Dear African Child,
One day you will read this open letter that I hope will enlighten you about the world in which you were born. I would like in the following lines, to anticipate your possible concerns and offer you the chance (that I never had) to identify and understand your origins, your identity and your destiny, through these few hundred words. I will strive to explain to you, who you are, why you are and most importantly, what you ought to be.
You are the child of Africa. You have certainly been blessed with a melanin rich skin that will protect you from the harmful rays of the sun, but can at the same time bring you lots of trouble and disdain from the world. For the past few centuries, people who look like us, have lost all regards from our fellow humans. At least in my lifetime, we are worth less than nothing.
You are the child of the oldest, the richest, and the most powerful continent of the planet. Descendant of the people who dominated the world for almost 3 million years, you find yourself among the privileged and strong generation upon which rests the duty to restore to Africa, the power, the respect and the dignity it has lost the past five centuries. The history of humankind spans on millions of years but for only 500 years now, your people have lost their glory and your continent has fallen into the abyss for having believed too strongly in its invulnerability. However, we, your predecessors, rely on you to rekindle the flame of our glory.
Dear child, you need to understand three things to accomplish the mission I entrust to you. First: Africa has no other friend but you. The sooner you will realize no one but you can repair the harm that your predecessors have caused you, the faster you will come to grips with the enemy. Second: In the jungle of mankind, you are the most coveted prey because all from you such as your great ingenuity and the invaluable wealth of your land, will make whoever control these, the most powerful on the planet. Understand that without you and without your land, the world is worth nothing because you are the essence of humanity. Your life and your land are sacred. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to defend it at whatever cost. Third: You must imperatively know your history and learn from our mistakes as well as those of our ancestors. Our naivety, our docility and the impecuniosity of our spirit must not serve you as examples. Go search for knowledge everywhere it is and acquire it. Do not aspire to be like others because their best must be your worst and their conclusion, your introduction.
You are probably wondering why we, your predecessors, have condemned you to bear the heavy burden of reconquering Africa’s hegemony. I understand your frustration child and would like to apologize for it. However, note that we have tried as much as possible to spare you this struggle. Know that the land that brushes against your feet is enriched by the blood of brave warriors such as Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral, Marien Ngouabi, Behanzin, Samory Toure, Nabiema Bonsafo, Sylvanus Olympio, Barthelemy Bonganda, Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Mahamoud Harbi Farah, Outel Bono and tens of millions of others I wouldn’t be able to name. These valiant warriors gave their all to spare you servitude and they form an invisible spiritual army, that will accompany you in all your battles. By your side, they will fight through the richness of their teachings and the deepness of their history.
Dear African child, I would not leave without giving you an idea of the world I live in. Here, we are in a complete impasse. With more than one billion inhabitants, Africa is plagued with poverty, epidemics, religious and ethnic conflicts, fueled by the very people for whom our ruin is a source of wealth. Almost all our countries are ruled by selfish uneducated leaders who trade their dignity for a semblance of power and comfort, which in turn strips them of everything to the point where they are forced to eat the food that is processed by others, to ride in vehicles manufactured by others and obtain medical treatments in hospitals built by others. We are stripped of everything and our only wealth is our dream of a world in which you people, will not end up in the stomachs of sharks like those thousands of us who drowned while trying to escape the poverty that our continent is serving them.
In our world, both those from the East and the West, abuse us and plunder our wealth. Our protests are bloodily repressed by the despotic unworthy self-proclaimed heads of states. We borrow our own money from our enemies at exorbitant interest rates because they want to make you, our progenies, the slaves of theirs, long before you are even born. Our world condemns you to suffering and despite the efforts and sacrifices of some, I fear that the sloppiness and the compliance of others won’t spare you the misery we live in. I do not know what will happen tomorrow and I am sorry if worse than ours, is your Africa. Know that each day that passes, I hope my people will realize the gravity of our condition and will stand up and fight our predators. But alas, I cannot tell you dear child, if that day will ever come; reason is why I put all my faith in you and leave you this letter.
I hope that by now, you have an idea of the task entrusted to you my child. You must not fail and again, remember that we are your foundation and deep under the ground, where rest our bones, we will support you by hundreds of millions.
Make us proud and know that we can only rest in peace when you people will free yourselves from oppression.
Farida Bemba Nabourema
Disillusioned African Citizen