For sometime now, I’ve been thinking about the circumstances of the African continent. Five decades of independence has not caused any major progress in the continent’s quest in becoming a ‘land of milk and honey’. Mention Africa, and the mental picture drawn is one filled with wars, pestilence, corruption and poverty. Did you say it’s a ‘stereotypical label’? I ask you is it a false picture? Is it not a truism that the continent is plagued by all these ‘curses’?
We can blame everybody for what happened to us. We can even go as far as 200 years ago and blame slavery. We can blame colonialism and neo-colonialism. We can also blame western powers and their policies for being the mitigating factor in stalling Africa’s progress towards greatness.
After thinking for a while I’ve concluded that the African, the Black man is the problem. Our sufferings are premised on our own actions or in-actions.
We have developed a sense of entitlement. We don’t want to work hard to cause a change. We are always looking for someone to come to our aid or guide us through a path we already know we must tread.
The African will only act if he is been forced to-either by a whip or a hammer on his head. The African loves to have a master-an abusive one of course in other to work.
America is said to have reached where it is today because she benefited from slave labour shipped mostly from Africa to the ‘New Found Land’. The treatment meted out to the slaves down South was absolutely inhumane and unjust. But I believe the ‘niggers’ won’t have worked like they did if they were left to do what they want to do. The burst their backside because they knew what the repercussions would be if they stay lax. The slave master will not applaud them. Rather, their backs will serve as a board to record their ‘debt’ of laziness.
The whip worked on them. In the end, it brought the best out of them and today America is regarded as a reference point when the discussion on development arises. Slave labour built America but it didn’t come by letting the ‘niggers’ do whatever they wanted to.
In modern times, the politicians only assume a disciplined posture when the IMF, World Bank, Development Partners or the US is on their neck to implement good policies to address their fiscal expenditure and their economy. We are quick to behave like the ‘kid’ who is in the presence of his disciplinarian. That is the only time we behave responsibly and right!
Here in Ghana, the story hasn’t been any different. Our actions/inactions are tied; it appears to the type of government in power. The Ghanaian was all hardworking, passionate and result-oriented during Nkrumah’s time because he saw a leader who employed the carrot and stick type of leadership style.
Speak to people who are old enough to remember the regime of Rawlings and the consensus is unanimous. Despite some of the excesses of his regime, he brought a certain level of discipline in the social fabric of Ghanaians. A military man who won’t shy away from exerting or enforcing discipline in those who go off the tangent ensured that Ghanaians kept looking behind their shoulders before flouting the law.
The exhibition of high-handedness by the soldiers on the general public at least made Ghanaians exhibit a hidden character trait-Responsibility- over a period of 19 years.
Such lax attitudes are not missing in our homes or workplaces where some adults refuse to do what they are paid or expected to unless they are asked to. A few days ago, one of the people I follow on twitter was ranting about the actions of their house-helps. She was threatening to fire them as soon as her mum leaves Ghana; since they refuse to do the chores they have been hired to do. Her mum appears to be the calm, kind hearted woman, and the house-helps are taking advantage to fool around.
Image a country like Ghana still battling with filth and a preventable disease, Cholera just because we have become unconcerned with issues of sanitation. Filth has engulfed us everywhere you turn yet we see nothing wrong about it. We take everything for granted. The city authorities who must enforce the bye-laws on sanitation are sitting idle. They adopt the fire-fighting approach when the case is out of hand. In this century, in a so-called Millennium City, Cholera still kills people!
Until there is an attitudinal change or have a brave ‘master’ who will force people to do what is right devoid of the backlash, Africa shall remain a reference point for what is wrong with people with black skins. The developed world-US, China, France, Malaysia didn’t get to where they are by misbehaving and taking things for granted.
They was an attitudinal change at a point, supervised by a master wielding a whip, ready to leave whip marks at the back of anybody who fell out of line.
That’s what the black man needs to act right.