16 October 2021, Jolof
Dear African people, Africa needs you whether you know it or not. You also need Africa, because there is no place like home. There are no other places where you will be more accepted and respected than Africa.
Empowering Africa starts with loving yourself as African, unconditionally. Loving yourself is not about what you wear or where you live. But it is about accepting yourself as an African and daring to talk about your origin, unapologetically. Loving yourself is also about taking the responsibility to build a better life for yourself instead of relying on others. It is about having life goals and doing what is necessary to achieve those goals. Don’t let excuses and others prevent you from reaching your goals. Loving yourself is also about having a life purpose. Your life purpose defines who you are and how you want to be remembered once you leave this world. Our African heroes like Thomas Sankara, Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, etc. are remembered and celebrated decades after their deaths because of what they’ve done for Africa. However, their achievements were possible because they had a life purpose. They loved themselves and wanted to be remembered as heroes and not as losers. It is only by loving yourself first that you can show your love for Africa.
Your love for Africa empowers Africa. Countries like the United States, China, Canada, Switzerland, etc. are successful today because of the love people have for their countries. Just talk to an American or a Canadian and you feel like the world dances around their countries. In Canada, adding a “100% Canadian” label on your product will increase your sales because of the pride Canadians have on their country. Americans spend their vacation days in America, not outside. They enjoy the most beautiful parts of their country spending their money in their country. This means true and unconditional love of their country. This is the kind of love Africans need to give to Africa.
Loving Africa means choosing Africa unconditionally and wherever we may be around the World. When it comes to enjoying your days off, choose African destinations, whether it is your country or another African country. But spend your money in Africa. Africa needs African money first. Do a little bit of research and you will be amazed to see the number of beautiful destinations in Africa, from Zanzibar in Tanzania to the Saloum Islands in Senegal, from Kenya’s Safari to Moroccan historic cities like Fez and Marrakech. Everywhere you go in Africa, you will discover the most beautiful places envied by the World. There is a reason why Africa welcomes so many tourists from Western countries. So why do we choose other destinations when we have everything we can dream of in Africa? I have had the opportunity to travel to countries across Central, West, East, North and South African regions. I am really recommending you to give it a try. Next time, before buying a flight ticket to Paris or New York, where you may be mistreated at the airport or insulted once you get in, think about other African destinations, you will love Africa.
Loving Africa also means doing anything we can to defend Africa, to protect Africa and to celebrate Africa. It is a duty for all of us, Africans, to defend African interests. Use your purchasing power to buy African first whenever possible. Whether it is about buying products or services, whether it is about getting banking or investing, when you buy African, you empower Africa by contributing to Africa's economy. Think about it! Why is China so strong today? Well, it is because Chinese people buy Chinese products and services first, and wherever they may be. Therefore, the Chinese population is the first customer of Chinese products thus empowering their economy. If there is a foreign product in China, Chinese people will learn how to make that same product, build that product in their country and consume the product they built. This is what love for a country means. This is the kind of love Africa needs.
And lastly and specifically for Africa, we need to support our respective countries. For instance, if you look for a product or service that does not exist in Senegal, consider first your neighboring country (e.g.: Gambia) before searching outside of Africa. If you empower your neighboring African countries, you are empowering Africa. Don’t be impressed by the brand name. Be patriotic, be African, it is your duty to support our Africa.
Love is the most powerful feeling whether it is romantic or patriotic. Africa needs African love, because no one else will choose Africa over their own countries or continents. If we want to empower Africa, we must express our love for Africa and for Africans around the world, unconditionally and unapologetically. This is not only about talking or saying “beautiful words.” Like any other kind of love, actions are the best ways to express it. It is only after expressing our love, your love for Africa that we can empower our continent. From now on, decide and act. Choose Africa and together, let’s go far.
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