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Why I blog about Africa

(Like White African, I don’t usually take part in blog memes. Unlike White African, it’s usually because I don’t get an invite. ;o) But that aside, I’ve recently read a number of posts by eminent African bloggers in the current “Why I Blog About Africa” series and have been inspired by what they’ve written. That @ksjhalla recently invited me to the table came as something of a surprise. Here goes my contribution)

“To be honest, I feel like something of an imposter gatecrashing a party. Unlike many of the bloggers taking part in this meme, I can lay no claim to be African, or half-African, or even remotely African. Maybe the fact that the continent has tried to take my life on more than one occasion gives me some claim to take part? Or the fact that I’ve been captivated by the geography, the cultures, the wildlife, the opportunity, the hope and above all the people I have met and befriended since my first encounter back in 1993? Having no physical connection with Africa other than that gained by long haul air travel, I’ve regularly asked myself what it is that draws me back to it so often, both in person and in writing. Answering this question without calling on well-trodden cliches is quite a challenge.

iamafrican

After all, it would be all too easy to overplay any ‘spiritual’ connection (as happened with the peculiar “I am African” campaign, pictured), or one drawn out of sympathy for a continent in turmoil, or a people condemned to a life of poverty and a strong Western-held view that “Africa needs to be saved”. But that’s not the Africa I know, least of all the Africa I’ve witnessed on many of my travels over the past fifteen years and, above all, not the Africa that many of my African friends see.

If I were honest, my interest and fascination in Africa came about at a time in my life when I was desperately trying to find my way. If I were to be allowed one cliche, it would be that Africa found me. Shear chance took me to Zambia in the summer of 1993, and since then I’ve allowed luck, circumstance and events on the continent to determine my direction. It is pure coincidence that almost all of the conservation and development projects I have worked on have been in Africa – Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon and Zimbabwe among them. And I feel truly honoured to have experienced cultures, friendships and a way of life I could never have dreamed of a decade or more ago.

I blog about Africa because I see a continent blessed with cultural and natural beauty, a continent working hard to lift itself from troubled beginnings, and the rise of a new breed of African leader with a deep devotion and love for what their country, and the continent, means to them. I blog about Africa because in it I see many of the good things that the West has lost or chosen to throw away, and because I am blessed to count many hard working and devoted Africans among my friends. I also blog about Africa because that’s where I continue to be called and because, one summer back in 1993, it somehow came in search of me”.

Thanks again to Kaushal for tagging me (read his thoughts here). Continuing the theme, I tag the following:

@tmsruge
@joshnesbit
@mentalacrobatic
@frerieke
@blacklooks

13 comments

1 James O'Reilly { 12.30.08 at 8:18 pm }

Good stuff: RT @kiwanja “Why I blog about Africa”. http://tinyurl.com/8qb3e2 (thanks @ksjhalla for the tag)

2 jamesoreilly { 12.30.08 at 8:18 pm }

Good stuff: RT @kiwanja “Why I blog about Africa”. http://tinyurl.com/8qb3e2 (thanks @ksjhalla for the tag)

3 changefeed { 12.30.08 at 8:41 pm }
4 Ken Banks { 12.31.08 at 8:55 am }
5 kiwanja { 12.31.08 at 8:55 am }

@tmsruge @joshnesbit @mentalacrobatic @frerieke @blacklooks all tagged via http://tinyurl.com/8qb3e2 – “Why I blog about Africa”

6 Why I blog about Africa | Project Diaspora { 01.05.09 at 6:55 pm }

[...] contribute to. Not so much that I must, but very much that I should contribute to it. Thanks to Kiwanja for tagging [...]

7 Oluniyi David Ajao { 01.28.09 at 6:51 am }

Why I blog about Africa…

I recently got tagged by a fellow blogger at “Nigerian Curiousity“, prompting me to blog on the topic “Why I blog about Africa”. I am qualified to say I blog about Africa. I was born in Nigeria, and presently live in Ghana. I ta…

8 Ken Banks { 02.09.09 at 5:32 pm }

“Why I blog about Africa”. http://tinyurl.com/8qb3e2 (thanks @ksjhalla for the tag)

9 kiwanja { 02.09.09 at 5:32 pm }

“Why I blog about Africa”. http://tinyurl.com/8qb3e2 (thanks @ksjhalla for the tag)

10 jopsa.org » Blog Archive » Why I blog about (and work in) Africa - Projects and perspectives on global health { 02.10.09 at 11:22 pm }

[...] this post, I am responding to kiwanja’s tag, and following in the footsteps of very impressive voices. Here are my [...]

11 Wandera Joshua { 07.06.09 at 9:44 pm }

A big pleasure and blessing for me to read this from you Kiwanja. you are still welcome to Uganda. As for me, I’ve never heard of you in Uganda and so I assume you’ve never been here and therefore take this opportunity to invite you over this side. I shall have alot to do. Any friends who would like to get conected to us through you, please, do the needful we shall be very appreciative. God bless you as you reply

12 Trackback - Cheap Internation Call >> How to make cheap international call { 11.19.09 at 9:57 pm }

,..] http://www.kiwanja.net is another relavant source of tips on this subject,..]

13 Darcey Foth { 12.01.11 at 3:26 am }

Muchos Gracias for your blog post.Really thank you!

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