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Why I love Africa

Updated on July 29, 2015
Every town has a church building or two
Every town has a church building or two | Source
Tuck Shop in Kwazulu Natal-South Africa
Tuck Shop in Kwazulu Natal-South Africa | Source
Creative Hut at Mukuze, South Africa
Creative Hut at Mukuze, South Africa | Source
Subsistence fishermen Tofu, Mozambique
Subsistence fishermen Tofu, Mozambique | Source
Barra Lake Mozambique with fishing traps
Barra Lake Mozambique with fishing traps | Source
Lonely Hartbeest under African Sunset-Mlilwane, Swaziland
Lonely Hartbeest under African Sunset-Mlilwane, Swaziland | Source
Playground of rich and famous: Umhlanga, Durban North-with ships waiting turn in harbor,
Playground of rich and famous: Umhlanga, Durban North-with ships waiting turn in harbor, | Source
A fishing boat on the Skeleton Coast
A fishing boat on the Skeleton Coast | Source
A School group at Kirstenboch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town
A School group at Kirstenboch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town | Source
Some local children entertaining guests at the Country Kitchen restaurant in Chintsa
Some local children entertaining guests at the Country Kitchen restaurant in Chintsa | Source
Early settlers build their houses along the coast-this one in the Southern Cape
Early settlers build their houses along the coast-this one in the Southern Cape | Source



This is my Continent-my place.

First of all I love Africa because this is my place in the world, I was born here and I have lived here most of my life. My paternal Grandfather immigrated to South Africa from Holland to work on the railroad. He did not come to steal from Africa but to share his skill and enjoy a better life, and so I was born here during the Second World War while my Dad was in Egypt with the South African Forces. On my Mother’s side my French Huguenot forefathers came to escape persecution from the Roman Catholic Church in France and then left the Cape to become part of the “Great Trek” into the interior, again on a quest for freedom from the British rule in the Cape of Good Hope. They worked hard to make this a better country for all. Yes they fought its wars and defended what they thought was right, and would do so again. Even in hindsight I believe they would done much the same.

The Millions of people and their shared Africanism:

But I also love Africa because of its many people; their determined desire and will to survive, their creativeness, their love for life, their music, dance and art, their laughter and their joy. As a South African I have only traveled to the seven countries in the south, and then for limited times only. The rest of Africa is vast (you can fit the USA, China and Europe into Africa and have some space to spare) with many countries and thousands of tribes and languages. I have been privileged to meet some from those countries far to the north and have enjoyed conversations with them and times of sharing and learning. With them I share a common Africanism.

The faith:of the people:

It is also their love for God that binds me to many million others in this continent. Every town in our country seems to have a church spire reaching up into the heavens, but more than that Africa has a people who for many years have believed in God in their hearts. They worshiped God in the way they were led to do so and many still do so today. Often faith and worship may seem to be primitive and different to those who do not believe but to many it gives direction and hope. Even today in our modern atheistic world when you travel on a Sunday you will see many people on their way to worship, often carrying a Bible in their hand. I share a belief in God and his Son with so many..

A Continent of great contrasts:

Another reason that I love Africa is because of its contrasts; its huge white desert sand that stand in sharp contrasts with its green and humid jungles; its high mountains reaching into the blue skies towering over its grassy plains where Zebra and Wildebeest graze. As a continent it straddles the equator and so has tropical, sub tropical and mid latitude climates to enjoy or endure. Here we see poor peasants tilling their mielie or rice patches as subsistence farmers living from season to season. In other areas are the mega farmers producing food on a large scale for their and other nations with their large tractors and big harvesters. Large bustling cities surrounded by highways, harbors and airports are again surrounded by a great vastness of open spaces.

The silence of the plains and bushveldt and the call of a lonely Fish Eagle stand in strong contrast with the shout from the bustling market place and the noisy hum of the busy highways. A small shopkeeper in Mkuzi, Kwazulu Natal supplies the shopping needs of her rural village while the new large shopping malls do the same for those who live in the suburbs of the great cities. Many walk to their shop while others ride in their 4x4’s than may of may not ever see a really wild road. But then sometimes even urban roads seem to need a high clearance vehicle. Than is why small trucks and double cabs are so common.

The opportunities and challenges:

Soccer fields with no grass and tree stumps for goal posts have the potential to produce tomorrows champions as certainly as do the huge modern stadiums that hosted the World Cup in 2010. In a dusty street in many a township a great game of cricket is being played with a plank and a cardboard box. Who knows what future Makaya Nitini, Maria Mutola, Edith Masai or Wilson Kipsang is waiting to be discovered there. It is a continent of great opportunity, but also of great disadvantages.

The magic of being who you are:

It is often in the very poor areas where women walk down to the river to fetch water in buckets carried on their heads or to the forests to collect wood where one hears laughter. In the bustling cities, the monuments to western civilization, where one notices people rushing along to work with seemingly little to smile about. The poor dream of a better life and look with envy at the rich who rush past on their two week break to find peace and quiet for just a little while. This is the paradox of Africa that I love, full of contrasts and contradictions. Bold, brash, energetic and often un-spoilt. Sometimes uncertain of what it wants to be but going about its business as usual, as it has for centuries. Don’t try to make it what it is not!

The writers of the book "Africa in World History from prehistory to the present",(Gilbert and Reynolds) say it well in their concluding paragraph of their excellent book "Like other histories, it chronicles the struggles of a rich and diverse population to improve their lives and define their own destiny".

“Abantwana be Africa” A Zulu term suggesting we are children of Africa, “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica”- God Bless Africa!

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for a great read.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      I can see why you do love Africa so very much indeed! Thank you for sharing all of these beautiful reasons to love Africa. I enjoyed this read and learned a lot too.

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless you,

      Faith Reaper

    • Johan Smulders profile image
      Author

      Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thank you for reading it and your comments. God Bless.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I have often wanted to visit Africa, and your hubs truly "take us there." Thank you for sharing you life and love of Africa. :-)

    • Johan Smulders profile image
      Author

      Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

      It is a great continent to visit. Thanks for the comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I will get there one day to enjoy the vast wildlife.

    • Johan Smulders profile image
      Author

      Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Looking forward to showing you around our neck of the woods.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      It sounds so wonderful I can see why you love it. Thank you for sharing it with us in such detail and I will join you in saying God bless Africa and it appears He has already.

    • Johan Smulders profile image
      Author

      Johan Smulders 3 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Thanks for your comments and blessing Jackie.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      What a beautiful country you live in. Thank you for sharing your homeland in this article. I learned new things about Africa by reading your hub.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 3 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you Johan for sharing insight about Africa. I hope to visit there someday soon. It sounds like a peaceful place with freshness. Keep us informed.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you for an excellent expose on Africa. For long Africa was the Dark Continent. But the fact remains even now Africa is at least 50 years behind even SE Asia. Without a bail out Africa will just become land of no return. Another problem is health care. Aids is rampant and that could decimate the black African race.It's a real catch 22 situation

    • profile image

      bongani 15 months ago

      This is my Continent-my place.

      First of all I love Africa because this is my place in the world, I was born here and I have lived here most of my life. My paternal Grandfather immigrated to South Africa from Holland to work on the railroad. He did not come to steal from Africa but to share his skill and enjoy a better life, and so I was born here during the Second World War while my Dad was in Egypt with the South African Forces. On my Mother’s side my French Huguenot forefathers came to escape persecution from the Roman Catholic Church in France and then left the Cape to become part of the “Great Trek” into the interior, again on a quest for freedom from the British rule in the Cape of Good Hope. They worked hard to make this a better country for all. Yes they fought its wars and defended what they thought was right, and would do so again. Even in hindsight I believe they would done much the same.

      The Millions of people and their shared Africanism:

      But I also love Africa because of its many people; their determined desire and will to survive, their creativeness, their love for life, their music, dance and art, their laughter and their joy. As a South African I have only traveled to the seven countries in the south, and then for limited times only. The rest of Africa is vast (you can fit the USA, China and Europe into Africa and have some space to spare) with many countries and thousands of tribes and languages. I have been privileged to meet some from those countries far to the north and have enjoyed conversations with them and times of sharing and learning. With them I share a common Africanism.

      The faith:of the people:

      It is also their love for God that binds me to many million others in this continent. Every town in our country seems to have a church spire reaching up into the heavens, but more than that Africa has a people who for many years have believed in God in their hearts. They worshiped God in the way they were led to do so and many still do so today. Often faith and worship may seem to be primitive and different to those who do not believe but to many it gives direction and hope. Even today in our modern atheistic world when you travel on a Sunday you will see many people on their way to worship, often carrying a Bible in their hand. I share a belief in God and his Son with so many..

      A Continent of great contrasts:

      Another reason that I love Africa is because of its contrasts; its huge white desert sand that stand in sharp contrasts with its green and humid jungles; its high mountains reaching into the blue skies towering over its grassy plains where Zebra and Wildebeest graze. As a continent it straddles the equator and so has tropical, sub tropical and mid latitude climates to enjoy or endure. Here we see poor peasants tilling their mielie or rice patches as subsistence farmers living from season to season. In other areas are the mega farmers producing food on a large scale for their and other nations with their large tractors and big harvesters. Large bustling cities surrounded by highways, harbors and airports are again surrounded by a great vastness of open spaces.

      The silence of the plains and bushveldt and the call of a lonely Fish Eagle stand in strong contrast with the shout from the bustling market place and the noisy hum of the busy highways. A small shopkeeper in Mkuzi, Kwazulu Natal supplies the shopping needs of her rural village while the new large shopping malls do the same for those who live in the suburbs of the great cities. Many walk to their shop while others ride in their 4x4’s than may of may not ever see a really wild road. But then sometimes even urban roads seem to need a high clearance vehicle. Than is why small trucks and double cabs are so common.

      The opportunities and challenges:

      Soccer fields with no grass and tree stumps for goal posts have the potential to produce tomorrows champions as certainly as do the huge modern stadiums that hosted the World Cup in 2010. In a dusty street in many a township a great game of cricket is being played with a plank and a cardboard box. Who knows what future Makaya Nitini, Maria Mutola, Edith Masai or Wilson Kipsang is waiting to be discovered there. It is a continent of great opportunity, but also of great disadvantages.

      The magic of being who you are:

      It is often in the very poor areas where women walk down to the river to fetch water in buckets carried on their heads or to the forests to collect wood where one hears laughter. In the bustling cities, the monuments to western civilization, where one notices people rushing along to work with seemingly little to smile about. The poor dream of a better life and look with envy at the rich who rush past on their two week break to find peace and quiet for just a little while. This is the paradox of Africa that I love, full of contrasts and contradictions. Bold, brash, energetic and often un-spoilt. Sometimes uncertain of what it wants to be but going about its business as usual, as it has for centuries. Don’t try to make it what it is not!

      The writers of the book "Africa in World History from prehistory to the present",(Gilbert and Reynolds) say it well in their concluding paragraph of their excellent book "Like other histories, it chronicles the struggles of a rich and diverse population to improve their lives and define their own destiny".

      “Abantwana be Africa” A Zulu term suggesting we are children of Africa, “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica”- God Bless Africa!

    • profile image

      Terry Hibana 6 months ago

      This is a very touching overview about your love for the African continent. I so wish that the people of Africa can be so proud of this beautiful heart of the world. I live in East London, South Africa and know you for 30 years and in these past 15 years I saw you spending more leisure time outside of cities. Thank you for reflecting the beauty of Mother Africa.

    • Johan Smulders profile image
      Author

      Johan Smulders 6 months ago from East London, South Africa

      Africa has its challenges but what a great place to live. Thanks for your observations and comments

    • profile image

      Heidi Smulders 5 months ago

      Thanks I'm glad your ancestors moved here so that it is my home also!

    • Johan Smulders profile image
      Author

      Johan Smulders 5 months ago from East London, South Africa

      At least they did not get sent to Australia!

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