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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July 2005, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Why I love Africa
Ghanaian drummers
BBC listeners and readers share their personal experiences of the African continent.

Here are the latest contributions celebrating Africa's literature, music, shores and handshakes.

Kwaku Dei Asiedu, Ghana

I love Africa for its superb writers and literature.

Chinua Achebe
The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no-one else did
Things Fall Apart
When I read African books my spirit is raised to the highest level and I feel really African.

When I hear names like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ama Ata Aidoo, Buchi Emecheta and so many others, my spirit salutes them.

African writer's books are full of wisdom and proverbs.

The English brought us their language, but our writers have mastered it to the highest level.

My favourite proverb from the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe says: "The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no-one else did."

If no-one seems to appreciate Africans and our writers, we as Africans must do it ourselves.

Timothy Mambi Banda, Zanzibar

What I love about Africa is when I close my eyes and hear the drums of Africa beating: The sweet music of Salif Keita and Fela Kuti in the west and the melodies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Oliver Mtukudzi in the south.

Nigerian singer Fela Kuti
Fela is credited with the invention of Afro-Beat music

I love Africa when I think of the shores of the lakes, Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa and the banks of the rivers Nile, Zambezi, Limpopo and Niger and the beautiful coastline of East Africa, the great pyramids of Egypt - all wonders of the world.

And when I think of the mountains Kilimanjaro, the Drakensburgs and the Atlas range; the forests of DR Congo and the deserts of the north as well as the rich mineral resources scattered all over.

Finally I dream of the rich culture and hospitality of any African you meet - not forgetting the beautiful dialects of our languages like Zulu, Sotho, Hausa and Swahili.

That is what I love about Africa.

Mwiza Chirwa, Malawi

The people of Africa are so warm-hearted, humble and kind.

Our people are born with four corner-stones in their blood: Unity, obedience, loyalty and discipline

You do not have to book an appointment - you are welcomed at any time with a genuine smile.

African people shake hands, as we say in Malawi: "Chikondi chili m'manja", which means true love is in a handshake.

We don't care if your hand is dirty or not.

Cock slaughtered

A visitor is treated like a king in our houses.

A cock is slaughtered and cooked for the visitor and the family eat the food that he leaves. We do this out of love, and it is a true African spirit.

Our people are born with four corner-stones in their blood: Unity, obedience, loyalty and discipline.

In times of trouble we mourn together and in times of celebration we feast together as one family.

Poverty, disease, greed or corruption... nothing will take away my love for the warm heart of 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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