WHILE Africa Day celebrates the formation of a body that was meant to unify Africans, decades later we are still chained by xenophobia and hatred, writes Azande Sidyiyo.
Africa Day is about celebrating the independence of the 54 countries on the continent. The day also commemorates the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
Now the words that stand out to me are â€œAfrican Unityâ€.
We have officially set aside a day on the calendar to celebrate how proud we are to be part of the dark continent, but what do we actually have to celebrate? We hate each other.
We really do.
Our independence from our former colonial rule will only goes as far as the mental chains that we have put up will allow us, which has proved not to be that far.
Race, gender, sexuality and complexion, among others, are dynamics that are oppressing a lot of people in Africa.
I agree 100% that there are many great elements that make this damn place amazing – number one being that we are very passionate people.
Our passion can be seen in everything we do, EVERYTHING! Have you seen how much passion we can put into hating ourselves and hating one another?
Living in this era, I never dreamt of witnessing the level of violence that occurred during the series of xenophobic attacks that swept across South Africa in 2015.
The viciousness of the events that took place, and are still taking place in some parts of South Africa, beggar belief.
How did we get here? If Africa is so united, then why we do not recognise each other as people from the same motherland? During the xenophobic attacks in Grahamstown last year, I was told to run for my life because the mob from downtown is coming to loot all foreign stores and if they come across me they will attack me too.
I am South African, but because I am dark skinned, I could have been mistaken for a person from the north. Labels do not determine who I am, or how I think or do things. Instead of relating to me through my complexion or how I speak, understand that firstly I am human, and secondly I am African. To be specific, South African should be enough information to get you by surely.Chaining yourself to preconceptions will hold you down. It has led South Africa into a cesspool of rage and hatred.
We need to strive towards being more accepting of each other. Be passionate about being part of a continent that is still surviving after years of oppression.
Channel your self-pride and understand that Africa is for everyone.
There have been, and will in future be, many times when we need each other to be Africans before anything else.
We are an independent continent, but that means nothing if we are not heading towards a future where all Africans are equal. – Online