Remove Those Hyphenations

The moment your identity include a prefix, for everyone else, you look like a person with problems.

The moment you start calling yourself African-american, afro-European, afro-Japanese or afro-something, you are doomed to struggle with your identity.

Like Dr. Clarke put it, a lion captured in Africa and brought into America, does not become an American lion or an Afro-American lion, instead it’s an African lion in America.

Prefixing your identity tells more about your insecurity, but also trap you into the middle of the road. And we all know what happens to people walking in the middle of a road.

Present yourself based on your tribe, your country or the continent.

Say, I’m African, from Togo. I’m Adja, from Togo, West Africa.

Unless, you are ashamed to be African, please go ahead to add a better nationality to your identity to improve your social status and feel better about yourself.

Unless, being African alone is not enough to value you, then prefix yourself.

Curiously, the same people won’t prefix their identity if they were living in a poor country, Something like afro-Albanian, or Afro-Yemenite, because those suffices are not good enough.

For all other proud descendants of Africa, at home or in the diaspora, make sure you carry your African identity with high esteem, regardless of our current circumstances.

Borrowing strength builds weakness. Remove those hyphenations.

(Essay to be proofread)


About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of, Founder of, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at

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