I just finished watching this video by Mallence Bart-Williams at Tedx Berlin and it’s made me sad and mad all over again because what she said has been said before but the awakening is overwhelming indeed. WHEN WILL AFRICA BE TRULY LIBERATED AND FREE TO MAKE FULL USE OF THE VAST RESOURCES WE ARE BLESSED WITH? That’s the big question on my mind. If someone should ask me this question, I honestly will not know the answer to give because it doesn’t look like Africa will ever be liberated.
We have played the victim for so long complaining about the west stealing our natural resources and using it to build their formidable economies but even with all the education and advancement, the exploitation is still ongoing. Whenever it looks like Africa is finding it’s feet, from nowhere, we start experiencing massive setbacks through incurable epidemics, civil wars and terrorists attacks which receive so much publicity and in-depth analysis more than any indigenous breakthroughs we have ever had in Africa.
It gladdens my heart that Africans are going to school, some to the highest levels but most of us are not learning. We do not learn to appreciate our beauty so we massively patronize ‘foreign’ products to look widely acceptable. We do not learn to appreciate our potentials so we look around to see what’s been done and we replicate and duplicate killing our ingenuity and innovation. We do not learn to value our own so we patronize foreign goods and ridicule our very own. We do not learn to appreciate our countryman so we are much nicer to foreigners as a result we are called hospitable.
It’s sad indeed that the biggest dream of some Africans is still to travel to the west in search of greener pastures in countries where snow is over a meter think. Even the so called impact drivers derive so much fulfillment from being invited to foreign conferences and talk shops and their joy is overwhelming when they get signed up on foreign and presidential mentorship and fellowship programs. Our greatest achievements come when we get featured on foreign media especially the ones with double alphabets in their acronyms. I wonder when we are going to have Young European and American Leaders Network being hosted by any of our African Presidents.
The young and the old alike start social impact initiatives and their number one goal is to position their organizations to attract foreign donor aids so they put out horrible images and content of a dilapidating state of Africa just to be ‘pitied’ and funded. I have nothing wrong with building global businesses and competing on a global scale but do we have to end up in the valley to be on top of the mountain. Young entrepreneurs are practically begging for peanuts for innovations worth billions only because we are Africans and we do not even know our worth.
They have and continue to deplete our natural resources but now their focus is on our intellectual resources, our most valuable capital; our human capital! Our minds are being strategically set to be heavily dependent on the west, to be like the west in our bid to be global villagers with a western dialect and swag. It’s true; technology is making the world smaller by the day but daily we relinquish our power as a people and soon we will have no authentic identity.
Writing this will not be necessary if all the aid, help, support, alliances, affiliations and partnerships we so desperately seek constantly from the west was helping advance our economies as rapidly as theirs or as required. They say we are not as old as them so we shouldn’t compare ourselves to them but I have not seen a child of wealthy and supportive parents making it at the same pace as their parents did, at worse, the child makes it multiple times faster because of the support from their parents unless the child is sabotaging themselves or is being consciously sabotaged by their parents.
While we occupy, demonstrate and chant with loud voices and long writeups, deals that will negatively affect generations are being made behind closed doors. Africa they say is for Africans and it’s prosperity and success will be by Africans…really? I will choose to remain ‘unpopular’ and ‘controversial’ as long as I do not go to bed praying for some foreigners’ approval or acceptance. It is ok if my impact remains small as long as I can boast of not showing any ‘follower’ of mine that the way to impact or make it in life or in business is to be dependent on aid, grants and foreign approval.
Let’s support our own and help push one another forward. It is only through that that we can be truly free and liberated as Africans. When Africans thrive, Africa thrives. #EkowMensah #IgnitingDreams#YourDreamsMatter #NeverGiveUp #AfricaNeedsYou