WATCH: Ghana must Go author Taiye Selasi, "Don't ask where I'm from, ask where I'm a local"

2018-04-16 18:00 - Saara Mowlana
Post a comment 0


Cape Town - More often than not, we constrict ourselves, our ideas and those around us to boxes. This tends to happen as consequence of the ideological boxes ingrained into society. This is seen across the spectrum of topics from race, religion, nationality and is not necessarily a true representation of the diversity and complexity of the world or ourselves.

In October 2014 Taiye Selasi gave a Ted Talk about the idea of nationality and locality and how the two are not always intrinsically linked. Her talk is still relevant in the socio-political climate existent today and challenges the discourse and hate being spread about national identities - specifically the narrative about shithole countries and things like the visa lottery.

SEE: Fact Check: How the US visa lottery really works amid Trump comments

Her argument is simple: you can feel at home in more than one place, you can localise yourself across borders and cultures if you learn and appreciate them accordingly. She also emphasises the fact that some people are local in more than one place due to relocation and a lifetime of movement or having had their ancestors relocation redefine where they are local.

READ: #CulturedAF: How to be culturally sensitive when travelling

South Africa is one of many countries that testify this idea of nationality and locality. We may not all find our full ancestral roots here, but can still be local in the country - in our rainbow nation. We know its temperaments, its beauty and its problems.

We console the country during times of duress and find ourselves getting lost in its many hidden gems. You can feel local here even if this is not your home country. You can immerse yourselves in the nature of local is lekker and can experience this in more than one geographically set place. 

WATCH: Namibia hilarious burn on Trump's 'shithole countries'

After all, countries or sovereign states are constructed and can just as easily be destroyed, disappear, reappear and back again. Selasi poses the question of how we can link one's identity to something so easily manipulated or manufactured.

Watch the video below for her full talk: