How to make African pie


Is Africa hopeless, hopeful, sinking, growing, shrinking or rising?

Such preoccupations repeatedly appear in analyses of Africa. Here are, for instance,  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 articles from The Guardian discussing the theme,  1, 2, 3, 4 articles from African Arguments, and from Africa Unchained and TIME to link to just a few.
These ruminations are no novelty, at least since Harold Macmillan declared in his 1960 ‘Wind of Change‘ speech that,

The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact, and our national policies must take account of it.

writers have pondered over the official “status” of the African continent.

Yet, in a similar way that all bakers’ pies do not taste equally delicious, neither do all analyses of African affairs come out of the oven crisp and rounded. Like pie, cooking up Africa’s collective status requires select ingredients. Here are seven, which seriously ought to be included in a recipe for pie, African pie.

1.  Optimism and pessimism. Finely chop in even doses, put into a blender until you achieve a balanced, healthy texture.

2.  When seasoning with ‘aid’ be aware that there are conflicts on how much aid to include, what type, or whether to add any at all. Some bakers think that aid will burn the pie, others are all about aid. Proceed with caution.

3. Diversity. This is possibly the most crucial ingredient in your status report pie. Paste this reminder near your baking tray – AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY.

4. Rule no. 4. – Pouring in inappropriate amounts of praise or inappropriate amounts of criticism both hinder the development of your pie. Keep it real.

5. Newsflash: Half of Africa’s citizens are of female gender. Make sure to include some of their views in your pie lest Africa may not “rise”.

6. Globalisation is not a new ingredient to African pie. Nor is it something the rest of the world “does” to Africa. Africans have influenced, lost, benefited and shaped the course of human (global) innovation and modernity to a far greater extent than generally given credit for. Be cautious to cook up a version of Africa that implies that its citizens did not exist before the Internet.

7. Lastly, always top with foreign interest. There is no African pie that isn’t garnished with foreign interest. Big, bad African governments do not exist in a vacuum, for instance. Same goes for environmental issues, wars, famine and so on.

That’s it. Enjoy. there’s nothing like an African pie when made properly. Serve with an animal of your choice. Just make sure it doesn’t risk extinction.

What did I miss?




2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    30 June 2014 at 11:06am
    life insurance Is Africa hopeless, hopeful, sinking, growing, shrinking ...
  • life insurance
  • 02 July 2014 at 2:07am Is Africa hopeless, hopeful, sinking, growing, shrinking ...
  • Samantha

    Now, this is very clever piece!

    • MsAfropolitan

      Thanks Samantha!

  • Daisy

    You know, I was really hoping for a recipe…

    “Africans have influenced, lost, benefited and shaped the course of human (global) innovation and modernity to a far greater extent than generally given credit for. ”

    I think that is an essential ingredient for the pie we (Africans) eat. You know the general understanding that knowledge of self is the beginning of growth? I think if more Africans (myself included) were knowledgable about our legacy, we would be better for it.

    • MsAfropolitan

      lol sorry to disappoint

      Thanks for the comment Daisy, yes, history illuminates the present like a magnifying glass.

  • Dalian

    Very well written piece, humorous in its allegories and analogies. I’d also say Africans on the continent do possess huge amounts of number 1, hence why one can find craftsman even turning objects like used car tyres into footwear. Improvisation is key to their survival
    With 2, not sure of the value of aid at all, but more in foreign interests shifting from a position of aid to trade as trade it would seem, will allow them to add the necessary amount of seasoning of their own choice so in that sense its fit for purpose. As demonstrated with aid ‘seasoning’ often it can leave a bitter taste in the mouth with overseasoning, leading to the poison of corruption

    The only thing possibly missing is the kind of flour, ‘mindset’, Africa needs to ‘rise’, it has to be of the right sort not easily prone to decay via corruption and should be able to yield more with only the tiniest additive of water, i.e the right sort of education to help reach full potential.

    A brilliant piece though, I love it! Keep up the good work

  • MsAfropolitan

    Dalian, your comment has me laughing. Great “baking” tips.
    I like the “flour” especially, crucial addition.

  • Debra O

    Amazingly written. Behind the somewhat humorous tones, I am inspired by the underlying cry for growth and change and am moved by the clear pathos within. Thank you.

    The only thing that could make this article better is, I don’t know – if it came with a free slice of cake? But that may be asking too much…

    • MsAfropolitan

      Thanks for the nice feedback Debra!
      Ha ha, well here’s a slice of virtual cake

      • Debra Oludare

        Haha 10 out of 10.

  • Pingback: life insurance()

  • Pingback: