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.