For all it’s worth, who are you?

For the last few days our beloved President Paul Kagame was trending for not mincing his words, well, he has never been known for that. He is the kind of person that says it as it is, or as he feels.

Seeing one man defend a whole continent made many proud, but it also raises questions. For a continent of over a billion people, where are the men and women that will proudly look someone in the eye and say you know what, our problems, our measure, and our solutions!

And where are the men and women who will not only say it but will also show it by their actions? How do we treat each other? Have you ever gone to a restaurant and someone of a seemingly different status from yours got preferential treatment?

How many times have you applied for a visa to a foreign country outside of Africa and been denied? Or better still, how many nights have you gone to bed hoping to wake up in an Africa where no visa is required to tour the continent but lo and behold you still had to apply and pay for a visa?

If the continent is going to walk with its head high then we have to agree that we deserve better. I get saddened by stories of paedophiles that fled their countries and came to Africa and were well received, honoured, and some even given a license to set up children’s homes.

Stories are told of how easy it is for a white person or couple to adopt a child from an African country than the natives of that country. We are not easy at accepting or defending our own.

Somebody will gladly whisper in your ear ‘do not trust a person from this region’ but will bring you a white person to do business with and compel you to trust them without questioning. There are people who have moved to Africa as volunteers and ended up getting employed in places and positions where our own were sent away after being told ‘we don’t admit volunteers’.

We have seen words used by foreign media and analysts to describe our leaders, and we held onto those words and ended up using them to describe our brothers and sisters.

There are homes where a girl or boy was told they could not marry from family X or tribe Y but when somebody of a superior complexion showed up, they were given all the blessings required to start their own family.

As we pride ourselves in what our President said during the interview, we ought to challenge ourselves to be better people. That way, wars will not be started in our countries because of selfish interests of outsiders, we will love, respect and cherish our own, and in turn, will be respected by all.

Xenophobic remarks by leaders like what has been witnessed in Kenya this week should be condemned in the strongest terms, for when we fight within we only make it easier to be fought by those preying on the outside.

ADVERTISEMENT