Stories of Diversity: Kevin Makendengue

What it means to be African.

My name is Kevin, and my ethnic name is Mabweti. This name was given to me by my mother as a tribute to my grandfather, who was not only considered the head of the family but also an important figure of his time for our ethny, the Ndowe people. 

He was a great man whom I never had the opportunity to meet. Despite his passing, he remains very much present in our hearts. It was in this context that I was raised by a young mother of three children. As the youngest, I was always spoiled by my loved ones. I would entertain and spread a lot of love. 

Although I was raised in an African way, I had no idea of what this word symbolized for me. Until the day I moved to Equatorial Guinea and later to Cameroon. There, I joined a Pan-African school where I could learn about the history of my ancestors. It was at that moment that I realized the void I had experienced all those years in France, where I was taught European history.

I discovered kingdoms, deities, and stories that were previously completely unknown to me. I also learned from the families that hosted me and my classmates what it means to be African.

In my view…

  • Being African means respecting one’s elders.
  • Being African means showing wisdom.
  • Being African means welcoming others.
  • Being African means smiling at life, no matter the challenges it may present.

I can never thank my mother enough for this experience that has truly changed my life and the way I see things. Today, I dream only of returning there to undertake thousands of projects.

The Power of African Storytelling

What is your story?

Our personal stories are a powerful tool. It’s why we dedicated an entire panel session to the topic at Bokobokids. That is  why we invited people to explore their own journeys around African culture. In sharing our experiences, we can inspire and activate others.

#BKBStoriesofDiversity movement #CelebrateDiversity #AfricanNarratives #InclusionMatters #PreserveAncestralWisdom

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