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Complaints about colonialism will not Solve Africa’s problems

Colonialism caused immeasurable damage to African society; it clouded our view of the past, and it has continued to cause devastating effect on the political and socioeconomic status of the continent; while the colonially related devastation is undeniable, complaining about colonialism and not our socioeconomic and political judgement since attaining independence decades ago has yet to address that negative impact, and it never will. No great nation ever extracted its power from turning complaining into a strategy. Instead of continually complaining about colonialism, Africa must question and address the real problem of insatiable hunger for power and the despotism, exclusion of youths from decision-making in the continent’s affairs and the associated threat to the future.

Solving problems will change Africa, but then to complain does not take brains as does working on real solutions to real problems. There is a problem with using complaining as a political strategy in that it is a deceptive tool that extends false comfort and hope to fools; to complain is often nonacceptance of reality at play. It invariably carries an unconscious negative connotation. When you complain, you turn yourself into a victim, and pointing out a finger of blame becomes a source of power and a form of therapy that unfortunately never actively addresses problems.

Real challenges in the African continent today are not imported but home grown and natured; indeed, most problems faced by African citizens are intentional and internally fostered, nothing to do with colonialism, but all to do with greed and well-preserved ignorance.

Liberation movements played their role in fighting colonialism, but they are now the major problem, yet there is political capital in placing blame on the West and colonialism; let us concede that independent Africa was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that liberation movements owned Africa’s political world and everyone else was inferior. The scar of political intolerance has disfigured modern African government systems to a state of disrepair.

Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have. Former liberation movements have turned into slave master; we have these entitled liberation movements that have spectacularly failed to play the role of government yet retain total control of state institutions including the military and other security organs. What should be state security organs have become party wing security entities paying their alliance to party leadership.

On top of that, we have ignorant leaders who will not leave power for anything; leaders who will do absolutely anything, from political patronage, tribalism, killing political opponents to even opening wide access to local resources to foreign scoundrels for foreign protection; they knowingly sacrifice national resources in return for foreign companies and/ or governments assisting them to retain power.

It is sad to note that politics in the independent Africa is quite deliberately founded on false doctrine. The public is dangerously fed false political education from which false sources of problems and enemies are drawn and false solutions and allies authorised. To nurse ignorance, politics is a subject area kept well away from most of the citizenry.

Africa is perhaps the only region which has tried as a matter of policy to rebuild itself on the values base of its oppressors; we have sort to wipe out our indigenous institutions and values. We have elevated foreign values over anything local and permitted ourselves to reject local customs, and we have turned that tragic experience and shameful episode into a noble crusade which explains why our venerated academic institutions do not resemble us.

Most of Africa has purportedly bought into democracy yet attempts at establishing democratic institutions are a farce because the desire for democracy is just not there; while on the surface there may be intense democratic debate in our society, that debate is often limited to a narrow, state-controlled spectrum; information remains tightly controlled by the state. Arguably, South Africa does offer a genuine platform for debate, but questions remain on the quality and intentions of most participants.

Perhaps the biggest gap in African politics of this day is the lack of real political involvement of youths. While there is robust political activity in higher institutions of learning, that tends to have little to no influence on the youths who form the majority and who are outside these institutions.

What we are often seeing by way of youth politics is the geriatric tribal vendetta-driven politics of rebellion and intolerance, a politics that only promotes debate when there is no real difference of opinion but shared hatred of the truth.

Question of the scale of youth involvement is a valid one as from experience what is supposed to be youth politics is effectively a by-product of a heavily marketed propaganda of ‘a bad West’ and a local leadership that is never at fault but ‘a victim of the evil West’. In that scenario, our youth are but an extension of the political geriatrics from the liberation movements.

Blaming colonialism for our challenges is a tired make-believe tactic that no one believes. You can blame outside factors or make excuses about why things are not working out, but that does not change reality. Damaging as colonialism was to Africa, what is even more damaging is the continent’s apparent unwillingness to break bad habits, accept responsibility for what is happening today and correct our systems. The continent has a lot of excuses, no solutions, and we talk like victims.



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