So I was a presenter today, part of a seminar focused on the future of Africa and the usual bla bla bla folks in the Diaspora like to engage themselves in. The last time I was there, many people (mostly old men) over 50 were busy blaming colonialism for the misfortunes of Africa. Now, let me state here that I do not downplay the effects colonialism has had on Africa or the terrible scars it has left behind.
However, it is boring to sing the same old song and discuss the same topics week after week after week. I therefore decided to spice up their intellectual brains a bit and made a presentation about what young Africans are discussing about on the internet and other places. Anyway, God help me I mentioned Solomonsydelle's PPP. However, I mostly focused on different ways to get ordinary people active in the society and how we can get people motivated to get active in their society. ( I talked about different examples where we could be more active, collectively)
After discussing some factors (which I will post later on this blog) I finished my presentation in a very positive light...or so I thought. Imagine my surprise when a South African intellectual told me that she could not identify herself with the Africa I had talked about and basically accused my presentation and me of being "racist"!
According to her, some racist social anthropologists had come up about similar factors about Africans (na the passive thing na im irritate am) and according to her, she had been very active in Apartheid South Africa, has always been active etc etc. Now, I had mentioned before, during and after the seminar that my experience was Nigerian and tried as often as I could to mention only examples that had to do with Nigeria. I think she took the whole thing way too personal and she mentioned later on about how she is always having to defend Africa from views like mine in the thirty years she has lived abroad.
Now, I told her the seminar was on different topics being discussed by the younger generation, and like it or not, we have mentioned the fact that we (the people) are not active enough in our society and would like to be more active. Yes, we can do more and we MUST do more if we want a change.
I think she was being too sensitive as the seminar was not about her and what she had done or not done in South Africa. I was not happy at all that instead of discussing the solutions I thought we would, I had to now defend my presentation from being tagged as "racist".
That is why I no dey too like dey do seminar with old old people. Their wahala too much self!
P.S: I heard her lamenting on the way to the train that "why can't we celebrate the hundreds of activists that have..."(didn't hear the remaining part). Honestly, there is no reason why we should not celebrate them, I would want to be celebrated(assuming I become a serious die hard mutherfucker)in the future. But that is not the seminar was about, the seminar was about "how" we can change Africa.