For now, we black people are only busy plotting divergent paths:
I am one of those rural poor Africans who can’t find a single black ally from the African diaspora.
In the 41 years that I have been on earth, I have never stepped a foot outside of Sub Saharan Africa, the world’s epicenter for chronic extreme poverty.
But, in my quest to do something on the grip of poverty in my region of Busoga, Uganda’s poorest region, today, every black person on earth who is anyone, has heard from me, seeking some form of engagement.
As someone who comes from a pretty screwed background, my world is inevitably black & white. Black, in that there is really no way people like us can change our livelihoods, and rid our communities of endemic poverty, without working together with our fellow black people both here in Africa, and across the globe.
On the other hand, my world is inevitably white, in that white people are the ones who constitute the biggest part of the global development sector, or the global antipoverty movement, and are therefore the ones people like us must look up to — if global poverty is to finally end.
Today, I have made a few white friends, albeit with great difficulty.
I have hugged and shaken hands with various white people, all the way from Namisita, a village in a remote part of eastern Uganda where I live, and where I am seated even now. Here is me on the shores of Lake Kyoga in Kagulu, Buyende (in eastern Uganda), with Alex Beaton from Edinburgh, in 2016:
The one thing that has never happened in my whole life?
I have never, ever met or even touched a single black person from the African diaspora, except only one lady named Meron who visited us here in Kamuli just recently in April 2023. Still, Meron was born in Eretria, and is an Eritrean, only that she spent a good amount of her life in Sweden.
Meron is the only diasporan black person I have ever met to date, but the number of black people that I have tried to befriend across the globe over the years, is simply innumerable. This thing surely baffles me.
By comparison, white people are very stubborn. They are the ones in charge of keeping we the extreme poor in the global south on the sidelines of the global fight against poverty. They are the ones who have ensured that virtually no single penny of global antipoverty funding goes directly to local grassroots orgs in the global south, and they are often the first to view ordinary Africans like me as wannabe fraudsters.
But, if any person was to convert into an ally, e.g. on extreme poverty, white people are always the first to come aboard, often quickly, even if they came to know you after making a sharp criticism of their behavior.
Why are we black people instead proud of being very inaccessible, and very distant, from each other?