REFLECTING ON AFRICA IN THIS TIME OF ISOLATION Part 1
Few days ago, I walked into the University of The Gambia to be informed by Mr Kemo Fatty, a team mate in the postponed Students’ Union election due to COVID 19 that an interview was scheduled for us with the Pan African media outlet, VIP Magazine where we later talked about the leadership and the role of the youth in changing the narratives about the continent, Africa.
Attracted by the mentioning of “Pan African” I hastily joined the show to share my thoughts. My consequent reflection on the programme and the realities of the COVID 19 pandemic in relation to the readiness of the continent, triggers this write up.
I must say from the outset, the image about Africa that, I am about to present to you might be protested by some as misleading even though I am yet to be convinced by the possible arguments they may put forward that, Africa is on its way to resionainace.
I do not intend to visit historic scholarly materials regarding the arguments I am about to present to you. In the face of the legal circle- law to be precise these arguments I am about to present would have been taken as judicial notice. Evident, true and thus, accurate as present before the Court.
At some times pointed to by history, Africa was described as the most fertile hard-working and “hospitable” continent that hosted what non bias historians would honestly describe as the seat of academia.
This glorious days about the continent enjoys less attention on the pages of the Eurocentric (In this instance bias European historians). The second phase of Africa which most known to you and myself is the Africa that is lazy, poverty and war driven. The Africa that is home to all epidemics, corruption, hunger and with everlasting leadership crisis.
The transition of Africa from the first to its second phase in history or in other words from “dawn” to “darkness” would require some historical analysis, which I am not at this instance, interested in examining.
But I will just merely acknowledge the fact that, colonialism have stripped from the African the responsibility of conducting his own affairs. This and the need for Africa to regain itself would be the focus of my write-up to be related to the leadership of the continent.
HAS THE AFRICAN TAKEN CHARGE OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF STIRRING HER AFFAIRS?
No one would doubt that there have been, and still are, some great deal of interference in the continent by the forever living ungrateful colonial master. This interference is not an evil in its entity, because the core of all human activities are “interest driven”. To be fair, I could only imagine the African behaving like the Intruder if the table turned around or even worst if the history of Idi Amin is to be considered.
Noting that there have been and there are still foreign powers that have interest in Africa, I will also observe that the African is to this date defeated in every structured aspect of human existence. Ranging from spirituality, science, politics, economics and even our ‘used to be most’ cherished social cohesion. I am talking about the majority of Africans. We have lost and still continue to loss every item of our being.
Grave repercussions or effects have emanated over the years due to the interruption of the continent by the ungrateful Arab and Western intruders in the form of two evils: Slave trade and colonialism.
I must recognize, the greatest scares in the face of African history and that of humanity is slave trade and colonialism. All so called world wars are second to this “irremediable error”. Africa have serious been damaged during this episode of its history and this continuous to hurt the people of the continent. I am not interested in so much horror. Let us leave it at that.
It is however important to remind us that, before then the African was in charge of every aspect of his life. Creativity and invention existed in the continent even till today and was purely guided by necessity. Science, physics, geography, astronomy, mathematics and all other aspect of human intelligence was prevalence across the continent until slavery interrupted and gave birth to colonialism.
The being of the African have been diminished both psychologically and morally by the abovementioned activities. Therefore, I could still restructure the above question and ask if Africa has recover from this moral, and psychological defeat, because there is no excuse for Africa! Africa has to recover and recover NOW!
Morally, the African doesn’t still recognize nor represent the worth of itself. It is okay and still normal to reference the enlightened, “civilize” and well behaved African as “behaving like a Whiteman”. It is still embedded in the African mind sets that civility is a reflection of the “Whiteman” and the dominant refection about ourselves is just pure backwardness. The objective of what I am driving at is the need for the understanding that we are not less human beings. Our physiological composure should therefore cease reflecting an inferior character.
But this psychological defeat is even truer of our leaders; who have continuously manifested the long standing believe that, we Africans are nothing without the West even though the reverse is the truth.
Several incidents and conducts of our leaders have adequately portrayed the illusions they held regarding their counterparts (If indeed not their masters). They held the conviction, and it is a serious conviction that on befriending or being bootlickers to some European leaders, they will have the legitimacy to rule their people and that everything will go financially well with their reigns.
This continues to imprint a sense of inferiority regarding the continent, its people and its leadership. Our Statehouses across the continent are “second Houses”, because these are not the places where real decisions are made instead decisions are made abroad and receive for implementation in this luxurious homes of corruption. The only rare times decisions are made in these our purported State Houses, it is when it comes to supressing the genuine voices of the citizenry or to loot (in their own languages “to slice from the cake) of the masses. The masses, most of whom are still deliberately kept in poverty and ignorance.
I shall never forget, the disgraceful moments editing news of our leaders packing themselves to attend conferences aboard such as the China-Africa Conference, UK- Africa Conference, Russia-Africa Conference, France-Africa Conference, India-Africa Conference, and Dubai-Africa Conference among others only for them to slumber therein with equal insensitivity and shamelessness. This conferences if they have any merit is for the provision of the avenues for these leaders to dine and wine among themselves, and to practice corruption.
Yet, it is when they returned to their respective countries that the exercise of “worth” and “might” would be felt. First, by the loudness of the sirens of countless number of “Government vehicles”, and secondly by the attention offered to them by the press to only inform the citizens: “We met our masters, they have promised to HELP us or they have given us 60 trillion and your grandchildren will pay for it”
It is as if to say, the African leadership is caged in “diplomatic idiocy”.
We are still addressing the question “HAS THE AFRICAN TAKEN CHARGE OF THE RESPONSIBILITY OF STIRRING HER AFFAIRS?”
A closer study and reflection on colonialism will show that the current education system of Africa or in reality, the education system of the colonial master is designed explicitly to serve the purpose of certifying the colonial authority.
In fact, one of the greatest element for the continuous domination and “psychologicalcaging” of the African is through the education system. It is not as if we don’t understand that any education system which doesn’t reflect the indigenes-their values, norms, mores and realities cannot provide the resolutions to their problem nor can this education system adequately prepare them to confront the envious world.
It is therefore not a secret that, the mere teaching of so called French and European civilization in our Universities have not proven the least useful in our quest to addressing our plights as a continent.
Unfortunately, the latter leaders that our contemporary education system produce are mere “Little Frenchmen”.
Those of us, so called educated men and women with getups are nurtured to believe that, we are the better or enlightened Africans. In our ‘kidnapped’ skulls, our faculties are made to automatically despise the “uneducated”. We behave no differently from the former or “everlasting” colonizers. We talk, walk and eat like them. We find pride in displaying foolishness by continuously exploiting our people through the position of authority that they entrust us with the believe that, we are indeed enlightened and would serve them.
We continue to fail them…
To be continued….
Written By Toney F Mendy
Third Year Law Student
University of The Gambia.
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