Written By: Nkeiru Oruche—I wear a t-shirt that boldy proclaims “SPEAK YOUR MOTHER TONGUE.” That’s an idyllic goal (I would know, I designed the t-shirt), but it brings about mixed feelings. What is my mother-tongue? I recently learned that the answer to that question is complicated to say the least. Read on to find out how so.
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I love meeting other Africans. I have this fantasy of visiting other African countries for at least two weeks to any number of months at a time per country, and giving myself up to total submersion of my fetishized appetite for their dance, music, language and food. I’ll totally be that Anglo person that I criticize all the time. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I have this ongoing far away obsession relationship with Congolese, Cameroonian, and Ivorian dance and music. And I think it is the ultimate shame that I have been to various countries around the world, but not one other African country aside from Nigeria. And now I'm beginning to have a mild obsession with the Caribbean and Latin America ... and South Asia ... and ... sigh.