Happy Africa Day to all my fellow Africans! Today is our day. The day we get to spend all day celebrating our beloved mother Africa. How many of us actually know the origins of Africa Day? According to Wikipedia, “Africa Day is the annual commemoration on May 25 of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). On this day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1991, the OAU established the African Economic Community, and in 2002 the OAU established its own successor, the African Union. However, the name and date of Africa Day has been retained as a celebration of African unity”.
Non-African media, and to a certain extent our own African media, more often than not, focus on all the negative occurrences on our great continent. Yes, I don’t deny that we have a lot of challenges in Africa. A lot. Many of these challenges are self-generated and very avoidable. But there is so much more to celebrate in Africa. So much opportunity. The diverse and amazing peoples all over the continent. Our raw, untouched and unpolluted natural beauty. Today I will be focusing on all the things I love about my Africa and why I will FOREVER be proud to be African.
1. Full of hope. Africans are the most hopeful people I know.
Despite all the real issues most Africans on the continent face daily, we always, always have hope that tomorrow things will be better. Our beautiful smiles are never far.
2. Friendliest people ever. If we all want to be honest, we will admit that Africans are the friendliest people on the planet. It doesn’t matter if we don’t know you. We will always engage, make you feel welcome and help you out in any way we can.
3. Ubuntu/Hunhu. This is basically our sense of “human-ness”. The sense that we are all one and that we are responsible for each other’s well-being. That we need to look out for each other, take care of each other and make sure everyone is ok. Africans are generally not individualists. We have a great sense of community. With the growing influence of Western culture, this is something that is slowly and sadly being eroded from our day-to-day lives. As Africans, I feel this is something we need to fight tooth and nail to retain.
4. Fantastic weather. This is especially true of my home country Zimbabwe (Our capital city is Harare, also known as the Sunshine City for obvious reasons). You will be hard pressed to find better weather, all year round anywhere else on this globe!
5. Mild to no natural disasters. Earthquakes, tornadoes, severe weather of any kind. How often have we heard of any of this happening in Africa?
6. Mineral wealth. Oil. Gold. Platinum. Diamonds. You name it. Africa has it in abundance. Africa is the most mineral rich continent. Since I said I’m only focusing on the positive things I love about my continent today, I shall stop there!
7. “Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin….” I used to love that India Arie song! I love our beautiful brown skin as Africans. We come in so many gorgeous shades. We don’t need to lie in the sun for hours to get that lovely golden hue or that sexy chocolate complexion. From the seductively dark skins in West Africa to the yellow/orange tones of the Khoisan in Southern Africa, we are all beautiful.
8. We can dance y’all! No-one, absolutely NO-ONE can out dance an African! We are physically very flexible and have mad rhythm!
Interesting clip on traditional dances from all over Africa
9. Our music. Our music. Our music. Oh my. Our music! Whether it’s from Eastern, Western, Northern or Southern Africa, there’s just something about African music that really speaks to your soul. You can’t help but move your body. Salif Keita, Ishmael Lo, Angelique Kidjo, Fela Kuti, MiCasa, Oliver Mtukudzi, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Mafikizolo, Jaziel Brothers, ExQ, Davido, Nathi, Mr. Eazy. These are just a few of my favourite African musicians. We are truly musically blessed in Africa. Music is central to African life. Whether it’s a wedding, a funeral, a mother hard at work or little children running home from school, there will be music to be heard.
Check out this teeny tiny cross-section of some of my favourite songs from all over Africa
10. Endless opportunities in Africa. If you are a business woman/man, you will know that Africa is THE market to be in now. There are so many exciting developments happening daily, it’s actually unreal! This continent has so much potential. With hard work and a single vision for our continent, we can go places. Let us keep moving Africa forward.
Let us keep moving Africa forward
11. Breath-taking scenery. The African landscape is a visual feast. We have a wealth of natural and man-made wonders dotted across the continent. From the amazing pyramids in Egypt to the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia and everywhere in between, Africa’s beauty will feed your eyes, senses and soul until you can’t handle it anymore! Click here for just a snippet!
12. This is just self-explanatory. Aren’t we lucky here in Africa? *wink, wink*
Happy Africa Day all and may God forever bless our continent!