Being African,  Lived Experiences / Maisha ya kila siku

The Burden of Being African

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I thought today would be a good day, but I’ve spent it crying.

I’m exhausted.

On August, we celebrated the end of poliovirus.

This September the news broke out that there is poliovirus type 2 in Sudan. And Chad.


I once watched a documentary, an American man was going around different countries to show different sectors in which other countries mostly European countries were doing better than the US.

In France, workers get 30 days paid vacations.

In the wake of what is happening in Mali, I haven’t stopped thinking on how African countries are suffering to support the French men and women with their paid vacations.

Think of a French citizen on his vacation in Cote D’ivoire, he pities the people, enjoys the view, use his vacation money by giving street kids some coins here and there to ease his human guilty cause we all feel bad when we see people suffering, and then he leaves the country after enjoying the beautiful view of the beaches. Not knowing that the person he pities, the country he looks down on and the one that he will go to talk negative about with his friends paid for his vacation.

It’s the inequality

It’s the unfairness

It’s the imbalance

It’s the injustice wrapped in ‘charity, help and the fight for justice’

It’s the curse of being blessed

Of a group of people feeling inferior enough to start wars, propaganda and systems that will make them feel superior for ages and ages.

It’s the dehumanization

It’s the ignorance these privileged people show

It’s the effects of colonization that I see, of places ruined because of war, and we are trying to rebuild or leave them for tourist attractions… The painful reminders that remind me of our bitter history.

It’s the effect of colonization in the way we see ourselves.. The mentality we have. How we treat white people like gods, and not believe that anything good can come from us but nothing bad can come from them.

It’s trying to self-erase everything that makes us different, skin colour, way of life, everything is bad, closer to white is good.

It’s the loss of languages, spirituality, heritage, culture, history ; stolen, erased or twisted to fit the narrative.

It’s the self hate that we have, hating and fighting each other

It’s the white people trying to ‘fix’ what their ancestors broke in a way that still profits and benefits them.

It’s the leaders that lead with a slavery mindset, and some being straight out puppets because it benefits them and their families.

It’s the dependency that we have been made to believe that we have, that we can’t do anything without their help. The helplessness.

It’s the knowledge that this continent is not poor, the countries in it are rich in everything but still the citizens don’t enjoy their blessings, no, not here on this earth maybe in heaven.

It’s the fact that people know this, research after research is done, activist speak out until they die, but still in their generation all they raise is awareness.

It’s feeling powerless to end the pain. Feeling powerless to bring the change in my continent while white saviours are busy ‘developing’ my home. It’s feeling hopeless everytime i read the news. Not knowing when the suffering will end.

It’s the fact that I’m trying to stay sane, get a life while knowing how shitty this world and the systems in place are.

It’s looking at kids and people with diseases in their eyes and knowing that they didn’t have to suffer like that.

It’s the burden, the weight of being born in the richest continent.

It’s me having to learn, dip deep for the real history, the one before we were colonized, to find myself, to know my culture and history better.


My grandma’s mom died when she was born. Some white people were testing some medicine in her mother’s village and it wasn’t effective, people died, the white people escaped at night.

It’s living with deep and heavy personal stories of racism, white privilege and injustice like these.

Of wondering what did you do wrong… To be born here.. of wondering when is it enough? When will the suffering end?


I know that tonight I will cry myself to sleep,

Tomorrow i will wake up with my burden of being African.

Eunice

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