Chapter IV

Fake Identities

No one wants to be associated with failure. No child is proud of parents who don’t measure up to expectation. How many of us have been ashamed of our parents because they look old, or provincial, dress poorly or are illiterate? No child is proud of a father who is a drunk, a mother who is a prostitute, the derision of town. No parent is proud of a child who’s a drop-out; a son who’s given to drugs, or a daughter who indulges in prostitution or any indecorous act.

We are proud of parents who are successful, famous and rich. Parents who are learned. Parents who dress well. Most of us prefer to live in homes associated with prestige.

We live in a world that exalts success. This is an old story. It started from the curse: Eve listened to the serpent and since then success has been based on the dint of our hard work. We hear of working hard and smart these days. But that concept has been en vogue since the beginning of time.

The race is for the swift. The fight is for the fittest.

Only singers who do well at singing, athletes who excel in sports, employees who prove their turf and other go-getters ever get talked about.

Demotion is a shame to the creatures endowed with psychological prowess. No one, in their right senses, loves to be associated with failure.

So, as most of the world perceives Africa as a land full of misery, even Africans in the Diaspora, and most especially in Asia, do not want to be associated with the Dark Continent, as the world coins it. They’d rather be referred to as Americans or somethin’ else.