I am an African.
I am the child of the mother of all existence, a creation of the land where the first human squinted at the awe of the rising sun above the horizon. I have been shaped and nurtured by the dark soils in which roots spread for miles deep under my feet. My dark skin intermingled with the clay roads of my village as I ran up and down to the caramel colored river where the great-great ancestors of my grandfather’s stories found life.
I am the product of an age-old mixture of the abantu of the great Bantu migration, a result of an intertwining of languages, traditions, lives, and lands. I am the carrier of my great aunt’s name, the continuation of a great line of women.
I am a participant of a trend, a nomad in my own country. One might think I’ve seen it all, moving from village to town, then to a different town and yet another one. I have lived in huts, apartments, and bricked houses.
I am a citizen of a country that is ridden with corruption yet I long to ride in an overcrowded mini-bus and listen to the gossip and laughter of market women going home after a long day at work.
I am a foreigner, immersed in a world of my fate’s making.
I am an immigrant in a world where dreams are meant to come true and life is supposed to be magical. I have been nurtured by the mother of all possibilities. I have lived a life that others could only imagine; from tasting and playing in the tangy and stinging snow, to eating at McDonalds, and having petty arguments over who is hotter, Brad Pitt or Usher.
I am a teenager, confused in every respect, always absorbed in the discovery of my place, finding my taste of clothes, books, friends, guys, music, ready to declare everything and nothing as a passion and a hate.
I am an individual in the land where individuality was discovered, where the foreigner looked up to find the sky’s blue shade contrasted against Lady Liberty’s yellow rays at the end of his journey.
I am a traveler, always looking forward, pulling in from my experiences the insight that allows me never to look back.
I am a human being, one among many, a dweller of the world.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.