Africa: the country

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people refer to Africa like it’s a country.

“I’d really like to travel.  Where next?  Well, maybe India or Thailand or (sigh) Africa.”

I know it’s not my home.  Maybe that means I shouldn’t be so protective.  But, just like I will actually get upset if someone speaks ill of your mother, I get upset about this.  But, tonight I read the most direct and beautifully cutting essay about this issue, and the way that Africa and Africans are represented.  Binyavanga Wainaina, a Kenyan author, says it best.  So I’ll just refer you to him.

“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”  — Nelson Mandela


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