It’s sad that Africa, the birthplace and cradle humanity and CIVILization, is treated and regarded by so many worldwide with disdain and disrespect. Many people have never come close to even breathing African air, yet they dare to disrespect this great land. Half of those same people are unaware of how much of the world’s history originated in this one continent. Still, many negative, forceful influences of those from within and without this continent continue to either give birth to, agitate, or fail to help eradicate the various cancers existing throughout Africa. By “cancers” I mean: famine, disease, war, genocide, civil unrest, racism, corrupt political control, religious turmoil, mistreatment and oppression of its people, economic instability, and the raw, uncontrolled stripping of the land’s environment and natural resources, among other conflicts and negative things known throughout history to have occurred over the centuries. More insight on the conflicts in Africa is here.
I’ve always wondered why such negative things were allowed to happen in Africa. I wonder what caused so many countries there to be reduced to “third world” status and made travel to countries like Chad, the Sudan and Ethiopia for example, to be filled with danger and warnings of hazardous conditions. Again, I say it’s sad that for many centuries, man has threatened to ultimately destroy the place of his origin; a place once well-known for its beauty, pride, peaceful tranquility, spirituality, cultural ideas and diversity of its inhabitants. Somehow, like the resilient Mother Land that she is, Africa heals. Africa is forever healing herself so that she may yield good fruit. And not only does Africa forgive her children and their wrongs but she protects them too! Africa will always continue to do what she has always done. Such is the nature of any mother.
I am grateful for the few opportunities (thanks to my service in the Navy) to have actually set foot on the land of my forefathers and mothers; to have sailed four times through the Nile; and sailed along the coastlines of Africa’s continental shores. I am fortunate to have seen and admire the beauty and serenity that is… Africa. While I’ve always held an interest in and a great respect for Africa and its people and culture, I don’t profess to know all there is to know about her history, her people, multicultural settings, or religious roots. However, as one who is not from Africa, somehow I have a good feeling that I’m probably more aware of some of the important things regarding the current social, political and environmental climate of Africa than I’m willing to give myself credit for.
Many people seem unaware or are in strict denial of Africa’s history and place in the world. While the majority of people living in Africa are Black, it was only a mere 18 years ago when apartheid in South Africa ended after nearly 46 years. Apartheid is an Afrikaans word for a system of racial segregation enforced through legislation by the National Party governments in South Africa, who were the ruling party from 1948 to 1994. Literally translated, the word means ‘the status of being apart‘. This status was threatening to spread to the rest of the continent. Under apartheid, the rights of the majority of black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained. If you know American history and remember apartheid, and then make certain comparisons between the histories of America and South Africa, you’ll appreciate how familiar this sounds. Here South African students discuss apartheid. Nelson Mandela is most noted for his fight against apartheid. See a short clip of Mandela’s life story.
Many Africa countries have struggled – and continue to struggle hard against the “cancers” I mentioned earlier. Even so, there are still many good things about Africa and many peaceful and beautiful countries to visit there. To me, as the mother land of humanity and civilization, Africa is still about spirituality, pride, and unity with one’s self and with others, as well as with ALL the other living creatures that share that land. Africa is a land deep-rooted in pride and over-flowing with cultural amenities and diversity, yet in constant danger of being destroyed by the spreading of hatred and negative forces unless something is done to save her.
May the bed (land) and blood (rivers) of Africa, and her life force (the children and beasts) and the environment again someday, come to know the respect, peace and prosperity it so richly enjoyed and deserves…and may it happen soon.