A relative of mine used to travel a lot. (By a relative I do not mean a person related by blood, but a loose term Africans use to describe a family or person close to them. This can be seen when fellow pre teens refer to themselves as siblings or cousins because their mothers and/or fathers are close friends.)
This relative, despite being a close friend, was quite arrogant in a sense that he felt his view of the world was much open because every summer vacation from secondary school, he travelled. It didn’t hurt that he had a strong LAFA (locally acquired foreign accent. Trust me, one can not spend a majority of his life in an African country and spend a minority abroad and claim his accent is authentic.)
Yet, his arrogance was lost on everyone else. Or, my jealousy was clouding my sense of how good a person he was. But then again, he made sure to bring Oreos to his close friends from abroad and so they liked him because of his gifts? Whatever the case he was quite popular and he knew it.
But after growing up and traveling abroad myself, I have seen how much more difficult it is to really discern how much this my relative “chilled” abroad. Because, there are Africans abroad, who sleep on carpeted floors but on queen sized beds in their home countries. Yet, as soon as they return to Africa, all these trials and tribulations they felt are completely eradicated as they assume a LAFA and their (real) relatives rejoice and shout as they are given bags and other items bought from Walmart/Sainsbury’s/Tesco.
This assumption of an accent be it an American accent when the person went to England or vice versa does not matter. What matters is how he slurs the t in water to make it sound like warer and how he adds innit to every sentence ending.
Thus, I have decided not to tend to an accent whiles I am living abroad. I am not a white man and neither will I ever be a half-caste. (This term is now called a racially charged term but for the sake of my people at home, I will use terms open to them and not ones such as biracial.) Besides, accents complicate things, because the akata and white men know it is being forged and will deliberately ask you to reiterate.
I remember ordering pizza from one of the people favorite fast food pizzerias and using a false accent. Pepperoni turned to peproni and pizza turned to pitza. I look back and feel sorry for the man who took my order because he even got my address wrong and could have possibly got a lecture/deduction for my forgery of an accent.
That was one of the most important factors that made me want to start a blog. To document all of my choices and conclusions and not get sucked up in a culture that is muffled with racism which could make an African brother or sister lose his roots and heritage. We claim we are proud Africans and of our individual homelands but do we rise to the defense of our countries when it is being bombarded by our friends who have no link to it? I do not do it but i have made the choice to do so and have documented it. I am grateful to this land for accepting me but I am not grateful to this land for thinking the people of my land live in huts or trees and scavenge for food. I do not think you should be too.