Africa’s curses makhoba zipho

2016-06-08 06:00

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THE more one devotes time and employs cognitive faculties to try to make sense of what is happening in Africa, one always ends up with more questions than answers.

Typical questions, such as how can a continent so well endowed with rich mineral resources remain the poorest of the poor?

A continent that should be relishing its richness, is instead, engulfed with protracted wars, ethnic conflicts, religious conflicts, corruption, unemployment and racism.

Our education system is no exception.

Of late our leaders are giving us “free education” and indeed this education is “free from knowledge’.

In the words of Charles Rangel “A quality education grants us the ability to fight the war on ignorance and poverty”.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said with our education system, looking at the unemployment statistics in the continent also the scores of people who still live in abominable conditions, despite being educated.

A continent with so many well established universities; South Africa has universities, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Nairobi etc.

Furthermore, these universities produce engineers, however, most of our roads and bridges are built by Chinese­ civil engineers.

Where are our Nigerian, Tanzanian, Zimbabwean civil engineers?

I cannot help but wonder what would happen if Steve Biko, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Frantz Fanon, Thomas Sankara and Govan Mbeki were to rise and see what is happening and becoming of this continent.

I reckon they will be faced with an Africa that is far from what they had hoped for and envisaged. They will be faced with a different Africa. An Africa that is no longer at ease with herself. An Africa that is at war with herself. An Africa that is lazy.

An Africa with no identity. An Africa with modernised slaves, always mimicking their masters.

With a continent with an estimated 2 000 languages and over 3 000 distinct ethnic groups, surely there is so much we can learn from one another as opposed to despising and discriminating against each other. It is our distinctness and plurality we ought to be using to create something unique out of Africa.

Africa’s level of vigilance must be increased, especially against what we are fed by Western media.

We must guide against romanticist economist and developmental commentators feeding us distorted information, telling us we are a developmental continent, whereas in fact, Africa has deteriorated.

As the African continent, we need to keep reminding ourselves of these issues, and remember that over the ages the battle has always been the battle of the mind.

If your mind is controlled, you are already conquered. Is it not Rene Descartes during the epoch of Enlightenment in Europe who said: “Cogito ego sum” (I think, therefore I am).

Consequently, if we want to begin to take ownership of our affairs and be the architects of our future, we must begin to think.


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