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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Why I love Africa
South Africans returning home from church in KwaZulu Natal sent in by BBC New website reader  Michel Le Vieux
BBC listeners and readers share their personal experiences of the African continent.

Here are the latest contributions celebrating Africa's sincerity, its love of life and its natural foods.

Martin Garang Aher, Kenya

I love Africa because Africans are sincere. If people do not like something about you, they will tell you outright.

It is the nature of Africa to show how sincere you are when dealing with guests.

Children in Magburaka, Sierra Leone sent in by BBC News Website reader Jose Sanchez Giron Delgado
If you love Africa, you love life
Julian Croft

Besides their famous reciprocity, Africans treat strangers and their visitors well so they tell good things about them wherever they go. They do not expect to be paid back in kind.

From my experience as I travelled on foot for three months to Ethiopia in 1987, the only thing I carried was my jerry can of water.

I had nothing else. But food did not become a problem. If I did not eat, it was because I did not find any homes around.

However the sincerity of Africans is hitherto abused by our politicians. They say one thing and when we believe them, they do otherwise.

If African honesty and sincerity remains the way it should be, I think we will have good policies which will redeem us in terms of development.

Julian Croft, Australia

In the late 1960s I lived on campus at Sierra Leone's Fourah Bay College in Freetown - 600 feet above a city which never slept.

The great variety of African foods never ceases to tease the taste buds
Nyokabi Kahura

All night you could hear drums and singing, dogs barking and people calling.

The sounds of wakes, weddings and births all drifted in through the window at night.

And then at 0600, the sun would rise out of the Atlantic and there was Africa - not lions and giraffes - but the real Africa, a city and people, all before you.

If you love Africa, you love life.

Nyokabi Kahura, Kenya

I love Africa because of its fresh non-genetically modified foods.

A woman tending a banana tree sent in by BBC News website reader Nyokabi Kahura
Africans should be proud to cultivate natural food says Nyokabi Kahura

Right from the beautiful green gardens in which we toil so hard to plant and prune, to the sumptuous meals prepared by our mothers.

The great variety of African foods never ceases to amaze and never ceases to tease the taste buds because of its natural, wonderful taste.

From dishes like sukuma wiki (Swahili for "stretches the week") and mandazi (bread).

Mboga (vegetables) like nyanya (tomatoes), vitunguu (onions), viazi (sweet potatoes), mianga (arrowroot) to a never-ending list of African foods.

I love Africa for keeping its food natural.

Zirongwa Nyanga, Zimbabwe

The old adage that variety is the spice of life is so true in Africa.

A Togolese man listens to the radio
You can't stop Africans talking on the radio

Look at the wars in Sudan, the crime in South Africa - and then the peace enjoyed in Zambia.

The political turmoil in Zimbabwe, religious conflict in Nigeria - and yet the love of sport that unites these same people.

Look at the lack of press freedom in Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and The Gambia and yet many world radio stations have what they call an "African Service" on which you can't stop Africans talking.

Africa's variety of experience is a marvel.

There is never a dull moment on the continent, and that's why I love Africa.

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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