Map of Africa

Nations are communities of people or groups of people united by a common language, territory, culture, history, identity, ethnicity, etc. There are many types of nations and they include; sovereign states, portions of larger states, physical territories with governments, or geographic regions consisting of groups of previously independent or otherwise associated individuals.

It is not uncommon to find individuals disregarding the subject matter as unimportant while passing this misguided notion to younger generations. In almost every situation, you see, hear, and sometimes even experience statements repeated over and over and over again; ‘The African nation’ or ‘Does it rain in Africa?’ Similar comments, opinions, and statements are heard even from people of great influence. As a result, they become suggestive and, with time, derogatory to the dignity of the vast countries that make up the African continent. 

Articles and stories are published periodically, exploiting and demeaning the continent as a cultural unit that has the same traditions, beliefs, and culture. There are many who depict Africa as a place deserving of pity and one that demands foreign power and aid. Throughout history, individuals with foreigner identities are manipulated in such a way as to infuse their minds with this strong impression. 

There is a growing trend in the younger generation to view Africa as undeveloped, with starving people, loud on the outside but sterile on the inside. Millennials are taking on the wrong message that depicts Africa in general as incapable of existing without war and poverty. Young people are beginning to adopt the wrong message and very few know more than the fact that Africa is not a nation as is often depicted in interactions between non-Africans and Africans. As a result, Africa is being depicted in the modern world as nothing but a single nation. 

A continent’s identity is not the same as its unity. Where identity has the quality of sameness, unity has that of a constitution. In the same vein, Africa’s identity is different from Africa’s unity since the latter involves a commitment to something and comes from a collective effort. Oftentimes, people who aren’t familiar with what being an African imply,  believe that one’s physical appearance -the most common of them being a dark complexion – automatically qualifies you to be an African. This is simply not true. The result is that a continent composed of 54 different countries gets degraded as a pitiful nation whose populace is composed mostly of hunters, scavengers, and barbarians. This connotes a notion of a people who know nothing about civilization. Thus, the view is born that Africa and its people would be even more poor and desolate in the absence of foreign intervention.

If Europe, Asia, and or America are each addressed as single nations albeit continents, the resulting states would be unrecognizable to a larger degree today. They would all be attributed with the same characteristic identity, despite the vast differences across the governments of each nation. Africa is not a nation but an extremely vast continent blessed with numerous resources. These resources are most times envied by other continents that aren’t as blessed. 

It is a piece of misleading information to attribute and apply the characteristic lifestyle, culture, et cetera, of a select few (community and or country) to an entire continent. Through united efforts, we can paint the right picture and send the correct message across generations to come for the global community in a growing frenzy.

Chizaram D. Ezugwu

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