As the world embraces African culture…

Every tree is bounded by its roots and so are humans. Where we come from defines us and gives us a feeling of belonging. Nigeria is not just a nation, it is also a home. Nigeria is not just a name, it is also the cry of triumph of everyone living in it who has conquered one battle or the other. To be a Nigerian is to be strong at heart and mind.

A Nigerian is a victor. One who has struggled and is still standing strong, struck down but not destroyed. I am a Nigerian. The culture of Africa is as diverse and vibrant as the country itself, from the exciting sound of our afro beat to the bold and colourful prints of our Ankara, Nigerian fashion and music are bold and expressive reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage. There was a point in time when Africa experienced cultural erasure and they were forced to give up their traditional way of life.

This had a huge impact on the way Africans viewed themselves and their culture. There has been a long history of African culture being dismissed and ignored. Our women covered up their natural hair with wigs and extensions; it is inspiring to see the shift towards embracing our culture. One can not help but appreciate Africa’s true beauty.

From celebrities like Lupita Nyongo showing off their natural hair on the red carpet to Beyonce’s Lemonade-inspired cornrows, it is refreshing to see African hairstyles having a major moment on the global stage! A few decades back, the African culture would have been dismissed as primitive and backwards while these hairstyles would have been seen as unfashionable and unprofessional. It’s clear that the beauty and creativity of African culture is finally getting the appreciation it deserves. From the bold flavours of our jollof rice to the rich flavour of our egusi soup and pounded yam, Nigerian cuisines are a celebration of all six senses!

It’s no wonder that more and more people around the world are falling in love with the delicious and diverse flavours of African food. This is a testament to the richness and beauty of Africa, and its people. Thanks to global connectedness, there is a growing appreciation of African culture and it has a lot to do with African artistes and chefs who are bold and working hard to share their culture to the world.

This is helping the younger generation embrace themselves more and feel more confident in their own skin and be proud of who they are and where we come from. This has made us come together in unity. There is dignity and pride in our culture and as the world continues to become more connected, we can only hope that more people will discover and celebrate the wonders of African culture. As we explore and celebrate African culture, it is important to remember that there is dignity and strength in every aspect of our heritage.

Yunana Gladys Musa,
Department of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
Kaduna state.