edition for. I suppose a new edition is only required for a topic that changes or has the potential to evolve. And Africa, offers neither.
Let us not write about Africa.
Let us not write about Africa because there are times when our book doesn’t suffice, times when we feel a slight urgency to expand our vocabulary. A one blob of nothing is voiceless, lacking representation. So, it is only justified that we feel the need to lend our voice to a place we are debating if it is in fact a continent or a country. We then, sacrificially, offer ourselves as the authors, the actors, and the voices. And in some rare case that we are not able to lend our voice, we might be lucky enough to find one African that can.
Africa is demanding. Niger and Nigeria, Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They sound similar and so they are the same. It requires a tedious amount of effort. Ultimately, what could be the possible difference between Bissau-Guineans, Equatoguineans, and Guineans?
Let us not write about Africa.
Let us not write about Africa, well, because of the African economy. We talk about developing regions. Passionately, we engage in economic discourse making comparisons between China, Brazil, and India. Then follows, Africa (oh, boy). Remember, for those that like saving, Africa screams “Help”. And so, we come up with much needed economic policies (which often involves trade liberalization to fight poverty). We confidently declare the thorns of the African economy which have been and are always the corrupt and greedy African leaders. What else could possibly be the problem?
Let us not write about Africa.
Let us not write about Africa.
Let us not write about Africa because there are too many people with far too many problems: the corrupt and greedy African leaders, the poachers, the warlords and lest we forget the helpless children. Africa makes us sad. It makes us question the presence of hope. It makes us question humanity.
Let us not write about Africa, because with Africa, our exhaustion seems neverending.

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