What does an African creature really want?

I have never been able good at answering that question. I realize now that since I have been here in the US, that question keeps coming over and over. “What do you want, sir? Would you like some fries with that burger?”

“What do you want out life?” ” Which school do you want to go to?” “What degree do you want to do?”School Advisors and teachers.

And all I hear is: “You are god over your life. Decide now and make it happen. This is America, baby. Dreamers make it happen everyday.”

I’m a daydreamer. I have been daydreaming since I was a kid and when I daydream, it’s not so I can do stuff. It’s just daydream. nothing more. nothing less.

But I digress. One concept of life that I learned in an early age despite living an upper class lifestyle as a kid was that I wouldn’t always get what I want. Even though I resisted the lessons about self sacrifice and being responsible. My elders didn’t tire of hitting those lessons over my head to think family, community first and then you come second. Then all of a sudden, you find yourself in a country that emphasizes the need to place you as the center of your life when all you have learned so far is that your wants must include other people’s wants. Two things happen when you are faced with something that goes against your beliefs: You either buy into the new belief or if you dig your heels in and refuse to budge. Or third option you keep your belief and use some cultural makeup to blend in with the crowd.

So what does an African creature want? What every human want: respect, food, water, housing, love, lots, lots and lots of love. Love and not charity because these two for some reasons get mixed up every time Western society members speaks of Africans. Charity gives the person a fish, but love teaches the person how to fish and that’s what messed up with all these foreign aids directed to Africa. Am I saying that you shouldn’t send money for starving people of Somalia right now? Of course not, but money isn’t the only gift these humans beings treated worse than dogs deserve.My thinking goes like this: If I’m good for you to open your pocket, I should be good enough for you to open your heart.

I’m a hopeless idealistic. I know. How come paternalist foreigners are more interested in helping Africans while Africans with the brains and the deep pockets stand by? I don’t know. Why is the sky blue? Why the good ones die young? You can add your “Whys” here ad nauseam. Please do. Feel free.

What do you really want? Tell me. There’s a chance we all want the same thing, but never learned how to express it….


6 thoughts on “What does an African creature really want?

  1. Ok, you need to read Binyavanga Wainaina’s new memoir “One Day I Will Write About this Place.” He is a dreamer just like you; has been since childhood.

    You are right: there is a tension that develops when African culture tells you to think Ubuntu and Das Kapital says you should take care of numero uno.

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