African Pride, Does It Exist?

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I have been teaching English to Korean students for the past year and a half. My students have taught me so much in the past 18 months. Surprisingly, the lessons learned are about who I am as an African. You may ask how students aged between 8 to 15 years of age can provide such insight. I shall elaborate. I often hold conversation contests in my class and my students get to practice what they are taught during the week. One student Kevin was on the losing team and he remarked that the opposing team who were defeating them were either American or European. He went on to say that, his team was African because they were losers. Comments like these are very common in class and I am no longer offended when my students make such remarks. Truth is I cannot even defend my continent because many of the statements they make about Africa are true. I sometimes ask my students to explain certain things about their culture that I do not always understand. They always end their explanation with a simple statement, “Teacher, I am Korean” this they say with pride. I ask myself how children so young can have such immense pride for their culture, language, cuisine and history. I also ask myself why Africans cannot foster this kind of pride. Middle and High school children are required to do 24 hours of community service a year, which amounts to about 2 hours per month. These kids’ clean public parks, stadiums, swimming pools, help the elderly amongst other things. I am starting to understand where their pride, accountability and sense of ownership come from. They are required to contribute to their country’s well being from a young age. It is something our continents government should consider. I had a phone conversation with a Ghanaian friend a few days ago and we were talking about the subject of African pride. He made some statements, which initially offended me, but after careful consideration, I could not dispute what he had said. He said, “Africans are inferior when it...
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