Africa celebrates African Day on 25 May, an emblem of African Unity. It seems anomalous to celebrate when most media reports about Africa are on poverty, HIV, corruption, war, conflict or Zimbabwe’s record breaking 100 million % inflation rate. While these exist in Africa as they do in so many other parts of the world, one who has had a close contact with Africa; closer than TV News or Newspapers; one who has shaken an African’s hand, has dined with them, laughed and smiled with them will certainly have a different story to tell.
Count Your Blessings
One singer expressed joyfully; Count your blessings name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. God blessed Africa.
According to the National Geographic;
- 30% of the earth’s remaining mineral resources are in Africa with huge reserves of Gold, Diamond, Platinum and Oil
- Africa is rich in natural resources, jungles, wildlife, and ivory.
- Africa is believed by Historians and Archeologists to be the origin of all mankind(Adam and Eve). Some even believe that the biblical Garden of Eden was situated in the Northern parts of Africa.
- Egypt in Africa was the mother of ancient civilization.
- Africa has a good climate; it is the only continent crossed by the Equator, Tropic of Capricorn, Tropic of Cancer and the Greenwhich Prime Meridian.
- Africa is blessed with diverse cultures from the Masai in Kenya, San of Southern Africa, Swahili of eastern Africa, Arab culture of Northern Africa and the Westernised cultures in most big cities.
- Africa is home to the Highest free standing mountain in the world (Mt Kilimanjaro), Longest river in the world(Nile), 2nd Largest fresh water lake in the world(Lake Victoria) and the Deepest fresh water lake in the world(Lake Tanganyika).
Need we talk about the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe; a major tourist destination. I could go on and on, but really this is enough to prove a point, Africa is rich! The African people’s pockets may not be equally rich but their hearts are abundantly rich.
Most visitors to the African continent treasure the African smile, warmth and hospitality as the greatest souvenir to take from Africa.
According to http://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com “Africa’s people are often cited as being one of the best things about the continent. In fact, I would say that at least 80% of Western expats and local business leaders interviewed by How we made it in Africa say that the best thing about the African country in which they operate is the people, along with its geographical beauty of course.”
Africa has a culture of treating guests well. In Zimbabwe’s Shona language they say “muenzi haapedzi dura” which means that a visitor will not exhaust your food reserves. This is a call to be hospitable to guests and not allow one’s hospitality spirit to be limited by one’s poverty. So when the world looks at Africa and see poverty, we see in us a heart to share the little we have.
When the world sees a conflicting Somalia, we see its unity as it is the only nation in the world that has the whole country speaking the same Somali language. When the world sees leaders who have led wars that claimed millions of lives in Congo, we see leaders like the late Nelson Mandela who became the most positive influence in the world.
As we celebrate Africa Day, we remember to live the true pillars from which African homes are built. An African home has respect as its foundation; respect for one another in the spirit of Ubuntu. Children belong to a community and every elder is responsible for every child in the village. We are our brother’s keeper. Women respect their husbands and serve them in the home not out of oppression but out of love.
If the truth be told, Africa surely has its issues to deal with but the call by the African people is ;
“Judge us not by what we have but by who we are. Don’t look at the size of our gifts but the size of our hearts.”
“Don’t look at what we can not do or give but see how many smiles we can give despite our own tears.”
Would you think of a more wonderful tourist destination than Africa? Africa Serves! Why not experience the African hospitality for yourself and live to tell the story. Do you have a comment or story to tell? Share it in the comments section.
Happy Africa Day! Image courtesy of bellanaija.com