May 3, 2011

Cut out the rot!

The thing I admire most about the Arab spring awakening is that the young men and women at the forefront of the demonstrations have realised one critical thing – there is an enemy within. They’re not chanting anti-European or anti-American sentiment as being the sole cause of the malaise, they are asking questions of their own ‘leaders’ and demanding change.

There is no denying the harm done by colonialism in many African nations or the fact that many countries were saddled with enormous debts at the dawn of independence that hindered early progress but for crying out loud how long are we going to use this as a crutch? We’re for the most part at 50 years into self-rule, opportunities have been squandered left and right, and others have been capitalised, but is it too much to ask for our own governments to be answerable for the rot that continues to plague?

Go ahead and denounce the government-to-government aid that fosters dependency and allows our representatives to become complacent in their duties. But don’t forget to look at the enemy within us that breeds laziness – intellectual and physical. How many of us with our expensive education and skills are still unable to think creatively about helping in the development efforts? We would rather collect used shoes and clothes from our church friends and co-workers to send “to those needy children” without looking at ways in which to aggressively tackle the reasons why those children are needy in the first place.

Stop focusing solely on neo-colonialism while tribalism festers like infected wound within you. And above all don’t ever forget that you as an individual have a vested interest in the matters affecting your country like no one else. If you can’t do this then step aside and continue to lick your wounds, while serious people get the job done.  

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