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Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Learn from each other. Appreciate our differences

Most  of the Ukrainians I have met assume Africa is a country. In fact, whenever a black man passes by, the naughty ones will always shout  “AFRICA!” It amazes them to know Africa is a continent, with many countries. They don’t see any difference between a Kenyan and Nigerian or Ghanaian, we are the same after all.

Interestingly, though we are from the same continent, we have totally different backgrounds. We relate in so many ways, yet at the same time differ. However,  our differences should bring us together than draw us apart. I have interacted with Africans from the west, East, Central and South Africa. It is fun at times, and, of course, few of us will get along with anyone  from anywhere, and that’s how it ought to be. But sometimes our differences, sadly, have caused some hiccups in our relations. We have taken personal some natural characteristics and allowed them to separate us from our brothers.

It is easy to tell where an African is from. First, the accent. Then, sometimes, behavior. You look at someone and guess “This must be a Kenyan!” yeah, ha ha. A friend told me she went to another city and saw Kenyans, she new they were Kenyans. I asked her, how? she said “I just knew. There is something about Kenyans.” I agree.  You just know.

I’ll use these examples to drive my point home.

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Take a Kenyan and Ugandan for instance.  One will be too slow. The other will be in a rush, even to nowhere. Go to the Kenyan capital and someone will knock you down rushing.  Go to another city and everyone takes their time, it’s like walking step by step, no hurry at all. One will wonder why people are dragging, the other too will wonder why one can be in so much a hurry. A Kenyan will think a Nigerian is too vigorous, on the other hand, the Nigerian too will wonder what the hell is wrong with the Kenyan. One is used to a quiet environment, another cannot exist in the same. Our differences.

What am I trying to drive at? There is no way we’ll be the same. We’ll always differ in one way or the other. Our likes could be another person’s dislikes, that should not make us enemies, we are just different. We should rather want to know why other people behave differently from us, what makes them who they are.  Is it their culture? How is it different from our own? What can we learn from them? What can they learn from us? In my country for instance, it is a crime to sell dog meat. In other  countries, it is normal. I don’t eat snakes. Some of my friends do. That’s what makes us different.

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Try  viewing the world from other people’s angle too. Do not dislike them just because of a behavior they have nothing to do with. The way they carry themselves around, respond to issues, behave.  Who knows, maybe you would be the same,  had you been brought up in the same environment as they were. Appreciating our differences brings us together, failure to do so causes us to find faults if people behave in a different way  from us.

Let us make it be like Africa is indeed one country. Learn from each other. Appreciate our differences.

With Love.

By Liz Ekakoro:Diaspora Messenger contributor/Kenyan in Ukrain

Liz Ekakoro
Liz Ekakoro
Writer and contributor of Diaspora Messenger

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