An Open Letter to Africans Living in the Diaspora

By Aunt Liz

Dear Y’all,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Let’s begin by notifying you that Magagula, the albino beggar, died last night during a fight with his colleagues over breadcrumbs. Perhaps the biggest story doing the rounds across the village currently is that you boarded a plane! Consequently, we have been riding on your “accidental” fame to silently squeeze some respect out of the neighbours who used to despise us. The mansion you’re constructing over here has caused dysentery among them. By the way, you’ve fattened up. What do you eat? Keep it up!

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The political temperatures are gradually rising over here ahead of the general elections, but (as you know) rigging has always been our specialty and we will still vote for our very own tribal chief whatsoever. Gratitude for the toilet paper you sent us the other day, but we have no use for it because we have run out of corn flour.

On a serious note, we would like to express our dissatisfaction with your disrespect for us and the apathy you’ve shown as far as our miseries are concerned. Do you know that the lion cannot be the king of the jungle without impalas and hyenas? Just set the date you want us to stop lionizing you, but rest assured that we would beg for an extension. We know that you have considered deleting us from your social periphery at some point, but remember a bird that flies off the earth and lands on an anthill is still on the ground. Have you forgotten that a doctor who invoked a storm on his people cannot prevent his house from destruction? We dare you to dissociate yourself from us.

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Come what may, we will always constitute the largest section of your Circle of Influence. After all, we are the ones who taught you how to blink and even swallow dehydrated yams. We will remain ungrateful wretches for as long as you send us peanuts – and, mark you, we will always ask for more. Just keep it in your mind that we will pester you for as long as you haven’t created opportunities for us. The only way you can successfully quell us is by investing in us, for us, and with us. The thousands of business ideas we had while you were here remain unexplored, but some foreigners are constructing an ultramodern toilet adjacent to the mediocre inner city “5-star” restaurant. The desolate town you left is now saturated with hawkers and motor-cyclists. Meanwhile, can’t you help us establish hookups with the desperate solitaries and rejects that we hear need someone to wipe their bottoms?

If this letter rattles your cage, then know that you’re still part of us. Otherwise, let all the grass you step on wither on the very same day.

Lest we forget, someone told us that the ostentatious car next to which you posed for your profile picture, which we can’t access using our counterfeit phone, is a Volvo XC90 SUV. Is it yours?

Expect more letters from us.

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