By measure, our generation is in reality and by statistics somehow better educated and better informed than our parents. This is partly so because our world is digital, and of better connections with advancement in sciences and other fields better than twenty years ago. This places us as a people in a better position to learn from the past and make necessary changes in our social, economic, political and even religious practices. We are a generation of advantage and great advancement in sciences and other social filed. This means that we are to correct those errors of our parents and prepare a better world than what we have inherited. But instead, many of us have taken the footsteps of our parents becoming worse than them and prepare a future worse than all generations. Many of us have taken up luxury as a call and we have transformed education at the disadvantage of our society.
In those days, I mean when my father and a bit before that, meaning when my grandfather was born, communities were more communal, family was at the centre of everything and people who went to school did so with a mind to build their communities rather than themselves. This is the time poets refer to as the period of pride warriors who fought to redeem their kingdoms from oppression with courage and with vigour, determine to die and always ready to die. This was the time when our house were filled with food and our women were meant for men who truly deserved them. This was the time when children listen to their parents and blessings flourished. This was the time when children were a special gift and were treated as such. This was the time when marriages were honoured, respected and women were a true treated like demi-gods.
Today, we have place the individual at the centre of things, make us the most isolated being ever to live on this earth. Our history never tells us of those good old days. We have forgotten all those good fortunes our forefathers kept for us. We dwell so much on the short period that we face challenges from outside Africa and all our stories today, talk of the European intervention. Before then, what was Africa? Research that and compare the timeline, we all will realize that what we are ignoring is better than what we concentrate on. It was just a distraction brethren, let us go back. This article tries to help you go back, deep into that Africa that we are, bringing up the past to our conscience and calling us to act in a manner that will generate peace and development.
THE SHAME THAT WE CARRY DAY AND NIGHT IN OUR WORLD- AFRICAN CHILDREN
It all started years back while in primary school when I started reading books on slave trade and the trans-Atlantic stave trade. I also learn so much about African culture and how the black people have contributed to humanity in all fields of life. In fact, growing in Guinea where African solidarity, justice and work is preached in our schools from primary to university, I learned these lessons to my heart.
At secondary school, reading ARTS, I put all my time in ready my history and Government than any other subject. Then I built the urge to make a difference with pride and courage. This once considered continent as dark and barbaric, can be a continent of peace, respect and humanity. We were a better continent before we were label such, with great kingdoms and chiefdoms, with great tribes and people. We knew the importance of peace and unity. In our memory, I know of an Africa that gave pride to itself and her children. I realized that that pride that myself developed was not just me but even my great grandchildren will be proud of it. Only to reach this far to realize that why few of us feel that our continent was wrongly labelled, many of our brothers and sisters continue to provide evidence that truly this continent holds traces of barbaric and inhumane existence in it. Those of us who feel the pride of this continent, who wants to take this continent to its true meaning as a continent of peace and development, a continent of hard working young men and women, we continue to be slapped in our faces by our brothers and sisters who have engaged in acts that shame us. We cannot even say things openly concerning this land of great warriors and courageous people. Our argument does not help us to establish the respect, humanity and the rich culture of tolerance and peace this continent holds thousands of years back. We are finding it difficult to establish that our continent is full of blessings and welcoming people. Strongly, someone will question my expose. But let me be fast to tell you how you are making us shame every single minute of the days, weeks, years, decades, centuries and so fouth:
- Whenever you steal our money and send it to the west, you are telling the world that with all your education and achievement in life, you still are dull and very stupid. How can you bank more than five million in a western bank and yet go to the same west either as a president or minister to ask for a loan?
- The next one is simple. How can you cry of budget deficit and low budgetary allocation in your country but you ride a car that cost eighty thousand and more United States dollars?
- How can you be crying that your government is not doing anything, there are no good hospitals and there are no good doctors but you are a doctor living on the luxury of the west in the west for the west and with the west?
- Moreover, how can you say that your country is poor but you own no house or kitchen in your village, but you own a house that cost more than three hundred thousand United States dollars?
- How can you call yourself a doctorate holder but you cannot find peace to end the war you fight against your own people?
Now, all of the above make our countries poor, dirty and very uncomfortable to live. Thereby generating all the other vices.
Let me tell you a case that keeps beating my mind:
I was moving with a friend from one of those Western countries discussing normal issues though. After some few days visiting some slums and other parts of the country. And she was blunt to me. One that I really appreciate. I love and appreciate blunt people. She looked in my face, one could see the disappointment in her. She was more confused, moved and concerned than any westerner that I have ever met. She said: ‘’ Sahr, if you could permit me, I would like to invite you to my home for a visit, I would not mind paying for your travel. Our streets are even cleaner than the hotel I am lodged in’’. I felt the shame, I connected myself to the amount of shame that my brothers and sisters places on us through their acts of violence, embezzlement, misuse of public funds and many more. I though gave her a response: even though I blame some of us that steal public funds and misuse it, but equally so, the West continue to contribute to the extreme poverty you see around. The multi-national corporations come to Africa, they extract the resources, pay bribes and take everything to the west to fill their industries and keeping us poor. So the development you see in the west, the raw material your industries used all come from us. That is why the west have better labour wages, more jobs than us and the circle continues.
But frankly speaking, even though my answer had some sense, but the truth is that we are making ourselves shame. The little we are given, if we can managed it well, it can solve our problem. Calculate the amount of money we are circulating through our corrupt practices, it is enough to provide us good schools, sound and resilient heath system, clean cities and we can use the other portions for capital development: good roads, good businesses and many other things.
But our brothers in Africa have dwelled on luxury that they cannot control. We inflate our national fiscal budgets and we even built structures that are not just substandard but very useless to modern needs. We concentrate on issues that can never give us impact and we continue our daily fending without shame.
Imagine the amount of book we have learned, imagine the number of degrees most of us boast of. Imagine how we boast that we are clever, we are geniuses and we can be better than the west. But you cannot realized that your spending, the way you accumulate your wealth and many other means of your life do not tell us that truly you are educated.
By the time we begin to control our luxury, by the time we stop banking our money out of Africa, by the time we start to build in our country, by the time we begin to invest in areas of importance and by the time we begin to know that our generation is messing, trust me, Africa will rise like a magic.
AN APPEAL TO US ALL
Today, February 28, 2016, I am calling on you all African children to realize that we are shaming ourselves. We need to reduce our luxury and concentrate on nation building. Once a country is built, you can chose to be what you want with ease. Our streets are not paved, our beaches are dirty, our drinking water is contaminated, our children sit on the flow to learn, our teaches walk distances not just to teach but to get their pay, with all of these, are we so blind that we cannot see? There is no car or degree you can earned and boast anyone if your backyard is as dirty as a dust bin. When we boast and show off, we show off our stupidness and our lack of wisdom and understanding. We make Africa a continent of all the negative labels that we watch on TV, and on the net, on our radio and in our newspapers. When we show off, we tell the world how comfortable we are fighting wars that have no end not in national interest but to satisfy a single family. We need to be wise. Our generation knows too much to accept extreme poverty. Our generation is too educated to allow us died of common disease due to lack of doctors, good hospitals or good roads. Our generation is too advance to have schools without teachers, no text books, no furniture and many more.
IF AFRICA CANNOT CHANGE THINGS, THINGS WILL NEVER CHANGE AFRICA
OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR PALM
STOP SHAMING US AND ACT WISELY
BE A CHILD OF PURPOSE NOT OF PIECES AND DIVISIONS
STOP PRETENDING WHAT YOU ARE NOT
BEING GENUINE IS WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING
DREAM OF NATION BUILDING NOT OF HOME BUILDING
MAKE A MOVE AND REDUCE YOUR LUXURY TODAY
|The Africa that we are is an Africa of peace. An Africa of hard working young men and women. It is not an Africa that young men run away to hide in the enemies hut. It is not an Africa that we insult our leaders. Is not an Africa that we insult our elders, it is an Africa that respect women. And Africa that believes in fear trade. And Africa that no child goes to bed hungry. Truly, it is an Africa of peace and development. We need to know the Africa that we were before the white man, and bring the good old days. Let us forget about the short distraction that took place, forgive and forget, forge a new future and live in harmony with all mankind. It is an Africa of Africans. We know the problem, we can solve it and we can rise. THIS AFRICA OF OURS IS NOT ONE THAT LIVES ON HANDOUTS AND GIFTS. THIS AFRICA IS NOT THE AFRICA THAT BEG FOR A LIVING WHILE OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN BUSY THEMSELVES IN CITIES LOOKING FOR JOBS THEY NEVER BROUGHT WITH THEM.
FREEDOM IS ONLY TRUE WHEN YOU FREE YOUR HEART- GIVING PEACE AND FORGIVENESS A CHANCE AND BUILDING ON THE PAST TO CORRECT THE PRESENT.
ONLY YOU CAN DO THAT.
By M. Sahr Nouwah