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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 18:20 GMT 19:20 UK
Why I love Africa
BBC listeners and readers share their personal experiences of the African continent.

Here are the latest contributions celebrating Africa's beer, colours and skyscrapers.

Terkav Tsehemba, Nigeria

I love Africa because it has great things which take me closer to nature and ensure my physical and social wellbeing... and one example that comes to mind is burukutu beer.

Burukutu is a local African beer brewed wholly from guinea corn (sorghum).

Cafe life in Africa
Around the burukutu pot, we find solutions to problems

This drink is pure and natural.

That is why after taking even a whole pot of it, one never suffers from any hangover the next morning; rather, one is stronger and more active.

I will never stop taking burukutu because it is a drink and also food at the same time.

Regular burukutu drinkers never feel hungry after a drinking bout, indeed they even put on weight.

I have also put on more weight from it.

I love this African beer because the spirit of African communion comes alive wherever it is present.

We normally sit in a circle sharing from a common pot from which imaginative discourse is fired.

Yes, round the burukutu pot, we find solutions to problems like unemployment and sickness.

This is why I love Africa and everything therein!

Enock Mutinga, Uganda

I love Africa because of the colour in every aspect of life.

I may have to say I love Africa because it is not politically correct to say, 'I don't love Africa'
Teferra Beyero
From the body-ochre paintings in initiation festivals, to the brightly dressed women on their way to the weekly market.

From the people of all shades - black, brown and white - to the rich black soils and the barrenness of the brown Sahara.

From the golden yellow sunrise to the amazing sunsets.

The unending green covering the land, the music, the dance, life itself is colour.

Africa, the land of colour, rise, shine and light the world, I love you!

Teferra Beyero, Ethiopia

Do I really love Africa? Well, I may have to say I love Africa because it is not politically correct to say, "I don't love Africa".

If I love Africa it's not because of the political competence of our leaders or their honesty.

Sunset over Lake Victoria, sent in by BBC News website reader Nyokabi Kahura
Nyokabi Kahura also loves Africa because of its beautiful sunsets

Not because of their insatiable hunger for power or their brutal treatment of their citizens.

Not because they are more accountable to their Western donors than they are to their fellow citizens or that their ears are more tuned to rebukes from richer countries than the plight of their people.

It is also not because they snatch money from the mouths of hungry children and destitute women to stash it away in foreign banks.

Forget problems

Nevertheless, I love Africa for its long-suffering people.

If they had reacted to every injustice as quickly as Americans or Europeans do, we may not have been left with a continent worth living in.

I love Africa because its people never lose hope that things will get better someday.

I love Africa because Africans forget their problems very quickly, without which they would have turned the continent into one large institution for the mentally ill.

I also love Africa because people gather in large numbers to mourn with those who mourn and to rejoice with those who rejoice.

It's a continent where guiding, correcting and rebuking children is everybody's' task; a continent with green forests, clean rivers and air and undiscovered natural resources.

Oh yes, I do love Africa.

Obinna Ihesiulo, Nigeria

"Skyscrapers? Cars? Where are the naked humans? No, this must be the wrong place..."

Those would probably be the thoughts of a first-time Western visitor to any of the major metropolitan areas in Africa, with further expressions of astonishment as they drove from the airport to the city centre.

Modern building in Abuja, Nigeria
Obinna says most Westerners don't expect to see modern buildings in Africa

To an ordinary person in Europe or North America, Africa is the dark continent where nothing good comes. A place full of monkeys, jungles and naked Stone Age humans.

Most Westerners only hear about the continent's doom and gloom and tend to believe that Africa is the same all over, oblivious of its rich and diverse cultures, languages, ethnicity and religions - to mention just a few.

Yet, we supposedly all live in an age of advanced information technology.

Africa is besieged by disasters, disease, starvation, poverty and wars; however, these are not only unique to Africa, which also possesses good and desirable qualities, just like other continents.

Many urban areas in Africa can be compared to those in the developed world despite what detractors may believe.

Come and see for yourself.

Experience, they say, is the best teacher.

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.

Name
Your E-mail address
Postal address, Town & Country
Comments

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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