It was supposed to be a religious discussion. Then it moved to engineering and then to the woes of Africa. Nigerian roads are at their worst. Travel times have practically doubled. Famers have graciously donated their plantations to the feeding of Federal cows. Interstate travels are done with caution since everyone now knows someone who has once been kidnapped.
There are more questions than answers: What will be the impact of the Federal Fulfulde Radio of Nigeria? Would it deter from crime or concert such efforts?
Then we moved to East Africa where border skirmishes between neighbouring country forces are normal. Elections are conducted to prove to international “poke-nosers” that “they still want me in power.” Two neighbouring East African Presidents have “improved” their constitutions to keep them in office till 2034. After all, another neighbouring president is going to be in office till almost forever!
Till that discussion, I never knew that Papua New Guinea is just by Australia. But I’ve always known that they are black and without good roads. Haiti, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, and other gerontocracies; Zambia, which deployed Chinese Policemen in 2017 (Shall Zambia be free? “Book” by Kenneth Kaunda).
My friend retorted, “There is something wrong with being black!”
“Have you read the book?”
“What Is Wrong With Being Black, by Matthew Ashimolowo.”
DRC feels like the Waterloo of Africa. It is the richest country (most endowed) in the world, inhabited by the poorest people in the world. Third generation soldiers are “keeping peace” in DRC at a cost of close to $1 billion per annum. Everyone contributes much to keep peace in DRC but little to educate DRC. Even DRC’s education budget is typically less than 1% of the annual national budget (about $4m per annum).
The ongoing brain drain in Nigeria has been defined as “two generations in one”: the working class and the children of the working class.
“I beseech thee; who shall lift up [Africa]”
Hunmmmm, painful but true.
Really scary. i used to be able to confidently retort back in conversations like this with the typical ‘it is getting better’ but in very recent times, am not quite as confident. Am not sure if anything is actually being done to makes things better anymore. Am not sure if this current hardship is from the pain of putting things in place or from actual continued decadence.
With half of the future gone(Brain Drain)? Where do we go from here?
It does really beg the question, what is wrong with being black?
My take – There’s absolutely everything right with being black and Nigerian. We all just have to know it and believe it enough for it to translate into our actions and we would be a force to reckon with.So that essentially, we either don’t know or we have forgotten who we are.