In about five sentences or less, can you tell us a little about yourself. Who is the person behind the blog?
I’m a young woman from two of the countries I blog about, currently starting a new chapter in my life after having taken care of family for a while (the African immigrant’s story!).
What are the main objectives of your blog? What led or inspired you to create it?
My main objective was to shine a light on everything time can permit to blog on Southern Africa. Outside of the countries themselves, not much is known or spoken of Southern Africa other than HIV/AIDS, Robert Mugabe, Malawi as it pertains to Madonna, Namibia as it pertains to Angelina Jolie and Madagascar as it pertains to the animated movie of the same name.
Southern Africa is also known primarily for our animals but not the people around them, their history, dreams etc. It’s a region with a very rich and intense history which influences the vibrant culture and life today.
Since starting this blog, what has kept you motivated and/or what new things have you learned along the way?
I must admit I also didn’t know too much about the whole region and I feel like I am blogging for myself at times when I get excited about finding something I had never known.
I am essentially motivated by my own ignorance about the area and my love for it as well.
Other African diaspora blogs also inspire me to keep digging, sharing and finding what I would’ve never thought to look for. I’m still stunned by the incredible history and roles played by everyone in shaping the region then and today.
What do you love most about Southern Africa/being from Southern Africa, and in what ways are you able to connect with Africans from other regions?
Like all folks in the diaspora I love my people, culture, history, politics and self deprecating humour to name a few! I love watching us Southern Africans expand our Pan-Africaness (if there is such a term?) even though we are still unfortunately closed off from the rest of the diaspora in some ways.
I always thought it would be politics that unite all Africans but I see how our current youth culture, specifically music brings everyone together. I love reading comments under Youtube videos from people all across the diaspora showing love to a musician whose lyrics they don’t understand but they feel the music.
I’ve been a wanna-be die-hard Pan Africanist since my early teens and I still fall in love with everything from the fashion from other regions to the literature and political heroes. Oh and the food - I can finally make Egusi without following instructions on Youtube!
Being an African in the diaspora, what has been the most difficult and/or inspiring element of this experience for you?
The most inspiring element has also been the most difficult: Digging in the crates for photographs, books etc is worth every late night and eye bags.
However, realizing how much of my own history I was never taught, how much of it exists in foreign institutions and not our own and how much of our history was recorded by others while our own methods of recording our history were forcibly wiped out, drove me to tears a few times.
I’m reassured by current and past artists, musicians, writers, bloggers etc of the diaspora who have and continue to express our souls.
Lastly, where else can you be found online?
Twitter: @SouthRnAfrika - but I am rarely there. Stuck on Tumblr!