The origin of Maldivians has part of roots from the African continent. It’s been written in history books and is openly talked about by elders in some islands, especially one in Alif Atoll where the complexion of the entire community is 100 percent black and most people have curly hair.
For over thirty years, the African community has been very productive in various sectors of the economy and social structure in Maldives. We have Black African GM’s & Financial Controllers, Engineers, Doctors, Divers in resorts. The Red Cross / IFCR have were managed by Africans until Maldivians took over recently. The agriculture sector derives its consultancy from an African expert and a number of new resorts have been constructed by African engineers.
Every top football team, basketball team or volleyball team have Africans as key players and they bring joy to thousands of fans.
We are black and we are proud of who we are. It is not our choice to have the dark complexion and as human beings we consider ourselves similar to other races of people. As recently stated by one of the religious scholars, we are all the same and no one is higher than the other except the Almighty God.
TVM (Television Maldives) has publicly and openly mocked and disgraced the African race on its comedy clips last night during the Nigeria match. A few of us understand Dhivehi very well, and a number of us married to Maldivians.
It is shameful and prejudiced to suggest that our colour is a mistake from God. Something so horrible and bad, that we Africans are trying to become lighter, cannot be further from the truth.
I do not need to rewrite the ‘crude jokes’ TVM telecasted last night, however, on behalf of the African community in Maldives, we find such comments disgraceful, personal, racist, and this clearly show the unprofessionalism of TVM. We may be a handful but we play a major role in this economy and social welfare, and the least we or anyone could expect is respect for what we are.
We demand an apology, not written, but announced as this issue goes against our rights. No individual, body or government has a right to discredit or disgrace race, culture or religious beliefs of others.
An African living in the Maldives