Africa Branded But Stranded

September 15, 2017 Africa , Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Mohini Ufeli/Andela

 

By

Awesu Olaniyi Williams

 

 

It was Achebe who said the problem of Nigeria, and by extension Africa, isn’t about resources or lack of blessing by nature but rather failure of leadership (paraphrase mine).

 

Right from the inception leaders from continental Europe sat at the table in the German town of Berlin with Otto Von Bismarck leading and smiling about how 1885 was a good year to decide the fate of millions of African people. Separate people with unique and distinct cultures, merging several others with opposing views with just a pencil drawing straight lines across the map, history lost in transit, with European crowns and governments getting personal fiefdom. Sadly enough the beastly intent of the Belgian royalty led by then blood thirsty and money hungry King Leopold had Bacongo in his mind, a land and people far surplus in landmass and population than the homeland territory of Belgium itself.

At the end in 1906 when the barbarity of the Belgians came to global limelight, millions of limbs were chopped off, men forced to watch their wives raped and children murdered, villages and hamlets raised in inferno. The world wept at the heart of darkness that became the heart of men. Truly Africa, meant to be branded by nature’s wealth, became a stranded homeland of war, famine and diseases.

Some say it’s been nearly 50 years that the white colonialists and their bags of racial prejudice left Africa. Still, we can’t boast of homegrown development. Indeed Africa became the branded continent with the face of poverty, in the midst of plenty. Objectively, we are stranded not only by the colonial past activities of the west but by the post colonial vicious cycle of poverty enshrined by Africa’s leaders themselves alongside enemies of the people masquerading as multinational corporations with money bags made in the motherland freight to homeland without due taxes. Marc Rich and his looting of Zambian copper mines comes readily to mind.

To what do we say to the perpetual indebtedness and policy intrusion by donors and International money lenders, thereby, making an ugly mockery of the term Sovereignty?

 

While the wheels of progress might have been clogged by successive years of corrupt and brazenly outlandish and opportunistic political and military elites, there seems to be a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel. A ray born out of a thriving youthful population who have seen the light of knowledge and IT driven economy in the piles of crumbling infrastructure. William Kamkwamba and his homegrown windmill miracle in Malawi lit our faces with hope.

Andela, the thriving IT hub in the heart of mainland Lagos, whose sweet smelling innovative aroma brought Mark Zuckerberg to the continent.

Though affirmation action calls for a 35% minimum increase in women’s participation in politics and economy, Rwanda, the tiny African country with one of the world’s ugliest civil war history, boasts more women in parliament than in America and Europe, the home of democracy and affirmative action.

Honestly, we mustn’t turn blind eyes to note that not only are there African accomplices in the daily looting and ruins of Africa. It’s the duty of every sane individual from the continent of first human civilization to work for the overthrow of these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Stranded, Africa might currently be, like the formerly dwarf giant called China, we shall be branded as a people and our potential blazing to the sight of the blind and hearing of the deaf.

Viva Africa…Viva Motherland.

 

 

 

 

Awesu Olaniyi Williams

Awesu Olaniyi is a 24 year old, second best graduating student of Political science education from Lagos State University where he won various regional and national awards for public speaking and environmental advocacy. He is currently a freelance writer, LGBT discussant and aspiring M.sc student of political science. He can be reached via awesuolaniyi@gmail.com.

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