Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa!

Tripoto
Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! 1/1 by Anuj Tikku
The sea at Maputo

It was another bright day and in the evening, Hans, my new found Swiss friend in Mozambique and I were walking towards the ferry. I wanted to take a few shots of the city across the sea at night.

As I was shooting away at the scenery by the sea, I saw a trawler approach and I took a photo of it. A black man standing on it seemed excited and he thought that I was trying to photograph him. He ran down towards me and showered me with vicious abuses or so I thought since the language was not familiar to me.

Fishing boats at the sea shore at Maputo

Photo of Maputo, Maputo City, Mozambique by Anuj Tikku

I showed him my camera as if to point and tell him that I was taking the photo of the trawler and not him. But the dear gent was not in a mood to relent and before I knew it, I was suddenly standing with the local police.

Skyline by the bay - Maputo construction binge!

Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! by Anuj Tikku

I patiently showed them all the photographs that I had taken again and tried to explain to them that I had no interest in taking the photos of the individual man. After some back and forth, the cops realised that and let things be.

The sea faring folks of Mozambique!

Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! by Anuj Tikku

But I guess that dear man who felt he had been wronged was in a bad mood and he shouted “Fuck off, brown man! Fuck off! Fuck off from my country!” This was all a bit new to me now. I had lived in Africa for over a decade in my childhood and never recalled or experienced any kind of intolerance or any kind of racism.

By the Maputo Pier near the wharf

Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! by Anuj Tikku

So this was definitely something new to me. I had always read in history books and seen in documentaries on television that it was always about the white man suppressing the black man. But here, it was the opposite. Not only was I being called names, even Hans caught a bit as the man shouted “You European, Fuck off! Fuck off and go back to your country!”. I did not know how to react to this and kept my mouth shut which is, I guess, the best thing to do in these circumstances.

Life's a beach!

Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! by Anuj Tikku

Africa has changed and so have the Africans. They have broken free of their colonial past and now wish to assert themselves.

Maputo party men - the new Africa!

Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! by Anuj Tikku

This is OK with me but Maputo does not get a lot of tourism. If tourists are welcomed like this in this country, then it will be difficult for them to attract those tourism dollars that they most certainly could do with.

Maputo Skyline - middle of Africa by the ocean!

Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! by Anuj Tikku

I spoke with Hans about this and he replied sagely “The world has changed and so has the black psychology. I guess they want to show how dominant they are and how they are not scared of the white or the brown man. But in my view, there are better ways of doing this.

Hans Bohner and I - Maputo evenings

Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! by Anuj Tikku

We had dinner again that day at the Galaxy Restaurant for some Indian bites. “You know Hans, it saddens me that the lands that I grew up in have become so intolerant” I said while taking a few bites of the chicken tikka masala.

An Indian restaurant at Mozambique!

Photo of Clash of Civilisation and a Bit of Racism in Africa! by Anuj Tikku

I know Anuj how you feel that the white man has always accused the black man of racism. But this is now happening the other way around.” he took a bite of the tandoori naan with his fork and knife, and I giggled “It is funny to see you have an Indian roti and naan with fork and knife. Use fingers and eat it like I do.” Hans agreed and dived into the chicken masala with his hands. I offered him a gulab jamun and we happily tried to forget the unpleasant incident.

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