It pains me deeply to see the rise in popularity of black African culture now that I am an adult. This relatively widespread acceptance would have done wonders for me during my formative years, crossing the bridge into adolescence and starting adulthood.
Don’t misunderstand: it is great that TikTok is overflowing with African dance crazes, and black TikTok is a force to be reckoned with – remember the strike? It is a thing of dreams to see Brandy and Tiwa Savage, and Justin Bieber and WizKid collaborating, whatever your opinion is on the latter in particular. It is mouth-wateringly exciting being able to buy some African staples and much loved treats in mainstream supermarkets, and the ‘world foods’ aisle is a milestone no matter what you think about it.
Nonetheless, where was all this when I needed my African identity affirmed? The world we live in now, its acceptance, and in some cases adoption, of African culture, is a parallel universe to the one I grew up in.