Opinion

What is the way forward dear Africa?

By Atak Achuil Maker

It is a very clear and well agreed upon reality by every man and woman that from the very beginning, mankind came into existence without any bit of knowledge. That is to say, there were no machine guns, atomic bombs, aero planes, cars, motorized ships, computers, telephones or any kind of what you can call technological achievements. Human beings existed in so innocent manner and limited minded. They knew nothing about politics and politicizing life issues. I could imagine there was no race and colour issues, although races existed. No nationality issues, no boundaries and they lived just to earn only their daily living, protect their selves from their immediate life threats be it wild animals or diseases. Gradually and along the way, mankind began to gain wisdom and knowledge. Some nations in Europe, Asia and Africa learned how to read and write. Then, after then and through reading and writing came the ages of discovering of manufactured goods and services. Then the white race rose first. They were the first to manufacture fire arms and ships. They moved beyond their natural territories, discovered different lands and nations other than theirs. Using their fire arms, they were able to control foreign lands and nations as well as colonizing them.

Well, during the colonial period, they established schools. They taught every nation they colonized the arts of reading and writing. As a result, men and women in the colonized nations learned what the white man knows since they are just using the knowledge gained from formal education and develop it to gain more knowledge, undergo series of sleepless nights in order to discover the essence of it and finally translated it into tangible materials and equipments which they apply in real life situations to solve human problems and ease challenges.

At about mid of the twentieth century, all the colonized nations grew wise enough to tell their colonial masters to leave their lands and territories for them to manage their affairs in full freedom; the whites bend to their genuine demands and gradually withdrew from the colonies so that their inhabitants will operate independently as they demanded.   

Then the world experienced the industrial revolution. It came from Europe, America and Asia. There was nothing from Africa. After it came the communication revolution and which was also made by Europe, America and Asia, while there were nothing from Africa too. There are schools, colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, and America as they are in Europe. The White man hasn’t hidden their books and literature from us. The books they learn from are what we learn as well but they seem not useful to us. African universities have been producing engineers for long now but our petroleum is still being explored, drilled and refined by non-African engineers. Our own engineers have to work under them and receive smaller wages. Yet they can’t learn from them for future practice.  Why? Their answer is that the government couldn’t make it possible for them to become what they should!!  A poor claim. A government wouldn’t stop any from practicing and perfecting your skills.

Our roads and bridge are always constructed by others. Why? They give the same opaque answer. The best buildings we have in Africa are mostly designed by non-African engineers. There is no single African made computer, aero plane, car, train and even a bicycle and the list is so long to jot down here. Here in my mother continent, if you dare use a hotel, a restaurant or a school which is run by white people then you must pay through your nose, because it is deemed the best. Why is it so? It is because we have failed to confidently impose ourselves the way they do. We keep on learning but failing to gain knowledge. Should we gain it at all, we wouldn’t put it in practice.

Hello fellow! Could you tell the world that, ‘’the white man is still colonizing us?’’ A silly utterance which is easy to utter in Africa. The white man is in his land as we are. They have schools, colleges and universities as we do. They are created with two legs, two eyes, and two hands as we are. If you think they always do better than you because they are white, then why can’t you do better than them because you are black? But if their achievements are as a result of self motivation and which is the case, haven’t we ambitions of doing something for humanity? I strongly believe, if the white man does anything to us at all, they do good things and no more. The truth is, ‘’no one could ride your back until you bend down’’ (Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr). Our problem is, when we are still sleeping, they come to ‘’ take what is useful and leave what is useless to them’’ (according to The U.S.A President Donald Trump). We haven’t yet realized that ‘’Africa could feed Europe, Asia, Australia and America’’ (The Russian President Vladimir Putin).

 In Africa, if you are well to do, all your medication and that of your family must be done in the white man’s country. Why? The answer is we have no good doctors and hospitals. How comes? Why is it so? Many of us will say, the government has failed to do the right thing but I believe, a government manages what it people produce.

 At last, COVID-19 has come to let the cat out of the bag.  It has exposed everybody, every nation and every situation. CORONAVIRUS doesn’t apologize or discriminates. It is challenging everybody to be real in the sense that: it dictates to every nation, every city, every town and every village to stay where they are, eat what they produce and manage their problems based on what they have learned and know.

As a result, other continents imposed what they called; (lockdown) and they can feed their people and manage their problem. My Africa as a ‘’Mr. Follow’’ (pale Kuti) also said lockdown but we could not feed our people or manage their problems. If we refuse to lockdown, that is not what the whites said. Oh God! What shall we do? Although, COVID-19 is more fatal in their lands, we are still expecting aid from them, simply because we are sleeping.

As all the world is in (soup), everyone is searching for the way out of it. Now, we can see American, Asian and European professors are busy researching, devising and testing vaccines and remedies for COVID-19 when our African professors are all politicians. Why am I saying this? Until now I have not heard any African university or college testing a vaccine or a treatment. In Madagascar, the herbalists saw the situation remained too dull, so they went traditional and came up with a traditional cure and they were supported by their brave and intelligent president. The west challenged it as unscientific but none of our professors has come out in support or amendment. They were left alone to dance their music. The music of daring be part of the solution. Everyone is always prompt to blame governments for falling short of their tasks. But I strongly believe in the fact that, any kind of government we have in this world be it good or bad, is directly or indirectly guided by scientists, scholars and clergy men. This means, this section of every society is the guiding torch and the path finders. 

In Africa, because we go to schools, colleges and universities to acquire certificates and degrees merely for prestige and big names and titles, even our pupils and students fell discouraged from hunting for knowledge for the fact of government posts scarcity. It is very hard to find an Africa youngster dreaming of inventions, innovations or manufacturing equipments because it will come from Europe, Asia or America as usual. Ours is to have high degrees and learn how to speak difficult terminologies from the bottom of the best white man’s dictionaries to win political debates and no more or less.

Even though, Africa is the origin of the oldest civilization (Egypt) and has the oldest university in the world (Timbuktu- Mali). We are now living as orphans. Waiting for food aid, medicine, advice, counseling etc. These questions keep on ringing in my mind;

-For CORONA: What is the best preventive method in African context? Is it lockdown, lock up, lock off, lock in, lock about or even lock free?

– What is the way forward dear Africans?

– How long is this slumber going to last?

We shall discuss more in the next article.

The writer can be reached on: atakagel@gmail.com or

+211925653573/+211916576402

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