One of the issues that I feel deeply about is the issue of Africa, the place that I call home. This is the place that I was born in and will forever wish to be my home.
Africa is not, developmentally and socially where it is supposed to be right now. It is far below its other continental peers in the world.
The Two challenges.
Some of the greatest challenges that we have in Africa are the issues of governance and how we generally treat each other as people. Well, I am no politician. I also don’t think that there is nothing inherently evil by being a politician and I do respect and honour politicians. Being a politician is usually a tough profession. But being an African politician has not been, of late, what it is supposed to be.
Governance in Africa
By bad governance, I mean the general attitude that we have towards power and especially that of public office. How it is so easy for a once-promising leader to quickly become a tyrant as soon as they occupy public office. I am especially concerned with the way that we treat each other. The cruelty of our leaders. How an elected president fails to realise that their irresponsible behaviour and policies in office have so much wide-ranging damage to the lives of the poor majority in a nation.
Why is life so cheap?
Why is life so cheap in Africa? Why don’t we respect each other even at the most basic level? I mean, is being a fellow human being not enough? Africans are killing each other in various African countries, just for political power. Who says that only you can take the country forward? Why is your desire to lead, more powerful than the desire of millions of people just in need a proper super and a roof over their heads?
Not only do we not respect other African lives. In Africa, some of us do not even respect our own lives. From irresponsible drinking and driving to risky sexual behaviour, in Africa, we have it all.
How is it that a father to whom several mouths depend on, will wake up in the morning, go to drink the whole weekend, miss the job on Monday and fail to pay school fees on Tuesday? Am I missing something? Is this being done to us or we are doing it to ourselves? Why do we not respect the lives that depend on us? The lives that we brought to earth, our kids?
How is it that an unmarried mother will continue to have unprotected sex to multiple partners. In this period of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, how is it so normal that one has not two but four kids from multiple partners? She does not know the respective fathers of her lovely babies. The fathers also do not know their respective responsibilities because well, it was just a one night stand. Why are we not afraid of contracting the disease? Why don’t we care that we have kids who can easily be orphaned by our irresponsible sexual escapades?
What Am I saying?
My statements about Africa, do not mean that other Continents are better than us. No by no means. I am sure that they have their own problems. My generalisation of the challenges and problems of Africa is also deliberate. There is no value in preventing ourselves from introspecting. We as a people need to make some changes. Deep personal changes that will result in the general change of the collective.
What are we going to do?
I was startled the other day when I heard my oldest son (then 9 years old) singing Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror. Sing Man in the Mirror at his age? I had to ask where he learnt the song. He explained that they sometimes sing it at their school assembly and I guessed the part of the song that made the school choose the song is;
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Man in the Mirror lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music)
I say to you too; if you want Africa to change, talk to the man (or woman) in the mirror and ask him or her to change. If we change one person at a time, Africa has a chance.
Enjoy the song and Learn below.