As someone who’s been churning out travel related content for a couple of years now, I think what is most fascinating about comments I receive from curious readers from all over the world is the “initial disbelief” that experiences I write about actually happen on our glorious continent.
And wait, I’m not even talking about foreigners here. For em, the astonishment is quite understandable but I must say, it’s something else when I hear locals rattling in disbelief in my comments section.
But then, who is to blame?
You see, before I took my first solo trip to explore arts and cultural attractions in Osogbo, I was just like many – cradled by decades of enslavement of the black man’s mind.
When it comes to music, movies or literature, the white man has successfully conned most of us into believing that he’s is the benchmark and I know from my personal journeys both as an avid traveller and travel creative that this is largely untrue.
To be clear, I do not dislike the white man. But what could I possibly say when even most recently the continent’s survival rate against Covid-19 was pegged to poverty by some nonsensical publication?!
Again, movies like The Old Guard, Coming 2 America and Captain America: Civil War to mention a few have continued to propagate a falsified African image which is rather unfair.
But then, as a travel blogger, I am beginning to see a paradigm shift. The world is taking note of the real Africa, slowly… our Nigerian pacesetters like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade have through illustrious melodies taken the Afrobeats sound to the world and it’s the same with our movie scene, Nollywood.
Ignorance they say is bliss and for Africans to understand Africa as Africans, we must seek our heritage through endless journeys to arts, historic and cultural sights like the Badagry Museum, Osun-Osogbo Grove, Royal Palace of the Oba of Benin, Nike Art Gallery, Benin City National Museum and Nigeria’s First State House in Calabar.
When we do, only then can we fully understand what it means to be black because like Bose Ogulu (Mama Burna) says, “every black person should please remember that you were Africans before you were anything else.”
Have something to say? Kindly share in the comments below. Let’s rub minds.
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