One step at a time…

If you had asked me a couple of months ago what I wanted to do with my life… I would have answered quite convincingly that I was going to help save Africa (with or without a cape)… that I was going to start small and hope my influence spreads like a benevolent virus (oxymoron?) and have the desired knock-on effect… RIGHT.
Somewhere at the beginning of my crusade, it soon became apparent to me that not only was I NOT going to save Africa, but that Africa (or at least its despotic leaders… yes… I have generalized) was not particularly interested in being “saved”. After all, the majority of us Africans have been brainwashed into believing that not only can we NOT be saved, but that IF someone were to save us it would most definitely not be a black African… I suppose if I were a blond briefcase carrying Swede I would still think I can “save” Africa… after all, when all else has gone to sleep, money keeps talking…

The sad reality is that Africans are locked in the vicious circle of a cancerous culture of dependency … Forget the “uneven” international playing field for a brief moment… this dependency is an illness that seems to have formed part of “our” culture… so real is this syndrome that I can smell it everywhere I go, I see it at every crossroad as homeless vagrants stretch out their hands to me and beg for “just twee rand sisi… I family to feed… just twee rand”…
Back to the greater world… Africa continues to wait for the “masters” to offer them a little piece of their cake, while they hold out the begging bowl… I am frankly tired of Africa being complicit in its own subjugation. Our continent is by far the richest in terms of natural resources, and yet we allow the rest of the world to dictate our terms of trade… The sad truth though is that Africans seem rather complacent about pulling themselves out of this unfortunate quagmire… like the begging vagrants on most urban streets on this continent… Our “leaders” couldn’t be bothered about pulling up their socks and actively seeking the continent’s development, on its own terms… In the Southern African Development Community only ONE out of FOURTEEN of the member state does not depend on donor funding for the bulk of its government budget… Unsurprisingly that country is pretty much run by the west… alas, even the non-beggar is a slave… But what IS alarming is that most of these countries have extensive resource wealth that far surpasses that of some grey island archipelago off-the-coast of continental Europe… and yet most of this wealth is “owned” by foreign “investors”… Anglo-gold, Old Mutual, Delta, British Tobacco…

How can anyone even have the energy to attempt to save a continent where people have decided that aid and donor funding is the solution? I have been taught that you can only help those who want to be helped… so here I am throwing in my dirty white towel until my fellow Africans wake up and realize that they are the help they desperately need and not the help they keep seeking.

Africa needs to tap into the continent’s vast potential. This continent is by far the richest… and whoever says that the West will cease to demand our resources if we unilaterally declare independence, as it were, has never looked at the fingers of many an engaged woman in the streets of Milan, Paris, New York, London and all the other little towns and cities… Has never passed by a cafe on a cold winter’s night and smelt the strong aroma of Kenyan coffee and South African rooibos… of Zimbabwe’s citrus in the juices…
Or late at night snuggled under a warm cotton blanket, while sending a text message from a phone whose functioning would be impossible were it not for DRC’s Coltan and Zimbabwe’s chrome… Or passed by an emaciated model with her fingers wrapped around a Virginia Thins cigarette as she desperately tries not to indulge in yet another bite of chocolate cake…Thank you Ghana!

Combined with the Middle East, African produces the bulk of the world’s oil… the oil that turns the cogs of Western capitalism. If African countries would metaphorically and literally close the oil tap, the tables would turn as the West looks to our continent for the oil it so desperately lacks and even more desperately NEEDS.

Our problem lies in bad governance, the spirit of corruption and elitist neo-patrimonialism… cutting out bad apples won’t do… the tree must be uprooted and a new one planted.

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