I am going to warn you; this post is going to be controversial. But I have to rant about it. For a while now I have seen my pre-existing culture being displayed as a new phenomenon. In this new “trend”, everybody wants to wear a dashiki, braid their hair, sing and listen to songs, and dance dances originating from the African culture. Ignorance is not bliss. Learn them if you wish but appreciate where it comes and give credit when it’s due. I am not here to join the queue with many other black people, especially women who have already spoken out against the nature of cultural appropriation. This is coming from an African who migrated with their family at the age of Eleven. I’m not only addressing this to White and Asian races but also the Black race. I remember starting High School in Birmingham and not only being teased because of my accent and short hair, of all races in the school (yes including the black races). This was unusual for me as when I lived in Ghana my skin colour was appreciated and embraced. I was constantly told by many people, by both genders and different types of pages how beautiful my dark skin was and to never consider changing it. I didn’t realise that being dark was undesired until I moved to the UK; I noticed this largely on media and comments directed to me.
“Woke” or Follower??
And now the very people who teased me because I didn’t speak with a British accent (which is somehow believed to correct way of speaking), somehow feels entitled to refer themselves as Kings and Queens of Africa. I understand and appreciate the “woke ness” that is spreading among our people but I wonder if the interest that was triggered is due to a diligence to know of our true history OR are they just following others so that they are not excluded?
Being African is not a Trend.
We are people and not a trend.
We are not high fashion
We are not dashiki, beads, and Afrobeat
We are not suddenly cool or the new in
You have ranked us in the hierarchy of the White, European and American blacks, and then Africans.
You have teased us, acted as if Being African is the worst.
The African Accent that is just hideous, laughable really!
You have had no interest in finding out about our culture and people based on our history taught to you by the Western World.
You have categorised us as the ‘Third World’
Do some of you even know that Africa is a Continent.
It is Continent filled with many Countries
Countries filled with people
And people filled with so much rich culture and abundant resources
You do not come to Africa for holiday, only for mission work.
Everybody only wants to go to Africa to go help the poor starving children.
There is more to my people, country and continent
We are the songs
We are the dance
We are the Kings and Queens
We are the cocoa producers
We are the miners that brings the gold, diamond, sapphires
The hands of our ancestors have built Great Nations
We have fought for and continue to fight for our Independence
It saddens me that the very people who acted as if being African was a disease,
Now want to be a part of the culture not because they truly value the history
But because they are fashionable.
We are not just the songs
We are not just the hairstyles
We are not just the dresses
We are not just the dance
We are not just the Jollof Rice (I know Jollof is bae)
The motherland has birthed countless resources
Timber, gold, cocoa, diamond, sapphires, all jewels you name it.
It has birthed culture
It has birthed land
It has birthed grace, power, love and laughter
And greatest of these is the people.
People have fought for their Motherland
The people are resilient
The people of Africa are not a Trend.