When I invited a friend to come to a Tech event I was organizing in Uganda, he went straight to Wikipedia, one, because he loves it, he has used this tool to learn about the things he does, gardening, renovating houses, fixing kitchen etc. He later pinged me on Skype and told me his finding, he just learned that life expectancy in Uganda is 58 years. That did not surprise me, in Kenya we are at 64 years, a difference of 6 years only. This is an African reality, the rich continent, where leaders cling on power for decades while their people die of diseases that can be cured easily. As my friend always says, “he just perished, like a good African”…. that’s his father.
The wealth of Africa is something we just read in books, the wealth and poverty of nations – David S. Landis, Fortunes of Africa-Martin Meredith, The looting Machine-Tom Burgis and the list goes on. It’s the looting of Africa that would concern many, especially those living in Africa. The century right now is ripe for an African story, story of how a village boy becomes President of a nation, how a young woman conquers traditions and community obstacle that have been against girl child to head a cooperation. How young people men and women are turned into entrepreneurs overnight through the use of IT and other modern tools. How a young man, with access to the internet becomes a gold medalist in javelin, this and many more are Africa’s rich stories.
But the sad stories don’t make it well to the world, it’s a fact that nobody really cares if the west are looting the continent. It’s also a fact that nobody cares if Africans are looting themselves. I would imagine that since the west have been doing this for a while, they have mastered that game, First we were colonized, and we had to fight for our freedom, then when we finally got it, the same people became our friends, in forming governments, in economics, in foreign relations, and in trade. I think it’s a big lie. It’s doubtful that after years of being on our heads, they would wish well for us, but I stand to be corrected. Maybe they are different. For me I doubt the man who gives the children milk, while torturing their fathers is a friend, But that aside, it’s important to agree that “WE” have been defeated, and we should get used to that, for the democracies that we helped build while we were slaves are 300 years ahead of us, the sad reality.
But when some of the white people pretended to leave, they left some black people with a white pocket with a great desire of want. Some of them commanded a great amount of wealth of the people which they eventually took from them. The people owed them for the fight they put to send the white man to their way. I would say that this, was the beginning of a lost nation, we immediately created a culture that embraced a thief, not the one that steals chicken but that who steals Ksh 2 billion, that in our faces was a thief with grace. Today, African leaders want to loot from their countries left, right and centre, that’s not the problem, the problem is that they have stored all their loot outside Africa, in Swizz banks, Cayman Island, Coney Island, Great Britain etc.
While their people die from diseases that could be cured, they have enjoyed their lavish lives, build walls that protect them from the people they steal from, taken their kids to expansive schools abroad and when they cut their piece of cake in the evening, they boost how they work hard to make it happen. I agree the west have been stealing the minerals of this great continent, generated wars and supplied expensive ammunitions to the warlords and militia groups to destabilize the continent, but with the same breath I wonder, why are the African leaders doing the same. Why do they put the young mothers in trouble, the sick, the poor and the true citizen of the nation who try very hard to build it? We refuse to let Africans to die like “good Africans” mothers dying while delivering, children dying because of drinking dirty water, doctors who care more about the money than how to best save a life.
We talk no more about the wars, in West Africa, central Africa, south Sudan, and Somalia. The economic crisis in Zimbabwe and South Africa, the oil spill in Nigeria, Civil wars and leaders who don’t want to let go of power, in Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, etc. Africa is a great continent, but it’s the Dark Continent that everybody is trying to run away from, we have created an immigration crisis in Europe, mostly economical. Can Africa stand on it’s on? Off course yes, with the wealth and not forgetting the loot that take refuge in Swizz banks, why not. We always say that someday things will be better, they should. It took us over 100 years to defeat the colonizers and get our independence, the only trouble is that we do not have 100 years. Things have to work well and they have to work well now.
I go to bed every night and wonder, is my nation dead? The people who have been involved in big scandals, billions of shillings walk free on the streets and mock us, how poor we are that we do not work hard, that is if they are not still in the office. But most of them still hold public office and every salaries and the loot in their equal measure. Even the churches have stolen from the congregation and made them poor, and still with courage every Sunday they still stand at the pulpit and ask for more. They (con preachers) are everywhere, on the streets, in church, on TV, in hospital, they ask you to plant a seed, but it’s always to their benefit.
Our society is dead. The citizens of Africa have been let down by their leaders. We are surrounded by war resulting from bad leadership, poverty and poor governance. We will not die like honorable African…..like good Africans but die while pursuing our goals of making our continent better. We keep the fight, the fight that will liberate the continent in focus.