Bravery has nothing to do with it

10:30 am

I have been called brave so many times because I chose to travel Africa. I do not like or appreciate being called brave and I will tell you why -
1. I am not brave for choosing to travel Africa because this is my home continent. I am an African.
2. When I fly to another continent for travels no one ever bothers to pat me on the back and tell me I'm brave. Why am I brave for traveling Africa?
3. Calling me brave for traveling Africa perpetuates the negative stereotype that Africa is dangerous and it will break me.
4. Calling me brave further highlights the ignorance of Africans about Africa and fellow Africans.
5. So to everyone who has called me brave for choosing Africa or you thought it and didn't say it - I am not brave. It is perhaps time to start educating ourselves about Africa. Stop reading about Africa from some European who decided he wants to tell Africans about Africans. No one can relate to Africans and tell our stories better than ourselves. Believe this.
6. I chose Africa because of my love for African people, languages, cultures, music. My curiosity about foreign African countries, and why are we such colorful people?
7. I chose Africa because I got tired of understanding Africa from someone else's point of view. It was time to experience it and see it for myself.
8. So please refrain from calling me brave because I wouldn't be brave in your eyes if I had chosen to travel Europe or Asia.

All I am is a girl with a dream, who chose to chase that dream and forget the critics. I want to rewrite the future of a black girl, our success is not just in an office, being a mother or wife. Yes we can aspire for all that but we can also be more than what society dictates to us.
I want to learn about African people. Not just by reading or hearing their stories when they visit South Africa, I want to learn about them in their countries, in their comfort zones, I want to live among these fellow Africans, eat their food, drink their beer, dance to their music and laugh to their jokes.
Celebrate the language barriers, the differences, highlight the similarities and celebrate the love and the Ubuntu.
Beyond all other lessons, I am just a girl that hates monotony and refuses to live in a comfort zone - I thrive at the idea of being uncomfortable everyday and not knowing what tomorrow holds.

Perhaps I am crazy, brave - not so much.


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