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Being African and “Africanily” Multiethnic (and Proud!)

East African Arabs. Being Arab is not a race. If the original Arabians are black, being Arab is an ethnicity/ Archives taken from the East African Arabs FB page

When it comes to identity, white people and their institutions were always blamed for the horrific racial treatments they imposed upon the descendants of the black Africans they enslaved for centuries. In order to protect their ranks from the inclusion of the Negroes among them, they thought of quantifying black blood and developed ideas such as the One Drop Rule to block any mixed-race white person from infiltrating their sphere. This segregation through race left a tremendous impact, so much so that now, any white person and non-black individual who feels rejected by their clan claim blackness, since black identity has become synonymous with rejection, chaos and historical disaster.

These distinctions are not new at all. Indeed, as early as the beginning of the slave trade, the black groups whose members were born in the plantation of the Americas were treated differently from the Africans who were born and raised in Africa before being kidnapped. The difference in terms of race, due to the racial admixture, would come later.

Due to the brutality of race, the black Western clan has exploited the pain of the past in order to push a policy of pro-blackness which is not rooted in freedom or into a fight for freedom and equality, but rather in capitalism and in an ideological toxicity. The more the activists yell, the more they expose their inner frustrations, lack of confidence and self-hatred.

Africans from the ancient world were free to create their own identity

The black identity in the West follows the black American model which is extremely toxic. There, the blackest members refuse to let the mixed-race category go for fear of losing the only people who would maintain the white gaze upon them in order to feel approved by those who dominate. This black identity does not evolve around joy, safety, peace, but has to be supported by black oppression, sadness, chaos, destruction, despair and a toxicity which is forced upon all the members who can not escape the black kingdom for fear of being rejected by the white side, but worst of all, of being called a “sell-out” by the others. If many black people in the West wish to escape from the mediocrity of their black group, they do not have the courage for fear of finding another form of rejection their spirit could not bear and tolerate due to historical trauma.

Yet, the black Western model regarding identity should not be followed at all as it does not guarantee any feeling of peace to the members. Since the black Americans are the number one minority of the most powerful country on earth, the United States, the black scheme is followed by the totality of black Westerners, including the black Europeans, despite the numerous dysfunctions and cases of degeneracy in the US society.

Blocking one individual into one specific toxic sphere from which they can not escape is not only criminal, but selfish and dangerous. Before being black, the individuals are human beings with many facets. Human beings can not be stuck within one unique branch for being multifunctional and plural. Therefore, the toxicity of black identity politics comes from the members, who constitute the majority, who refuse to let their members free to go where they want to, in order to fulfill the sinister political agenda of capitalistic black leaders who are also egomaniacs in the making.

In the ancient world, the black Egyptians knew about their descendants living in the Mediterranean basin and Greek islands. Yet, they never forced them to remain attached to the Kemetic culture as they acknowledged that they had become others. The Kushites also had members of their diaspora who joined the Greek rank. Whether black or white, both sides of the Mediterranean had no issue with seeing black people evolving in “white” cultures, and white individuals choosing black cultures they clicked with. The Romans also had a black and mixed-race minority they never treated with contempt as the latter were embraced as real Romans as well.

Contrary to popular belief, the black Africans were never static, but they rather moved away, traveled and were never still.

The brutality of slavery criminalized the mixed individual who was often created to dominate the Blacks. For this reason, the idea of multiracialism and multiethnicity is viewed as wrong, when it follows the fact that black Africans evolve for simply being humans.

The diversity of Swahili people
Beautiful and lovely Swahili women in the early 20th century

Yet, since 1492, both black and white Westerners want to hold onto the racial segregation for their own benefits and advancements while millions of people are still struggling and suffering, dying in the horror of black identity politics and the coldness of white institutions.

The Black Westerners are limited, filled with a void they were unable to fulfill overtime due to their immense desire of being embraced by the Western institutions they deem superior for being white.

On the contrary, Africa is the continent which grants freedom to the members of the diaspora. If countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo are reluctant to the idea of race mixing as they remain stuck in a form of monoculturalism which leads them nowhere, Africa is extremely diverse but the continent also offers spaces for multigenerationally mixed-race people.

The Swahili coast, North Africa, the Cape Colored community and West Africa have many countries which are both multiracial and multicultural. Madagascar is a blasian nation as well.

Yet, in the prism of multiracial ethnicity, few people want to speak about the reality of being an African multiracially mixed with other African branches.

Ugandan Arabs wanting to be officially embraced

The danger of the slave trade was to place every black African into one same fraudulent group known as black. This standardization of blackness not only crushed the original diversity of the people, but it also reduced blackness to one single form. Later, in Africa, the movement for independence contributed to a racism between the different African nations. For instance, due to the centuries of the slave trade along with the century of Belgian colonialism, the Congolese forget about the fact that the modern-day Rwandan presence in the Great Lakes dates back to the Middle Ages at least. The issue of nationalism led to a form of racism which rejects any African who does not possess the “Bantu” phenotype in the Congo and around the nearby countries.

Influencer and socialite Zari Hassan embodies the racial and multiethnic completiy and beauty of the Great Lakes region. She is of Ugandan, Burundian and Indian origins./IG Zarithebosslady

A modern Congolese from the capital Kinshasa will have a hard time recognising multiethnicity in one person due to their nationalist racism. Unlike them, and despite the instability, wars and conflicts, the inhabitants of the African Great Lakes (Rwanda, Eastern Congolese, Burundi, Uganda) are often mixed with one another.

The Rwandans are a scattered diaspora found in Congo, Uganda, Burundi, but also in Kenya and Tanzania. Through this presence, they developed new identities which remain proper to every nation they evolved into. It is frequent to meet Congolese with Congolese, Rwandan, and Ugandan roots. Or Ugandans with Congolese, Ugandan and Rwandan roots, coming from multiethnic backgrounds. In the Eastern Congolese region, where a good proportion of the population is Muslim, it is also common to meet families where a Christian Congolese wife marries a Muslim Congolese husband, raising their children in the interfaith house.

If the African leaders manipulated the population through the promotion of a racist nationalist approach, the Africans as a people are much more open-minded, friendly and accepting of multiethnicity, especially in East Africa.

In another space, the Swahili coast, multiethnicity and multiracialism are common. The Swahili people always spoke about their African and Arab, Asian ancestry, yet they were not believed by the historians whether they were black African or European. To the eyes of the Europeans, it was impossible for the Arabs and Persians to have chosen Africa as a home. Due to their legendary Eurocentrism, Africa had to remain this isolated and backward space where no one ever set foot in. The black African scholars simply thought that the Swahili people were just boasting about non-black ancestry to elevate themselves.

Yet, recently, black African and white European scholars made DNA tests on remains which dated from the Medieval era. The results confirmed the oral Swahili tradition as all the members tested were mixed-race people made of black East African, Arab, Persian and Asian blood.

Lamu Kenyan girl, photo by Eric Lafforgue
Kenyan Arab children/photographer unknown

The multiraciality of East Africans is often attributed to the slave trade. But in reality, before the 1, 400 years of abuse at the hands of the Arabs, Persians and Asians, trading exchanges always took place for millennias. In times of climate disaster, Arabians often found refuge in East Africa as well. The slave trade was a new historical wave which increased the racial admixture, but it was not a new process at all.

A person can be African, but unclassifiable for being way too mixed in the African realm. As a consequence, it is impossible to impose the mediocrity of the black Western identity in Africa, where the Africans are much more logic, pragmatic and peaceful than the frustrated black identity politics leader who display a dark form of ethnic pride.

Africa is a space of freedom, where any unclassifiable individual can find their peace of mind. It is thus time multiracial and multiethnic people, depending on where they come from in the diaspora, turn to the Motherland to find the inner peace the black Westerners will never grant them.

I am made of West African, Caribbean, Luba Kasaian, Zambian/Katangan, Afro and white Middle Eastern, Ethiopian, Sicilian blood, but the Swahili heritage also made me part Mozambican, South African, Tanzanian, Kenyan, Malagasy and Somalian. The various black African heritages I carry was due to the sadness of the Indian ocean and Arab slave trades. The latter also made me part Indian, Portuguese, Chinese, Indonesian, Persian and Yemenite. I am a proud black African who honors her history and ancestors, but I am also even more prouder of being able to carry these various black African admixtures within me, of having a space where people like us can evolve and where nobody ever asks us to change. Spaces where Muslims, Christians and animist practitionners mingle and exchange, intermarry, laugh and dance, though they also slaughtered one another in times of rare conflicts.

Africa is a treasure I am proud to belong to. And I will never choose one heritage more over the other. I am a proud Swahili, East African, Mediterranean woman. I do not fear rejection nor do I am afraid of the black critics. I do not see or hear them at all, as I am connected to my source which is in Africa.

It is time to take away the black man from the toxic concept of blackness in order to make him an African and thus, attach him again to the prism of humanity.

By Victoria “VKY” Kabeya. All Rights Reserved, 2023 ©

[1] Silberner, Joan, What’s the origin of the long-ago Swahili civilization? Genes offer a revealing answer” NPR, 2023 https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2023/04/12/1168613272/whats-the-origin-of-the-long-ago-swahili-civilization-genes-offer-a-revealing-an

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[8] “Mozambique: The slave trade and early colonialism (1700 – 1926)”, EISA, 2008, https://www.eisa.org/wep/mozoverview11.htm

[9] Baderoon, Gabeba, “Remembering Slavery in South Africa”, AfricaIsACountry, 2014 https://africasacountry.com/2014/12/remembering-slavery-in-south-africa

[10] Sudel Fuma, « La Route de l’esclave et de l’engagé dans les îles et pays du Sud-Ouest de l’océan Indien », Études océan Indien [En ligne], 49-50 | 2013, mis en ligne le 24 septembre 2015, consulté le 16 avril 2023. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/oceanindien/1937 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/oceanindien.1937

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[12] Laso-Jadart R, Harmant C, Quach H, Zidane N, Tyler-Smith C, Mehdi Q, Ayub Q, Quintana-Murci L, Patin E. The Genetic Legacy of the Indian Ocean Slave Trade: Recent Admixture and Post-admixture Selection in the Makranis of Pakistan. Am J Hum Genet. 2017 Dec 7;101(6):977-984. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.09.025. Epub 2017 Nov 9. PMID: 29129317; PMCID: PMC5812914.

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