|Africans being saved against themselves?|
It is evident Sub-Saharan Africans believe in attacking themselves instead of attacking those responsible for their less than desirable outcome in life. But again, no one owes Africa any reparation or abatement for slavery or colonization. Sub-Saharan Africans need to realize as they make themselves DOORMATS even within themselves, INTRA and INTER tribal and national conflicts continue to ensue or set like kegs of gunpowder, about to explode.
In recent history assuming less than 35-yrs old is a good recent, Nigeria in early 80s kicked Ghanaians out of Nigeria, leading to a slogan known as Ghana-Must-Go. Nigeria at the same time ridiculed Ethiopia because of famine during a soccer tournament in Addis Ababa between Nigeria’s Green Eagles and Ethiopia’s Lions. This caused a major diplomatic uproar. Ambassadors to each country were recalled. Gabon at some time rammed Nigerians, and during 2000, South Africa kicked against Nigerians. Sub-Saharan Africa is rift with conflicts against other Africa nationals. Consider the intra-national conflicts in Rwanda in 1994. But Africa is not alone in this.
During the Cold War, while the west and east blocks were jostling for a piece of Africa as if the Scramble for Africa in the 17th century was not enough, Africans have been on top of each other in self destructive conducts. The global media hardly reported them because the power blocks saw the inter and intra conflicts suited to their divide and conquer manifestos.
On South Africa, it is really a shame that after Nelson Mandela, things got worse. Mandela did not do enough effectively speaking to stymie or quench the future uproar due to social injustices from within and without. While the west loved him, Mandela failed in my estimation because he did not create lasting institutions to address certain things. He was more ceremonial in his role than pragmatic. And to keep him engaged on appeasement and accolades, endless speaking and dinner invitation flooded his in-box which he honored. He settled for dinner at White House, Buckingham Palace and all the other places where he was more appeased, celebrated and pleased than offered collateral deal to help address his 27 years of absence.
Here is my take: What if Mandela had leveraged his newfound fame and love, the west and the world was showing him, and he asked/demanded tangible investments as hedge for economic development? That would have been a great test of the love. Rather, he sought and settled for the song and dance, and after he was gone, the people who went along simply to get along now realized there is no value to FREEDOM when food is not on the table.
The 2010 World Cup that South Africa hosted was to appease/toast Nelson Mandela but the economy of South Africa has not received any spikes as a result. It is more like Greece hosting the Centennial Olympics in 2004, in commemoration of its inception in 1904, but thereafter, Greece was insolvent. South Africa’s Rand which in 1996, was exchanging at single digits to the Dollar, is now in double digits. And anyone familiar with currency exchange rate slide knows it is hard to get back to the parity basis.
Had Mandela asked the world to commit/place $1b for each year he was jailed in a development fund to assist develop Soweto and other impoverished sectors of SA, and offered access to resources - capital not available to his people, I am sure if he did not get $27b, he would have gotten something. It is one thing to be President but it is entirely different bowl of wax to be PRESIDENTIAL.Ordinary South Africans hardly obtain credit facility for business development. When they do, the conditions are such they are choked and strangulated.
Majority South Africans do not understand what owning a business is and how to sustain such. Although a few of them were elevated to positions and glorified as Executives in once ran white establishments, they are more interested in the perks of the office than delivering dividends of democracy for their people. They are quick to celebrate their new houses, vacation trips, cars, etc., but hardly firm speaking up on behalf of persons needing direction to realize their bearing. There is a mild but profound APARTHEID that black South Africans have hoisted upon themselves. Most of them are caught up on sense of loss/depravation, so they want to catch up, endorsing negative culture, “I have mine you go get yours.” Welcome to the black world home and abroad.
Africans love the title and glamor of the office but always fall short of making positive difference using the power and influence of their office to elevate condition for their people. The tension among black peoples of Africa will continue as the world image of Africans, sub-Saharan ones, is that of CRY BABIES and or BABIES with flies on their face, unable to do something to stop the flies from coming. If as a people the issues of the 21st century are just as the issues during colonial and slavery periods, in the presence of civil rights and independent nations; but very dependent, then we got lemon. But again, when given a lemon, one ought to make lemonade. It begs the question: Africa and her cousins: What are the excuses?
By Ejike E. Okpa