TIA (This is Africa)


It’s Cairo, Casablanca & Cape Town
Addis, Abuja & Accra
Ouagadougou, Timbuktu & Antananarivo
Lagos, Lomé, Lusaka & Lalibela

Its peace and turmoil
Order and chaos
Evolution and revolution
Anarchy and regulation
Innovation and duplication
Progress and retreat
Static and constant change

It’s Nouakchott, Niamey, N’Djamena & Nairobi
Monrovia, Mbabane & Maseru
Tripoli, Tunis & Tangiers
Harare & Gaborone

It’s democracy and dictatorship
Youth and elderly
Traditional and modern
Indigenous and imported
Local and foreign
Metropolitan and cosmopolitan
Rural and urban

It’s Bujumbura, Bangui, & Brazzaville
Dakar, Dar & Djibouti
Freetown & Libreville
Mogadishu, Monrovia & Moroni

It’s you and it’s me
It’s him and it’s her
It’s us and it’s them
It’s East and it’s West
It’s North and it’s South
It’s core and periphery

It’s Bamako, Banjul & Bissau
Kinshasa, Kampala, Kigali & Khartoum
Malabo, Maputo & Mombasa
Algiers, Alexandria & Abidjan

It’s scholarly and illiterate
Ambitious and unmotivated
Political and apathetic
Construction and destruction
Truth and propaganda
Scribes and scholars

It’s Juba & Goma
Yaoundé & Yamoussoukro
Victoria & Windhoek
Porto Novo, Port Louis & Port Elizabeth
Sao Tomé, Praia & Cotonou

It’s unpredictable and expected
Unconvential and conformist
Extraordinary and banal
Hope and despair
Riches and rags
Scarcity and extravagance

It’s flaura and fauna
Valleys and mountains
Deserts and waterways
It’s Kilimanjaro and the Denakil Depression

It’s both ends of the spectrum
And everything in between


©Nebila Abdulmelik, May 2011


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