Africa. The picture that instantly flashes on the mind is that part of the world so secluded and out of touch that some would denounce their nationality for nothing at all. A place so reeked with poverty and ailments that even animals consider themselves cursed to be located there. And every time there’s a bulletin about the Dark Continent on the major news, it’s one bad news or the other (civil war, epidemic outbreak, coup d’état). In sum, Africa is the world’s big charity case.
But I consider myself blessed to be born to African parents and raised in Africa. You want to know why? It’s the one part of the world where no one thinks of the other as weird or shallow minded for being Christian. It may be true that we are lagging behind when it comes to technological breakthroughs and economic rates. Nonetheless, we are beyond privileged for the freedom to declare one’s religious affiliation without having to fear for any backlash be it academic or work-related. As Africans or as Ghanaians in particular, we sometimes take it for granted with the wrong assumption that everyone else believes that God exists because we were raised to be believers.
I was stunned when I watched a scene from the God’s Not Dead movie (which I highly recommend by the way) where the lecturer coaxed his students to actually denounce the existence of God in writing so as to avoid debates in class. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think of that happening. Maybe because most of my teachers have been Christians or Muslims. I am indeed thankful to be living in an environment where my faith is not brought into contention or literally put to the test for a mere academic course or even a job.
People may argue that Africans are obstinately religious because we have nothing else to hold on to. So we depend on an invisible God to solve our problems for us. We may not own space stations, nuclear weapons or whatever it is that makes the powerful countries what they are but we have God. And because we do, we have everything! Not just in this world but beyond it. I’m proud to be African!