Africa – what is it?

Africa – what is it?

10 Variations


Africa is a Continent

But is Africa a continent and not a myth? Whether Japanese or North Americans, Europeans and Latinos - all have a different picture of Africa, however most people, who take the word in the mouth, envision a different idea, but never immediately a continental. And yet, Africa is a continent including the Maghreb as well as South Africa, Arab embossed or Bantu populations.


Africa – a term, introduced from far

The people of this continent were shipped for centuries as slaves to other continents, especially to Asia and the Americas and when they from far tried to remember home, they had to invent a term to a common picture, just to have one thing in common, in their minds: they all came from Africa, since countries or states did not exist yet at that time. Africa is a strong word in the memory. Their common term from where they originated was called Africa. Now especially the descendant of the former slaves in the United States or the Caribbean talk of Africa, since they are all Africans and black, Blacks. On the other hand, Whites are simply Europeans, without thinking of any continent.

Could one say that Africa is everywhere, but always in the Diaspora? Or Africa remains just a rumor?


Africa – the continent of Blacks

The people hunted as slaves were almost exclusively black. Slaves and Blacks were terms in exchange for each other. All Blacks originally came from Africa, the continent from the darkness. So Africa is black and black is Africa. However, even black is not simply black, because there are many shades.

On ne naît pas noir, on le deviant is the book title of author Pierre Ndoumai. For him, "black" a permanent metamorphosis - depending on the situation and feeling. Black is - without that he expresses it - like the chameleon with its color changes. Fears may be instilled, varied or acquired.
Africa - a continent of migration

We even know migrations in Europe, or know that America was an immigration continent and still is. On the African continent, we learn, the more we grasp history that African peoples were always migrating. That must have begun in the primeval, because from the East African fracture zone these people probably moved to Arabia and on to India and Indonesia or China. Nobody knows how: this migration remains primarily one of the big mysteries of mankind.

However we know the Luo-immigration from the Sudan into the south of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Above all, however, the Bantu migration forms the core of African history, and in world history already one of the most important migrations. These peoples migrated from the path of drought and hunger, in search of land and survival from the Congo pool - very likely - one part to the south, and the other part east towards Burundi and Tanzania. These migrations however have, not caused grief and trauma in the African psychology, because these migrations where experienced and / or processed positive.

Where does this drive of migrating come from? Are African people copying migratory birds?


Africa - a continent of mixtures and hybrids

Actually, on this continent is neither a "pure" (whatever it means) white or definite black. On migrations the encountered races where not eliminated, but mingled with them. Therefore, there are no tribes according to the European term, because those where small races absorbed with cultures and intermarried.
Perhaps the "whites" did not have any relation to “mixed” and therefore behaved so nervous and apartheid, or was it the German and British influence? Even here it started and lasts until today: Europeans were never able to cope with Africa, they came in this continent, but were merely interested on land and mineral resources, but never in people.


Africa - a continent of many layers and superimpositions

Probably the majority of African people (also in the north and the south) are living with several cultures and religions in their head. The vast majority of African people are multilingual, as they all come from small nations and extrogamish.

The migrations also superimposed, as the locals have been integrated by accepting and adopting languages and believed sooner or later the “conquered” would adjust.

The big migrations where followed by colonialism. This brought along schools and religion. One had to learn these new languages and made them even to “official languages” and used it for the written language (which the Swiss must understand).


Africa - represents the stolen self

This simultaneous being everywhere and this ambiguousity, certain timelessness and a form of permanent extraterritoriality leaves many people insecure. People lost their being, the basis to this, they float, and they lack some 'down-to-earth behavior'. Africa is not only "over there" but always also "here". One may go further: Africa is something of all, the stolen or hijacked shadow. One might therefore even get a cultural whiplash. Africa hides some of the human longing.


Africa – has become the back of the head from Europe

African people have been colonized by Europeans and we brought them our languages, our school and belief system. In addition to the traditional thinking they perceive and understand them in the European or Western sense too. The previous mentioned ambiguousity clearly comes here to light. Therefore, in certain situations an African is more European than Europeans, because the European is too close and has too little distance the Europeanism. African poets, singers or filmmakers have also noticed and pronounced it, as the Nobel literature prize winner Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), the poet and musician Francis Bebey (Cameroon) and the filmmaker and writer Ousmane Sembène (Senegal). At this ambiguousity, the great Cameroon writer Mongo Beti almost acted desperately and initially he has cursed it and said that he was indoctrinated and castrated in this European school, but then fled to France and stayed there for decades. To debate about guilt or not in the history does not make sense, but it is equally wrong to deny colonialism - as Europe does with Schengen – deny this past and push it to the farthest ring.


Africa - is the continent or the colony the loser

Both, Churchill and de Gaulle have called this continent The permanent looser. Both probably have heard of Joseph Conrad and his novel in 1900, entitled "Heart of Darkness" and they probably have sought for legitimate excuse for their failure, almost fatalistic. Yes, on this continent everything always seems to go wrong. And therefore writers are calling Africa the Lost Continent. Others even have marked Africa as a "larger concentration camp". Virus and mosquitoes, disease and famine, dried out and lost in the wind. A sounds of all this, is always in the minds worldwide, when Africa is mentioned.


Africa - the continent of the future

After all of this diversity, but also the constant contradictions, it can be argued that who really holds on sustainability will bank on Africa. It seems the Chinese have already noticed. Only it needs to be prevented not to begin a new colonization, and Africa is not again released to the exploitation.




Copyright by Al Imfeld
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