The more I think of life, the more I realize that it is too short to be wasted. Do you also have that feeling, that there is more to your life than what it is right now? That you are here on this earth for a reason, and that you have to live to your full potential? Because I have that feeling. I feel that I’m here for a reason, which actually is normal since I’m a believer, but I also feel that I want my life to have meaning and, that not only to myself. I want to give my life purpose by living, by loving and by leaving something good behind. Because we all know for sure, death is something that is guaranteed upon all.
you might wonder why I start today’s post in this way, the truth is that this last week I have been thinking a lot about what my purpose in life is. It actually all started after having a conversation with someone, who claimed that she would like to go to Nigeria, but that she couldn’t go alone, because she was convinced that if she did, she would be kidnapped. I will not lie, I was astonished by her statement and when I asked her for what reason she would be kidnaped in Nigeria, her response was: ‘because I’m white, with blonde hair and blue eyes, if I go there, they will kidnap me and ask a lot of money in exchange for my freedom.’ After hearing this statement, I was perplexed. I didn’t know what to say, I mean I could understand that some places in Nigeria or Africa (even though we were talking about Nigeria, I knew that her statement was about Africa as a whole) are dangerous, but the same is true for Europe, America, and other continents. Her firm belief that she will be harmed as a white girl in a black country kinda hurt me. On one side, I felt sorry for her and on the other side, I was offended by her thoughts. And it is actually now that I realize that she was only a victim of what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie would call the danger of a single story. So I will not blame her for having a narrow perspective on how it would be to visit Nigeria as a ‘white girl’, I will not blame her for the way she thinks, but I do blame her for not looking at the bigger picture.
However, it was not this incident that made me directly think of what my purpose in life is, but my NGO’s & IGO’s lecture on development. It is just the whole concept of lending money to developing countries and the way in which some NGO’s, IGO’s and developed countries deal with their foreign debt, that really makes angry. I feel like it is not about helping developing countries develop but rather, in one way or the other making sure that they stay poor. And I’m not okay with that. I’m not saying that giving development aid is bad, I’m just saying that the way it is done right now, is not the right way. I mean think for yourself, how much of the money given to most African countries end up in the pockets of corrupt leaders, while its population is starving and has to face the consequences of having to pay back money with a for them ridiculously high rent. Which by the way, they can’t afford, and as a consequence they have to borrow money with rent, so that they can pay back the other borrowed money, but by the time they finish paying that, they will have to pay the other party as well, but they can not afford to pay that party so, they will have to borrow money again, and again and again. I think you understand what I mean, the circle is endless.
The fact that it kinda hurt me to hear a bad talk about Africa and that I feel like African countries are not getting any richer, made me realize that I want to do something for Africa. I’m reading the book: ‘ The fate of Africa; From the hopes of freedom to the heart of despair: A history of 50 years of independence’ by Martin Meredith. I’m reading this book in the hope that it will give me some insights on how it is possible that Africa is the way it is now. I want to know what went wrong and how I could help. Because for one reason or the other I strongly feel the need to help Africa. My main purpose will be Guinee, but as an African, I feel responsible for Africa, maybe it is the realization that for too long I have not been concerned about this continent, that now makes me want to give everything to help make it a better place. And if there is one thing that I have learned from Meredith’s book, then it is that the greatest hope for Africa is its people. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Africa’s people, only with their leaders. I firmly believe that when given effective leadership, Africa will thrive. we have strong, smart, and passionate Africans all around the world, once we unite our forces we can make of our continent a place we are proud of. so coming back to what I think my purpose in life is, it is trying to help Africa as best as I can.
Mufti Menk said: “If you’re doing good work, don’t stop. Press on and keep working, no matter what others say or how much they discourage you.” With this in mind, I will incha Allah live a meaningful life.