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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 09:22 GMT
Identity: Who do you think you are?
Composite of pictures showing a zebra, men drinking from a gourde, a woman carrying oranges, Kwame Nkrumah, Somali passports, an Egyptian football fan and Ethiopian veteran soldiers.

With the 50th anniversary of Ghana's independence coming up in March - an event that symbolised the beginning of the end of colonialism in Africa - the BBC's new competition for Africa explores the continent's identity.

Here, BBC News website reader Florence Ndiyah describes who she is.

Florence Ndiyah (photo from: http://www.inst.org/)
"Where do you get such hair from?" I'm often asked. "Are you sure your father didn't cheat with a white woman?"

"Don't women cheat, too?" I reply.

Answer question with question - that is very Cameroonian.

I'm tall, trim and fair with relatively long hair.

Personal documents state I'm from Njinikom like my father, but I am more familiar with my mother's homeland of Ashing.

Indisputably I'm 100% Kom, a "Bamenda" from the North West province.

You 'Bamenda' are so headstrong
Yaounde resident
"Put some flesh on your bones," my characteristically plump Bamenda mothers often say.

"You are just like those starved Francophone girls."

Living in Yaounde, Francophone Cameroon, I spontaneously communicate in French.

Out shopping one day I was bargaining with a trader when someone spat out in French: "You both exchange 'le' with 'la'. Can't you realise you are both Anglophones?

"Why don't you just speak in your own language? I'm sure you are both 'Bamenda'," he continued.

"You 'Bamenda' are so headstrong; that's why I prefer South Westerners."

Female wanderer

Am I really defined solely by appearance, languages and places?


No, because even without boundaries I would surely still exist.

Religion? Baptized a Catholic baby, then moved on as a practising Baptist teenager.

I am now back to my origins, with physical evidence of Catholicism always lurking in the shadows - sacraments, relics and prayer books.

At the end of the day I am just a female wanderer on the earth's surface.

Learning; discovering; trying to make sense of language, territories and other barriers.

Looking for a purpose; seeking God, peace, love; moving from one fad to another; waiting for the next experience.

Is that why I chose writing as profession? Maybe.


Let us know whether you identify yourself first and foremost with your family, your ethnic group, your country, your region or your continent. How does that affect the way you behave and the way you see the world?

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 BBC News website, broadcast on the BBC World Service's Network Africa programme and entered into a prize draw to win a week-long visit to London.

Your E-mail 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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