Does anything good ever happen in Africa?

That was the provocative question Sudanese blogger, Kizzie received from someone quite recently:

We were in America and a famous Jewish-American human rights activist/writer/professor invited us for lunch. We talked and talked about the middle east/Islam/immigration/human rights issues and when my professor suggested they ask me something about Africa because I'm from there and I know alot about my beloved continent. This is what she told me ” Does anything good ever happen there?”. I can't describe how I felt at the time because its too complicated. I'm not sure if I felt angry or sad. I think I felt both. I also felt her Afro-pessimism rub on me. I felt it clinging to my skin and as I tried reminding myself of the good things in my continent .I still couldn't recover to my old-self.

… Africa is not darfur,rwanda, dictatorships,underdevelopment or even AIDS.

Speaking of Darfur, Black Kush blogged about another round of peace talks aimed at halting the tragic conflict:

What had exactly been agreed in the meetings remain to be seen. Which of the rebel movements are attending? How about SLM leader Abdel Wahid el Nur?

He also posted the following cartoon:

Little.Miss.Dalu, a Sudanese in America, wrote two interesting posts, the first about racism among Sudanese, and the second about her identity as a Sudanese American.

On the issue of racism:

I'm going to be absolutely honest here, even though it's not going to be fun to hear. Or rather read. But, generally speaking, Sudanese folks are very ethnocentric

… I had some Arab Sudanese friends and we clashed a lot when it came to religion and race, which in retrospective is really ridiculous because we were just kids! Now I know our clashes and the shit we said to each other were things handed down to us from our parents. I once beat the hell out of a kid because he used the term abeed/abid [slave] on me, and another time slapped a girl, who I was friends with by the way, because she said my skin color was like zift (tar).


On the issue of her identity as a Sudanese American:

… I consider myself Sudanese foremost, but to my relatives home, who I don't even know but force myself to speak to occasionally, I am all American. To Americans here, I'm that Sudanese girl. For me it's both and sometimes neither (that's where the whole citizen of the world hippie shit comes in).

Drima, of The Sudanese Thinker authored a revealing article entitled “Khartoum, a City of Sharp Contrasts” about the alcohol and drug-fueled, wild parties that happen behind closed doors in the capital of Sudan.

SudaneseReturnee is happy, yet nervous to be returning home to Juba.

And from Juba itself, Doctor Konyokonyo has a post about AIDS in South Sudan:

The down side is always that apathy sets in and many young people just shrag it off as just another disease too. But is it? Long time ago in the mid 80s, it is considered a disease of Congolese in Sudan, mainly prostitutes etc. Only those who visit these places get it. It is a sad fact which is still the case in South Sudan.

The Abstinence is impossible in the young, the Being faithful hard for the married, and the Condom? It is not always available! Well, there are those who think it takes the “sweetness” out of the sex!

Zoulcolm X is angry at the mistreatment of Sudanese in Egypt:

The news about egyptian soldiers shooting sudanese refugees while trying to cross the borders to Israel really pissed me off. cuz during the last year hundereds of egyptians arrived to work in Khartoum, they took over small jobs like construction and resturants services..those workers are not put in ghettoes, they are treted well, in simple words, they are having a good life.

… sudanese immigrants in Cairo streets suffer something more than getting shot to death at the borders, or kicked by egyptian police force, or facing stupid egyptians racism. they are also killing each other yub, blieve it or not, sudanese immigrants started forming their own gangs in the streets of Cairo.

… but why is that happenin? why we don't have egyptian gangstaz here in Khartoum? is it because they're not black? they came here and took our jobs and they having a good time, but my people go to egypt and be treated like shit and die for nothing.

Path2Hope on the other hand is feeling sad due to the loss of a person she knew who died as a result of the incompetence of the medical profession in Sudan:

The extortionist, sorry I meant doctor examines her after she has paid the required fee for his “services.”

… the genius comes to a conclusion, “she has suffered a stroke”.

… They arrived a few days later in Jordan, where the doctors proceeded to give them one shock after the other. The good news was that she never had a stroke but the effect of the medication on her aging body had done measurable damage but there was hope – there always is. After all, she only had a lack in calcium.

… It’s been almost a month since she passed away, her body couldn’t handle the effects of the wrong medicine. Ina lil-lah wa ina ilehi raje’oun (we belong to Allah and to HIM we shall return).

There is however something cheering Path2Hope up :

Walking around the neighborhood I detect the strong scent of “hilu-mur’ (Sudanese juice) and every house I enter people are hanging out their “shermoot” to dry (meat that is later dried and grinded to add to food) all these are tiny reminders that Ramadan is just around the corner. I’ve always loved Ramadan, there is something truly magical about this month especially if you happen to find yourself in a Muslim country.


  • […] Continue reading my latest round up of the Sudanese blogosphere right here at GlobalVoicesOnline. […]

  • Tzaadi

    I too ask the same question “does anything good ever happen in Africa?”. As a Black American, I recognize that traditional media here and presumably in Europe focuses on poverty, conflict and corruption in Africa. Rarely do we hear much else. So about a year ago, I started relying on the Internet for my primary news from Africa. I discovered blogs like Timbuktu Chronicles, Africa Unchained, White African and My Heart is in Accra and still read them faithfully. This year’s (2007) TED conference in Tanzania exposed me to much of Africa’s potential for good. Unfortunately, it also revealed how much more must happen there to improve the condition of its citizens.

    Change there will take quite some time. The crisis in leadership (perhaps the absence of leadership), the lack of a substantial middle class, continued, debilitating poverty for the masses and poor infrastructures must be overcome to make real differences. But,as anywhere else in the world, there must be change in the ethical treatment of African to African. Africa does not need more aid. It has the resources to change itself. It starts with the heart and extends into respect, ethics, law, economics and education. Africans must choose to build nations where each citizen has the choice to partake fully…where resources and riches are not just reserved a specific group. As these things occur, much more “good news” will be reported from Africa and the world will benefit as it has in the past.

  • Hery

    So you confirm that nothing is good in Africa?

    Your article seems to do so.

  • Hery:- I don’t believe my article proved that nothing good ever happens in Africa:) I acknowledge the bad things in Africa and Afria’s problems but I also believe that Africa is not only war, famine etc…

    Yes, the media pains a very bleak picture of Africa.
    I’m really happy u found blogs run by africans who present a positive pic of africa:)
    Many gr8 authors/leaders etc… attended the TED global such as George Ayyitey , Chris Abani etc..

    I know that change will take some time but hopefully, we will comtribute to changing Africa even if we did a small part. I always tell my dad ” ur generation of africans ruined africa , we have to fix what u did n rebuild”.
    Everything is connected in Africa. we should have good leadership, good allocation of natural resources, better education opportunities( access to education for some …)
    yes, I believe that aid has a very negative impact on Africa (dependancy is exactly what we dont need).
    I would like to start a news channel like the bbc or the ccn for africans in africa to voice out our thoughts to the world. The BBC can report on africa, from africa but we need something where the 53 african countries are represented all the time.

  • Telesphor Magobe

    “Does anything good ever happen in Africa?” Of-course, there is some good happening but the injustice done overshadows everything. We are partly if not entirely responsible for the injustice. Look at the way our politicians behave, it is ridiclous!

    We, Africans, are said to be respectful, hospitable and forgiving (I’m not quiet sure though!) We can even live with contradictions. For instance, we able to smile even when we know things are not going in the right direction and we can promise someone even when we know we are not going to fulfil it – in short we are non-commital.

    We also prefer short-cuts to working hard. We enjoy drinking beer to the extent of denying our sons and daughters proper education. We give up and lose hope quite easily.

    Instead of working hard, we spend most of our time blaming others for our misfortunes. We are often suspicious of foreigners and think good things are done by us and the bad ones by others.

    We like enjoying life – drinking beer and having sex even with a hundred and more partners. Infidelity seems to be a common vice in many sexual relationships. On the other hand, we are full of revenge, hatred and jealousy. Most of the atrocities happening in Africa are perpetuated by those three vices.

    What is happening in Darfur and other African countries pains me a lot. How can ‘a respectful, hospitable and forgiving African’ now find pleasure in raping a girl or woman, killing his or her kin, etc. Is that not barbarism? Such evils cover entirely what is positive in Africa and we are fully responsible!

  • Telesphor – thanks for such an honest and thoughtful comment.

  • […] Beitrag erschien zuerst auf Global Voices. Die Übersetzung erfolgte durch Clemens Harten, Teil des “Project Lingua“. Die […]

  • Micheal

    Hello my kindness people, african is best country very but people we are living in actuclly not carefuly mess up with what we have and think about the other side as well

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