Beyond Africa’s miseries

African Union Chairman, Robert Mugabe

African Union Chairman, Robert Mugabe

IF there is any spot of human concentration that has experienced utter miseries, deprivations, sorrows, misplaced priorities, sheer wickedness of man on its fellow beings in living memory; it is indeed Africa, the supposed origin of mankind. By its existing historical and widely acknowledged archaeological accounts, Africa had such a beautiful beginning and over the ages it birthed what contemporary modernity regards as Europe, Asia, the Americas, the Oceanics, Caribbeans as a consequence of the great dispersal.

Apart from this, the then Africa was said to be so skilled with the necessary expertise on what to do to meet its immediate needs and…on and on; from these rudiments of survival, the successive trends of human development drew their eclectic foundations. Ever since has Africa been referenced, quite scornfully, as the ancient continent of dark happenings, while in a true sense, it is the world’s centre of gravity, going by seismic calculations and by inference a secured habitat of the future.

On this parlance emerged the different eras of the Stone, Iron, Agrarian Ages leading to the Industrial, Technological, Information Superhighway and now the ‘Instantaneous microwave, i.e., do-it-now’ age. Before the outbreak of the 21st century cum third millennium, the virtues of patience and exhaustive thoroughness were treasured as a sine-qua-non of sort. That era was the so-called manual way of human endeavours as against the now-automated instantaneousness of everything. It is either you belong or not to the ‘reigning now-now siege of modernization.’

It was on this exploratory trend that the adventurous ones among the ‘native-Africans’ went further afield to conquer the world beyond their then borders and due to the glacial effects they encountered in their new place of abode, they were compelled to devise what it took to survive the life-threatened climatic, circumstantial and environmental conditions of the era. As if on a typical war front, every available means of survival was adopted as a legitimate ploy to guarantee their safety and security. By and by, there emerged the various categorisations of the ‘scattered Africans’ into the now so-called Negros, Occidentals and Caucasians.

Sequel to this turn-around-era, many ethnological issues such as skin colour, racial and ethnic affinity, linguistic options cum developmental rudiments were normatively standardised. Accordingly, irrespective of whatsoever anyone or any part of the universe might lay claim to have achieved, an indisputable fact of Africa being a first source of both the animate and inanimate species, can never be denied nor obliterated.

However, one factor that has chained Africa to its bondage of trauma, trials and tribulations till date is this self-inflicted mentality of inferiority complex and for so long has this psychological captivity worn down its efforts and attempts to launch out in to the depth of development. While other regions are engagingly busy on making their society-at-large a better, more secure and meaningfully beneficial place through breathtaking discoveries and researches; Africa, like a heavily induced drunkard, is lying prostrate in annoying inertia and avoidable dislocation.

Having trudged this twisting and tortuous road thus far, a bit of spiritual dosage may suffice. Owing to the several battles and unrelenting intrigues that have assailed it since time immemorial, Africa’s pitiable story can, at a worse scenario, be described as heart-rending. As some often allude, the present blissfully taken-for-granted lifestyle that most of the Western world has been used to was because of their fore-parents’ devoted and prayerful life pattern. Their (i.e. the fore-parents’) ways of life might have been as hopeless and helpless as Africa’s present precarious state of affairs.

However, they were very purposeful in their pursuits to bequeath a guaranteed future for their successive generations. They were resolutely determined not to lose on both sides (their then-unfavourably lost generation and their children’s possible bright future) and, ipso facto, they settled for a secure tomorrow for their children by ‘giving their all resources’ through intense prayers and impeccable character moulding; the result of what the present Western world now enjoys.

On the other extreme is the sad story of the West now going down the moral drain and like a wasted effort on a paradise regrettably lost; an apparently disoriented segment of its population has latched on to the vogue of Godlessness especially with the darkening features of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) confraternity. Apart from foolishly embarking on this destructively indulgent highway of advanced moral decadence, the Western world has aptly resorted to its scientific discoveries and technological wizardries as its reigning god of sort even at a great cost to its spiritual necessity.

On a contrasting note, what bedevils Africa at present can at worse be described as hellish in every sense of sound and meaningful living. Like some cynics often deride, Africa is such a spiritual campsite so full and more of religiosity and less of needed Godliness and watchful righteousness.

With its misses and near-missed opportunities, its indigenes and residents barely exist rather than live an enjoyable and fulfilled lifestyle. From Abuja to Abidjan; Cairo to Cape Town; Maputo to Marrakech; Tripoli to Tamale; the singsong is one and the same: make way for good governance, altruistic and accountable leadership, organic relationship between fellow-feeling leaders and their supportive citizens along a carefully charted route of concerted effort towards a virile, consensual nation-building.

Despite all these prevailing circumstances, perhaps, Africa’s present prayer efforts and evident renewal of nation building are being reserved for its oncoming generations. What is more, with the Western continual spiritual decline, its collapsing and weakening socialisation process. Coupled with this fact of the eastern world still buried in its godless communist belief-ethos as well as that nature’s own guiding rules of abhorring vacuum, maybe, the emerging Africa is being prepared to fill the already existing space and the yawning gap of relevance! Though this scenario-by-postulation sounds so farfetched… nonetheless, has there been anything impossible in the survival-instincts and basic reasoning of Adam’s race?

On a dispassionate critique, can this possibility not be linked with the increasing wave of the Africans now reevangelising the almost-lost soul of the West (i.e. Europe and North America) and the surge of immigrants ‘invading’ the West on what some have ridiculously called: ‘reclaiming what the forefathers of the West have, generations ago, brutally stolen from Africa?’ Put differently: Africans are now in the West because the Europeans/Americans were once in Africa! What a poetic justice.

Upon all these contra-distinctions, how can Africa then free itself from its miserable lot of avoidable suffering/prevailing lack and break off beyond its cyclical tribulations and ceaseless crises? First is the utmost urgency of having in place a new corps of committed, conscientious and competent leaders whose driving force should be total devotion to excellent service delivery in good governance, sound economic management and thorough supervision in other relevant sectors of the society.

Easily identifiable (and absolutely inevitable to be replicated) is the rare species of Gamel Abdel Nasser, Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela who gave their all endowments for a better and secure future for their nation-at-large. Closely knit to this all-important leadership issue is the strategic landmark of clear-cut vision of what is to be done and thereby accomplished, because a leader or nation, no matter how well-intentioned and resourcefully gifted without a road map for its journey is like a sojourner on a merry-go-round-circus show! What obtains is stagnation, retrogression and negative as well as under-development.

As fault-finding and ultra-self minding as the world is today, no region, nation or people can afford to be self-indulgent or seek needless sympathy in any area of human endeavour. In the light of this save-yourself-by-your-own-efforts reality, Africa needs to wake up and be shaken off its age-old, snoring slumber while all the good things of life pass it bye. The ideal time to do the required needful is now or never!

• gokeomolade@hotmail.com

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1 Comment
  • Patrick Van Der Ven

    I really need to post this, I am sorry. Africa ( namely South Africa ) and the west are recognising that we can not discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation, just as we can not discriminate on skin colour though the pictured Mr Mugabe seems to disagree. Homosexuality flourished and was tolerated for over 1,300 years within the Greek culture, and for almost 900 years of Roman culture without causing any ‘downfall’ of civilisation as some people today claim will happen if gay couples are allowed to marry each other, and without God burning all the thousands of cities and towns who practiced it into ash.

    Yet, within a little over 100 years after a few bishops gained political dominance in Rome through the ear of an emperor, the entire civilisation collapsed… not from the barbarians or economic woes, but instead after they had forbade freedom of religion under pain of death, freedom of thought under pain of death, shut down the Olympics, all athletic events, the theatres, the gymnasiums, and schools of learning.

    Knowledge of how to create realistic artwork and sculpture was lost, scientific knowledge and civil engineering withered and died. They basically killed civic culture and classical civilisation. The public libraries were either closed or abandoned since within only 2 generations the majority of the people had lost the ability to read.. after all, you were told the world was going to end at any moment, and that you only needed to know what your bishop or priest told you to believe; you were told that interest in secular subjects was no longer advisable.

    At the time of the sack of Rome in 410 AD there were eleven immense aqueducts feeding 1212 public fountains, 11 imperial ‘thermae’ and 926 public baths. When the Goths finally cut the aqueducts in 537 AD, there were perhaps only 100 fountains still working and there were no civil engineers left in the Western half of the empire capable of even repairing them, so they were left to crumble into time.

    THE DESTRUCTION OF FREE THOUGHT, SECULAR KNOWLEDGE, AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION:

    “In the person whose mind is sound there is no need to learn letters.” -St Anthony

    “It should be enough for you to know that there is a good shepherd who gave his soul for his sheep … How big God is, what His limits are, and of what essence … such questions are dangerous … they shall be taken care of with silence.” – St Basil

    “Let us Christians prefer the simplicity of our faith to the demonstrations of human reason … For to spend much time on research about the essence of things would not serve the edification of the Church.” – St Basil.

    “Other writers of history recorded the fighting of wars waged for the sake of children and country and other possessions. But our narrative of the government of God will record in ineffaceable letters the most peaceful wars waged in behalf of the peace of the soul.”

    -Eusebius of Caesarea (Christian theologian from 260-340)

    “It will sometimes be necessary to use falsehood for the benefit of those who need such a mode of treatment.”

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