Edit: This is me venting… Nothing personal.. Just vexed by the way certain things have panned out..
I fear that soon all I will have as memories of my Africa will be the melancholic bits interspersed with a few shards here and there of a nostalgic past – growing up, friends, family, schools, holidays and times spent in wanton play – occasional successes mired in a morass of resounding failure. I wrote in my journal when I turned 21, that I felt my future was inextricably linked to Africa and that whatever I did, I would always have her at the back of my mind. Nine years on, I fear I may have made a volte face; one not altogether of my own volition.
The harsh reality is that the Africa I grew up eulogizing; enshrined in the words of Diop’s Africa my Africa, Clarke’s Call of The River Nun, and in the exquisite prose of Achebe and co; lauded in the legends of great empires now extinct and brought to life by the tales with which my grandmother nursed me to sleep; has taken on a whole new life – entombed in the murky waters of bare faced deception, brazen theft, gross inequality, sycophancy and all such things – a myriad of false dawns and a future far removed from the brilliant ideals the likes of Tom Mboya, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Kwame Nkruma and others of their ilk tried to espouse.
Today, I officially joined the ever swelling ranks of ‘Africans in the Diaspora’; and true to type I will be an arm chair politician; spewing meaningless rhetoric from the safety of an uncensored IP address, hiding behind the nameless, faceless facade that is a blog and its associated moniker. I will sign all the on-line petitions, use the right hash-tags and send the occasional token to the charity back home. I will order home made music by the ‘ghana must go’ whenever someone travels back to Africa, to assuage my conscience that I am indeed African at heart and remind the kids, conveniently given non-African monikers, that they are truly African at heart. I shall ensure we visit at least once a year, as long as it doesn’t jeopardise my chances of getting a second passport. And then when I am old and grey, when senility slithers in and death brazenly appears to demand its recompense, I will conveniently be buried back in Africa, the land of my fathers. Ah, the life of a lost son.