Growing up in Soweto, I dreamed of visiting Miami and New YorkÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ because those were the only beautiful places I saw on TV or in American movies.
Africa? Not a place I thought of much because, like most South Africans, black and white, I tended to regard our home continent as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“dark continentÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Then, a few years ago, after a visit to Mozambique, my dream changed its shape and I found myself longing to visit more of this intriguing continent.
But when I told my friends and family I was going to Ethiopia, they became very worried. Without knowing recent facts about the country, they started expressing their concerns: are you going to be safe? Is there war there? Pirates will kidnap youÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Which goes to show that there are still many of us who regard the continent as a place of coups, wars and famines.
And which is also why more of us need to go to places like Ethiopia, and have our eyes opened to the treasures which are in our own backyard. Read full story on IOL.