On being ‘truly African’

I do not feel at home in a hut.

I have never lived outside Africa either.

I have a Shona name. No English name. No middle name. And I insist on being called by it. Properly.

English is my strongest written and spoken language yet there are certain things deep in me that i can only express in Shona.

I do not feel safe in the bush.

But I do like the idea of doing a ‘safe’ safari.

I like to eat with my hands.

Though my fork and knife game is on point.

I barely left Harare for the first twenty years of my life

And now I have not been there in over a year.

I love maheu, mazhanje and maputi.

I have bathed in rivers and buckets, bathtubs and showers.

I often re-discover how “black” I am when I am around white people and how “white” I am around some black people.

I am a pretty good dancer depending on who is watching.

I find foreign politics way more interesting.

I proudly recognize as Zimbabwean.

So much about Zimbabwe breaks my heart.

I can more easily name American and European celebrities than African ones.

I really enjoy works of art by other Africans

I sadly have not invested as much as I could in it. I plan to do better.

I love Black Panther. And Thor. And Captain America.

I really enjoyed my first Zimbabwean movie; Yellow Card.

I do not enjoy most Nigerian movies.

I feel strongly about Africa being exploited by the West. And the East.

I can proudly explain to you my thoughts about decolonisation

But I would probably get lost on the way to my rural home.

I am all these things.

I am more than a product of colonization.

And I may never be the poster child of an African ideology.

But I am African.

Truly.

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