When the highest bidder wanted to buy a monkey –

his assistant gave him me;

and this is what I had to say:

I am African, but, I am not a Monkey, a Gorilla or a


we are custodians of the best wildlife

we house the best creatures to ever exist in this life-

the black Elephant

the lion whose tribe is Judah

the Cheetah

have you looked at an Okapi

or at the beauty of a mantled Guereza?

We do not bite; we are depictions of congeniality – you should go back to learn your A’s and B’s;

not these stories that they tell you about us

We are all about family trees,

With roots as strong as the mukula

We only get stronger and better

Tuleya telekula (We keep growing)

We are all about cultural diversity

We believe in unity

The spirit of Ubuntu (I am because you are)

Fwebaishibo utuntu (We are the wise)

We hail from the land of the sun

We are natural bred warriors

We are children of the deserts, savannahs, the plateaus, the mountains and the valleys

The keepers of our grandparent’s stories

If Wakanda is something new to you,

we have lived our entire lives with the spirit of a black panther

This blood we bleed is the blood of Shaka

This soil, this is the soil that birthed greats like Utata Madiba

we cannot run away from the great musicianship or the

unique artistry of late legends Lucky Dube, Oliver Mtukudzi, Paul Ngozi –

We are Africans!

We house the best minerals,

from the diamonds, the gold, the platinum, aluminium,

We have the oils and the gases

From the Copperbelt to the city of Gold,

we are a world that exists within a world –

Why do you think they scrambled for Africa?

We do not believe in banting

We believe in wanting to eat what we want to eat

And you are not a welcomed guest in our house if we don’t ask you to eat

We love our shisa nyama , kapenta with sadza, tuute nembalala down south

Our joolof rice and egusi soup in the west

Our posho in the east

And we go all the way up to taste koshari in Egypt

We are professionals of cultural coloured cuisines –

as colourful as our clothes as we cover ourselves in our dashikis,

our kente, ankara, or colourful chitenges

we do not forget to wrap ourselves in our beautiful head ties

as we carry our pride with us –

After all we are the birthplace of civilization,

We are not the fossils of a sunken city

You called us a dark continent

We are not a dark continent

We are not made of darkness

we do not climax on a dark night

we are but the bantu.

we are not poor

maybe we just got in bed with you too early

which led to the launch of your global poverty prevention project

the birth of your philanthropies

living us with nothing but Aid

Or is it Aids?

Who needs chains

for the 21st century slave?

Benevolent slavery is a mind game

which makes you believe that emancipation

is just an ocean of imagination –

You can walk in but never get wet –

I can still hear them bidding-stop bidding!

– Africa is not for sale –


[Courtesy of the author]

Link to the Italian translation

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