Thank you Donald Trump

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 26 January 2017, 10:40 CAT

Dear President Trump


‘America First’ sounds like a great idea and my thanks goes to you for forcing us to think as to whom should come first. Please allow me to borrow from you, this sentiment, but would you mind if I replaced America with Africa, as I happen to be African and not American?


I am not sure how much more of the sentiment and vision I need to borrow? It feels that America First may be a little parochial for me? Africa First is about an entire continent reclaiming its greatness and collaborating in the most exciting ways to achieve this.

Maybe you’re unaware of the greatness of both the past and the present, right here in Africa, President Trump. Much of that was before a whole bunch of European nations started taking what wasn’t theirs to take.

Let me introduce you to Nzingha who has been referred to by historians as “the greatest military strategist that ever confronted the armed forces of Portugal". Nzingha understood collaboration and sent ambassadors and representatives throughout West and Central Africa with the goal of building a massive coalition of Africans to eject the Portuguese. Her military campaigns kept the Portuguese in Africa at bay for more than four decades. Quite cool for a woman right?

Also meet Amina Sukhera born in 1533 in Zaria that is today northern Nigeria. Amina helped Zazzau (Zaria) become a focal point for trade and commercial activity. President Trump, there are many men and women who have been part of the greatness of Africa. Some may not be familiar to you, and hey, that’s okay – because you’re not African.

Of course, not to mention our beloved Nelson Mandela in my letter, would be an unforgivable omission. But you do remember that after 27 years in prison his vision was to unite people of all races in South Africa? Go figure, President Trump!

Kwame Nkrumah is worth mentioning. He led the Gold Coast to independence from colonial rule and became President of Ghana. He would appreciate Africa First as an advocate of Pan-Africanism and African independence.

Okay, so we all have amazing people in our histories, right President Trump? But you may have noticed in my letter, that I’ve carefully chosen those who embraced those beyond their own. I’m not so sure that this is the vision of America First?

You see Africa First is about a whole continent. A continent of people of many colours and faiths. Yip, the more I think about it, the more I suspect that I only need the word First from your phrase without any of the vision, so maybe there’s nothing to thank you for after all.

Yours sincerely

Janice Scheckter

Collaboration activist, proud and passionate African and a director of A Better Africa*.

*A Better Africa is a digital collaborative hub focused on education and championing African leaders across the continent.










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