The African Professional

Rising from poverty

Is not the same as rising from blackness.

While it is true that many black people are poor

Being black is not synonymous with being poor.

For the African health care professionals making their way into the middle class,

It often occurs that progress in your career

Can translate to a wrestle with your identity;

Not quite at home in the world

And not quite at home, at home.

Many of our professions take us out of a context that comes naturally to the African ways that many of us were raised in, or the contexts our families currently live.

It helps to remember that our professions have been moulded and shaped

By people not quite unlike yourself.

The world of your profession can be greater than what has already been imagined

Where the things of Africa need not be considered a liability to progress,

Nor something to be unlearned.

Much of our education has not made us curious about our own cultures

Or imaginative about the future of our continent.

It need not be that way.

If there is any place in need of our skills and imagination,

It is Africa.

If you’re an African professional

You have an opportunity to create excellence in ways that did not exist before

Whether it is being as authentic as you possibly can in a work environment that threatens to mute the African in you,

Or bringing the fruits of your progress to the land of your fathers.

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