We don’t talk much about the hardships of being an African child in Africa. We underplay our growing struggles and hide behind our pain. We smile but from the depth of our souls we did not choose resilience, resilience chose us.
African children are contending with growing challenges in the motherland and in the world. Our existence questioned our belonging, placement and settlement. By virtue of being an African child you had no say in your destiny. By virtue of being an African child, struggle and pain were embraced.
We had to embody pain because that is where we were told our strength lied. The pain we carry on our shoulders was meant to pave the way for the ones to follow. Poverty was supposed to symbolise unity and strength. Little did we know that all the pain heightened the stress load and had an impact on our mental health.
The unspoken truth is that we yearn to release our inner child that was captured by oppression. We yearn for the embrace of our family members that look up to us. We yearn for the presence of comfort and compassion.
The impending challenges have birthed strong and resilient people without a doubt. However, we have had no choice but to fight. From the womb into the world, we have had to endure a fighting spirit. The fight to belong and be accepted into a world that is not accepting of us. The fight to be accepting of ourselves still continues.
Resilience chose us indeed.
Having an encounter with resilience should not be associated with pain or struggle. What resilience should look like for an African child is rising above challenges and being the best version of yourself. Raising the bar in the face of accomplishments and celebrating every milestone.
Resilience for the African child is about giving it your best shot. Resilience is by far not winning a race on an empty stomach and calling that strength.
It’s time for Africans to redefine the meaning of resilience apart from incorporating struggle and pain.
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