Telling or hearing the exciting tale of Africa is simply akin to a mother’s uneasy familiarity with childbirth. Like David Diop tells of Africa as springing up anew, patiently, obstinately, with the bitter-fruity taste of liberty, Africa at birth and rebirth is a joyous bundle of pain. While she may occupy the inadvertent concern, mostly, of strangers to her landscape and inner beauty, for some of the most unpleasant reasons, for her poverty, her underdevelopment, her struggle for freedom, Africa, our Africa, is yet beautiful. She is like ugly, porcupine-looking soursop fruit that compensates its poor first impression with milky white inner sweetness.
Africa is home to a ridiculously large number of cultures and tribes, ranging from the Hausa, the Bantu, the Mande, the Kanuri, the Afrikaans down to the Zulu, and a host of others. As the cliché holds true, “beauty thrives in diversity”. Africa’s cultural garden becomes largely the most exotic and flamboyant, with the brilliant coloring of cultures as well as languages. With these cultures come interesting traditions, festivals and showings. In Chad, the colorful Gerewol Festival takes center stage as the primary festival of the semi-nomadic Mbororo people, meanwhile, in Côte d’Ivoire, the Festival of Masks celebrates African masquerade culture, with many other beautiful festivals in different countries that decorate Africa’s annual calendar.
For the glory and magnificence of her landscape and climate, Africa is gifted with a very stable warm climate. Aside from the frequent occurrences of droughts and floods, Africa does not suffer the devastating trauma of tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes or whirlwind onslaughts. The Annual Disaster Statistical Review 2014 documented a remarkably small number of natural disasters in Africa in comparison with the other continents that all recorded higher rates. To crown these, Africa shares the lovely coincidence of beautiful geographical landscapes with scenic weather. Just beholding a desert sunset in the Sahara or a warm midday on the Serengeti Plain is heavenly, not to say the least.
Furthermore, Africa is blessed with a wealth of resources to go with this entire glamor. Africa boasts of the largest mineral industry in the world, as first-ranked or second-ranked custodians of bauxite, cobalt, industrial diamond, phosphate rock, platinum group metals, gold, arable land for farming and a warm and welcoming people.
Without doubt, Africa is beautiful, a country of beautiful cultures, beautiful landscapes and beautiful people. But while choosing to see beauty is a choice we all share, rejecting the beautiful is symptom of the despair that haunts humanity. We must be appreciative of our Africa and her great heritage, in spite of all the negativity that seems more apparent. Beauty is not simply in the eye of the beholder, it is the unspoken privilege of the beholden.
Article submitted by Nicholas Anakwue
African Festivals and Events, Africa Guide (http://www.africaguide.com/culture/events.htm).
Mineral Industry of Africa, Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineral_industry_of_Africa).