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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 11:19 GMT
Why I love Africa
African HIV/Aids orphans
BBC listeners and readers share their personal experiences of the African continent.

Here are the latest contributions celebrating Africa's traditional medicine, its night skies and its cost of living.

Francess Fatmata Bangura, Sierra Leone

I love Africa because of the power of its traditional medicines.

Perhaps, apart from HIV/Aids, Africa has a cure for almost everything under the sun.

Picture of a market sent in by Keith Smith in Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso's markets are noisy and vibrant

African traditional medicine can take care of snake bites, broken bones, unexplained conditions that has baffled medical doctors.

These days however, we have lots of fake and money hungry traditional healers.

But the genuine traditional medical practitioners are a blessing to Africa.

I love Africa and I will not be surprised to hear one day that the cure for Aids has been discovered in our beautiful Africa.

I love Africa.

Keith Smith, Burkina Faso

I love the beauty of the vast starry sky and the stillness of the night;
And I love the noise and colour of vibrant local markets, where meeting friends is more important than making profit.

A night sky in Burkina Faso sent in by Keith Smith
An African sunset admired by Keith Smith

I love sitting on mats under the acacias, drinking tea with Fulani among the cows;
And I love riding my motorbike across the sand dunes, through the river beds, and past villages where children run out and wave.

I love sleeping outside, gazing up at God's handiwork as I drop off to sleep;
And I love sitting inside with the door open when the rains finally come, watching silently with friends the pounding of water on the earth.

I love the sense of awe when a sandstorm blows up;
And I love the joy and relief when the harvest is safely in.

Sharing a bowl of food

I love that there is always time to talk, that people are more important than the day's programme;
And I love it that God is central to everyday life, and a part of normal conversation.

Where can a poor man's funeral attract a multitude of mourners like that of a king or a rich man?
Simon Zulu

I love that when you arrive at meal time, you are invited to sit round the bowl and share whatever food there is;
And I love that when you arrive in the evening you are invited to stay the night, and a mat is laid out for you.

I love that you have no idea how many of the dozens of laughing children in your neighbour's yard actually belong to that set of parents;
And I love it that family is important, and that the elderly are respected and taken care of.

I love it that when you arrive, you don't do anything until you have properly greeted everyone;
And I love that when you leave, you are always sent on your way with the blessing of God.

Simon Zulu, Zambia

Where can one live on less than a dollar and survive? Africa!

Where can one sleep under the cheapest and lightest of linen and not freeze to death? Africa!

Where can a poor man's funeral attract a multitude of mourners like that of a king or a rich man? Africa!

Where can one get free food almost everyday? Africa!

Where can one get free, fresh air, and unpolluted - Africa!

The list is endless, and the answer is - Africa!

Oh Africa, we love you. You are home to all; the source of life; the keeper of life and the hope for the next generations.

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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