ON 25 May, Africa celebrated its 54th Africa Day, while still chained and made to live a camel life of carrying a heavy load on our backs and shoulders.
We are still letting ourselves be used, confused and misused.
The worst part is that we cherish anything that comes from outside, and despise everything that comes from within.
The tragedy of Africa is that it lacks torchbearers of stamina and guts. We are a continent that must be regarded as the Garden of Eden, because we have everything, and in every season Africa produces. Besides, we have the most valuable mineral resources one can think of, for civilisation to be enhanced and for trade. Above all else, we have the third largest market after China and India.
Why are we poor? Why are we fighting ourselves? Why do we hate each other? It is because we have inherited the mentality and mindset of begging from outside the continent; we have also developed the culture of monopolisation, where the syndrome of sharing amongst ourselves is our greatest enemy.
We are proud of singular wealth; we believe that individual wealth is the way of life.
This is where we are wrong. Africa must impose the lifestyle and culture of believing in collective success, where the success of all is the success of everyone.
During our 54th Africa Day celebrations we are still getting to grips with poverty, while every day precious minerals are discovered and mined across the entire continent.
The question is: Where are the proceeds going and who is benefiting, if Africans are becoming poorer by the day, at times by the minute?
Back home, African governments are loading citizens with loads and loads of taxes, to the detriment of living the camel life of walking with a load, sleeping with a load and talking with a load.
This is slavery of Africans. Instead of the tax being used to purge poverty and suffering of the people, government officials have developed the greedy and selfish mentality, of misusing the taxes collected, by corruptly enriching themselves, along with the stupidity of banking their stolen monies in foreign banks. The money that remains in overseas countries then develops the civilised nations of the West.
For us to lie that we are young at 54 is being insane.
South Korea and Malaysia, as well as Hong Kong, are younger than Africa. In 1957, when sub-Saharan Africa first tasted independence, these foreign states were poor and stagnant, in terms of their economies and social standards, but their upright thinking was that they did not expect or wait for someone to come and give them money, in the name of AID; they dusted off their feet, pulled their socks up and went to work. Today they are among the most developed nations in the whole world.
All these are visible examples that Africa sees and witnesses, but we fail to stand up and say, “Enough is enough.”
It’s time to unchain ourselves and be creative, innovative and advance our lives.
As we commemorate the 54th birthday of Africa, it must be aligned with the quest of all citizens and governments to launch a new path of ridding Africa of the past of receiving and begging, while forging a new future path of creating wealth for ourselves.
We need to start thinking competitively, be creative, aim to import technology, enhance trade and learn to produce. What lacks in Africa is unity.
It is only if we think outside the box, and realise that we are Africans, that we will disregard exotic borders that the colonisers created.
As a first step, let us realise that anyone born from colonised Africa is not a Malawian, Namibian, South African, Nigerian, Egyptian, Kenyan or whatsoever, but is an African. Let the borders be on paper, but not in our mentality. The taxes we pay are enough and perfect to transform our lives. Our resources are richer than the rest of the planet.
To us it not about celebrating, but it is time to think and do self-assessment. Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Mongolia are coming from the devastation of war, hunger, quakes and volcanoes, but they have transformed by not expecting to be given by Europe or America. We have everything right here; we can change our circumstances.
We must lament that individual politics was achieved, but holistic politics is far from being obtained.
Stop expecting Western education to develop Africa; there is talent at home, and we can start from there.
Every year on the 25th May, Africa celebrates Freedom Day, which is remembered as Africa Day. This is a day of reflection, introspection, retrospection and self-assessment, so that we can renew and transform Africa.
Happy birthday Africa!
*Saunders Jumah the Utopian is from the Forum for the Future of Africa
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015