Wednesday, December 10, 2008

VIP: Vagabonds in Power

VIP: Vagabonds in Power

“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people. Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.” Barack Obama

If you are not hopping mad, you ought to be. News that some smart Alecks have, once again, taken Oma Ghana for a sweet ride is making the global news, making our dear land the laughing stock of the entire civilized world.

This is what happened: With all pomp and aplomb, our over-compensated government officials came out to tell us that by some dint of hard work, shrewd negotiation and sheer brilliance they have succeeded in offloading 70% of Ghana’s share in the VALCO Company and, in the process, made a hefty profit for the treasury. The Cynics among us immediately went to town dismissing the deal, while most of us adopt a ‘wait and see’ outlook.

Our well-paid officials stepped out of their 4-wheels to beat their chests and came out with all the trumpets blaring. They were all over the place huffing and puffing. The VALCO deal was the best ever for the nation, and it was executed with luminous brilliance whose dazzling light we shall all come to admire in no time at all. Alas, it was all a lie and a stupid one for that matter!

The empty boasts of the SOBs (kindly excuse my gutter language here) was to be rudely punctured few days later when news from Press Agencies started filtering in that it was all a sweet scam. Call it 419, if you like and you will be right on mark. 419 is the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with fraud and fraudulent offences. It is now identified with cyber and other Ponzi scams.

A report on CiTi FM confirmed the fear many of us harboured: Ghana has, once again, been made to look trashy and very ridiculous. No, this was not the first time some unconscionable con artists have taken us for a collective fool and our nation for a sweet ride. Do you remember the multi-billion IFC loan fiasco when our cheapo-cheapo politicians, with their begging mentality, dragged the nation into contracting a loan from a non-existing company? As then, our parliamentarians totally abdicated their constitutional responsibilities of oversight. If I understood it correctly eighteen (18) members of our 230-members Parliament approved the VALCO scam (what else to call it?)

That some of these parliamentarians still parade our streets as ‘honourables’ reveals the depth to which the morals of our society have sunk. That some of them could even attempt to rationalize away their utter stupidity shows the contempt they have for the rest of us. But there they were on the ether, doing mental gymnastics, in order, to justifiable the unpardonable.

I certainly hope that I am not the only one affronted by this gigantic slap in our faces. What exactly is wrong with us in Africa when people go into public service not to render any service but to gain access to our national patrimony? The pictures of Africans continue to adorn NGOs pamphlets on hunger, diseases and starvation, yet those that charge themselves with mis-ruling us continue to loot the paltry sums in our treasury! I refused to buy the argument that our corruption has to do with our level of poverty. Perhaps it is the other way around: our level of poverty is engendered by (in part) by the endemic, systemic and institutionalized corruption that has become a culture in our land. Corruption is seen in our society as just a way of life! Yet, like Ostriches we bury our heads in sand and hear no evil, and see no evil.

For crying out loud, we pay these people very good money and we do not ask them for the impossible. We honestly do not even ask for much in return from our so-called honourables. Anyone who has visited the Parliament and see our ‘honourables’ at work will know that they are not among the most hard-working Ghanaians. Our MPs cannot win a trophy for slaving for this country. Attired in their best Saville-Row suits, they speak GRAMMAR for two to three hours a day, the rest of the day they could abuse in chasing their part-time girl-friends around Accra and environs. And for that, they receive not only very decent salaries, but also good emoluments. And they take a car loan from the state, a 4-wheel drive jeep to boot.

And yet they cannot even perform the most rudimentary of checks on a wayward Executive! It is inexcusable that in this age and time, our Parliamentarians find it difficult to look things up, do a little research which, thanks to Google, is within anyone’s reach. And by their folly they exposed our dear land to global opprobrium! And yet, they’re expecting us to be gyrating with gratitude. Give me a decent break, please!

It would have taken any serious member of our parliament less than a quarter of an hour on the internet to check on the status of the Norwegian and Brazilian companies to which one of nation’s most strategic assets is being sold. Alas, the lazybones we have for parliamentarians were too busy enjoying the good things of life to bother with such chores. And this shameless bunch of otiose elite will have no compunction whatever to collect their salaries at the end of the month. They will feel absolutely no shame to show their faces in the House. And they will think nothing of going on air or appearing on our television to come and insult us with their stupid defenses!
This brings us to what you and I are doing about the sad state of affairs in our land! The limit of tyrants, Frederick Douglass warned, are prescribed by those whom they oppress. And Professor Wole Soyinka opined that: “The man died in the man who keeps silent in the face of tyranny.”

And for those who do not know it, our constitution makes it our duty to safeguard our nation’s integrity when it states that It is the duty of every citizen to: “promote the prestige and good name of Ghana and respect the symbols of the nation.” Directive Principles of state Policy, Articles 34-41, Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992.)

The destiny of this nation is the responsibility of each and every one of us. Sadly, most of us do not even care enough to be apathetic! Most of us believe that it is the responsibility of someone else to chronicle the ills we all see around us. Most of us are so lethargic that our rulers feel that they could do anything and get away with it. They have more fear of their desert gods in the sky than they have for those that elected them.

In years gone by we could count on out students to vibrate with positive anger at governmental shenanigans. Today our students are too bust jiving that they no longer possess a social conscience. And sadly it is onto their shoulders the nation’s affairs will be entrusted in few years to come. Our trade Unionists are certainly no longer up to par. There used to be a time when the representatives of our nation’s workers take their role as societal watchdog very seriously. Not even under the military have our trade unionists appear more comatose.

The Press has also abdicated their responsibilities. We have to ask what our media practitioners were doing when our nation was made to feel so ridiculous. The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) owe us an explanation why none of the fine men and women plying their trade as journalists in this blessed country fail to notice that our nation is appending her sovereign signature to a fraudulent contract. It took releases from the World Press Agencies before our Journalists woke up from their slumber.

To those who clamor for the repel of the Law of causing financial loss the state, I say wait a sec. My heart bleeds for Uncle Tsatsu , but I do not think that he should be the last to suffer (unduly in his case).This VALCO deal must be forensically scrutinized and those who put our nation to such global shame should be made to face the severest sanction of the law. And for President Kufuor who proclaimed a regime with zero tolerance for corruption, I say he must use the last days of his administration to help get to the bottom of this rotten deal. It is one deal too rotten to be allowed to fizzle out.

May I suggest that we borrow a leaf from our Anago cousins? On assuming power, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was so alarmed by the level of corruption in Nigeria that he set up the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). Corruption has not been banished from Nigeria but the EFCC has ensured state officials do not have the same impunity they used to enjoy in the past. I think that in Addition to CHIRAJ, we can sue a body like the EFCC in Ghana where today men and women, with no visible source of income, are tooling around town in designer cars with personalized number plates.

Obama: Will racism stop him?

Barack Obama: Would Racism Stop him?

In exactly a week, Americans will go to the polls to elect their 44th President who, without argument, holds the most powerful position on earth.

The USA, effectively, operates a two-party democracy: The Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The country gives a good example of Karl Marx vivid observation that the government is the Executive Board of the ruling elite. The two parties diverge only in presentation and not on substance. There is absolutely no ideological difference as both parties still believe in the American Empire. And both parties still present to the American people the good image of a democracy at work thereby masking the role of the moneyed elite who are the true rulers of America. The rhetorical clashes between the Republicans and the Democrats centers only on how to maintain American hegemonic role in the world.

However, this year’s election offers an intriguingly potent new dimension: the emergence of a black candidate as a serious contender for the Presidency of the United States of America! For those not well educated in the role Race has played and continue to play in ‘God Own country,’ the emergence of Kenyan-fathered Barack Obama is truly revolutionary. Little wonder than many elderly blacks still think that they are in some dream world. They experienced slavery; all the injustices of segregations, Jim crows and all and the very idea that one of their own today aspire to the highest office in the land still seems to them like a fairy tale.

Consider this: When in 1961 Barack Obama cried his way into this world, many states of the American Union were still very rigidly (and legally) segregated – meaning that white do not mixed with blacks. There were separate facilities for both black and white. Like the apartheid that so thoroughly blighted South Africa, white people in the USA were legally protected for discriminating against black people. Black in many Southern states were barred from entering or eating at restaurants; using public libraries, swimming pools and other facilities. Many black performers could play at big hotels but have to eat at the hotel kitchen since they were not allowed to enter the restaurants. And of course, after their performances they have to hustle back to their black ghettoes since they were disbarred from sleeping in the hotels.

The classic case of the greatest athlete of all time, Mohammed Ali, is very illustrating. After winning the Olympic boxing gold medal, the ‘Lip of Louisiana’ went back expecting a hero welcome in his home state. Ali was, however, to be sorely disappointed as a white waiter cheekily told him that: “We don’t serve Niggers.” Never one to be verbally outpunched, Mohammed Ali retorted: “I don’t eat them either.” In disgust, Ali threw his medal into a river. (I highly recommend Richard Wright’s ‘Black Boy,’ to those who want to know more about the traumatic experiences of black people growing up in segregated America).

Race was and is still a very potent force in America, especially in its politics. Although American corporate media only show you black people in relation to crime, the fact is that American blacks have made their mark in every field of human endeavour where they have been allowed to participate fairly and freely. Almost all the cultures America transmits to the world have been created by black artistes. Can you think of an American music gender apart from Country Music that was not created by Black people?

Which makes racism all the more so stupid and so utterly incomprehensible! The White racists* believe that they are inherently superior to other people. They spend so much money, time and energy accumulating and proclaiming ‘evidences’ of their supposed superiority, yet they are unwilling to put it to a test in a free and fair contest. This is the big paradox of racism: unwillingness of its adherents to test its creed. The question is: if white people genuinely believe in their innate superiority, why do they require so much governmental protection? Why do they spend so much money, time and energy proclaiming it? As Professor Wole Soyinka distinctively puts it: “A Tiger does not need to proclaim its Tigritude.” If I believe that I am so hot, the simple and easy way to prove it is to engage in a free and fair contest. Not so with the racists: With an acute inferiority complex, they need to convince themselves that they are the superior beings.

The white racists believe that black people are of inferior nature (as Thomas Jefferson opined), yet they passed legislation barring the supposedly inferior people from receiving any education and from competing for decent jobs. During slavery Black people were barred from reading anything but the Bible. The white racists in both the USA and South Africa spent huge amount of money to give good education to white children while consigning black children to over-crowded and poorly-funded institutes, and they then turn around to wonder why black children are performing very poorly academically. As Herbert Aptheker wondered: “You cut a man’s tongue and you ask why he is dumb.” Many Southern states simply disallowed black students from receiving education higher than High School. In 1963, it required the intervention of Federal troops before the University of Mississippi would allow a black student.

And shall we mention lynching, albeit briefly? The word was derived from a Virginian Justice of Peace who believed in extrajudicial punishment, Charles Lynch. In many states in the south white mobs simply organized vigilante groups to hunt down and kill black people for any number of reasons or offenses without any process of law. Looking at a white woman (even a white prostitute) is a death sentence for a black male. The vigilantes kill their victims with the knowledge that they will get away with it always; the police simply look the other way. The Ku Klux Klan extensively used lynching to intimidate freed blacks who were voting and assuming political power in many parts of the South. The favorite method of killing was hanging. Tying their victims to the back of a truck and driving him on rough roads is another favorite method to dispatch black male. And please do not think that lynching was a thing of the past: a young black man was recently killed by a gang of white youth who tied to the back of their truck and dragged him until he died.

What is baffling is that the white racists do not deny their unprovoked and undeserved violence against black people, but they ask why black people should continue to pine about it? As any human being who experienced violence suffers a trauma, we have to ask if the racists think that we are outside of human psychology.
This was the environment from which Barack Obama grew and it was from this experience that he grew to triumph over all obstacles and prejudices in order to arrive at a summit in which no black person has ever climbed. This is a no mean achievement. Many blacks were not able to rise above their traumas; they succumb to exist as good-for-nothing drunk - living proof of the racists’ arguments that the victims of their crimes are inferior. Barack Obama did not succumb, thank goodness. He refused to let the appalling conditions of his environment get him down. He went to one of America’s best universities where he was so well regarded that he became the editor of his school law review. Today, just as we offer Nelson Mandela to the world as a MORAL GIANT, we offer Barack Obama as a POLITICAL GIANT. In a world populated by political and intellectual Lilliputians, Obama stands as an eloquent testimony that the human being offers infinite possibilities.

In Europe I tried to tell the racists that Black people do not ask for the moon: we do not even ask for anything extra at all. All we want is a level playing field where each and every human person would compete to the best of his or her knowledge and abilities. We do not believe that we are superior but we do not accept that we are inferior. Why this is difficult for the supposedly superior people to accept is difficult to understand.

Any dispassionate observer who watched the debates between Barack Obama and John Mccain cannot but see that the difference is crystal clear – he was simply too vastly superior to his rival. Urbane, sophisticated, educated, articulate and with a film star good looks, Obama represents the best face any nation can present to the world. He very confidently trounced his rival without humiliating him. He was so good that only the colour on his skin can stop him from becoming the 44th President of the US of A!

In every department Obama is the better candidate: He is young and fit; his rival is a ponderous old man. He is untainted by a scandal; McCain was sanctioned for accepting a bribe. His morality remains unquestioned; his rival has the integrity of a hyena. Obama boasts a solid filial fidelity; let’s not talk about McCain’s filial monkeyshines. His rival’s party records in office stinks – unending wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Syria. His rival’s party bad mismanagement of the economy has resulted in a crashed stock market and a collapsed mortgage sector.

Were he white Obama’s electoral victory would have be a foregone conclusion, but this is the United States of America where the colour black is still considered a stigma. Many who could not fathom a black President keep touting McCain supposed experience – they always fail to mention that McCain’s running (heartbeat away from the presidency) is a dumb blonde. Governor Palin’s dumbness makes my child looks like an Astrophysicist. Talking about experience, Mevrouw Palin believe that her state’s sharing a border with Russia is enough foreign policy experience!

As Time Magazine recently wrote of him: “Barack Obama has prospered in this presidential campaign because of the steadiness of his temperament and the judicious quality of his decision-making. They are his best-known qualities. The most important decision he has made — the selection of a running mate — was done carefully, with an exhaustive attention to detail and contemplation of all the possible angles. Two months later, as John McCain's peremptory selection of Governor Sarah Palin has come to seem a liability, it could be argued that Obama's quiet selection of Joe Biden defined the public's choice in the general-election campaign.”

Brother Barack Obama, I salute the audacity of your courage. Whatever happens in this year’s election, your place in history is assured.

*Racism is all about power and domination. There are many Africans and Asians who are racially prejudiced, but no Asian or African has the power to racially oppress another group at the global level. Nowhere on earth do Asians and Africans go around killing people because they are WHITE. For a better treatment of this important subject, I recommend ‘Black Power,’ by Stokely Carmichael, aka Kwame Ture.

The Old Man and the Medal

The Old Man and the Medal*

(for this piece, I am borrowing the title of a book by the great Cameroonian writer, Ferdinand Oyono. I very highly recommend it.)

What type of mental frame are African leaders in when they go to collect their useless awards from Western leaders? A leader from the West would not be unduly impressed by an award from an African leader. Why then do our leaders still feel giddy with excitement when the Imperialists throw a medal at them? Are these leaders so bereft of historical knowledge to know that it was with such gimmicks that the imperialists bamboozled our ignorant chiefs into getting into unholy alliances with them?

Read up your history and study how the wily Europeans wrote ‘treaties’ in their own languages and confused our unlettered chiefs into signing away large swathe of their lands. How else do you think that the Perfidious Albion got hold of such large tracts of African land? No, they didn’t carry it on their back from Europe. They stole it, pure and simple. And they used the crudest tricks in their bags of tricks: bribery and corruption. For a measly mirror and bottle of gin, our Chiefs ignorantly believed in the friendship of the perfidious European. By the time our ignorant Chief finished his bottle of gin and had enough satisfaction studying his image in the mirror, the wily European has already run ahead with the ball.

The fawning media was full of the news that the Queen of Holland has invited President Kufuor to come and spend three days in the low lands and also to address the Dutch bi-camera parliament! What exactly is wrong with African leaders? For those who do not it, the present Dutch government headed by Jan Balkelende is among the most xenophobic and rabidly racist in Europe. What President Kufuor should have done was simply to invite some of the Ghanaian long resident in Holland to come and brief him on their plight in that accursed land.

Balkelende has made it his mission to whiten Holland as far and fast as possible. It was under his leadership that Holland became hellish for Non-European (read White) immigrants. It was under Balkelende’s premiership that the whole Somali community emigrated en-mass to the UK. It was under his stewardship that non-European visitors to Holland must learn the Dutch language in their own country and at their own expense before being granted visa. African immigrants who wish to marry a Dutch citizen must now go back to their own country of origin in order to tie the nuptial tie.

As I wrote recently in the London-based New African magazine, no one with a working knowledge of history ought to be surprised by the current attitude of the Dutch – they were simply following the footsteps of their wretched forebears. The Dutch were the worst slavers during the trans-Atlantic slavery. Their cruelty was so great that it drew the condemnation of even the Spaniards - no one can accuse the Spaniards of being squeamish when it comes to maltreating their own slaves. It must also be remembered that the bastards the Dutch sired on our continent (the Boers in South Africa) were the worst colonialists and also the worst racists in Africa.

I doubt very much if they teach authentic African history at Oxford where President Kufuor had his university education so, maybe we can pardon his ignorance. I also have my doubt whether the motley ass-licking, sycophantic quangoes who are busy singing his praises read much either. If they do they would have heard of the book, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” by the late celebrated Caribbean scholar, Walter Rodney. In my humble opinion, that book should be a compulsory read at all our tertiary institutions.

If they know their history, our badly-educated elite who are today singing the praises of the Albinos and today feel themselves elevated by useless medals Western leaders are putting on their necks will know how much the West contributed to the sorry state Africa is in today. No, I am not excusing the Arabs, but the crimes of Europe are simply just too vast and too horrendous that there simply exist no basis for comparison with any other calamity that has befallen our dear motherland.

Dapper was a Dutch visitor to the ancient Benin kingdom. He wrote prodigious notes where he compared Benin City with the city of Amsterdam. The Europeans came and destroyed the kingdom They sacked and burned the city, looted the palace and treasury (the stolen wealth are still at the British Museum) and their historians came, met the shell of a city and start writing about their savage Africans incapable of thoughts beyond food and sex.

The Dutch came and raped so many women that many of our fine citizens still bear the names of the amoral men who fathered children they do not give a hoot about. Today our President is going to Holland where he, undoubtedly, will sing the praises of the duplicitous Dutch. He will thank them for all the ‘help’ they are rendering to us. He will wine and dine with Queen Beatrix who, has a leading member of the Bilderberg group, is among the shapers of obnoxious Western policies that are devastating our continent and mother earth.

President Kufuor did not know his history and he apparently hasn’t taken the time to read up on it. The Dutch have played a critical and, very often, leading role in the Western Man’s despoliation of the Non-White people. It was in Holland that the Catholic Council of Elders met in the year 1457 to sanction the enslavement of Africans as chattel property. Holland was also the last of the slave nations to abolish slavery.

Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck was the man that made South Africa safe for Dutch colonialists. He was a Dutch from the town of Culemborg. Another Dutch whom we should not forget in haste is Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd. Verwoerd was the primary architect of apartheid and was its greatest theoretician. He was a native Dutch before he migrated to South Africa to help in establishing the racial system that so thoroughly blighted the face of that beautiful country. And let it not be forgotten that the Dutch Reformed Church played a pivotal role in sustaining the odious apartheid system until the last dying years. It says so much about the Dutch that their colonial possession in African was the most virulently racist and was also the last to decolonized.

Let’s examine some of the things we can glean from the atrocious past of the Dutch history:

"The Dutch share in the slave-trade was large: in fact, in the seventeenth century, it was the largest. The Dutch West India Company had various settlements on the African coast, and millions of slaves were ferried from there, especially during the time of Dutch occupation of Brazil. In the twelve years (1637-48) they transported no less than 23,163 slaves from Elmina and Loanda, for an amount of 6, 714, 423 guilders and 60 cents, (the Dutch were very precise!) They bought slaves from the Congo for 40 to 50 guilders and sold them in Brazil for 200 to 800 guilders. Certainly a worthwhile business." (J.W. Schulte Nordholt, 'The People that Walk in Darkness'. Ballantine Books, New York. p.10).

Below is how the above-quoted author described the scene from a slave-trade:
“I stopped the carriage at the water-side, to behold a group of human beings, who had strongly attracted my attention... They were a drove of newly imported Negroes, men and women, with a few children, who were just landed from on board a Guinea ship that lay at anchor in the roads, to be sold for slaves. The whole party was such a set of scarcely animated automatons, such a resurrection of skin and bones, as forcibly reminded me of the last trumpet. These objects appeared at that moment to be risen from the grave, or escaped from Surgeons' Hall; and I confess I can give no better description of them, than by comparing them to a walking skeletons covered with a piece of tanned leather.” (J.W. Schulte Nordholt, op. cit. p.8).

That the Dutch were the most brutal of the slave-raiders is attested by the fact
that: "The Dutch had established themselves in Berbice in 1624. During the years 1624 to 1763 they were the cruelest of slave masters. The Dutch slave code was much harsher than the Spanish code (the savagery of the Dutch code is shown by one provision of calculated cruelty: the burning alive of mutinous slaves over a slow fire). The Dutch had no institution comparable to the Spanish audiencia, a tribunal which included four judges. The ruthlessness of the Dutch created the situation that came to a climax in the Berbice slave rebellion." ( 'Marcus Garvey and the vision of Africa,' edited by John Henrik Clarke. Vintage Books, New York. p.19).

And Walter Rodney informed us, "Central and South America gold and silver - mined by Africans - played a crucial role in meeting the need of coin in the expanding capitalist money economy of Western Europe, while African gold was also significant in that respect. AFRICAN GOLD helped the Portuguese to finance further navigation around the Cape of Good Hope and also into Asia ever since the 15th century. AFRICAN GOLD was also the main source for the mintage of Dutch gold coin in the 17th century; HELPING AMSTERDAM TO BECOME THE FINANCIAL CAPITAL OF EUROPE IN THAT PERIOD." (Walter Rodney, ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.’ Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications, London 1972. p.94) - caps are for emphasis.

A few months before the capitalists’ world spectacularly collapsed on them, I read the new book by the ex-Chief Economist of the World Bank, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, “Globalization and its Discontents,” in which he roundly vilified the IMF whose policies he termed ‘bad economics.’ Professor Stiglitz was a believer until he had his epiphany along the way and became the IMF and the World Bank worst critic. I doubt very much if President Kuffuor ever read Professor’s Stiglitz book. I have my doubt if African leaders (save ex South African president Thabo Mbeki) read much

Fifty years of our so-called independence, our leaders still shamelessly junket around the world with begging bowl when there is so much we can do to help ourselves and protect our sovereign dignity. Let me give one specific example: Ghana and her neighbor, Cote D’Ivoire together produce more than half of the world’s cocoa. Nothing on earth, save tunnel vision, stops the leaders of the two countries from forming a Cocoa cartel to set the prices of cocoa just like OPEC is doing. Ghana can easily earn more from her cocoa produce than all the ‘aid’ our leaders are shamelessly soliciting all over the world.

Someone close to president Kuffuor should advice him to get and read Herbert Aptheker’s classic, ‘Laureates of Imperialism.’

PS: According to reports in the Dutch media, the HIGHLIGHT of President Kufuor’s visit was his coming late to a state occasion to lay a wreath in Amsterdam. According to Amsterdam AT5 Television station, our beloved President kept his hosts, including the Dutch Prime Minister and the Mayor of Amsterdam, waiting for good one hour. The Dutch tired of waiting for the African leader in the cold truncated the ceremony to a three minutes affair!

The Three Puppeteers

The Three Puppeteers

“As Zimbabwe descends into anarchy and chaos, land is irrationally seized from productive farmers, we are told. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is portrayed as a dictator bent on driving his nation into starvation and economic disaster while benevolent U.S. and British leaders call for democracy and human rights. These are the images presented by Western news reports, intended to persuade the public to support an interventionist policy. As always when the West targets a foreign leader for removal, news reports ignore complexity and context, while the real motivations for intervention remain hidden. Concern for democracy and human rights is selective and it is always the nation that displays too much independence that evokes concern, even in cases of a functioning multiparty system and wide ranging media. On the other hand, no one calls for democracy and human rights in oppressive nations as long as the political environment is conducive to Western investment. Saudi Arabia, for example, holds no elections and imposes an abusive oppression on the lives of its women. The pattern is consistent. Any nation that embarks on a path diverging from Western corporate interests and places the needs of its people over the demands of Western capital finds itself the target of destabilization, sanctions and intervention. History and context are essential for understanding political events, and it is precisely these aspects that are lacking in Western news reports.” - Gregory Elich, ‘Zimbabwe under Siege,’ -

“Behind the simple and humane façade, Carter has a strategy to reverse progressive regimes and undermine insurgent democrats. Carter and his "team" from his Center probe and locate weaknesses among insecure democrats, particularly those under threat by US-backed opponents and thus vulnerable to Carter's appeals to be "pragmatic" and "realistic"--meaning his barely disguised arguments to accept fraudulent electoral results and gross US electoral intervention. Carter is a quiet master in mixing democratic rhetoric with manipulation of susceptible democrats who think he shares their democratic politics. The international mass media feature his self-promoted overseas trips to conflictual countries and above all his phony "human rights" record. The mass media provide Carter with the appearance of democratic credentials.” James Petras, “The Truth about Jimmy Carter.”

“To attempt to grasp the Zimbabwean predicament without falling for, or being naïvely suckered by, the well orchestrated and demonizing propaganda of the rapacious western interests -- those predators who roam the globe to enrich themselves and their cronies and supply our guzzling economies with the goodies that fatten us and end up wasted in overflowing landfills -- one must not ignore history, particularly that of colonialism and the subsequent but rarely fully implemented decolonization; the savagery of the former and the messy and painful process of the latter.” - Gilles d'Aymery , “The Anti-Mugabe Brigade.”

According to the BBC and the other Western corporate media, the tyrant of Harare, Robert Mugabe, decided to humiliate ‘so-called’ Elders comprising Former US President Jimmy Carter, former UN Boss Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela’s wife, Gracia Mandela, who also happened to be the wife of Mozambican charismatic liberation war hero, Samora Marcel.

According to these reports the trio was trying to find solutions to the so-called humanitarian crises in authoritarian and despotic Zimbabwe. Unless I am missing something deep, I have to agree with the Zimbabwean authority’s refusal to allow them in. The so-called elders are either out rightly stupid or they are outright liars or both. They are surely motivated by ulterior motives that have nothing to do with seeking truth and justice and absolutely nothing to do with humanitarian concerns. Perhaps they are there to promote the ill-disguised Western policy of regime change.

African mores frowned on speaking ill of the dead, but some truth need to be told. Before her death I was asked what I thought of Lady Diana’s so-called humanitarian efforts. My reply was that she’s only earning her pay by promoting western views and ideas. Diana did nothing but lent her face to the charade of an altruistic and humanitarian West. She was the façade the West threw in our faces to mask her (West) unbridled greed and violence against the non-Western world. Diana knew where the bombs, the guns, the helicopters and the mines that were killing and maiming lives were made. Why didn’t she go to any of these factories and convince the manufacturers to turn their swords into plowshare? No, she didn’t. All that we saw were her pancacked face with a mechanical smile pasted on going around hospitals in her so-called humanitarian’s trips. She smiled and shook hands with victims of Western-sponsored aggressions and for this they say we should dance with joy. Many were Africans who shed copious tears at her death; yet the millions of victims of Western aggression will not stir them to tears! What a hypocritical world we live in!
I have always asked why US Presidents discover humanity only after they have left office. While in office American Presidents wield awesome powers which they have used to support tyrants, manufacture proxy wars in order to maintain Western Capital stranglehold on the world. No American leader supported any of African wars of independence\liberation. They, without exception, took sides with all the enemies of Africa. Today, we have Jimmy Carter being promoted as Apostle of Peace and in Southern Africa for that matter. And in Zimbabwe of all places!

For those who did not know it, Jimmy Carter’s Presidency (1977-1981) spanned the crucial period of Zimbabwean and Southern African liberation wars. Jimmy Carter pursued the same arrogant, imperial, anti-African and anti-human foreign policies of US and Western governments. It is a policy that it dedicated to the glorification and consolidation of international capital. In the Southern Africa region, American and West European finance helped to sustain the odious settler-regimes in Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa. America and her allies abused their UN veto powers to protect the colonial regimes in Africa. The phony proxy wars the West claimed to have fought against communism ensured that Angolans, Congolese, Somalis and Mozambicans continue to live wretched lives until today. The argument then was that the stiff-necked Boers and Rhodesians were the bulwark against communism.

Jimmy Carter and his team rigidly sided with the oppressors and the killers of Africans. None of the liberation movements enjoy the support any US government, Jimmy carter’s included. The West allowed the Boers to acquire its (West’s) war-making technologies, so much so that the Boers built and tested nuclear bombs with the West looking the other way. Revelations in post-apartheid inquiries revealed that the Boers extensively used biological and chemical weapons against its enemies, again with the West looking unconcerned. In their book,’ Fighting for apartheid, a job for life,’ the authors revealed how Western nations allowed their nationals to obtain South African citizenship which obliged them to serve in the apartheid war machines that were killing Africans all over the place.

Today, Jimmy Carter, the wretched hypocrite with his phony smiles and phonier humanitarian credentials, is travelling around the world as Apostle of Peace. I won’t be surprised if in few years the Dubya, the BUSHman himself goes around the world as a UN envoy on Peace and Humanitarian affairs!

It is difficult for me to think of Kofi Annan without remembering Malcolm X phrase about the House Nigger. Everything about Kofi Annan typifies the concept of a House Nigger – always eager to please the Master. Everything about Mr. Annan stank of rank Uncle Tomism – Uncle Tom was the character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ who is ever solicitous to white people. The House Nigger takes the welfare of the Master more seriously than the Master himself. Whenever the Master sneezes the House Nigger catches cold. Just everything about Kofi Annan is loathsome.

At least it is on record that Egyptian Boutros Boutros Ghali declined to surrender his principles to satisfy the West’s desires for control of the UN. Mr. Ghali refused to become a puppet on the string of Western manipulations, hence his failure to secure a second term as UN Secretary General. Not so, our Mr. Annan. The man will dance to any tune as long as he gets a bone thrown at him. Here was a man whose love of office made him refused to leave office even when Bush and co made his position untenable. Bush and co declared the UN irrelevant and went ahead to wage an unsanctioned war of aggression against a member of the UN; yet Mr. Annan lacked the elementary dignity to refused to occupy a sham office. And we ought not to forget the role our Mr. Annan played in the death of (estimate ranges from eight hundred to one million) Rwandans. Mr. Annan was at the head of impotent UN Peace-keeping Forces that refused to protect Africans at their hours of direst needs. Any man with an iota of self-respect would have buried his head in shame at that monumental failure and resign in disgrace. Not so, our Mr. Annan. He somehow wormed his ways into the pinnacle of the UN where he did his best to become the West’s YESMAN. And we shouldn’t forget the cloud of scandal that hung over his head at the UN.

The so-called ‘Elders’ do not look stupid to me and I bet that they have the resources at their disposal to arrive at the truth if they so desire. Before the cruel sanction the West imposed on it, Zimbabwe was able to feed, cloth, house and educate its citizens. Zimbabweans were adjudged the best educated Africans in pre-sanctions days. The country ranked among the cleanest with the most disciplined civil service. Zimbabwe was the cynosure of the region. Just like Pre-sanction Iraq was the most developed in the Middle East, so was Zimbabwe in the Southern Africa region, save for South Africa.

Years after the so-called smart sanctions the West imposed on its erstwhile client, Saddam Hussein, Iraq was reduced to a country on its knees with Iraqis reduced to scavenging for food like vermin, and with millions of Iraqi children dying from hunger and starvation and diseases. Our Mr. Annan was the head of an organization under whose purview millions of Iraqis were sentenced to untimely death. And it is the same man with absolutely no shame that today goes around the world purporting to be engaged in some humanitarian enterprise! Give me more than a break, please!
These three so-called elders must have some influence in the capitals where the punishing sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe. Why don’t they go there to make and plead that the inhuman and illegal sanctions are killing and destroying innocent Zimbabweans and should be lifted? Why do they have to go the victims of these heinous crimes and pretend to be concerned? Mugabe might be part of the problem, but he is not the whole problem. He was able to feed his people and give them good health before sanctions were imposed. Carter, Annan and Mrs. Mandela cannot run away from this simple truth. They should tell us what crimes Zimbabwe committed apart from trying to right an historical injustice of land theft.

If the trio are genuinely interested in the plight of Zimbabweans, let Mr. Carter, Mr. Annan and Mrs. Mandela take their case to Washington, London and Brussels and persuade those vampires that imposed the illegal, undeserved and inhuman sanctions to lift them. Let them persuade the puppet masters in those capitals to desist from their evil path and get it into their skulls that Africa is tired of being manipulated. They should stop attempting to decide who our leaders and heroes should be.

The argument here is not whether or not President Robert Mugabe has outlived his usefulness to his people, the point is that the West, through it media, should stop throwing dust us into our faces. We have had enough of Westerners masking their selfish interests in humanitarian halo. And we Africans are matured enough to choose our heroes and, please, Mr. Annan is singularly and signally unqualified to be an African hero.

Nuff said!

Quotable quotes:
"Robert Mugabe is portrayed as the prince of darkness, but when whites expel black people from their lands, nobody gives a damn." And when non-white people are dispossessed, "[t]hese are dark-skinned people being expelled by whites, rather than whites being expelled by black people. They are, as such, assuming their rightful place, as invisible obstacles to the rich world's projects. Mugabe is a monster because he has usurped the natural order." And so, "[t]he most evil man on earth, besides Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, is Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe. That, at least, is the view of most of the western world's press." George Monbiot, "Our Racist Demonology;" The Guardian; August 13, 2002;

"[b]ad things should obviously not happen to white people. How else to explain the indignation? The knowledge of unspeakable horrors inflicted on black Africans is seldom allowed to interfere with our peace of mind, as if they were in the natural order of things. Over there it is hot, zebras live in the wild, and bad things happen to blacks. But when white families are dispossessed, it is another matter altogether."

"'[p]lease don't write all the usual old clichés about swimming pools, servants and gin and tonics,' Zimbabwean whites told the journalist Ian Jack in 1977. That is what he found, though, and that is what many of the whites moved there for. Few families arrived 100 years ago, as it is claimed; most were postwar arrivals looking for sunshine and a higher standard of living than they could possibly hope for at home. They say they have been 'good' for Zimbabwe, and indeed they have. If you own rich land and pay your workers a pittance, how could you not be productive?" Decca Aitkenhead, "Remnants of Empire: Pity the poor Zimbabwean farmer, deprived of his swimming pool, servants and gin and tonic;" -

SMS: Superpower Messaging System

SMS: Superpower Messaging System

In times gone by, when a Potentate felt sufficiently aggrieved by the action or inaction of a fellow sovereign, he usually summons his scribe and dictate a missive. The missives grew progressively belligerent until outstanding issues are resolved in one of two ways: war or successful peaceful resolution.

In those lofty days, war is a very serious business. No, it is not a cavalier matter that is hastily resorted to. Look at it this way: It has to be serious business because in those days when men were men Potentates invariably lead their troops in battle and right there at the front. And since the perks and appurtenances of office are so abundant that no same mortar would want to happily lose it, Potentates very carefully choose when to rush into battle. Ok, now and then you have some crazy bananas who do not give a hoot about their own necks much less about the necks of the hoi polloi, but generally Potentates huffed and puffed awhile before deciding on going to war.

But Homo Sapiens have made huge strides. What with all our technologies and things, eh? Today, message exchanges between and among Potentates have taken giant strides since those days of scribes penning threatening letters.

Today when warlord George Bush want to send a powerful message to a foe, say the leader of Iran, the setting usually goes something like this. Old George summons his War council comprising his Chief Warlord in the form of the Secretary of Defense. His Ambassador Extraordinaire in the person of the Secretary of State is also in attendances so will the National Security Advisor. Others will be in attendance but we can regard those mentioned as the crème de la creme – the Roundtable guys and gals.

Bush: There are men and people out there who can do us great harm, so do we. How do we make sure that they get the message?

Secretary of State (SS): Mr. President, who exactly do we have in mind?

Secretary of Defense (SD): The Afghan insurgents, naturally?

National Security Advisor (NSA): It has to be Iraq, the remnants of Al-Qaeda still constitute serious nuisance to our folks.

Bush: What! I am surrounded by clowns who cannot grasp the monumentality of the threat posed by the new agro around the corner? Why am I the only one who perceive Iran as the new wrongo? Do the Iranians have the sovereign rights to develop nuclear programmes? Yes they have, and it is in their interest, eh, uh, to maintain a peaceful …

SD: Do you think that we need to send a strong message to the Mullahs?

SS: Over what?

Bush: No, no, em, we cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran.

NSA: That would be intolerable as it poses a fundamental threat to our vital interests. Fifty percent of the free world oil passes through Strait of Homuz and a nuclear-armed Iran can easily choke us off.

SS: Are we not assuming here that the Iranians are suicidal. Nothing in their history, which I have studied delicately, indicates that they are suicidal gamblers. On the contrary, they are very cautious pragmatists in spite of all the noises they are making to placate their people.

SD: Do you mean that the threat against Israel shouldn’t be taken seriously?

Bush: We cannot allow Iran to wipe Israel off the face of the nation, eh, map, em, eh…, world

NSA: It would be Nazism all over again.

SD: Our friends in the region are jittery and they are all clamoring for action.

NSA: The Israelis are seriously rattled.

Bush: The way, em, uh, I … see it. Ehm, we need serious action here before they are mis-represent our resolve. We need to send a powerful message. Israel cannot be allowed to develop weapon of mass inhumanity which we threaten the Jews state, our ally…

SS: Mr. President, it is Iran we are discussing.

NSA: And they have ceased using our dollars for their oil trades.

SS: So would I if I’m in their shoes. Our dollars is not what it used to be.

SD: What we shouldn’t overlook here is the Domino factor of the Iranian action. If we fail to act decisively to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons know-how, every banana republic in the world will start poking its nose at us. What do we do then?

SS: The Iranians already possess the know-how. What is stopping them developing is their own logical calculation of what is in their best self-interest. We can wipe them off the face of the earth. They know it and we know it. And they know that we know that they know. And so do the Israelis. They are religious fanatics but they are certainly not foolish.

Bush: But are we not forgetting the Scrabble Effect? I love scrabble…

NSA: It is Domino, sir.

Bush: Oh, I didn’t know the Iranians play Domino, eh!

SS: It is an expression, sir. It means…

Bush: I know what an expression means… But how do we make sure that they stop mis-underestimating us?

SS: I would say that they have been rather too cautious not to offend us.

SD: What do you call the entire staggering diplomatic swagger they have been putting on?

SS: Do we have to respond to every move made by politicians who looking to win a few votes in their land?

Bush: But how do we help the Iranish people to help themselves? We must strive to move the frontiers of liberty and freedom and, em, eh, demoncra, democratic and good governance into Arabia.

SS: I think the Iranians will object to being called Arabs?

Bush: Democracy knows no frontiers, Arabs or no Arabs. We must help to expand the touch, eh, light, em, torch of liberty which must not be inextinguishable. It is not we White Methodist folks alone who knows the joy of freedom. It is the gift of mankind, and women too.

NSA: The Israelis have made it clear that they are going to take action with or without us. That’s bound to rattle our friends in the region. The Egyptian and Omani Presidents are already burning good copper on the Hotline.

Bush: What! We certainly cannot allow those Zionist hotheads in Jericho to preempt us. I recommend that we immediately send a powerful message to the Iranish leadership, what are our options?

SS: I think the Israelis will strongly object to being called Zionist Hotheads. And their capital is Jerusalem; Jericho is a city in disputed Palestine, in the West Bank to be exact. Do you wish that I make a case at the Security Council?

NSA: That would unnecessarily be prolonging affairs not with the Russians in their current nasty funk. We cannot even count on the support of our so-called allies in NATO; they would stick it to us so that they can continue their old world game. We cannot even count on our new friends in Poland and Georgia.

Bush: What, Georgia will follow our lead. I know Governor Palin personally; I will get on the wire to him later and straighten things out. What to do about those Polacks?

NSA: We can let them have the new SATINT on Russian forces?

BUSH: SATINT, where is that?

SD: SATINIT is SATellite INTelligence. They refer to pictures from our orbiting military satellite. Satellites are…

BUSH: Gosh, I sure know what a satellite is. I used to fly a kite when I was a kid.

SS: They are hardly the same thing. Should I consult our NATO allies and canvass their opinion?

Bush: We cannot let the history of the history, em… let judgment accuse us of probasti, no, eh, abstenation. What do you guys say we send a few cruise missiles to Baghdad so that those sheep heads will know that we mean business. Nobody mess up with us.

SS: Baghdad?

NSA: You meant Teheran, Mr. President.

Bush: Tirani, or wherever those Al-Qaeda fundamentalists are hiding their Camel heads.

SD: We have got the Fifth and Sixth Fleet in the region. And there are two or three Battle groups that can be called upon in a jiffy.

SS: We shouldn’t be hasty in these matters. The Atomic Agency is still talking to the Iranians. And convincing the international community would be a hard sell given the Iraqi debacle. No one will believe us.

Bush: We allow the enemy to take the battle to us at our own peril; that is the number one, undermental, uh, fundamental military strategy. Offense is the best defense, according to history historians, em, and military historians. Remember that I am a war President.

SD: Right on mark, Mr. President. We can take Teheran out tonight. Tomorrow morning we begin a saturated carpet-bombing that will reduce Iran to the Ice age.

NSA: We can begin crippling their communications immediately.

Bush: That would be wonderful. Marvelous. We shall do all within our hands and powers to extend the frontiers of liberty.

PS: How on earth do Western leaders get away with their vast crimes? In other societies, War Criminals like George Bush would be languishing in jail or facing serious criminal charges. No one will ever know how many innocent Iraqis or Afghans this Moron in the White House sent unto painful, untimely death. What we know, however, is that the Charles Taylor’s crimes pale in comparison to the vast crimes of this imbecilic 43rd President of the USA.

PSS: Let’s all hope and pray that Mr. Barack Obama will not don the toga of War President. That he shall learn to beat the American sword into ploughshare, and help restore peace, friendship and harmony throughout the world.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

How they psyche you

"Keep your culture Don't be afraid of the vulture Grow your dreadlock Don't be afraid of the wolf pack..." - Bob Marley, from the album 'CONFRONTATION.'

'European CIVILIZATION will be a good Idea.' Ghandi

In his quest for world domination\destruction, the European (and our definition of European includes the bastards Europe sired in North, South and Central America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand), does not always employ violence. Sometimes his cynical smile is more deadly than the heaviest gun in his formidable arsenal of instruments of savagery.

Those of us who grew up in Africa will remember that the first image of the European, was that of the benevolent, always smiling priest, who live in the biggest house in our villages, consuming the best products we produced, while producing nothing. It was not his to partake in the toil, no. He only consume what others produced.

According to him, he is ministering to our spiritual needs. Imagine that! A European from a spiritless, loveless, joyless and decadent place like Europe, crossing deserts and oceans to come and teach us about love, brotherhood and human companionship. The Yorubas have a saying that if a man promises to buy you a dress, you should first of all look at what he's wearing. You shouldn't take seriously a man attired in rags promising to buy you a beautiful dress. How could a man who has known no love in his entire life promise to teach same?

We were ignorant then. We have been brainwashed into believing in the goodness of white men. Such is the power of the European ideological institutions that they have managed to turned a historically oppressing race into one with godlike qualities. When it comes to manipulating facts, Europeans are second to none. We are singing their praises instead of condemning and attacking them. They are experts at masking their intentions and camouflaging their evil desires in holy halo. They are masters at laughing with their face, while plotting with their hearts.

I am a cultural nationalist. I believe that culture is the most important thing in this world. Culture defines whom you are. What you think of your culture says a lot about what you think of yourself. Culture is not only music and arts, although they are important components of it. Culture encompasses also language, traditions, mode of dressing, of eating, in short, of living. A cultural philistine cannot respect himself.

This fact is well known to the European, that's the reason why he is doing its utmost to attack our cultural patrimony. All the ideological institutions in the western world are doing nothing except to denigrate African culture, and to promote theirs. Mind you, you will hardly see them attacking the African person, no. They will attack our culture, and make caricature of that which is dear to us.

Take religion for instance. When Europeans descended on Africa like a horde of rampaging vampires. They not only intended to kill us physically, but also psychologically. How do you kill a man psychologically except by taken away his culture. By taken away his culture, you reduced the man to a no-person. By emptying a man culturally, you reduce him to a psychological cripple. He’s stripped naked.
How did the Europeans accomplished this? They did so by casting our religions as paganism. How?

Among the first things the Europeans did was to condemn our gods and cast them into a bonfire. Wherever they go, they born our gods, our shrines and our altars. They said that we are pagans because we worship THE IMAGES of our gods. Did the Europeans gave us his own god? No. He gave us THE IMAGE of his own god! See how clever he operates. He gave us the image of a guy nailed to a cross, in obvious agony. To bow to such image is, to the European, not paganisms, but Christianity! So successful are the Europeans that churches in Europe are packed full with Africans! Even when most Europeans are skeptical about the Christian religion, Africans are prepared to die in defence of the adopted religion. It is a daunting task to convince the African nowadays that before the Europeans came our way, we never heard of Jesus Christ or his supposed father in heaven. Most African Christians will do battle, to challenge the simple fact that Africans were building empires, before they were acquainted with Jehovah.

That was not all the European managed to achieve. He not only laughs at our gods, he taught us to laugh at our own god. It is one thing for a man to laugh at your father; it is entirely another thing if he can teach you to laugh at your own father. That is a unique feat and that is what the European has successfully accomplished. So complete is the brain-washing that Africans are ashamed to partake in their traditional religious rites! They don't want to appear 'UNCIVILISED.' And the more EDUCATED the African, the more contempt he feels for his African religion! We have a situation where a man is considered EDUCATED if he is totally weaned away from his history - from his culture. The African who has the most contempt for Africa is deemed by the European to be sophisticated, a man of the world.

To round up:

After much reflection, Marx declared religion to be the opiate of the people. If opiate are sedatives, then Marx was only half- right. Religion nowadays, especially in Africa, has become the amphetamine of the people.

Africans are ready to slaughter one another, in the name of these religions that purportedly teach tolerance and brotherhood and love. Arab, Asian and European missionaries continue to swamp our continent converting Africans into religions that are being rejected in their countries of origin. They live in the best houses, eat the best food, drink the best wines, and tool around African cities in the best limousines, while telling their ignorant congregation that 'everything in this world is vanity.'

Africans must continue to wait for a paradise hereafter, while these foreigners are bulging their stomachs with loot from our land. It does not matter that most Europeans no longer go to church or believe in God, Africans continue to die for a 'Messiah' that was denied by his own people. Are we ever going to learn?
It is time we start to ask ourselves what benefits we derived from worshipping these alien gods. Materially, we are worse off now that we know about Jesus and Mohammed. Our fathers were building cities, pyramids, and empires without knowing about a Jewish tribal god called Jehovah. Our fathers were mining and smelting iron without knowing about an Arab called Mohammed.

Spiritually, we are more decadent that before these foreign gods were introduced to us. We have a well-ordered society, which these Middle-Eastern religions contributed in large measure to destroy. African governments can start by expelling these missionaries who, in the words of Ingersoll, are making their living by pretending to stand between the helplessness of man, and the wrath of the gods.

They can then ask the indigenous religionists to start paying taxes like any other business concerns. We should remember the warning to beware of saints whose charity pays their salaries. We should also start to educate ourselves that every society creates its own god in its own image. The colonialist supplanted our religious beliefs with theirs, among their other cultural imposition. Three decades after we supposedly freed ourselves, is it not time we re-discover our roots? Why should Africans continue to supplicate to the figure of a blonde, blue-eyed Jesus when all historical records point to the fact that he was Hebrew? What do the Arabs know about tolerance that they can teach Africans? And the sanctimonious European missionaries roaming around Africa should tell us what they know about love that we can learn from them. We need to educate ourselves that no society has been developed by religions, and none shall ever be. Instead of taking pride in knowing the Bible and the Koran by heart, Africans should start learning those skills could help transform their countries and their continent into viable societies.

Our generation may be lost, but we should, at least, save those things that are salvageable, for the coming generations.

And on language. In Africa during the colonial period, the European out rightly banned the speaking of African language at all the ideological institutions he created to celebrate himself and his race. I remembered been punished for speaking my language, Yoruba, during my secondary school years. Mind you, Nigeria (the 'country' to which the British consigned me) has been 'INDEPENDENT' for about ten years! So successfully was the indoctrination that several years after the colonialists took their leave from our lands, their policies are still being carried out by the colonialist dogs they have trained. It is a confirmation of this success that today you have Africans who refuse to speak their language, because they think that it is primitive. And we have a situation today whereby many of us are writing to our parents in a foreign language.

These are conscious efforts on the part of the Europeans. Their aim was to create Africans who look and think like them. When they control our lands, they took a few of us, give them some western education and promoted them to 'interpreters.' Such jobs in colonial Africa were plum jobs, indeed. Africans were fighting among themselves to get it, since it is considered an honor to be the nearest to the white god.

We have African leaders like Senghor who took great pride in being recognized as great French grammarian! This guy was even more French than the French.
The most tragic thing in post colonial Africa was the refusal of the leaders to do away with these odious legacies. Aside from Tanzania, where Julius Nyerere tried to develop an authentic African outlook, no other nation in Africa made that conscious effort, not even Nkrumah, easily the most articulate of them all. Nyerere adopted KiSwahili as his country's official language. This is quite logical since that is the language spoken by most of his compatriots. Nyerere speaks and writes English very well and could have easily made the Queen's language the lingua franca.

African nations like Nigeria or Ghana or Senegal could have taken one of the indigenous African languages and adopted it as the lingua franca or even develop one from scratch. This is not as daunting as it seems. All that is needed is conscious and committed leadership. Indonesia successfully did it. When Indonesia got its independence from the Dutch in 1948, there was nothing like Indonesian language. The Indonesian leaders could have opted for the easy way and adopted Javanese, the majority language. No, they didn't. They set out to create the Indonesian identity complete with a language. Today, what the Dutch took centuries to pull apart, the Indonesians have successfully put together. It is a joy seeing Indonesians communicating together in their OWN language with doesn't exist until about half a century ago.

Kamuzu Banda, the late Malawian president perhaps illustrated the caricature the Europeans created in Africa. This old man will not be found with nothing but a three-piece suit, complete with a bowler hat. This is man who built a school in his country that still teaches Latin! To him, a dead language Latin is a CLASSICAL language! I have been to conferences where we find Africans sweating profusely in their three-piece suit. They are trying desperately to impress the Europeans. The Europeans, whom they are trying to impress, have shed their jackets and ties, simply because it was too warm.

Nigeria: The Blight of Africa

“Nigeria we hail thee
Our own dear native land
Though tribe and tongue may differ
In brotherhood we stand
Nigerians all and proud to serve
Our sovereign motherland

Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign
In peace or battle honour
And this we count as gain
To pass unto our children
A banner without stain

O God of all creation
Grant this our one request
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed”

Please, dear reader, take the trouble to re-read the wordings of the song that was from the old Nigerian anthem.

Looking at Nigerian today, one is bound to ask whether the composers were not simply beyond irony.

“Though tribe and tongue may differ in brotherhood we stand.” Really, Nigerians in brotherhood? Sing me another song. Apart from football, one would be hard-pressed to name one single thing that unite Nigerians.

“Our flag shall be a symbol that truth and justice reign.” Absurd, absurd., very few Nigerians will be able to relate to this. The Deltans who are virtual colonial subjects in ‘their own country’ are bound to disagree that they enjoy any modicum of justice.

“Help us to build a nation where no man is oppressed and so with peace and plenty.” Let’s continue to dream our dreams but very few will contest the fact that Nigeria is today a land of oppressed\oppressors. It is a nation where the capricious corruption of the ruling elite put them entirely in a class of their own.

It is very difficult not to feel sad about the country called Nigeria. Every single time I visit the land of my birth, hot tears poured down my cheek on their own accord.

With its immense natural wealth, a large, creative and very enterprising population (a fifth of every African is a Nigerian), the country has absolutely no business to be in the league of Almost Failed States.

Yet, the country is mired in every socio-economic-political problem imaginable. This country of some 150 million citizens has find it impossible to conduct a credible census since its foundation and organizing credible elections is way-way above the capabilities of our Anago cousins. On the economic front, Nigeria is, paradoxically an immensely rich nation with an incredibly poor citizenry. And the country has consistently ranked among the most corrupt nations on earth. It has also consistently performed poorly in all indices of well-managed nations. Until few years back, the country that ranked among the world’s oil-exporting nation is also the same where citizens breaks bones in order to fuel their cars. And almost half a decade of nationhood, Nigerians still dance for joy when their electricity service provider gives them their pitiable allotment of power!

“It is a great irony that Nigeria is the seventh largest producer of oil in the world, and yet, up to now, almost 100% of the finished petroleum products we need are imported.” That was culled from a speech by President Yar’adua to a meeting of investors in London recently.

What is saddest is that the country has never lack social critic with good conscience. What is baffling is that the rulers (both civilian and military) of this very heartrending nation appear totally immune to all criticism and advices.
It is not easy to forget the powerful lyrics of the irreverent Fela Anikulapo Kuti who spent all his years on mother earth chronicling and wailing about the shortcomings in his land of birth. Samples from Fela’s lyrics:

“United Nations dem come get name for us.
Dem go call us underdeveloped nation,
we must be underdeveloped to dey stay ten ten in one room.
First and second day dem go call Third-World,
we must be third world to dey sleep inside dusbin.
Dem go call us Non-Aligned Nation,
we must dey craze for head to dey sleep under bridge.
Ordinary thing for man to enjoy for town nko o, e no dey.
Food, e no dey. Problem, iyen dey. Light, e no dey.
Wahala, iyen dey. Dem turn us to suffer head O, original suffer head.”
That was from Fela’s album, ‘Original Sufferhead’.

And take this from the album ‘Suffering and Smiling,’

“Dem sleep, dem go wake like cock
Dem go reach road police go slap
Demi go reach road army go whip
Dem go look pocket, money no dey
Dem go reach house power no dey
Dem go reach house water no dey
Everyday na de same thing
Every day na de same thing
Suffer suffer for world, enjoy for heaven.”

Fela Anikulapo sang his powerful lyrics almost forty years ago, yet the conditions he was describing then still, inexcusable, exist in today’s Nigeria. If anything, they have become even worse.

Nigeria of the 1970s and early 1980s was a regional, even a continental superpower with clearly defined Global ambitions. Its currency was almost at par with the British pound and was more valuable than the American dollars. The leaders sank billions of petro dollars into building first class infrastructures, ports, refineries and road networks that was the envy of visitors from the sub-region. The country’s educational and health institutions were well serviced. The national carrier, Nigeria airways, boasts of some thirty-eight planes whilst the Nigerian National Shipping Line boasts a number of ships.

That was some three decades ago. Few who saw the promising nation of thirty years turned into an ugly shell will not cry for the nation. A sad parade of visionless and parochial leaders who consistently put their personal well-being above their nation’s needs have joined hands with their ‘friends’ in the west to turn the country into a sad caricature. Long gone are the super-highways that dotted the land. In their stead are dilapidated highways filled with swimming-pool sized manholes. A string of corrupt Directors have run both the Nigerian Airways and the NNSL aground. Nigerian universities have been taken over by students more interested in practicing cultism than learning anything knowledgeable. Nothing illustrates the sad state of Nigerian medical facilities than the simple fact the nation’s number one citizen, the President, is a frequent visitor to a German hospital.

Ask any number of Nigerian and they will tell you that among the best legacies left behind by President Olusegun Obasanjo was the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC. Chief Obasanjo, in his second incarnation as a ruler of Nigeria, was apparently appalled by the monumental corruption he met in Nigerian body polity that he vowed that the impunity with which the elite were looting the national patrimony should be curbed if not altogether eliminated.
Under the fearless scion of the Ribadu family, Nuhu Ribadu, the EFCC did what many Nigerians believed were impossible: curbing the excesses of the moneybags who believed themselves above the laws and the rules of the country.

No, corruption was not totally eliminated under Obasanjo, but long gone was the era of ‘BIGMANISM,” which had characterized the elite have treated the national treasury. Chief Obasanjo handed power to his handpicked successor, Umar Yar’adua from the famous Yar’adua family. It’s a decision the Ota chief must be ruing unto this day as the dull and dour former governor of Katsina state has being busy systematically dismantling all that his predecessor managed to achieved for the nation in his eight years rule.

Unlike Obasanjo who is a totally detribalized Nigerians and who managed to packed his cabinet with the best technocrats the nation has to offer, Yar ‘adua has largely surrounded himself with his Hausa\Fulani clansmen. We now have the totally ridiculous position whereby the head of the executive branch of government as well as the head of the judicial arm and the Senate President all come from the geographic north. This is, in addition to the north occupying the powerful positions of Minister of the Interior and the National Security Adviser.

Nigerians could have well live with that. What they find too bitter to swallow is the apparent moves by Yar ‘adua to emasculate the EFCC. First, under the pretext of sending him on a Course, Nuhu Ribadu was removed as the head of the EFCC. Nigerians rose as one to condemn his removal; the power elite was unmoved. Ribadu duly proceeded to do his course at the Nigerian Institute of Strategic Studies, Kuru. Few months down the road came the shocking news that Ribadu, a serving police office, has been demoted by two ranks!

Nigerians are yet to come to grip with that obvious nonsense when news came that State Security operatives are trailing him in order to effect an arrest. Next shocker was the revelation by the former Governor of Kaduna State that Ribadu has been earmarked for assassination!

Although he had just celebration his one year in office, the administration of Yar ‘adua is bound to be one of Nigeria’s worst ever. A year might be too soon to judge but as the African proverb says: “The eye that will last until dusk does not begin by oozing at dawn.”

Nothing the President has done so far gives any indication that he understands the monumental challenges facing him as a leader much less to talk of his being capable of remedying them. Many Nigerians who remember the regime of another well-meaning dullard from the North, Shehu Shagari, cannot but wonder how such wonderfully inept persons managed to get to the nation’s presidential throne.

Nigerians used to boast that their country was the Giant of Africa, few of them today will contest the sad fact that the country has now turned to the Blight of Africa.

When an elder loses his head

“There is no medicine to cure hatred.” – African proverb

One of the things I cherished most in life is the strict disciplined upbringing that I received from both my parents. My father was almost martial in his self-discipline (he never ate outside his house); my mother was less austere, but she did her best. I learnt a lot from my parents for which I am eternally grateful.

And among the things African I cherished the most is our reverence for old age. Disrespecting an elder is a big taboo that is heavily frowned upon. In our culture, one’s material station in life has nothing to do with this veneration of old age, hence the saying that a child might have more cloths than the elder, but he can never have more rags. You might have all the new Ghana cedis fighting in your pocket, but you’ll be considered uncultured, even boorish, if you should show disrespect to someone older than you.

Image my shock and awe when I got to Europe in my early twenties and saw children ARGUING (they call it discussing) with their parents. And horror of horrors, some children were actually calling their parents by their first names! I have to explain to my son that it’s quite unacceptable for him to call my brothers (his uncles) by their names with the uncle prefix. It’s simply not done in my culture and he certainly would look like a cultural philistine were I to take him to my village and he start calling his uncles by their first names!

Throughout my stay in Europe I never got used to the idea of sitting comfortably in a public transport when there were people older than I standing up. Many find my behaviour peculiar and pretty old fashioned, but I simply couldn’t bring myself up to start behaving outside my cultural space.

In Africa we revere old age maybe because we hope and pray to get into old age. But like in everything else, our elders evolved a strict check and balances to ensure that things properly balanced out. Old age carries great responsibilities. An elder must comport himself (sorry I am not being sexist here) at all times. He has more responsibilities in ensuring that his conducts, including utterances, are ALWAYS measured and that they are above board and above reproach. An elder speaks guardedly; he dances with more caution and he does not eat with both hands (metaphorically speaking).

So what happens when an elder violates these age-old norms? What happens when the Chief becomes the village machoman and start to exhibit bolekaja (come down and let’s fight antics)? Unlike the free-for-all ‘freedom’ we think that we are enjoying today, our elders do not believe in unfettered freedom, and they certainly do not believe that a society needs liberty without its concomitant responsibilities. An African proverb says that it is the elder that decided to ease himself by the roadside that calls for people to come and look at his buttocks.

Ex-President J. J. Rawlings utterances at a press conference early this month and his subsequent speeches left me a bitterly disappointed man. I am both sad and disappointed that a man that I greatly admired and respected should decide to jump into the gutter with his critics and perceived enemies. What baffled me the most is: what made him do it?

Those who have been reading my pieces will readily agree that I hold no brief for President Kuffuor and his party and government which I consider too close to the imperialists for my comfort. And their slash and burn, Jurassic economic policies aches me badly. And readers will attest to the fact that I have always refrained from personal attacks and insults. Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not going to start with President Rawlings!

In an exchange of missives with the editor of the London-based New African magazine, Baffour Ankomah, last year, I opined that Ghanaians appear to be unappreciative of the tremendous changes that President Rawlings brought into their lives.

In my opinion (IMO), with the exception of the incomparable Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, no other Ghanaian leader has performed better that J.J. President Kuffuor has done his best in terms of physical development, but the moral turpitude of government makes it score very low on my card. I told Baffour that given his intellectual limitations, J.J. did his best and performed rather credibly. In the pantheon of Ghanaian leaders, President Rawlings is eclipsed by the Osagyego, but we shouldn’t forget that Nkrumah was among the foremost intellectual of all times.

“He who hates, hates himself.” – African proverb

I know that many people will be shaking their heads in dismay, and some are probably reaching for cudgels and things, but I only ask that we remember the rot our beloved land was before J.J. came in. No matter how passionate we are about our political convictions, historical facts are simply historical facts which we simply cannot wish away. No matter how hard one tries, one cannot argue away the simple fact that President Rawlings left Ghana in better shape than he met it. That, IMO, should be the yardstick with which we judge those that rule us.

I don’t know about you, but I very clearly remember a pre-J.J .’s Ghana when people were breaking bones in order to but agbelemo. I remember a Ghana where shops are TOTALLY empty. I remember a bankrupt and totally corrupt Ghana where citizens were despondent, and were massively voting with their feet. It was a Ghana where citizens residing in Nigeria and other lands were sustaining families with packages of Geisha sardines, toothpastes, soap and other hard-to-get consumables. It was a Ghana that was held in utter contempt by the rest of the world.

Many are minds that will point to alleged violations of rights and other things; I do not wish to wish their agonies away. But the only certain lesson we learn from political history is that there is no nation that didn’t go through a baptism of fire in its quest for nationhood. Correct me if I am wrong, please.

The Albinos enslaved and colonized us; today our ruling elite consider them their best of pals. Mayhap it’s time we Africans start to ask ourselves why we are ever so eager to forgive strangers who abused and brutalized us while we are willing to carry the grudges of the slightest slight from our own kind for ages.

No dispassionate analyst can wish away President Rawlings immense contribution to the democracy we all enjoy today. We may shout and cry about the shortcomings we see around us, but the fact remain that many of our institutions are the envy of our brothers and sisters across the continent. OK, we get blackout now and then, but go and ask the Burkinabes or the Nigerians. Those who complain about the dirt in Accra only need to take a trip to Lagos. Our electoral system is adjudged to be among the best in the world.

As I have often written on these pages, no society evolved by man is devoid of its earthly problem. This has been my biggest gripe with those wretched Albinos who leaves their roaches-infested Council flats and come to Africa to pretend that they just landed from ‘alujanahs.’ Sorry for the digression.

What, on earth, then informed a former President to come out firing from all cylinders? I once opined that it is the sad duty of a writer to catalogue the woes of his society. Do ex leaders also have the same obligation? I think not for the simple reason that while many can become angry writer of vitriolic polemics, very few of us will ever occupy the Presidency of our land. That’s what makes the Presidency of any nation so special and so awesome! The American presidency have been occupied by men of the shadiest characters, the moronic George Bush being the latest in the sad parade of amoral President to occupy the White House; yet Americans continue to revere the office of their leader. It shouldn’t be different in our dear land.

“If your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your lips.” – African proverb.

It saddens me greatly whenever I see the only living ex-president of this country being made the object of crude and not so funny jokes. I feel much diminished whenever I see the ex President of my land been rendered in unsophisticated and not altogether flattering caricature.

I don’t know who President Rawlings advisers were, but in the last few occasions I feel that he has been badly served. Those who get paid to manage his PR should hang their heads in shame as they have woefully failed to do their job properly. In computer jargon, they all ought to be DEBUGGED! How on earth could they have so badly misjudged the mood in the country? And the timing, God have mercy!

For Christ sake, there is going to be a general election in a few months and any right-thinking person knows that there are many ‘floating’ voters hanging all over the place. What could have caused our ex leader such aggravation that he couldn’t see the incalculable damage he’s doing to the party that he founded? It could be true that he’s not the Professor Mill’s best of pals, but could Mr. Rawlings be so hateful as to want to shoot his lips in order to spite his tongue?

Dear President Rawlings, I do not know what your minders are doing, but I feel concerned enough to tell you that they are ill-serving you. Please, do not make the life of people like me who hold you in the highest esteem unnecessarily more difficult than it is. I hate it when I see you slinging verbal mud with all and sundry. The office of the President which you have been privileged to occupy is an exalted one, and we would all be diminished if it is to be desecrated by those who take it upon themselves to trade insults with you.

You are a man of undoubted charisma, but the simple truth is that there is no way you can win a slinging match with a newspaper editor if he chooses to go to the gutter with you. Our elders say that the man who pelts another man with pebble is asking for rocks in return. My counsel to you, for whatever it’s worth, is to please simmer down and drink from the fountain of peace. The era of demagogy is finally and truly over in our land; try Pedagogy for a change.

Let me stop here with another advice from our elders: the Wiseman is like a nail; his head keeps him from going too far.

When the President misfired

What are you burning this early morning?

Can’t you see? I am setting fire to both my Voter’s card and my NPP membership card.
Oh, why the drastic measures? Is it not illegal to set government’s documents afire?
What government? Make dem come catch me!

But you have been a long time member of the NPP, why do you suddenly disown the party whose praise you have been singing over the years?

Me, I am leaving all politics alone. I’m giving up on all politicians. Let any of them show his ugly face around here, I bet you I shall become violent. Walahi!
That’s serious, what is going on?

Didn’t you listen to the President speech?

He makes a lot of speeches, which one are you referring to, specifically?
Yes, he makes lot of speeches, maybe that’s why he’s President; I am talking about the one where he call us lazy, ah!

Oh, no! The President didn’t call anyone lazy. What he said simply was that there is enough money in Ghana and those complaining of poverty are the lazy ones.
Have you now become the President’s mouthpiece?

Me, no! I leave politicians and their antics strictly alone.

So what are you talking about, or do you have money fighting in your pocket?
Me, I do not even have two Cedis to rub together.

Why then are you defending the indefensible?

I am sorry you feel that way; it’s not that I’m defending the President, I was just correcting the wrong impression his speech have apparently created in people like you.

Anyway, I do not blame you. Do you know what I find most galling about the whole speech?

You tell me.

Don’t you remember that I lost a dear brother during the ‘Kume Preko’ marches organized by the President’s own party to protest what they called hardship in the land when they were in opposition? Yes, yes, my younger brother died in my arm on the streets of Accra, and I have to bury the one who is supposed to bury me. His death caused my joining the NPP.

Yeah, I remember Wofa Yao. Good brother we had; good brother we lost! May the ancestors give him peaceful rest, Amen!

And today those for whom we marched and died ten years ago have the audacity to come out and tell us that we are poor because we are lazybones. Yes, today they have used us to get into power and drunk with all the appurtenances they have bestowed on themselves in their cozy offices, they can sneered down at us, the foot soldiers, that made it all possible for them to ascend power. What a SIN THING – apologies to Blakk Rasta.

I think that you are taking the speech out of all contexts

What do you mean? What context?

Are you denying the fact that there is money in the system?
What money in what system? Maybe at the stratosphere where the President and his men operates there is plenty money in their system. But at my level there is hardship, and it is not due to laziness.

Are you denying that many of our folks are simply slothful? Don’t you see the young men playing cards and games all day instead of engaging in productive enterprises?
You are really talking like a cutthroat capitalist. There are too many condemnation of the poor and little understanding and no concern at all. The youth you’re talking about have no education whatever and they have absolutely no formal training in any trade, what skill do you expect them to peddle?

Is it the President’s business to educate the youth?

Don’t talk like a fool, my friend. I am not talking about the President’s educating or training anyone. What I’m saying is that a state that doesn’t care enough for its citizens to give them good education should not condemn them. Of course, there is enough money in Ghana. We all see the gleaming Landcruisers with siren blaring cruising our roads. We see the big mansions springing up all over the place like mushroom in good weather. We see our yesterday’s nonentities today riding 4-Wheel jeeps with ear-shattering sirens and bodyguards. No, we see it all, and we are not complaining but they need not rub insult upon our injuries. If we have all those money to buy all those cars and build all those mansions for our elite, why is our conscience not pricked enough to give all our children free education and free medical services. And don’t tell me that we cannot afford it; we have simply got our priorities very wrong. Tell me, in which of our cities do you find decent Public Conveniences? Where in Ghana do you find Public Library or Swimming Pool? Of course, we are lazy and we do not deserve any good thing in life. Let them continue to mock us? The judgement of history shall be harsh, very harsh on those who had the opportunity to make their society a better place and missed it.

You are really worked up, my friend, what have the President done that irked you so much?

It shows gross insensitiveness on his part to blame laziness for the abysmal, grinding poverty in the land. Maybe he should blame some of the Jurassic economic policies his friends in the West are forcing down his throat for our woes. It is all well and jolly for him to turn our nation into a begging, groveling vassal state; we begrudge him not. But he shouldn’t rub it in by blaming us for the failed policies of his government. Mr. President should come out and tell us how many manufacturing industries his government has established. He should come out and tell us how many jobs his government has created that Ghanaians are too lazy to do. No, Mr. President, several things ail us, but laziness is definitely one of them. Mr. President should take a trip to the Northern part of our country and see where folks are toiling for upward of fourteen hours in their farms in order to eke out a miserable existence. The produce of their labour cannot compete with those of his friends in the West. You know that my wife works in one of the rural banks; she works from 7AM to 8PM Monday – Friday and from 8AM to 4PM on Saturdays. That’s seventy-three hours a week. And for all that she gets paid Sixty-five Ghana Cedis! That probably cannot buy the President a bottle of his favorite Champagne. Oh, she also has our young daughter to care for. Would it not be sacrilegious to call that woman lazy? You remember that I took a loan to partake in the Presidential Special Initiative for Cassava and that the whole thing collapsed on us. I used part of the loan to start a tomato and poultry farm. They all collapsed because it is cheaper to buy European chicken and tomatoes in our market. I am still struggling to pay the loan back. We are now struggling to survive on my wife’s pittance. And to those of us not living on Mars, we know how hard the inflation is biting hard. The cost of living is literally killing us. Mr. President can take the time to find out how much a tuber of yam cost before he came to power and how much we pay for it today. He can also try the same with other items like Gari, Banku, Kenkey, Plantain, sugar and even ‘Pure Water. ’ Now you can understand why I don’t take kindly to the President talking out of order. History recorded Marie Antoinette berating the poor for protesting over, for her, mere bread. It is said that the Queen had about three thousand chefs to cater to her gastronomical fancies. It is therefore, difficult for her to comprehend human beings fighting over bread. In the President’s household, where everyone is well-fed, it could be difficult for them to understand that things are difficult for the ordinary folks. It might be difficult for them to empathise with us, but they should stop insulting us. We can do without it, thank you very much.

The President didn’t insult anyone.

No, he didn’t, he was simply saying: if they won’t join us, we beat them verbally
He said no such thing. And you got the saying very wrong, it is: If you cannot beat them, join them

Whatever, the President’s handler should tell him to remember that power is transient. No condition is permanent.

PS: Would someone kindly educate me on what is responsible for the sudden profusion of ear-piercing sirens on our roads? I ask because in most sane societies that I know of only essential services like ambulances, police and the fire department use siren. Or are we having an Orwellian case of ‘all animals are equal, but some are more equal than the other?’

Exit Thabo Mbeki!

Do you think those Southies are really Africans

What, what is Southies?

I mean those South Africans.

You and your terms! Why did you ask if they are Africans?

Didn’t you hear that their President has resigned?

What is news in that, Presidents and Prime Ministers resign all the time?

In Africa, come on?

The Pakistan Maximum Leader resigned, so did the Israeli premier. I don’t know what’s agitating you.

You are being evasive, have you seen a leader resign in Africa?
Let me think…

You think, what? You cannot name a single Africa leader who has voluntarily resigned from office. That’s why I find the act of the Southies so blasphemous, so sacrilegious, so outrageous, so…

I get the drift. But the man had no choice, his party asked him to go?
Ah, why are you talking like this, my friend? Who owns political party in Africa, is it not the president? Je suis le partie, le partie cest moi!

Speak English.

I am the party, the party is me.

I did not know that you speak French.

I do not. I just made that one up. But it neatly sums up the essence of my argument. Who owns political parties in Africa if not Mr. President? Can you imagine, God forbid, the NPP asking President Kuffuor to resign!

Do you think that he would resist?

Ah, my friend, you are talking as if you are not living Africa. Who, on earth, would dare to ask him in the first place.

There must be people in his party who will summon the courage if they find his act egregious enough.

Egregious, what do you mean?

I mean like interfering with the judiciary the way Mbeki was accused of doing?
Ah, my friend, you are talking nonsense. Are you not living in this country? Didn’t our President pack the Supreme Court so that he can get sympathetic rulings?
Rubbish, he appointed Justices as he is constitutionally empowered to do?

But he did it after an unfavorable ruling.

Look, I am not a legal luminary so I cannot argue the fine points of law with you. Mbeki transgressed and his party asked him to go and he did the only honourable thing and left. What exactly is your beef with that?

Do you really think that he is an African?

Don’t be ridiculous, the man is as black as you and his father was one of giants of the Liberation struggle.

So it is claimed. But he was said to have grown up outside Africa, you see what I mean?

No, I don’t see what you mean!

You see, with plastic surgery and things the real son of Mbeki Senior might have been switched. Even the name Mbeki sounds suspicious. I will wager that it’s either Japanese or Indonesian.

I think that you are losing it?

No, consider my empirical evidence…


Yes, Plastic surgery, the suspicious name, the man very un-African aloofness, his supercilious intellectual detachment, the way and manner he chooses to resign instead of battling it out with his opponent and destroy both party and country in the process. I don’t understand a thing and I really do not know what makes the man ticks! What I know is that a true son or daughter of Africa would have elected to ‘dabaru’ everything as they say in Nigeria, instead of resigning meekly.

I still do not know what is agitating you?

Doesn’t the man love power? Doesn’t he love the prestige, the authority and all the good things that go with high office?

The man is an acclaimed intellectual, maybe he will find time to write his memoirs and give lectures?

What, you don’t mean that a sane man will choose to go and write when he can be President!

For some people, occupying high office is not the highest aspiration.

I think that you are just spewing arrant nonsense. Don’t you live in Africa? Don’t you see what people will do to get into position for which they are uniquely unqualified, and for which they have not got the foggiest idea about what to do? Do you not see how elections are rigged, manipulated and then arranged in ‘Power Sharing’ arrangements? Or do you think that they do not pay their President well enough in Southie?

I would not know that. All I know is that Mbeki does not feel himself justified by the material appurtenances of his office. I heard that he does not go around in convoys of expensive jeeps breaking all traffic rules.

What, you don’t mean that he stops for traffic light.

Yes, that is what I meant. He travels with his security detail but they obey all traffic rules and regulations.

You cannot be serious. Tell me you are not serious! Is it not true then that Southie is the richest country in Africa?

It certainly is, and by a very wide margin. But what has that got to do with anything?

If they are the richest and we are a HIPC country and their leader travels unceremoniously while ours travels around extravagantly, don’t you then agree with me that the Southies are really not Africans!

Perhaps they are the more decent Africans

Who is talking about decency? We are talking about showing off. Ours is a bankrupt economy wobbling on legs supported by donors’ generosity. Our leaders are junketing around the world with begging bowls, yet that has not stopped them from riding the most expensive cars money can buy. That hasn’t stopped a mere Deputy Minister from having traffic cleared for him. Maybe there are a few things we can teach our Southie cousins.

Maybe it is they who have some lessons for us.

Lesson, what lesson can we learn from them?

Maybe decency and modesty to begin with. We can also understudy them about how to live the life that we preach and about how to husband our scarce resources instead of wasting them on material aggrandizements. We can learn to be simple human beings who do not feel justified by our material possessions.

Wise saying:

" Never use both feet to test the depth of the sea." - African proverb