Africa Is Who We Are
Article written by Likeleli M. Monyamane.
In school, they did not teach me to have pride in my continent. They never taught me who I was or what being African meant.
Growing up I wanted to speak English with a perfect American twang like the actresses on the Bold and the Beautiful; my grandmother’s favourite soap opera. Until this day, I have not finished reading a single book in my mother’s tongue – Sesotho. In high school, English was my first language and Sesotho my third language – after Afrikaans.
I am Likeleli Tebello Mphutlane. I hail from the beautiful mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho, and I am a descendant of King Moshoeshoe, the founder of the Basotho nation. I live and work in South Africa as a trainee accountant. Most importantly, I am a woman learning to love and appreciate my continent, Africa, and its different people – who make it the most beautiful continent on the planet.
I was not taught to have pride in myself, my heritage or where I was from. Judging from what I have read and heard, not only on ElleAfrique but also in countless books, blogs, magazines, television shows, radio programmes and songs, I am not alone!!!
I wasn’t taught to have pride in my continent because for a long time the rest of the world considered itself the best teacher, the best writer of the African history as well as the best storyteller of the African struggle. For a long time the rest of the world considered itself the best model of life which the African continent and its people should mimic.
It is an honour and a privilege for me to be a part of this revolutionary blog, which is a BIG DEAL in this day and age where Africans are trying to establish themselves as a people who can govern their own countries, grow their own economies and provide solutions for their own poverty; amongst other problems. A time when African authors want to write about their own Africa from their own African perspective, when African songwriters want to compose and sing their songs and African women want to speak for themselves, in their own words.
I may not have been taught to have pride in my continent, but like a baby teaching itself how to walk, I have tripped and fallen trying to teach myself how to love my continent, defining and re-defining who I am as an African.
I am learning, to love this continent.I am learning to love its people. In the process I have learned to love myself, because Africa is not only who I am but Africa is who we are.
I look forward to discovering myself with you all.