How Corruption Succeeds in Africa

November 1, 2017 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Lars Plougmann photo



Amara Femoh Sesay


African countries stand on a tripod of corruption, injustice and hope. Corruption keeps the corrupt healthy and well nourished to perpetrate more acts of corruption with hands, heads, tongues and minds.

Injustice keeps the people blind to truth. It is an essential spear in the hand of many African leaders and former leaders to strike and make blind the advocates for truth, make deaf the masses and cripple the nation.

As for Hope, it is always a ‘good’ magic wand, or opium, or weapon (depending on who is defining it) to mobilize the people for elections, discourage them from revolting and contain them till the next election (or ill-Action).

On top of this tripod rotates the head of change. In every season, every decade, every century, there is always one head dressed with a different colour to match the epoch and circumstance. The change of this era is the change from a corruption-ridden nation to a corruption-free state.

Now, how many people are not corrupt so that they can serve as models of integrity for the corrupt? It seems this is a difficult question, let’s turn it the other way round. How many people are corrupt and ready to serve as models of corruption to others? The statistics here are too terrifying to betray the calculus of any optimist on the future of the African continent.

While the masses shy away from their responsibility to come out and spearhead this journey to a reformed Africa, the corrupt are on the other side of the divide ever determined to embolden their fingerprint on the face of civilization! No wonder they get most of the honours, most of the honorary degrees, most of the titles, most of the praises, most youths ready to die for the “good cause”, most of the best universities for their children…

Are you surprised? Why should they not be determined and willing to sacrifice their wealth and might to fight for the continuation of corruption? See! Listen! They were born in it, bred and nourished in it, educated in it, employed in it, voted in it and possibly wish to die in it.

They are not scared of sitting on the corpses of millions of their brothers if that is their only throne they can find to sustain their Kingdom of Corruption. They are very okay with the fact that the millions awaiting their grave permit languish and die in scarcity, adversity, poverty, obscurity – you name it. This is nothing compared to losing a single day in their lives to integrity and probity.

They will fight, hire the best lawyers, get the most cruel thugs, sponsor many a false reportage to raise public ire and angst against the people who seek to “unjustly” drive them from their ‘paradise.’ They will make many human sacrifices. They will even invent new smart devices of iniquity. Don’t underestimate their ingenuity when it comes to protecting corruption. Never underestimate them.

Alas, how long will they fight before they run out of vim? How long will they endure against the harsh winds of change? How long will they live to eat the billions they have amassed over seasons and seasons of rot, corruption and cruelty in this farmlame of the world. How long will they procure mass graves for hundreds of citizens so as to exercise their will to power? They call our youths to their graves while their duplexes and children and girlfriends enjoy the loots of Africa in Dubai and London.

They will fight, but the people will also fight back. And as far as I know, no Empire or force or fight is powerful enough to stop the might of the people when they are determined for reform.

Do you want to join this fight? In which army will you prefer to fight? If you must join the side of those who want reform in the polity then you must do so while you are well armed with patience, and firm belief in God then the leader’s ability to bring change. Don’t be carried away by the plots and ploys of the corrupt. Correct when mistakes are made, say the truth where and when needed, be just and bold in your assessment but never be a recruit (though subconsciously) in the army of the corrupt!





Amara Femoh Sesay

Amara Sesay is a Sierra Leonean writer, journalist and consultant. He is basically a non fiction writer on loan to Poetry. Outside the world of writing, he is an education activist an innovator whose works earned him a place in the shortlist of United Nations Development Programme (Sierra Leone) shortlist of Youth Innovation Award 2016. He is currently a Fellow at Ebedi International Writers Residency in Nigeria.

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