Prince William recently mentioned to CNN that he plans to design an African-themed nursery for his son Prince George. The proud royal parents feel a strong sense of connection to Africa; William proposed to Duchess Catherine during a private vacation in Kenya in 2010. Prince William the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, his young brother, also spent time in Africa as children.
Prince William hopes to take his first child, George, to Africa in a few years. For now, he is putting together an African-themed nursery for the young prince to grow up in.
"I'll have toy elephants and rhinos around the room. We'll cover it in, you know, lots of bushes and things like that. [We'll] make him grow up as if he's in the bush," Prince William said during his interview with CNN.
It is always wonderful to see Africa mentioned in a positive way by mainstream media outlets. I am sure the royal family will receive a warm welcome when they will arrive in Africa with Prince George.
My hope is that the proud parents will take this opportunity to discover authentic African art and handicrafts, as well as the lesser-known urban face of the continent.
It is important for us to tell the world that “Africa” is not a theme; it is the world's second most populous continent, home to 1.033 billion people. Africa is economy and industry. African countries represent the bulk of the earth's remaining arable land and untapped natural resources. Africa is economy and industry, politics and culture. Africa is also history –a history that remembers the British royal family with little kindness.
While I applaud the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge for their strong interest in the African continent, I hope that they remember the lessons that history has left for us, and find ways of relating to Africans in a manner that is respectful and mutually beneficial.
While the new royal parents are exploring the different ways to decorate their African-theme nursery, let us remember the true beauty of the African continent. The geography of Africa is as diverse, beautiful and colorful as its people. So, when it comes to the African continent, why should we stop at bushes?