Letter To Africa: Dear Diaspora

Ernest Bazanye Sempebwa

PO Box 60232

Kampala, Uganda



Dear Diaspora

Don’t be shocked that I have taken the liberty of declaring you the 55th country of Africa. Even though by rights you should be like the fifty eight or whatever, considering all those little bits and bobs in the ocean which we are not sure of. I hear tell of a place called Mayotte whose resident Africans are actually still French. I will believe it when I see it.

Until then, you get the fifty fifth place.

So brethren and sistren.

And because we are Africans and Africans don’t have nuclear families, I add, uncren, auntren, cousren, and children.

I would ask how you are, but we all know. You are not well. We can imagine your distress. Brexit on the one hand, Trump on the other. You lined up for hours at the visa office to get away from this crap and now look.

Africa is raising a generation of new millennium kids who are shaking off the old ways where megalomaniac leaders would exploit prejudice and bigotry to get into and stay in power. Not only did you jump out of the frying pan into the fire, but now you see the frying pan is in the fridge.

So they say some of you are seriously considering coming back home. Of course. We have already swept the compound.

You will be surprised how things will have changed. For example, while you lot were emigrating to America, guess who was emigrating to African nations? Since credit crunch we have began to see more and more tattoo parlours and tex-mex cantinas and custom T-shirt printers set up by New Yorkers, Atlantans, Londoners,  (and a even a couple of Latvian art school dropouts) who decided to make a break for it when the going got tough.

You remember the story of the wise old hare who, when his village was flooded, set off with his buckets to the hyena’s village, which was in a drought? Like that.

So come on back. We will always welcome you, even though, as I have said, things have changed a bit. You won’t, for example, be able to impress the teenagers as easily with your accents and branded sneakers any more. There is too much hip hop around here nowadays for an accent to be considered an ornament of any social value.

And as for the fashions and toys and Apple gadgets, we already got those from China. Well, something like them.

I still remember the time Lucas Ndebele came back to Maputo with an iphone, only to find that his dad already had a Chinese knockoff which not only had a radio, but could catch TV shows as well.

Maybe, though, you could stay up there, and help out a bit. After all, they need you now more than ever. Especially the US. Your American friends must be in a panic, wondering how they are going to deal with seeing the president’s photo on all the walls: to have Trump Avenue, and Trump street and Trump park all over the place. What are they going to do on Trump Day?  Because You know Trump is the kind of president to get himself a day.

That is when they will turn to you, who have seen this happen so many times before. You can explain to them how you got to America by taking a bus down Moi Avenue to Moi Airport on Moi Day.

Don’t tell them about Moi University, though. The university named after a president might be too much for them to handle.

But then again, you may not have a choice; you may be shipped out with an ultimatum Idi Amin-style. Don’t feel too bad about that, though. Think about the mouth-breathing jingoist troll who ranted and raved about immigrants taking away jobs. Think about him or her now, after the immigrants are gone, stewing in his or her dark bedsit still unable to find a job.

And to make things worse, the prices of stuff has gone up, businesses have shut down, recession all over, and the people they would have blamed are all gone.

In fact, even the actual American and British and European coloured people, come on over, too.

Cos seriously, even Americans. It’s great here. It’s not that different from America itself, you will still get shot by a cop for no reason.

Africans, I have to leave now. I hope to see you around here soon, or if not then I hope you survive. Until we speak again, I remain yours


Bazanye, son of Bazanye

Muzukulu of Sempebwa

Born of Nagawa

Also known as Elinesiti.