AFRICA, O MOTHER AFRICA
“First to come to Africa were the Arabs. They hunted us down like animals, captured us, castrated us and sold us into slavery. Then came the Europeans who did even worse. Now the Chinese have come in their full power and glory. O mother Africa, who shall deliver thee?
“I have asked myself this question over and over again over the years and I still do not have the answer. Yet such is our pitiful plight today that it is time for some painful introspection and to share some home truths.
“In William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”, the character Cassius told Brutus that “the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves”. Nothing could be more appropriate than these words in an honest, candid and frank appraisal of the African condition and mind-set.
“I apologise in advance if anyone is offended by my words and assertions in this contribution but if we are really interested in making progress as a race and if we wish to change our dastardly ways and improve our fortunes then the truth, no matter how bitter, has to be identified and must be spoken. That is the purpose of this contribution.
“The charismatic and illustrious West Indian revolutionary and great thinker Marcus Garvey, who was undoubtedly one of the most brilliant minds of his age and generation, once wrote,
“having had the wrong education as a start in his racial career, the negro has become his own greatest enemy. Most of the trouble I have had in advancing the cause of the race has come from negroes”.
“On his part an equally great thinker and intellectual giant, the celebrated black American Booker T. Washington, aptly described the black race in one of his many lectures by stating that they were “like crabs in a barrel”.
“He said that none would allow the other to climb over the top but on any such attempt all would continue to pull back into the barrel the one crab that would make the effort to climb out.
“I wholeheartedly agree with both Garvey and Washington. The black man is his own worse enemy and in the case of the African this is even more pronounced and self-evident. Permit me to expand on this.
“There are a few exceptions to the rule but generally speaking the greatest weakness of the African is first an inability to provide good leadership, second a lack of desire for good leaders, third ignorance, fourth cowardice, fifth envy and sixth poverty.
“This combination of deadly afflictions makes us nothing but expendable prey to the rest of the world.
“Like the famous 19th century Arab slave trader Mehmet Ali once wrote, “you do not need to destroy the black African because he always ends up destroying himself and his people for you”.