For our program “FOR YOU, IT’S WHAT AFRICA IS, we interviewed Fatimata Diallo Ba, Senegalese author. Here is what she replied. A deep text in all its depth. A treat to watch in full on the video below- above.
Africa, my Africa!
The first idea that comes to me when I think of Africa is femininity and motherhood. Yes, Africa, for me, is a woman and above all a mother with immense and innumerable arms who carries humanity, nourishes it, cradles it in its generous bosom and as recognition receives only the ingratitude of those it fattens .
Because Africa is the land of all contrasts. It is at the heart of all colors, all reliefs, all sounds. It is abundance and misery. Africa produces the best cocoa beans, but the finest chocolates are tasted in Paris, Geneva or Brussels. Is it not in the African subsoil that we find the purest gold and diamonds that adorn the tiaras of the kings and queens of Europe? The uranium that Nigeriens extract from their soil electrifies France and Africa remains in the dark!
Hydrocarbons, precious metals, coltan, young and lively human resources, there is no doubt that Africa is rich, immensely but desperately rich because lust, corruption, hegemonism, and foreign interference condemn it to war, to misery, to insecurity. Plundered, sacked, robbed by others as much as by his sons.
Africa is therefore also a raped woman who struggles to get up and recover her spirits, the ancestral spirit that once irrigated her lands. Heart of the world rushing towards Europe as much as towards Asia and even towards the America that its arms have built, Africa is still groggy for failing to protect itself from predators.
Yet how beautiful my Africa is! How sensual are the curves of its mountains! How fertile are the hollows of its humid valleys! May its sandy and rocky deserts invite silence, meditation, and surpassing oneself! How the warm crowds of its unique markets are full of life! May the laughter of her children, the rhythms of her music invite enchantment! How her hospitality and her joy are life itself, a powerful, deep life!
As he flew over Africa for a National Geographics report, the reporter blurted out these words: “Nowhere in the world has the earth produced so much diversity and each page imposes its own geological, natural, historical beauty. ! from the Roman ruins of the Maghreb to the haughty ksours of Morocco, from the oases of Algeria to the mountains of Mali, from the red dunes to the green jungles, from the blue atolls of the Seychelles to the turquoise lagoons of the Red Sea, from the pyramids of Egypt to the castles of Ethiopia, from the villages of Casamance to the plantations of South Africa, the flight over Africa is amazing. Staggering power of life nestled in arid deserts, fertility of equatorial regions, brown rivers winding on the green carpet of primary forests, incredible crater open between sky and snow of the primordial continent! “
How many have praised the plural beauties of the humans of Africa! I am thinking of Senghor, of Césaire… of those who write the literature of today! So many names jostle in my mind. I can’t even name a tenth! I think of all those who died of loving Africa too much, of wanting to restore its dignity. How not to think of Thomas Sankara, Cheikh Anta Diop, Nelson Mandela…
My Africa is the women of Africa. The queens, Pokou, Ndatté Yalla, Yennenga, the Amazons of Benin, the heroic women of Nder. But my intimate Africa, it was my dark, luminous grandmother Deffa who gave me a taste for stories. These are the women who toil from morning to night and who, at night, rock sleepy children to the sound of old tales.
My Africa is these multiple men and women planted in its land and its sons scattered around the world who work tirelessly for the progress of the world.
My Africa is neither sectarian nor stingy. She is generous and fertile.
My Africa is not folded in on itself, no, my Africa is extending its immense and innumerable arms to embrace the world.
My Africa heals its wounds without rancor or resentment, but beware of those who still want to bring tyranny, oppression, racism, ethnic divisions.
In my Africa, the difference is not a handicap, it is an asset and a call to fraternity.
I hope for my Africa, a rebirth of freedom, dignity, respect.
For my Africa, I hope for a return not nostalgic but vigorous and full of hope to the lost paradise, a rehabilitation of its identity.
I hope that my Africa becomes again what it should never have ceased to be: the land of love, of peace, of brotherhood.
Fatimata Diallo Ba