Love & Africa

Love & Africa

Africa, to me, begins with a story little known to those who cross the oceans. It’s not a prophecy, but it’s a dream about a future world, that like the silent growing forest trees, carefully rises into reality from the unseen.
It Took a Pandemic to make me Appreciate Africa more

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For a multitude of different reasons, being on this continent (Africa) means that both the words “Love” and “Africa” are likely to be close to your heart, with the second being the obvious common denominator. Yet being individually unique means that while the connotations of these words have similarities, they are gathered into non-replicable stacks of experiences that put us in a nuanced space where we are all connected and yet not exactly the same. Such that as we meet and get to know each other, it’s totally normal to find out that we’re less alike and more alike than initially perceived at the very same time. I’d like to share what these two words have come to mean to me this day.

Africa, to me, begins with a story little known to those who cross the oceans. It’s not a prophecy, but it’s a dream about a future world, that like the silent growing forest trees, carefully rises into reality from the unseen. This is not a night dream. Those it possesses either lie awake or day dream, eager to serve as willing instruments via the infinite avenues through which they interact with the world. Because Africa has previously been given a shadow of misery and lack, I, like anyone who wants to see a better tomorrow, personally consider it my duty to add more value, however incremental, to the world through the continent that financed the matter that makes up my physical form. I want to die in a better continent than I was born, therefore it stands as my living agenda to become a better instrument for such.

I want to relate the way I value the word love through an interesting story that has a question I’ll give as a takeaway from this post, that will, l hopefully, be worth more than the time you graciously gave to read it. In a recent remote coaching session that was afforded to me by being part of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) School Engagement Project, I was told over phone call:

“Imagine your dying day. Picture your very soul mounting the skyward staircase of clouds that lead to the entrance of the afterlife. At the door you are greeted with an offer from the creator, to, in the space of a minute, come up with a reason good enough for you to be sent back to the people that you love who are still alive. What is the one thing that you will tell them? If an action, what “one thing” would you do for them?”

I was first disturbed at how clearly this question exposed how limited the action of a single individual is, before I was overwhelmed by the sheer clarity of the power actions woven in the right “one thing”, however isolated they can be. The call ended before I had an answer. To satisfy me the answer would have to be something that can both make their lives better and reassure them of their value considering that we’re broken and fall short in many ways, and how so many are hurting.

If I could be given a chance to return from beyond the grave to my loved ones, there’s no better thing I could tell them, which exceeds the request to love each other. This is something I wouldn’t be able to do from beyond.

Would you make this your one thing?

Why not start now, in Africa!

Gratefully

Tosin 'Badeniyi, PhD

Tosin 'Badeniyi, PhD

Tosin ‘Badeniyi, a Professor at the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science at Durban University of Technology, South Africa, holds a doctoral degree in Food Science from University of Pretoria South Africa. Since 2001, he has conducted research and lectured internationally in the area of food quality and safety. He is the editor of Food Science and Technology: Trends and Future Prospects and has published numerous scientific publications as well as four inspirational books.

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