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Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 16:23 GMT
Why I love Africa
BBC listeners and readers share their personal experiences of Africa? Here are the latest entries:

Charles Mintah, Ghana

I love and I adore Africa because I live in it.

I am unique and talented within, so is Africa.

I am said to have the most wonderful characteristics of a hospitable person, so is Africa.

I love myself because I have in my possession abundant wealth and resources - yet my children are poor and deprived of many basic necessities of good living. I love Africa for no different reason.

I extend unsolicited love and sympathy to strangers of different races whom I do not know - but I quarrel and fight my own kith and kin, killing them in civil wars, religious conflicts and tribal conflicts - and so is Africa, a continent I love.

I love myself because I command sympathy from those who seek to rule and exploit me, although I have what many of them don't have. I don't love Africa any less than I love myself for this reason.

I love Africa because, in as much as I love myself, the world cannot do without my uniqueness of potential.

How I love Africa for I know I will surely shine and when I do, Africa will surely shine. For I love myself and I love Africa because I am an African.

Mtamandeni Joseph Justice Kalilangwe, Malawi

There are several reasons why I love Africa:

1. Water in my village - if I want to have fun with my bath I just go jump in the river, while I bathe I wash my clothes and while my clothes are drying, I enjoy my swim. There are designated places for drinking water, washing and bathing, but I do not worry about any infections as I am in a secure environment. I drink water straight from the river without any fears for infections. I love Africa.

2. Poverty - I love Africa because the outside world thinks I am poor, as I am seen with tattered clothes, running nose, unkempt hair and barefoot. I do not see myself poor and neither do my peers in my village. I get up, run around the village compound, if I find people eating in one compound, I join them for the meal, run after goats or cow for fresh milk straight from the animals and enjoy a ride on the back of the cow till late after noon when I am hungry again. I go home, have an evening meal and sleep on my mat in a grass-thatched house. By the way, the grass-thatched house is cool in summer and warm in winter but leaks during the rainy season. With the warm feeling all over, these negative things are not noticed. I love Africa.

3. Preachers - I love Africa because even though the white man came to Africa to preach his religion, it is now Africa's turn to preach the white man's religion in the white man's world. This is our own small world - let us preach together.

4. Refuse/rubbish - I love Africa because one can go about without shoes, step on the rubbish or scavenge the dumping grounds for something to eat, but without worrying about infections. Onlookers worry for you but you go about your own business scavenging without any worry. I love Africa.

5. Hospitality - I love Africa because of its warm and vivid hospitality. Imagine a home, which has chickens, goats, ducks and cows but will not slaughter one to eat. However, as soon as a guest arrives, one is slaughtered so as to eat with the guest. In the same vain if a guest has no blanket one is given to him to use until the guest leaves while the owner of the house sleeps without a blanket. To the outside world, one might think the owner is suffering but it's the hospitality of the home and all are happy with warm smiling faces.

I do love Africa, as it is a survivor, a saviour and a carer for all mankind.

Joy Orawemen, Nigeria

I love the extended family relationship in Africa. In Europe, it is everyone for himself, God for us all. But in Africa, everyone is his brother's keeper.

In Africa, a child is not owned by his biological parents alone but by the entire extended family, nay the entire community . When a man is wealthy, it is not for himself, wife and children alone. Instead it becomes his duty to take care of his parents, sisters, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunties and other distant relations.

This is why when a man is given a political appointment or he wins an election, the indigenes of his village and the surrounding villages usually organise parties celebrating this event. They believe that he will use his position and new-found influence to bring development to their village and its environs.

Yes I love Africa for its extended family relationship. If someone is bereaved, she has a whole lot of relatives to comfort her, to wipe away her tears and to make her happy. My aunties were in our house for six weeks comforting my mother when I lost my elder sister through an improperly executed abortion. In Africa, when you cry, you have people to cry with you.

I love Africa because when you are faced with some emergency financial problems, you call at your extended relation's house without first informing him that you are coming. And he will help you if he has the wherewithal or he will even go and borrow for your sake. But in the western world, you have to make several phone calls to receive an invitation to visit your relation. Before this invitation will be approved, a lot of things may have happened, most often than not, bad news.

What do you think?

Do you find Africa annoying, frustrating and slow or is it fun, fast and exhilarating? Share your joys and sorrows of the continent in the new 2005 BBC competition - Why I love Africa.

If you have photos to accompany your contribution send them to newsonline.africa@bbc.co.uk, otherwise use the form at the bottom of the page. Entries should be no more than 300 words.

The best will be published on the news website and broadcast on the BBC World Service's Network Africa programme. Some will receive small prizes.

Use the form below to send your entry.

Your E-mail address
Postal address, Town & Country

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

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