Apr 19, 2011

Africa, Go Ahead and Grow the Fuck Up

DISCLAIMER: This is a Rant. Curse words were not deleted!
Today I feel like talking a little bit about Africa. Okay, not a lil bit. A lot bit, with all the shenanigans going on there right now. With the recent upheavals in Egypt, Algerian, Tunisia, Libya, Ivory Coast, Sudan and so on, it seems Africa is the in-thing for news agencies. Not like we ever stopped being that anyways. But recently it just seems like everyone and their fucking mothers suddenly have a fucking opinion about where Africa got it right or wrong. I mean, just a year ago, my own professor had asked me "Africa is right next to Saudi Arabia, right?".I told her in anger, "Ma'am, its a fucking CONTINENT."  I kid you not, in this time and age, the second biggest continent in the world was that much of a mystery to an English professor. So now that everyone is talking about us, that means more people are googling Africa, no? Which means that in the midst of all the fucked up shit they'
re checking out, they're bound to run into one or two positive stuff. Which is good enough for me anyways. Worst kind of publicity is 'none at all' and if it takes Gaddafi to finally make people know where Africa is on the map, maybe thats what the purpose is.
Well, lets leave that for now. My main grouse is the resurgence of this bad mouthing of Western powers. African countries are whining about how 'the West' doesn't involve them in decisions concerning Africa, the West treats them paternally, like children, the West likes telling them what to do, the West is always meddling, the West this, the West that. Bullshit. I know better than most how fucked up the West can get and what they can do to extend their fucked-updom to the entire inhabited world. But shit, mouthing off like they got nothing to do with it is some stupid shit. I just listened to the press release made by the Gambia over the Ivory Coat issue. And several complaints people have about what 'the West' is doing in Libya. True, the West is buttfucking the black shit out of the whole continent. But its not rape, like this countries would like you to believe. No one is tying the continent and plundering her people and resources. Maybe that happened in the past, but now, its straight up whoring. Prostitution. African countries whine about it, but truth is, they willfully present butt for fucking. How, you may ask?
If you want to be treated like an adult by your parents and other adults, do you get that by whining, or do you get it by taking responsibility and doing what it demands of you? So why do African countries wanna be treated seriously and consulted when they won't take action when it is needed, won't come up with viable ideas, won't take the time to even meet even when things are getting all messed up. Check how long it took for AU to make a statement about Ghaddafi. More than a month. And that was their President! Consult my ass.
Then, if African countries want the West to stop meddling into their national affairs, how about they stop collecting money from the fucking West. After complaining about Western influence, neocolonialism, yadda yadda yadda, if any Western country says  "Heres a billion dollars!" the same African countries will trample over themselves to get at the money. Isn't it common sense that anyone spending money deserves to get a return on their investment as well as protect that investment by all means possible? He who pays the piper writes the sound track. Finis. End of fucking story. So if they wanna be taken seriously, they need to quit going for the easy money, and take the time to grow some money of their own. Now, I dont mean humanitarian aid, that often comes from NGOs or agencies that have little political motivations and just want to help needy people. Those ones are necessary, every country needs them, they save lives and make a difference so they shouldnt really be messed with. The ones I mean are all those developmental loans, and government aid, and all the phony money bestowed directly on government. That needs to stop. Since history, there has never been a time when a foreign country pays to develop your own country, unless in doing that they are getting major returns. Let the development in your country be driven by your own economic activity. If you want money, supply a demand. Don't take the easy option the West dangles in your face. That way, you may actually earn something called respect. Dignity is sometimes found in a half filled stomach. Plus, there will be less free money to hyper inflate your economy without increasing people's wages. And there will be less money to steal.
All in all, Im just asking African countries to grow up. Dont expect to be treated like a grown up until you actually grow up. We've grown a little more in the recent years. I like to think we are hitting puberty which means soon, there will be accelerated growth. But please, if Africa is not ready to make the hard choices to wean itself off the Western teats, it shouldnt be mad when the West makes decisions for it. When we are ready to be treated fairly, we won't whine. We will act, and act boldly. The first country to reject a Western government aid becomes the next King of Africa in my books. Rant over. Peace out.

Apr 1, 2011

Vote Or Quench

All our #RSVP, #whataboutus, #enoughisenough, NN24 debates, BON, Save Nigeria Rallies, and other initiatives designed to make sure that the elections this year finally give a semblance of democratic operations to the Nigerian political environment are currently at the crux of their relevance. These are the days when we will find out if our hope for 2011 elections will be fulfilled. Starting from this weekend, people will be trooping out en masse to cast their vote for whichever candidate they are convinced has the vision and competence we need. Nigerians are no longer even looking for the leader that will take us to El Dorado. No, we are slowly but gradually coming to terms with the fact that what we need is that little but consistent baby steps towards more lasting credibility and accountability in government. I hold my breath in expectation anxiously waiting for the results.
I do not delude myself that there isn't anyone who will wake up tomorrow, and decide that what is going on at the polls isn't worth their time: there certainly is. No matter how acute the need for citizens' participation is, there will always be those who do not feel the same urgency for change as we do, or those who feel the same urgency, but have lived with disillusion for so long that one more abstinence from voting, one more turning away of the eyes, one more lack of concern and participation does not count as too much betrayal to them. Some of them have looked at the slew of candidates, and saw no man of promise. Some of them have felt that their participation has not shown any results in the past. All of them are justified in their reasons. But they are not justified in their actions. The most important part of this exercise is not if who you chose wins, or loses. That is certainly a welcome bonus. But coming out to vote is first and foremost and acknowledgement that you too are Nigeria's champion. It is a debt you owe your conscience that you too have not remained silent while this house burns. That you are involved. And no matter what the outcome is, your participation will signal to the horde of thieves that occupy our corridors of power that they are not insulated from your observation, that you are watching keenly, and ready to wield your weapon: choice. All the testimonies riggers have laid have shown that they have rigged more easily when voters refuse to turn out, creating a gap they are more than willing to fill. By affording them this opportunity, you make yourself complicit  in the fraud that has marred our polity and held us back for so long.
Change is in the air in Nigeria, you know it, I know it. But the enemy of change is apathy, and sometimes, we do not have more than one opportunity to take advantage of change. The choice you refuse to wield today may lay the ground for the vile winds of repressive governance to take over the air again. That will be too costly a price to pay for one morning spent doing nothing indoors except what you have always done and will always do. Nigeria's fate depends on the actions of single individuals who come together to do what is right. Because evil men are voted in when the good people refuse to vote. Lets not do the same.Vote or Quench. Thanks.