What does an African look like is a question that allows one to pause and reflect of the key identity questions that is often glossed over yet if correctly framed can allow for example a Moroccan to feel at home in a country like South Africa where diversity is manifest in its demographics.
It is common cause that Morocco is geographically located in the African continent. The country rejoined the the African Union (AU) in January 2017 as the 55th member, after a 33-year absence, notwithstanding resistance from member states over the status of Western Sahara.
It established diplomatic relations between South Africa and the Kingdom of Morocco in 1991 when a South African Interest Office opened in Rabat on 2 September 1991. A Moroccan Interest Office was subsequently opened on 1 April 1992 in Pretoria and both offices were then upgraded to full Embassies.
Moroccans are of mixed Arab-Berber descent; however, many identify as Arabs or Arabised Berbers. Some Moroccans believe themselves to be of mixed Arab-Berber descent or of Arab-Berber-Andalusian ancestry.
The country is a mixed color country where like South Africa, you can find white,black,brown and even red hair and blond people but the skin color in morocco vary by place you can find blond people in north and black people in south and brown in the middle.
It is the the fifth-largest Arab country by population (34,803,500) and in 1917, it was named the 1st most competitive economy in North Africa in 2017, with a GPD of 136.08 billion.
According to Doing Business, Morocco was also ranked the 3rd in the MENA region and the 1st in North Africa.
“There is no doubt that identity illiteracy is so pervasive in Africa. This allows for many people to hold the idea that Africa is an indigenous or native home of only black people yet the reality is otherwise. We are African not because we are black but because the name of the continent that we share as human actors is called Africa. There is no one with a better claim on this gift common to all who live in it to legitimately advance an exclusionary identity as more representative of what the continent’s people should be or not,” said Mr. Mutumwa Mawere, Chairman of the 1873 Network www.the1873fm.com when he met with Naji this morning at the Rivonia shopping mall today.
Mr. Naji who was having breakfast with is wife at the Woolworths coffee shop, was introduced to Mr. Mawere by Mr. Sam Mungadze, a member of the 1873 Network, said that: “the Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF) as a platform for people of Africa to share insights, experiences, knowledge and ideas will go a long way towards addressing the identity challenges that Africans face. We share a continent that is so rich and diverse yet all too often we fail to seize the opportunities that are abundant and obvious.”
“I feel there is a lot that we can do as journalists and the media in general to bridge the gaps that exists out of ignorance and sheer illiteracy that is pervasive in our minds. I have been playing my part in raising awareness on Moroccan issues but I also accept that there is more that can be done to bring our peoples together. There is a large community of Moroccan descent in South Africa that is already playing its part,” said Mr. Sam Mungadze.