I am a young man, and from that part of the world where gold, oil, waterfalls, wildlife and deserts abound. I have high hopes of making it big in life but it looks as if the land on which I want to cultivate my dreams has long lost its fertility before my birth. The knowledge of this has further waned my hopes and drained my intellect.
The continent Africa has gone through phases of challenges that have depleted its resources in the past. It has faced slavery, one of the inhumane practices in the history of the world. It came with its own challenges and one of them is the psychological trauma of which no psychologist could help cure. The continent has also seen wars, genocide, and ethnocentrism.
These happenings have further caused excruciating hatred causing individuals and nations to dislike one another. Countries that have suffered these are Liberia, Rwanda, and Kenya, just to mention few. Gruesome murders have taken place on the continent but the one that left an indelible mark on my mind is the Garissa University College attack. In that attack, one hundred and forty seven (147) students of the school were killed in just one night by Al Shabbab militants. One key thing which is worth noting when giving the chronological account of the happenings is that, those actively involved in the destruction are always in the minority.
Now coming back to the title “the talking leaders”, I think and I strongly think that the talking leaders caused it all. They could forgive themselves for slavery, they could forgive themselves for the wars that caused many lives but they can’t forgive themselves for the religious intolerance that has plagued the continent. A surviving continent cannot afford to kill over 140 of its youth in a night. These were youth in the academia, studying possibly to turn the fortunes of a poverty ridden continent. When one ponders over the killings of the college students amidst the corruption cartel that go on, one settles on one word ‘’BARBARISM’’. Yes barbarism has eaten up the body, soul and mind of the inhabitants of the continent. Leaders have failed to secure every aspect of life, there is no one thing that one can hit his chest and be proud of. If anyone does that, he or she must be investigated. The health sector is deteriorating. The talking leaders don’t see this because they don’t receive healthcare from these hospitals. The interesting aspect is that, Presidents could announce that they are travelling abroad to receive healthcare. All at the expense of the tax payer. This practice is done with impunity across the continent. Education is unstructured, basic life amenities are just not available for many. As for security, the least said the better.
There are two kinds of leaders from this continent, no matter your ideology, you will ascend to throne through one of these. The first is the military ruler and the second is the academic ruler. In most cases the military ruler is a’ totalitarian’ and the academic ruler is a ‘democratic’ one. The effect of the leadership of the two are almost the same thing. The only difference is that, the military leader accuses the academic leader of embezzlement and disorder.
In order to correct this, they stage coup and further deteriorate things. Likewise, the academic leader revamps and comes back to compel the military leader to handle power back to them.
They ran their mouths on the gullible ones who are of majority in the country. That has always been the cycle. If you are reading this piece and you are not a native of Africa and you desire to know about Africa’s political history, then that is all I have just highlighted above. Nothing more nothing less. During the days of slavery, it was said that the people who were exported were traded by their chiefs for exchange of some broken mirror and rusted spoons. Fast forward to the 21st century, presidents trade their people for their own parochial interest. One common feature in these two generations is lack of strong leadership. Leadership has always been the difference between the whites, our trade masters and blacks. Many think it is colour or intelligence but I bet to differ. Leadership is the one word most African leaders have refused to understand. One key thing about this word is, the definition differ and anyhow one defines in his line of work, it is evident for all to see. If ones definition about leadership is to subject yourself to the people who brought you to power and strive to make life easy for them, it shall be known and if one defines it as being the leader and all that matters is about him because he is the leader, it shall also be known.
I pray that the next time I pick a pen and paper to write about my continent, I would be bold enough to give it the heading ‘THE ACTION LEADERS’ because by then all the fundamental problems would have been addressed that is talking less and doing more.
Story by: Prince Karikari Dip 1