Sunday, March 15, 2009



Last night we congregated in our kitchen nook for some tea after dinner. Two families - Gambian and Nigerian/Kenyan and Celestial Seasonings Peppermint. (I have run out of Ketepa).

We, young Africans who have abandoned the poor circumstances of homes in Banjul, Nairobi and Lagos; young Africans who have abandoned the deserts and the countrysides. We who have undertaken journeys in response to availability of opportunity. In our scatterings, we escape the challenge to truly uplift Africa to heights and depths previously unknown. We, young African birds who have built easy, comfortable nests of hay in the Diaspora.

Last night during tea, we joked, we laughed, we prayed. We determined what was required. A return to the motherland to face her realities, lest we remain birds that can never land on the ground.

Next time we will congregate in their kitchen nook, share cups of sweet attaya and brainstorm on our plans, compromises and sacrifices, because that is what it will take.

Wiki njema! [have a good week]

Mama Shujaa

24 comments:

  1. This is very true. When Africa's children come back from the four corners of the world, we will be able to build this continent to be a better version of the First World.

    It can be done and I am passionate about it. Look at the Japanese. Although they did not invent technology, they perfected it to such a extent that now they are the second largest economy in the world.

    All by learning from their conquerors and improving their technology.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the Celestials... I know that a good time was had. I really admire the multiculture that you have. Even envy it a little, lol. I try to preserve as many southern roots from my great-grandmother and grandmother that I can because if not, all will be lost once my grandmother is gone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And you have a good week, too. That was such a lovely post to read.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post, gives me a lot to reflect on. I always say I will go back home and work on development but after a while living here, you kind of forget or is it you start making plans to fit this place that you forget you were to go home and rebuild.
    Have a lovely week yourself and Thank you for the post, it is heaven set for some of us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. karibuni nyumbani! yes yes we need angels like you this side to help carry the load! lovely post as always, dada...salaams and love xx j

    ReplyDelete
  6. Denford:

    Thank you for your comment. There is an interesting current trend/phenomenon these days. Folks are looking for jobs in Africa. My sister-in-law reported from Nairobi that folks getting 3-6 month contracts for one job or another. The ironic thing is that most are non-Africans, some are casualties of Wall Street.

    The short-term contracts can be good and bad. If our leaders have long-term vision, they can take advantage of the current economic downturn and hire labor for cheap, get supplies for cheap...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ms. Bar B:

    You are so generous in your comment. I too am a believer in Oral History.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A Cuban in London: Thank you for your comment.


    Cee: Thenk you for your comment. It is something a lot of immigrants grapple with, whether they are from China, India, Bosnia of Africa. Most left with the intention of going back. Of course, as conditions changed/got worse in individual countries, we found it easier to settle. Some actually make sacrifices that they would not make in their home countries, e.g. working 2-3 jobs.

    With the new economic reality facing the global market, Africa has become the new frontier. Loads of companies moving to the continent to establish a foothold in this new era of "frontier marketing". Not too long ago Forbes Magazine had a piece entitled "Africa: The Last Investment Frontier."

    The biggest concern is that those of us who can contribute in terms of knowledge might be sitting back because we make excuses: there is no electricity, the roads are bad, etc.

    The truth is that when you factor everying in, it is all relative, i.e. extended family support structure in place, etc. Yes, there is crime, certain basic amenities are not easily avaible. However, whose responsibility is it to provide those basics? Are we waiting for Utopia, so that all we have to do is Breathe? My sister, it is indeed a lot to consider.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Janelli,

    Asante dada. Last night I shared with my friends your very informative post on the wonderful Mosquito Net factory - the pride of Tanzania. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Back again! Wondering if you would like to exchange links? As you can see, I only have five or so blogs on my blogroll. I tend only to link to blogs I actually find valuable for me and hence, for my readers.

    Hope its ok.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for sharing your experience! I love your blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Denford: Thanks! Of course it is ok!

    La Mirabelle: Merci for the visit!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mama Shujaa - I admire your depth for life and others. Keep on keeping on...... As always, I enjoyed your input this week.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Aren’t you lucky to have an African expat community in your neighborhood. It must help with homesickness and feelings of displacement. Lovely music, but the poverty makes me sad. The smiles make me happy. Who is the singer?

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Moto Mama: Thank you.

    @Sarah: Yes we are lucky to have each other. This is Nneka, born in Nigeria, based in Germany.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey people, it looks like you're all having fun in here :)
    I thought I would take part in the happiness and good time with you ladies.

    I have just blogrolled your blog and will keep abreast with what's cooking here.

    Love you all :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your writings commands attention. They are so natural and full of real emotion. I just felt like crying for my beloved country and Africa at large. You've got a lovely blog.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Tea around kitchen tables, accompanied by good conversations. A universal phaenomenon, and something even I, in this cold, cold corner of the world, can relate to.
    You have a wonderful week yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My sister,

    Your words always warm a deep place in my heart.

    The crises facing Africa are so huge, so complex, so deep... They require the world... the entire world to leave their indifference and act as a family... Every day the need grows deeper, as more and more innocent children die from war, disease and poverty.

    Thank you for all that you are and do my friend,

    You are a light,

    With love, Maithri

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Helen Hunt: Thank you.

    @Nigerian Entrepreneur: Thanks for your kind words. There is a saying: The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory - T. Engstrom. I pray that we remain steadfast in our aspirations to make positive contributions.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Stine: Thank you so much for dropping in!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dr. Maithri!

    You are a very bright light.

    You are leaving your cushy, paid job at a hospital in Melbourne to travel to Swaziland, a country with the highest prevalence of HIV in the world (42%); where 10% of its population are orphaned children. You are making a sacrifice that will impact the lives of many. I applaud you!

    May God help you prosper in all of your efforts.

    Blessings to you in plenty!!!

    Mama S.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I wish I could stay there with all of you ... even if I'm not neither a Gambian,Nigerian Kenyan and African, I'm a simple italian in love with Africa and Africans.
    Ciao from Rome, Italy

    ReplyDelete
  24. Francesca,

    You have a maridadi name. As long as you are a member of the human race, you are welcome!!

    Karibu sana, karibu tena!

    Mama Shujaa.

    ReplyDelete