Powerful leaders, mostly in opaque political systems, are vulnerable to lies told by their most “trusted” aides and/or those they entrust with positions of “power” and “authority”

Powerful leaders, mostly in opaque political systems where such leaders form a dominant or indeed are the powerful central authority and the individual at the top, are more likely to be betrayed by lies they are told by their most “trusted” aides and/or those they entrust with positions of “power” and “authority” largely out of fear and, obviously, to protect their positions; power in other words.

Therefore, the chink in the armor of such powerful leaders, are the lies from and told by their most trusted aides and/or those they choose to surround themselves with and entrust with positions of power and authority.

Longevity in power for most powerful leaders in such political systems, depends largely on, and therefore requires the leader to be vigilant to such power manipulation tactics and; most importantly, be[come] a human lie detector. This is because the motivation for those close to and certainly in the service of such leaders to tell [them] lies, to embellish untruths or to exaggerate little truths is rather enormous.

It begins with the analysis and assessment of their [underlying] interests, particularly economic and power ambitions. Equally, it also requires the critical assessment of their positions – proximity to the leader, the competitive power dynamics involved in gaining access to the leader – and the privileges such positions accord them; which will be a great motivation to bend truth, embellish lies, manipulate data or, worse, fabricate “facts” or boldly tell outright lies. Not to mention manipulating the leader into their own world, perspective and view point by and through their lies.

If telling uncomfortable but necessary truth to power – the powerful leader in this case – risks and therefore means loss of their positions, the power and privileges that come with it; those who otherwise are in positions to tell and should be telling the powerful leader truth, will hold [themselves] back, at best.

They will hold back from telling the powerful leader what is otherwise necessary truth because it’s uncomfortable, and the discomfort caused to the powerful leader will likely mean, and result in loss of their positions (jobs), power and privileges. It’s a power conundrum!

But they have to tell the powerful leader something. They cannot be around the powerful leader, in their positions, without telling or saying something to the powerful leader. That would raise suspicion to the powerful leader, especially that a majority of such leaders are pathologically suspicious and live in fear of everyone, moreover those they choose to surround themselves with. It would also more likely come across, to the leader, as if they aren’t doing their jobs.

It’s a sticky situation indeed that requires clever and creative interpersonal and power relations skills. It’s a psychological game that requires and involves the manipulation of the mind. Lies are effectively easy to tell and since this is a psychological operation, lies are effective tools of such psychological operations.

This dilemma, therefore, creates an environment in which those who surround and/or are in the service of the powerful leader are literally forced to lie to the powerful leader because it’s safe and protects their positions, power and privileges from such borrowed power positions.

They are forced to fabricate truths just about anything and everything that will sound good, acceptable and welcoming, heck, even sweet, to the ears of their powerful and pathologically suspicious leader who obviously might have demonstrated to his or her flunkies, a strong aversion for anything that might smell or sound like truth. In and of itself, a behaviour that encourages the advancement of lies.

They are even willing to engage, and more often than not, they do engage in smear campaigns against anyone or among themselves, as long as it sounds good to the ears of the powerful leader; or gets them the attention of and endears them to the powerful leader and protects their positions and privileges.

So, telling porkies for those around and surrounding the powerful leader becomes not only a defensive mechanism but also a means, arguably cheap nonetheless, to endear themselves to the powerful leader for more favours and privileges. It becomes a means to an end, a survival mechanism.

It also becomes a competitive race among those, particularly close to and around the powerful leader but also attractive to those outside the realms of and not part of the small clique of people around and undoubtedly deep in the pockets of the powerful leader, with ambitions to get close to or win favours from the powerful leader.

The danger with this, however, is that such powerful leaders are sustained by a regimen of lies. The more lies they unconsciously attract and encourage to be told; the more they are led down a slippery slope by lies from and told by their “trusted” aides and those they appoint to (entrust with) key positions of power, motivated by the desire to protect and further their own interests and privileges that come with such positions.

Conversely, the more truth, even the slightest portion of it, is told; the more threat it poses to such powerful leaders and becomes their greatest enemy because it shakes and threatens their power edifices built on a foundation of lies. Because they know that when truth comes out, it’s game over!

If telling lies is profitable, and if they are motivated by keeping their children in private schools, enjoy publicly funded private health care and medical trips abroad (for those where that is applicable), subsidised housing, government funded or subsidised car schemes, transportation and fuel allowances, they and their relatives having access to lucrative government contracts and a whole host of other generous benefits in kind, then by all means, they will gladly lie in broad daylight sans souci – with a straight face.

Reflections on the history of the myth of the “land of a thousand little beautiful hills…”, with a few cattle and a place with limited bees but surprisingly “…flowing with ‘milk’ and ‘honey’”

The power and propaganda of mythology.

Mythology, like history, is a powerful tool of propaganda; it is used for social and mind indoctrination. Throughout history, mythology has been used as an effective tool of propaganda, social and mind indoctrination. This is still fundamentally the same; it has not changed in modern society, primarily and precisely because mythology has the power to conjure up images and greatly influence imagination.

It’s about imagery and imagination, the two most potent tools to play profound tricks on the human mind.

The following story, therefore, is one of and about the power and propaganda of mythology. Its profound and powerful effects, playing profound tricks of strong imagery and imagination on the human mind, stirring it into deep longing and subsequently setting it off on a protracted search for solutions to its imagined and hence, rather created reality.

It’s, as it will become clear, a two-phase story of: The first 30-31 years and, therefore, which begot the second 29-30 years.

The first 30-31 year phase, begot the second 29-30 year phase

It took 30-31 years, circa 1959 to 1987-90, of targeted persecution, dehumanisation, pathological denial, prevarication by and on one side; and statelessness, refugee life of hardship, misery, deaths and constantly watching over the back by and on another side; for the last 29-30 years, circa 1990, to be what they have been.

The first 30-31 year phase, begot the second 29-30 year phase. In many ways, it was history preparing to make history. Put simply, it was the first 30-31 years before the next 29-30 years that made what transpired in the next and therefore last 29-30 years today.

Both phases have been a roller coaster ride filled with great misery and suffering, success and victory; but perhaps a necessary fate of history. Without the first phase, there could certainly never have been the second phase.

“History is a mirror into the future” so it’s said.

That may well be true, at least, to a certain extent and to some people. But it is not always necessarily so because it depends so much on who holds the mirror. How, that is, at what angle for instance, they hold the mirror and what they, essentially, choose to see and not necessarily what they really see in the mirror. It is, therefore, by and large, a matter of choice and perception more than it is about reality.

History as a mirror into the future is influenced largely by what the past has been and therefore what it means; what the present is and means (looks and feels like, that is, how it is perceived) and how the future is projected not so much, if anything, very little, by the past but largely by the present to who and whoever holds the mirror.

There’s, however, one undeniable fact, and that’s that history has a lot [of lessons] to teach us. What’s equally undeniable, is our (the human) inability to learn from history despite too much reading and therefore our deep knowledge, subsequent interpretation and understanding of written history.

This, however, is not a lesson on [in] history; it’s a story about a history of a generation of people and the generation after who, due to the events that transpired leading to the 30-31 year phase of targeted persecution, dehumanisation, refugee life and hardships, were fed on myths and glorified historical lies.

This is a story about a history of people who, for 30-31 years, were fed on myths and glorified historical lies that were and essentially served as the glue that held them together. Myths and glorified historical lies which, with hindsight, gave these people a profound sense of both purpose and identity and therefore, equally important, self-pride and dignity despite their refugee and tough circumstances.

This is a story of a generation of people who were told stories – myths and glorified historical sweet lies – of a thousand heavenly hills, occupied and strongly protected by immovable and indivisible three traditional social pillars of Ga-tutsi, Ga-hutu and Ga-twa, around which collective social culture was formed with one overseeing, all powerful but presumably, as culture would demand, uniting and peaceful mount giraffe king chewing cud with a smile and smoking a pipe surrounded with, as royal culture demands, an army, nonetheless, of treacherous, ever scheming and backstabbing court minions.

This is a story of buzzing but humanely friendly armies of bees swirling and serving bucketsful of honey to each chiefdom and its surfs occupying each of the thousand heavenly hills, while the overseeing mount giraffe king is served cold milk with warm honey by his treacherous, ever scheming and backstabbing court minions and gives gratitude with friendly, reassuring and gentle tail strokes.

This is a story on the reflections on the history of the myth of the “land of a thousand little beautiful hills…“, with a few cattle and a place with limited bees but surprisingly “…flowing with ‘milk’ and ‘honey’”

This is a story about a history of a generation of people who took such myths and glorified historical sweet lies about a mythical place of a thousand heavenly hills, inhabited and strongly protected by immovable and indivisible three traditional social pillars of Ga-tutsi, Ga-hutu and Ga-twa – around which, collective social culture was formed – with an overseeing mount giraffe king seriously and believed them.

This is a story about a history of a generation of people whose parents had been severely persecuted and violently cast out of that mythical place who, some 30-31 years later, set out to rediscover, by all means possible and necessary, that place created and implanted in their minds through the power and propaganda of mythology.

This is a story about a history of the last 29-30 years of the mythical land of a thousand heavenly hills – some rocky and disappointingly arid – without, surprisingly, the humanely friendly armies of bees swirling and serving bucketsful of honey to each chiefdom and its surfs occupying each of the thousand heavenly hills; and without the overseeing mount giraffe king being served cold milk with warm honey by his treacherous, ever scheming and backstabbing court minions and gives gratitude with friendly, reassuring and gentle tail strokes.

This is certainly a story on the reflections, with mixed feelings of disappointment and joy, on the eventual realisation that there is, after all, no such place anywhere in the world, as a “land of a thousand little beautiful hills flowing with milk and honey”. And even if it existed and its inhabitants fed only on milk and honey; given that the combination of milk and honey is a bowel laxative, it would possibly be an unpleasant place to live in.

But it is certainly a place with [of] hills, where treachery, scheming and backstabbing is as rife as it is in any society where survival depends on one’s access to the means of and resources necessary for survival. Where such means and resources and opportunities to access such means and resources, are few and far between.

This is a story of the power and propaganda of well told mythology and glorified historical sweet lies; told constantly to a people so desperate and determined to defend and preserve their dignity. This is a story of a well indoctrinated and cultivated mind through well articulated mythology and glorified historical sweet lies. It’s a powerful mind!

This is a story of a generation of people who staked everything for their cause, and in their pursuit and journey of struggle to rediscover the mythical “land of a thousand little beautiful hills flowing with milk and honey”.

This is a story of a generation of people who had a cause they believed in at the time, set out and did everything – whatever necessary – to achieve it but like all causes; has changed faces and gone on a different course and rails with the inevitable passing of time.

This is a story about a history of constant struggle; of crossing one finishing line while starting another journey of struggle to another finishing line. It is a story of [about] a life caught in a matrix of continuous struggle for much the same fundamental concerns and pursuits of [in] human life, of self-determination, fundamental freedoms such as freedom of expression without inhibitions of the fear of consequences. And fundamental rights such as the right to a decent life, a decent work environment with prospects of growth, fulfillment and with a decent compensation package, decent accommodation, health care, healthy diet; the right to and equality of opportunities et cetera.

This is a story about a history, like all history, that appears to be on wheels running round and round in a circle. This is a story about a history on the run, on wheels rolling and running, until the rolling and running wheels are stopped; it’s a history that is inevitably bound to be repeated.

This is the story of the myth of the  “land of a thousand little beautiful hills flowing with milk and honey”. This is the story of the power and propaganda of mythology.

This story, like many of its kind, demonstrates how propaganda and mythology are both and can be [used as] effective and powerful tools of any social, political struggles and war. Because they are systematic, powerful and effective tools used to propagate and promote narratives by subtly attacking and indoctrinating the mind.

Of the master political lion and the hyenas around him.

The master political lion is too strong as he is too weak; his strength is equally his own weakness. He is heavily, and inevitably, dependent on the desperately and dangerously hungry hyenas surrounding him for his own survival.

But while he is dependent on them, he must, in an unspoken, uncodified contractual obligation and hence, exchange, provide them with prey.

He is a political lion (who is) too weak to fend off the political hyenas around and surrounding him, and scavenging on him for their own survival – a situation they aren’t too happy about because they are undoubtedly convinced, deep down their miserableness, he causes the kind of undignifying, dehumanising situation that puts them in such dire and precarious circumstances. And consequently, they are ready and willing to eat, and will eat him up (finish off) at the slightest mistake, and opportunity in the event he slacks off on providing them with much needed prey.

If he cannot provide them with prey; he will be the prey. They will easily turn him into their prey. That’s his biggest dilemma (challenge) and ought to be his worst fear. The master political lion is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

At the moment, in what appears to be the best of times when he can get both his own prey enough to feed on and satisfy his own acquisitiveness and have some leftovers to pass to the hyenas, all is and will be well.

But, worryingly, preys are running out fast and that should raise alarm bells to him. Even more worrying, if and while the alarm bells ring, the hyenas are and will be listening intently; paying close attention and alerted to the tough times ahead, baying for his blood, to turn him into their prey. For, the political hyenas around and surrounding the master political lion, too strong and too weak at the same time, cannot and will not starve to death while the master political lion stands in their midst, possibly with enough to feed on but not enough to pass over to them.

They will, more out of desperation and boldness as a consequence of no alternative than natural courage, move and close in on him with the intention and purpose to force him to share his own scandalous opulence. And if he chooses or dares push back or frighten or, worse, fight them, they will have no option but to engage him, and ruthlessly eat him up.

The master political lion knows if he cannot get prey, for himself – his own avaricious needs and satisfaction – he will have to prey on the hyenas. But the hyenas are no fools; they’re around him all the time and observe him, his every move and therefore know and understand him well, his strengths and weaknesses. The political hyenas know when he is weak and most strong, and should he indicate signs of being too weak to provide them with prey, they will mercilessly descend on him and devour him with a vengeance.

The master political lion is, after all, too strong as he is too weak – his strength is his weakness. He is heavily and desperately dependent on the political hyenas around him and he knows and understands their integral role in his own survival. Similarly, he effectively knows and understands his own role in their own circumstances, albeit, quietly undesirable to many.

The political hyenas have inhibited but increasingly festering anger and bitterness as a consequence of the arrogance, the scandalous selfishness of the master political lion to whom all is and must be due without regard to the consequences either to the political hyenas or the entire environment in the wild.

The relationship between the master political lion and the political hyenas around him is a dependent relationship heavily skewed towards the master political lion, but one in which the master political lion must provide political hyenas with prey; without fail, for his own survival.

It’s a relationship based on a simple but natural survival principle in the wild, provide or be prey!

The Rwandan populace does not speak the “same language”: the ruling class – so-called “educated” elite – cannot speak the same language as the ruled “uneducated” majority hoi polloi.

There are probably some African countries where the entire populace speaks the same language; I’m not familiar with any, yet; but I stand to be informed.

This is possibly, and understandably, a rather sensitive topic but nonetheless confusing, at least, to me. However, I strongly believe there’s no taboo around it and therefore it’s not too sensitive to discuss and/or write about.

I’ve heard, many times and from many different people, Rwandans no less, make what’s an interesting claim, perhaps for various valid reasons especially in reference to Rwanda’s recent history, that “Rwanda has one language” and that the “Rwandan populace speaks the same language”.

But what does this really mean? Is it true? How true is it?

It’s likely that historically, Rwanda once had “one language” and its “populace spoke the same language”. But, like anywhere else in Africa, that was or must have been before European colonialism in Africa. The idea or the claim, thus, that the Rwandan populace speaks the “same language” is an interesting myth, and farcical; but one that’s often perpetuated unchallenged.

While there’s a common medium of communication among the Rwandan populace, it is nonetheless, not the same thing as the “same language”.

It’s worth noting that Rwanda has a national language, Kinyarwanda, spoken and used by a majority of the population. But that does not entirely mean the Rwandan population speaks the “same language”, and certainly not one language. Rwandans speak other languages within Rwanda. There are also many Rwandans, within and outside Rwanda, who do not and cannot speak Kinyarwanda.

Rwanda has four official languages, Kinyarwanda, as a national language, is one them; the others are: French, English, and Kiswahili or Swahili.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Rwanda

But the idea that Rwanda has the “same language” suggests “one language”. This is not true and it’s not the case in Rwanda.

Although Kinyarwanda is recognised as a “national” language, this omits and therefore obscures the great influence languages from the neighbouring regions, colonial “education” as well as colonial languages, particularly and historically French and more recently English, have had and undeniably continue to wield on Kinyarwanda; how it is spoken and those who speak it; their perspective on Kinyarwanda as a language and its place particularly in this century.

It’s no exaggeration or entirely untrue to say that Kinyarwanda has quite varying versions depending on the speaker and/or their regional and historical as well as formal, i.e, colonial educational backgrounds and not to forget their lack of formal, i.e, colonial education.

All these factors have had and continue to exert great influence on Kinyarwanda, and therefore are constantly affecting or shaping the way it’s spoken; the reasons and purpose for speaking Kinyarwanda, when and when not to speak Kinyarwanda.

What is undeniable, however, perhaps due to waves of globalisation and its influence, it’s apparent Kinyarwanda is fast losing ground. It seems there are ever more reasons to not speak Kinyarwanda than there are to speak other foreign languages even within Rwanda.

It’s undeniable and quite common that many so-called “educated” Rwandans who, because of their colonial so-called “education”, unfortunately, constitute the ruling class – les élites politiques et économiques – and many of their progeny – who are the next generation of the ruling class – have embarrassing fluency issues in Kinyarwanda. Others can barely express themselves in Kinyarwanda compared to the majority of their non-educated counterparts who, therefore, constitute the ruled class and are likely to use Kinyarwanda as their first or only medium of communication.

Although both groups are Rwandans, they do not necessarily speak, communicate in or indeed understand the “same language”. Even when Kinyarwanda is spoken; it’s likely that both groups will speak and express themselves differently in it, at different fluency and comprehension level.

It’s not uncommon to hear Rwandan government officials, while communicating to the ruled, who constitute the majority of the non-educated or “uneducated” class of the Rwandan population, speak Kinyarwanda but profusely pepper it with colonial languages even though the audience does not and cannot understand colonial languages. But they do it anyway!

This is obviously due to a number of factors such as Rwanda’s colonial history and its refugee consequences which, to some extent, might explain their difficulty in Kinyarwanda. But it’s no excuse and it’s unacceptable behaviour especially for people in public positions who should speak the language majority of the public understands.

What cannot be denied, however, if not perhaps largely because of it, is the illusion of superiority and therefore uppity attitude colonial so-called “education” inculcates in many so-called “educated” Rwandans, especially towards those they consider non-educated or uneducated or less educated. And they foolishly do that to prove their “educated” superior status.

If a ruling “educated” elite rules and communicates in a language that majority of the ruled can barely understand, or cannot entirely understand, then that ruling so-called “educated” elite is an alien class.

No wonder there’s a disconnect between the ruling so-called “educated” elite and the ruled “uneducated” majority hoi polloi. They both cannot speak the “same language”. The rulers cannot speak the same language and/or have same values as the ruled; because that would invalidate their rule.

African countries (Africa) should look to Japan for inspiration and lessons on wealth creation and development

Japan is ranked, by GDP size, the 3rd largest top 20 economies in the World with an estimated nominal GDP of $5.413 trillion, 2020.

But, and interestingly, Japan is not known as one among countries endowed with natural wealth (resources) such as gold, diamonds, et cetera. The kind of natural wealth (resources) that many African countries are said to be naturally endowed and rich with.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan “three-fourths of the country’s [Japan’s] terrain is covered with mountains”

Save for the fact that Japan with a land area, approximately 145,937 square miles, has a forest cover of 68%; a geographical advantage, as an island country, that has thus contributed to the growth of its fishing industry, Japan has no other substantial natural wealth. Fishing is a major economic activity in Japan.

Japan is among the top industrialised countries in the world, with its industrial sector contributing approximately 27% of its GDP.

But what makes and puts Japan one among the top 20 largest economies in the world?

What makes Japan, with a disadvantage of being inadequately naturally endowed with valuable wealth both under and above soils, as many African countries are endowed with, one of the world’s developed and rich countries?

What explains Japan’s wealth and its standing as one of the world’s top economic dogs?

Japan is a good case study, it should be to many African countries, to understand that having an abundance of natural wealth (resources) alone, is not enough and does not translate into economic wealth and the much coveted “development“, that is, western lifestyle and standards, by African countries.

What is quite clear is that Japan’s abundance of natural wealth (resources) is its people; the minds and, above all, the consciousness its people project to the rest of the world.

We learn from Japan, that you can, after all, have an abundance of natural wealth (resources), as many African countries are said to, but if you do not have – without – the right frame of mind – the right consciousness towards wealth creation; they may end up to waste. Or indeed, a terrible curse, as history and experience demonstrates in Africa.

It might seem inconceivable to many – applying western economic metrics, of course, and as the capitalist western media with its imperialist agenda, constantly reminds the world – why Africa, with all its coveted natural wealth, remains one of the economically poorest continents.

But while we can, rightly, put much of the blame on European capitalist imperialism and colonialism – a system of economic value extraction and wealth creation by exploitation and plunder – and its devastating social impact in Africa; we should not shy away from questioning whether, we Africans, particularly the African so-called “educated elite” – with a colonial bourgeois attitude, and because of their colonial so-called “education“, are in charge, have the right frame of mind.

Whether they’ve the right consciousness to leverage on and use Africa’s natural wealth, to create or translate it into economic wealth for all; and not collude with foreign fortune seekers with an exploitation and plunder attitude, for only their small but lucrative cuts that make them live in floating tiny islands of obscene opulence in a sea of stinking poverty.

On the outset, it might boggle the mind why, for instance, a country like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), endowed with vast natural wealth, should be one of and among the poorest countries in the World; but it demonstrates that without the right frame of mind, the right consciousness, natural wealth alone, is of little use.

https://focus-economics.com/blog/the-poorest-countries-in-the-world…

It’s no secret, lie or exaggeration by any stretch of imagination to say that DRC’s vast natural wealth made Belgium what it is because, as evil and inexcusable as King Leopold’s actions in the Congo were, he had the consciousness to use Congo’s vast natural wealth to build Belgium.

The Belgian people cannot deny that their country is what it is today because it was built and developed on and by the plunder of Congo’s vast natural wealth. And that they are, therefore, historical beneficiaries of Congo’s plundered vast natural wealth by their former King Leopold II, a genocideur by any standards of measure of his actions who, it is estimated that in his plunder of the Congo, may have killed in the region of 10 million and above of the Congolese people.

https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/1999/may/13/features11.g22

Why Isn’t Belgium’s King Leopold II As Reviled As Hitler Or Stalin?

Today, DRC’s vast natural wealth continues to benefit foreign interests than it does benefit DRC and its people. And this is due to a lack of the right consciousness from, mainly its colonially indoctrinated so-called “educated elite” who, largely due to their colonial indoctrination, are consequently advantaged to be in positions of power and charged with the running of government and national affairs.

But they have, through their colonial indoctrination so-called “education“, and therefore have subsequently been imbued with a colonial bourgeois attitude that makes them foolishly connive with foreign fortune seekers to loot their own country’s natural wealth for small cuts, so they can go on expensive shopping sprees in Europe and North America to buy overpriced valueless shiny trinkets; buy expensive apartments in European and North American cities and elsewhere in the world they hardly and will likely never live in; yet cannot build and equip with basics community dispensaries for their own poor communities.

But most of such colonially “educated” fools insist and demand to be addressed as “les excellences” et “les honorables”.

This impoverished mindset to natural and national wealth, however, runs rampant across all the African so-called “educated elite” in charge of government and national affairs.

Japan, strongly reinforces the idea that the wealth of any country is not in its soil, but in the minds of its people; the right consciousness. And that the right mind and consciousness of the people comes from and is shaped by national education. Japan educates its people.

While Japan and many wealthy and developed countries primarily and consciously educate their people; Africa, unfortunately, does not educate its people. African people – Africans – are educated by other people, non-Africans, that is, foreigners, through a colonial education system and into a foreign value-system, hence mindset and consciousness.

No wonder that the so-called “educated” African “elite” has and projects a European colonial bourgeois attitude, which works in the service of colonial interests and to the great detriment of African interests and African people.

It’s largely this colonial bourgeois attitude that makes the so-called “educated” African “elite” in charge of running government and national affairs and economies, covet all things colonial – foreign – and hate things African and consequently why they loot African economies only to invest and spend their loot in foreign economies; largely their colonial masters’ economies while impoverishing their own economies and societies.

In whose hands (control) are African economies?

Whilst the COVID19 pandemic has caused a global economic crisis, exposing deep and devastating vulnerabilities in the global economic system; it has, nonetheless, further exposed not only the vulnerabilities but the insidious duplicity that underlies African economic systems.

The COVID19 crisis has, once again, brought up and further reinforces the inescapable need to raise more fundamental questions about the nature and, more importantly, the ownership of African so-called economies.

While we Africans – many of us – speak, with misplaced pride of course, of “our [African] economies“; we often seem to do so while conveniently ignoring, forgetting or, with a wool of ignorance firmly plastered in our faces, of the historic origins and development of “our” economies.

It’s imperative to recall that present day African economies, as part and therefore, like the rest of the governance and administrative structures, are colonial economic structures inherited from the colonial system complete with their colonial purpose and still maintained today. They are essentially colonial structures, through and through, developed by the colonial system in Africa purposely to serve colonial interests; not African interests and the needs of African people. That’s undeniably true.

They’ve never changed in structure, and in their primary purpose of both existence and service, even with so-called “African independence“. Nominal political independence, of course, with African governors replacing “white” European colonial governors and acting on behalf and interests of their colonial masters and the colonial system.

It is what it is; it remains firmly so. But what’s equally undeniably true, is that Africa has never had economic independence precisely because of the nature and structure of its colonial economic systems.

The purpose of the colonial African economic system today, remains the same as it was upon its conception and subsequent development: to serve colonial economic interests using African resources; both natural and so-called “human” resource, put otherwise, free labour.

That system of economic value extraction and exploitation of both African natural resources and so-called “human” resources – free labour – did not change and has never changed despite the claim of “African independence”, a mere wool pulled on African faces while the plunder goes on.

In fact, one would contend that the main reason the European colonialists largely conceded to token political independence to Africans agitating for self-rule (some people, with valid reasons, call it misrule) was after they had ensured that the economic system remained intact. That its supply-structure of necessary raw materials to Europe for industrial purposes remained uninterrupted and continued to serve their economic and political interests seamlessly.

They got their African replacements – agents – to sign binding economic treaties with severe repercussions of noncompliance. They also ensured that whoever, African or not, attempted to interrupt the system, was dealt with decisively and made to serve as an example to anyone who might dare or dream of interrupting it again. This remains largely the same modus operandi although with changes in the dynamics of operations.

The main reason African economies are not serving and benefiting Africans is because they aren’t African economies; they were not initially and still are not designed with the purpose to serve African interests and African people. They were designed and developed by the colonial system to serve colonial interests and needs.

That remains the central purpose, serving foreign interests and needs using African natural resources as well as “human” resource – free labour.

The COVID19 pandemic and the economic crisis it has thus caused globally, but the focus here is Africa, should make many of us Africans, particularly African goverments and policymakers, ask some serious questions that must be truthfully answered whilst crafting out a recovery plan from COVID19 related economic devastation.

  1. In whose hands (control) are African economies?
  2. How much of African economies – sector by sector – is actually African or owned by Africans?
  3. How do African economies benefit Africans?
  4. What role do multilateral development and international financial institutions play in maintaining African economies in the colonial system and purpose?
  5. How can and should African economies be redesigned to ensure they serve Africa, African interests and African people?
  6. What can and should be done to ensure that a majority of Africans have a fair share – ownership – in African economies and not merely expendable cogs in a foreign economic machine, operated by a few token Africans – agents to foreign interests – with a colonial bourgeois attitude?

The economic crisis caused by the COVID19 pandemic should be used as an opportunity to rethink, redesign, restructure the prevailing African economic system – which is foreign owned and serves foreign interests – to ensure that it functions and serves to benefit Africans.

Post-lockdown and post-covid-19 world: “New Normal”

There are undeniably a lot of unknown unknowns as well as some major known-expected-knowns such as massive adverse effects of lockdown on businesses, resulting in massive job losses and subsequent massive unemployment in the post-lockdown and post-covid-19 world.

However, based on the mandatory requirement, in most parts of the world so far to wear masks at all times in public places; one predictably obvious known known – outcome – of that requirement is that; finally when lockdown measures are eased or lifted altogether; and people come out with mouths masked tight, after serving their “stay at home” terms, there will hardly be any mouth left unmasked – open – to tell and narrate the tales of what truly transpired during and while serving their “stay at home” terms.

Stay at home” period might and will, unless otherwise, go down world history as one of the most untold and hence unknown, or least known, mainly because people will come out with tightly masked – covered – mouths, unwilling to open their mouths to speak, in self-interest, of course.

The “New Normal” will be full of unknown unknowns but one thing for certain, there will be less, if any at all, mouths unmasked [uncovered] tight. Consequently and, fortunately, drastically minimised gossip and unnecessary running of the mouth especially by fake highbrow types.

Hopefully, masked mouths will also mean there will be less need to talk and certainly less need for useless time wasting meetings at work and other places, especially of interest such as libraries and museums, therefore more need for more listening and critical observation.

Hopefully too, masked mouths will also mean there will be less need to talk and certainly less need for useless time wasting meetings at work and other places, especially of interest such as libraries and museums, therefore more need for more listening and critical observation.

It’s also likely that people will effectively use more body language; increased gesticulation for instance, increased non-verbal communication hence requiring more observation and attention to decipher body movements such as gestures, eye movements, for messages. This is great because it’s a chance to train, out of necessity, and hone an important but previously ignored yet extremely critical communication skill – non-verbal [vocal] communication – especially in management, business and negotiation – of all kinds, social and business alike.

Nothing, no matter how severe and damaging it is, is without some opportunities. Every crisis carries with it, opportunities. No cloud, thick as a burning coal mine set ablaze, is without a line of glimmering silver. If identified and relentlessly pursued, salvation lies therein.

The covid-19 crisis is rearranging society and its previously established norms, no less how we communicate. Silence is certainly going to be an extremely important communication form; far more than it has ever been especially in a world obsessed with meetups and networking events.

And the skill to listen to silence, decipher and understand what’s communicated in silence, is going to be an extremely vital, and hopefully, sought after communication skill. Other non-verbal communication means will be adopted.

No more chatterboxes. No more chatterboxes!

But we’ll always need writers, writing skills are vital. The less need to talk, the less we talk, especially in self-protection, the more we’ll take to writing, if not so much for the sheer joy of/in it, but at least as a necessary alternative to reduced talking in self-protection