Dear Senegal

Transcript

Dear Senegal, 

I love my country. I love being Senegalese. I love my culture. I love the beaches, the food, the people, the atmosphere, the sensation, the everything. 

That’s the prerequisite to this conversation I’m about to have with myself and you all. It’s required because I need you to understand that the critiques and observations I’m about to make below are not rooted in hate or disgust for my country. Rather, they are rooted in disappointment and hope. Disappointment in the state of current affairs and hopeful that it can change in the near future… and stay that way. 

Senegal is a country rich with culture, history, and substance! For such a small country, it packs a punch. It’s often times boasted for being  a safe country for tourists, having a stable democracy, and harboring some of the most beautiful views in the world. And to that point, I will say our beaches are quite incredible and living in Senegal comes with a certain peace. 

But with all things come room for improvement. So today, I’m not complaining or criticizing just for the sake of bitching. No. I’m talking out loud about the things that frustrate me about my beloved country and hope we can move past it. In a future entry, I will talk strictly about the positive aspects of my country. There are innovators, engineers, doctors, family men and women, brilliant students, entrepreneurs, rising talent, and so much more that I will touch on! But that brings me exactly to my point on this entry! I need to do research to find it. It’s not readily available and it not publicized. It’s not incentivized. 

My issue with my beloved country today is that too much futility is put on the forefront. So much so that the youth can’t possibly aspire to be anything more than the people searching for “buzz” on their tv or phone screens. It’s incentivized to be mediocre. To not work hard but still be successful. And for a developing country, nothing is more dangerous. 

On the tv and phone screens, as I’ve mentioned, you’ll see the latest dance, the latest song, the latest “challenge,” and the latest superstar. The competency behind those things remains to be seen. I don’t want to blindly criticize but in my humble opinion, I think our priorities are a bit misaligned. We need to take a few steps back and really think about, as a nation, what do we want for ourselves? For our children and for their children. What do we owe our country?

I am not trying to be pessimistic. I promise. It’s just hard to overlook these things when I’m not seeing the potential of our people through the series, movies, news, and day-to-day publications! All I see is new dance this and that person’s presumed to be dating so-and-so. Where does that get us? 

I’ll play my own devil’s advocate for a minute and say that we are not living in 1820. We are in 2020 and times have changed. Trends are bound to keep up with time. But I’ll also say this: development never goes out of style. We can always do amazing things to further advance our country and people’s interest. 

It’s time we stop worrying about benign things and think deep, hard, and long about what we owe to our country and what our country owes us! We’re being cheated on all fronts and it’s time we wake up and challenge the status quo. We all have a part to play and I’ll personally continue my efforts by learning more (positive) things and sharing it with the world. Additionally, I’ll do all that I can, in the short and long term, to fight for the development my country.  

I hate to bring problems to the table instead of solutions. That’s why I’m tasking myself with next steps. I owe you all that entry on positive things happening in Senegal today. I also owe myself some tactical and actionable things that will contribute to the fight. I urge you all to join me. Do what you can and take part. 

Senegal is a beautiful country and I know I’m not the only one who would like to see it’s full potential realized. 

With warm regards, 

Aïda

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