I dare not have a dream for my motherland; lest I wake up and lose it all! I prefer standing firm as a visionary: seeing beyond the periphery and beating the odds towards a better Africa. A prosperous Africa is not a dream but a vision. So then, what is prosperity in Africa? Sustainable economic growth, democracy, human rights, political inclusivity et al.? Perhaps! But the Africa I want can never be built on the model that set it on the brink of precipice. I want an Africa that is leavened by virtuous people – in a cycle that elevates human welfare as the sole and sufficient safeguard of the existence of humanity.
Our Africa can never be socialist; neither can it be capitalist. Both the Eastern and the Western isms have proved to be capriciously malevolent bullies. None came for any other reason: but to dissuade [from our default], assimilate [to theirs], and annihilate [from the world]. Post-Modern Africa is debris of a people devoid of a culture, rooted with a distorted history, and lacking in philosophy. An imported civilization has wiped away our novelty. A help without will always be a destruction within – for my beloved motherland, Africa.
The Africa I want is a rewriting of History. The Pauline conversion of the African continent from a ‘Johnny nobody’ to a big ‘Kahuna’ lies not in western ideologies; neither is it tied to the eastern philosophy. Truth be told: the African regenerate lies with the aptitude of mending her history. Prof. PLO Lumumba says, “Success is the verdict of history.” Thus, I have an indestructible belief that success of our continent slithered away with its history. Therefore, if we are to actualize the Africa I visualize; we must raise our self-faith and self-esteem and exorcise the ghost overreliance on external powers. That is the potent antidote to the quagmire that the oppressive powers that be placed our motherland at the yoke of her naiveté.
What Africa needs is an identity. The west may have her might. The east may have her industry. What about us…? A combination of the two will never be the crux of our salvation. Because it is common sense that the two have fostered a marriage of convenience whose aegis appears to be: “plunder Africa to the best of your ability.” The prosperity of Africa can never be based on her ability to become more Eastern or Western – depending on who cajoles her best. Africa must rise to the occasion and become AFRICA. We must till, plow, and nurture the season of redemption. For Africa, rising is tied with her restoration to her true self!
Human welfare ought to be the driving force and the defining characteristic of the Africa I want. We cannot allow the market forces, avarice, greed, and corruption give impetus to our existence. Whereas my dream may seem utopia, history, and reality dictate its feasibility. Before the corruption of our social system, before the annihilation of our values, before colonization, we had that Africa. Need I talk about Ubuntu – that my happiness was founded on the satisfaction of the society as a whole? But look at who took over the mentorship burton. Since the scramble and partition for Africa who have we been looking up to? Who has been leavening our society? Where did individualism come from? Mantras such as “man for himself, and God for us all? Individualism was never African, yet we have embraced so.
Or how else did elitism become part of our distorted culture? It is only because we allowed ourselves to become mentees of some social misfits going by our innate definition of an ideal society. We looked up to (and continue so) our oppressors making our goals to become one day like them – to lord over our own. Such a contagious and malignant disease was that, that our current crop of leadership is only keen at oppressing. Faces changed, but mantles of oppression were handed down to oppressors from our own. We fell short of the African glory for we assumed the lordship of our tormentors and handed it over to our own. Decolonizing our mind from that mindset will be the onset of restoring Africa to her default settings. Africa will be Africa if it drops that which is not theirs. We are peace, love, and harmony. And there, justice and prosperity are borne.
Of course, we cannot cry for salvation to the one who thrust us into the lion’s den. Our Daniel moments lie within our own. The redemption of our identity is our prerogative. All we need is a people that will decolonize our mind. Mentors who realize that market forces, avarice, corruption, and individualism can never, and should never be allowed to define our societal values. I dream of an Africa that we value humanity – where anything to the contrary will be considered an affront to the inherent human dignity that people possess. The enormity of the Africa welfare cannot be left to the selfish and oppressive social misfits. Servant and selfless leadership leavening our society is the affirmative action that will oversee our restoration.
All I want is an Africa that looks up to people with value – the epitome of humanity. Where humanity is dignified, prosperity will always ensue. The welfare of humanity will give impetus to the Africa I want.
We can rebrand!