Why Africa is still “Africa”

To many minds ,the terms "Africa"or "African" are notions of resounding familiarity.One can place these as emblems of pride or identity depending on the context applied..Given our colonial ,slave past and presently economic outlook ,the most vocal proponents of these terms have been reformers,nationalists and various celebrities.It is common place that the fight for our once battered image is now entrenched into our very fabric,thus the very definition of" African "itself has been subject to various,but similar explanations,all historical and present.

africaNotably amongst the loudest voices are a bulk of the nationalists on the continent,present or past ,that have successively applied the issue of the African identity in politics to such lengths that there seems to be no leader that is not championing the cause of”identity”. The key terms which are most likely to accompany  such rhetorics include “belief in ourselves”,”fight for our identity”,”colonial masters”,”enemies of Africa” e.t.c.. This cannot go without mentioning the mixed recognition the founding fathers of African independence receive. People like, Samora Machel, Nelson Mandela,Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Lumumba and Haile Selasie, are subjects of a hate and love relationship in their own motherland. Comparisons have been attempted to ascertain the greatest heroes of our liberation,yet very little of this bickering lays the focus on the real challenges facing the continent.

It appears that no country in this continent has been ambitious and courageous enough to rid itself of external patronage and reliance. Almost every one of them is a proxy of the either the West, the East or both. The patronage extends itself to banking, technology, health,politics and culture to mention but a few.Whilst it is true that we live in a global village, the same village appears to have headmen and chiefs,and they,re definitely not African and the sad thing is that we,ve done very little to prepare our own internal systems.

The reality of the matter is that the black African human resource is the most under utilized on the continent. Our very own leaders have almost completely failed to capitalize on the brilliant minds already present here,the Cuban dream of self reliance seems to be less practical here.What the same black mind can achieve in the West is almost disallowed in the motherland.When it comes to this part of the world,the only thing conceivable is buy West or East.When push comes to show and the production comes ashore,it has to be a proxy of western multinationals to be believable as a standard product.The university and the the rest of the tertiary system is designed to follow that pattern,that students can only acquire knowledge as far as employable is concerned.Very few governments have taken advantage of their resource base to merge with the intellectual part of things to creat self sustainable systems,both economically and socially.

A few that have attempted to economies of scale such as South Africa, have only proved so far to be proxies of western capital thus their economies suffer from gross inequalities. Also to note is the fact that not all are committed to equitable distribution of land and wealth whilst those that try are riddled with corruption lawlessness and failure!

Iron,platinum and copper the most important elements needed to manufacture a car do not necessarily come from the West. To narrow down,platinum ,one of the rarest minerals on earth of which 80% is found  in abundance southern Africa, specifically Zimbabwe and South Africa, but surprisingly enough, besides being amongst the main buyers buyers of platinum products, these two nations have got nothing to show for it. Learning institutions like Universities, technical colleges and polytechnics which are no longer the privy of the Western world only,have done little in making sure that production is mastered by the locals throughout.Its disheartening to note that up to now,very few products come off the production line as purely African products with African names. Chimuti motors, Zodwa planes, Oga televisions will make worldwide brands if or youths were led into the right direction

However,not withstanding these facts,the symbol of poverty ,strife and general suffering in the continent is the West, at least according to most African leaders. This is despite the fact that it has been years since the last colonial flag left our territories. Nonetheless governments like Mugabe’s has repeatedly shot down attempts to African creativity. His wife would rather have an appendix removed in Malaysia,after all how could he trust his beloved wifes life in the hands of a blackman, besides, its just in politics that he believes in black power. This is just one example of an African leader that preaches a certain message but whose actions reveal absolute disbelief in black mental cavities. Kabila had his child attend a European school everyday,if not for money then for admiration of western life over African.
The call to equality of all races should be heard above the call to black power or identity as pushed by most radical pan Africanists. As usual ,it should not come as an excuse for failed leadership,rather ,a masterpiece in the overall integration of states.It is no coincidence that one of the most racial statements pushed to date is the need to fight for black power. Not only is this term shaming to the black community in this modern era,it is also stereotyping. Mind you,the more we fight as a race,especially in the wrong direction, the more we self stereotype. The white community is not grouping up,just as men do not have special days as women do.One of the primal hypocrites of this development is the generation of African leadership that has held the youth back by selling the lie that their fate is vested in the colonial legacy,slavery etc.They are given the feeling of powerlessness to deal with the present and told that because of what the foundation was layed against them,there is very little to be done besides competing with the white color in all aspects of life. We can not,and shall not achieve total freedom as long as we are too loud about our race,after all we,re not the only color in the world to have been subject to other races in history.

In fact most of the youth generation was not born during the time of the struggles for independence,their lives are being wasted in maintaining feuds which no longer exist.Nowhere in the West do you here the need to strengthen white power, whilst on the contrary the black child is constantly taught to fight for black empowerment from birth,which makes no sense in human development and general competency.Instead of facing life as it is,the fallacy being taught that one ought to fight for a particular race has been so injected into our DNA such that it is now inconceivable that other races will respect the black one.By subjecting it as a race that needs to be fought for, a clear cut trajectory is set in motion that reflects weaknesses that are only protected and defined by those creating them and pretending to fight them.

Post published in: Letters to the Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *