If I start this post saying I saw Paradise on Earth it might sound pretentious. But I went to Africa, and that is how it felt.
It is a continent that really alters the senses.
You want to see the sounds.
You want to hear the smells.
You want to smell the skins.
You want to touch the food.
You want to eat the colours.
The guide was a guy from Zimbabwe who worked kindly all the time. He had an mp3 loaded with music and enjoyed cell phone conversations. He took nice pictures. He liked talking and joking around. Not so different from European or North American young people today.
After coming back, José Antonio Guardiola’s excellent report for RTVE “Viaje a la finca de Mugabe” makes much more sense to me. I realize now that despite the bad feeling that African brutality might cause in we Europeans, it will never be as painful and embarrassing as for many African themselves.
The report tells the story of Ben Freeth, a white farmer who was permanently threatened by Zimbabwean dictator’s supporters and whose house was finally burnt to ashes. His is just an individual story, but also a symbol of the long list of nonsenses that have damaged African image in the World along History. But I am sure that the future of Africa lays in people talking in the cell phones, and not in people using torchs, and that such future is so unstoppable as the march of music downloading.
I wonder how long we will have to wait till Africa fills with leaders who are conscious of the greatness of the land they govern and aware of the necessity of justice, like Mandela was. And I wonder when we the inhabitants of developed countries will realize that in order for these leaders to reach power, it will be necessary to support them when they are young, especially through education. I want to look at African people, and not so much at African governments.
How many African students come to Europe with a grant every year?
The Paradise on Earth has to become more than a landscape.