Por Angel Villa Hernandez*
Addis Ababa, May 29 (Prensa Latina) The dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language says that pride is 'a sentiment of satisfaction with one's own achievements, capabilities or merits or with something about which a person feels concerned'.
In tune with that concept, healthy national pride is an ennobling human sentiment cultivated for centuries and that deserves great respect. When that emotion crosses the national borders, like in the case of Africa, the added value is much higher.
Unfortunately, the same does not apply to the Americas, because due to several historic factors and of other nature, the denomination of Americans has been consigned to the northern territory bordered by Mexico and Canada.
There are various theories about the origin of the name Africa, ranging from the Romans, the Phoenicians or the Greeks, even the Indians. All of them refer to characteristics that are present in those lands that were the foundation for the name, many of which still prevail at present.
From Cairo to the Cape and from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, all the inhabitants in those territories, and even outside the borders, are considered Africans. In numbers, all 1.3 million Africans account for 15% of the world population.
Africans are proud of their condition of citizens of that continent. As part of the historic process of racial classification resulting from the hegemonic position of the Whites, an erroneous stereotype has prevailed, according to which all Africans, or at least the majority of them, are black.
However, the Whites, Asians and mestizos who were born there or who adopted the continent as their own also feel deeply Africans.
They are human beings like anyone from another continent. Even when in other latitudes some experts want to innovate about the origin of the Homo sapiens and therefore their own origin, reality does not leave room for doubts about his location in Africa. That notion of nutritive mother has contributed to extol the Africans' ego.
For centuries, Africans were doomed to serve as slave labor force and to suffer other forms of exploitation in which they were deprived of the most elementary human rights, including the necessary education.
In all periods, when the minimum or necessary conditions have existed for Africans to develop their intellect, they have shown fabulous results in their achievements, like any other human being in the world.
For those who are not Africans to understand the attitudes and stances of Africans, they have to approach their psychology. Africans have their customs, traditions and ways to interpret the phenomena of life, even from the other world.
Africans apply the spirit or the philosophy of Ubuntu, a word that in the Bantu language means humanity and it is often interpreted as 'I am because we are'. Therefore, being an African is a synonym of humble, noble, friendly, undertaking and happy people by nature, despite their penuries.
Ordinary Africans, who are the majority, are not big savers, because they generally live from hand to mouth, and they say that today they are alive, so let us see what happens tomorrow.
They enjoy social relations within their communities and are well known for their talents for dance and singing, because they say, rhythm runs through their veins. They make music out of any material, or using their own hands.
Africans' resistance is proverbial and has been demonstrated in their daily life, when they do hard work or walk long distances, in a cold night or enduring the high temperatures of the deserts.
They are very good at sports, above all those that demand strong resistance like football or long-distance races. This is a sector in which Africa shines incomparably by itself, although others do it thanks to it.
Africans are strong believers and highly devoted. Practicing a religion is an act of infinite and often blind faith in their gods for many people.
Being African is a blessing and when those six letters fly freely in the wind, the chest widens for them: A F R I C A.
*The author is the Cuban Ambassador at the African Union.
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