By Oladele Oluwasogo
A couple of weeks before his election as US president, Donald Trump in a blunt and accurate manner, lampooned the black race. He fearlessly tongue lashed people from our part of the world. Much later, after he became President, he was widely reported to have described Africa as “shithole”. While his statement has been severely condemned by people all over the world especially those of the black race, with Africans, especially, he was swiftly replied by Nigerians and other Africa brothers and sisters –though I doubt if any will get to him. However, I dare to say that Trump was right. His analysis of the continent was critical, thorough and absolutely correct.
Steve Biko once said “the most potent tool in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”, no one can really condemn a man to slavery or servitude unless the mind of the individual has been put in shackles. A free mind will always question is oppression and will always fight to be free physically. So the oppressors subject the individuals they wish to enslave in mental slavery first, as their only strength is the ignorance of the oppressed. The fight of the 21st century is no longer that of a master versus a slave on a plantation, but that of class struggle, the bosses versus the proletariat/workers and top imperialist countries versus developing economies. However, the over four hundred years of slavery, consistent distortion of history books and miseducation of the black man has made it difficult for Africans and blacks all over the world to free themselves from mental slavery. This has made it easier for the colonialists to come back and enslave us through neocolonialism.
Truth, they say, is a bitter pill. No one wants to be told that they are backward, though they know that they are in the real sense of it backward. A foolish man knows that he is foolish, but if he is told the truth about his tomfoolery –which he is aware of as being the truth –he gets angry. This is nothing but petty hypocrisy. Why can’t we just call a spade a spade, when we all know it to be indeed a spade? Self deceit they say is the acme and the toughest of all dieses, which no doctor in the world can cure.
To call Africa an underdeveloped continent is an understatement of monumental proportion. In the real sense of it, Africa is like a century behind the rest of the world, challenges that small countries in Europe and other of the world have solved and moved on are what we still battle in the whole continent. While other countries are talking about invention, Africans are talking about importation. We create nothing of our own. We are a solely reliant continent with a punctured self-esteem.
All over the world, Africa is the symbol of poverty and unpleasantness. Even Africans have been so brainwashed into believing that when it is poor and bad, it is African. Of such seeming trivial but execrable notion we do not notice. Some Africans even treat the wrath in the continent as a situation which is inexorable. The continent has been so underrated to the extent that Americans, Britons and other citizens of great nations regard Africa most times as a country, not as a continent with not less than fifty countries. But then, one would ask; are those 50 countries joined together a match for any of the top imperialist states? All over the continent, the ravaging imbroglio that dwarfs all the countries in Africa in the League of Nations is the same. It is the same problem shaking Nigeria to its very roots that also shakes Ghana, Egypt and South Africa to their very roots. Bad leadership! Bad leadership is the same problem that all Africa countries face. Pathetically, this cankerworm has spread its tentacles and now has branches in corruption, bad education, and the list is endless.
While I do not belong to the league of those who will incessantly find the remote cause of this decadence in some faulty DNA of Africans as some would, on the contrary, I believe Africans are victim of a system that seeks only impoverish less powerful people and regulate the lifestyle of less developed countries which all African countries fall into. Some derogatory terms have been made popular by Africans themselves; some of them are African time, black man mentality and many more. These are products of the consistent and deliberate brainwashing of the African mind by the white supremacist education and system, making them believe that something is genetically wrong with them which cannot change. Far from it, to change this society, all we need do is organise ourselves towards a revolutionary path and fight for an overhauling of the society and the system.
Oluwasogo can be reached via email: [email protected]