We Africans are a funny lot, while busy whining about and cursing the “White” world – hereafter, referred to as the “West” – for the ruthless, largely historic, injustices it has meted on us over time, and demanding “White” people to give us back everything they, so we assertively allege, ‘stole’ from us, like land and all, we’re too happy and busy sucking up to them. Running to them – the West – for all kinds of things that make the West what it is – what “white” people are – the things that we so admire about and make us look to them as the paragon of “civilisation” like an “education”.
Not to mention adopting their names and socio-political, economic and cultural value system in the false name of “modernity” and “development“. A duo-concept, nonetheless, we have so miserably failed at conceptualising and subsequently struggle to fundamentally understand, which explains why ‘modernity’ and ‘development’ in the african psyche as well as practice, evidently means, doing what the “White” world – the West – and “white” people do.
Consequently, we have accepted the western (“White”) socio-cultural value system, for instance, as what is permissible and thus a model for what to be and aspire to, so we work hard to be just that, like “White” people, be and have all things “white” and by “white” people.
It is not farfetched a suggestion that, if and where we could – were it possible – many of [among] us would be too happy to [convert to] be all “white”.
You see this kind of imitation of “white” people, in what we value as “education”, values and virtues taught through that education – a process, no doubt, more than anything else, of the westernisation of both the african mind and body.
The desperate imitation of the same people and their socio-cultural value system – hereafter referred to as ‘western’ culture and value-system – we, on the one hand, allege has been the basis of a political system that has oppressed us for far too long, plundered and stolen our valued resources, but the same system, surprisingly, we, on the other hand, are too happy to adopt and adapt ourselves to and gladly be associated with, suggesting we suffer something akin to the “Stockholm syndrome”
So, the venerable “educated” african is often one who has been through and subjected to a rigorous westernisation (indoctrination) process – that is, “education” – a process which can be reasonably compared to a human [african] “whitening” washing machine africans go through from one end – black (dark) and come out all thoroughly washed “white” on the other end – euphoric.
One simply has to listen to the [an] “educated” african speak, observe their projected mannerisms and social behaviour and what [social] values they exude and project as, primarily, of an acceptable “educated” african. This final african [human] product is not by fault, it’s by systematic design.
In come the african duo concepts of “modernity” and “development”, the seeds of which have been systematically sown through and during the process of westernisation [indoctrination], which are, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, conspicuously western concepts through and through, that no evidence or further elaboration is necessary.
We africans do so little to innovate, create and/or, indeed, modify – at least to fit into and reflect our context – what we learn and thus take from our westernisation – “education” – but shamelessly and lazily, albeit happily, copy and paste everything.
It never ceases to make me wonder and thus ask why western innovators, creators hardly accuse, let alone try to sue us, africans, for the wanton and conspicuous plagiarisation of their [conceptual] innovations, creations and all kinds of things we so desperately aspire to achieve.
This plagiarism is so obvious in our adopted way of life, the lifestyles we proudly fancy living and flaunt as “high” standards of living – “high-end” model living standards – displayed, for instance, in our housing models and many things that we have defined and accepted as “modern” and which we aspire to, and the achievement of which, is lauded as success.
There’s no wonder, thus, that we measure our level of “modernity”’ and “development” according to how far or close we are at becoming a western (white) model african country.
We’ve taken success and accepted it for what the West defines it to be and thus measure our success on/according to western standards of success, and by the same token, we measure failure accordingly. This, despite the glaringly fact that our environments in which we operate, with all our efforts to “modernise” and “develop”, are still fundamentally different from western environments.
Then we wonder why, and feel disappointed, when measured against the same standards, we always fall short – far too short – of western levels of “modernity” and “development”, our great efforts to westernise notwithstanding.
The effect of this, therefore, leads us, rather desperately, to seek validation, not from within us, ourselves – but from outside – external validation – from the western establishment.
So, we are too happy to call [bring] in “white” people – under the pretext of ‘expats’ – to share with us their ‘expertise’ that will miraculously leapfrog us to their level.
We call [invite] them in – no doubt on expensive contracts – as ‘experts’ to evaluate our progress into our westernisation journey, we anxiously wait for their ‘expert’ judgement on [of] our efforts, on things that are essentially, supposedly, for our own benefits.
We aspire and work hard to build expensive skyscrapers that have very little practical use to our fundamental needs and uses, as long as they serve our overriding purpose – to have something shiny to show off – to show the “White” world how “modern” and “developed”, in other words, westernised we’ve become.
To suggest that the duo concepts of “modernity” and “development” in Africa seek to bastardise african countries and societies into enclaves of western (white) socio-economic and value-systems, is not farfetched. It should not be rejected as a form of self-hatred or negative feeling toward self, either. It is simply stating the obvious!
If anything, and far from it, it’s an honest observation of the falsification of the african mind, inculcated and perpetuated through the westernisation [colonial indoctrination] process we so proudly call “education” – which teaches africans to hate everything african and love all things “white”.
One only has to observe the conspicuous consumption habits of africans, mainly the “educated” elite that constitute the visible majority representation of Africa and africans and their materialistic inclinations and concept of “quality”.
Quality, in african psyche, and, allow the oxymoron, ‘standard’, is synonymous with western – all things “white”, made by “white” people.
Lastly, how do we africans reconcile our internal contradictions and the apparent lack of moral compass while we, particularly those powerful political forces – the political elite – who run and control our countries like their personal estates, constantly keep whining about neo-colonialism and how western political and economic interests are forever interfering in our own (national) affairs?
Yet, these same powerful forces are too happy to practise, and in many cases, busy practising [a form of] colonialism on their own people, us, disguised as ‘self-governance‘ under the lie of ‘independence‘ that has been and continues to be told to us as an african achievement that we all should celebrate. As such, many african governments waste large sums of money from their national treasuries on pompous and extravagant so-called ‘independence” day celebrations annually, the real purpose and sole motive of which, is to elevate these political elite and their interests.
However, in reality, we live in a system of colonialism orchestrated and administered and are increasingly being colonised, oppressed by our own people who, for the most part, masquerade [to us] as our ‘leaders‘, yet are unaccountable to us let alone working in our general interests.
How can or do we call ourselves “proud” africans or whatever our african nationalities, while we can’t and don’t speak our languages and our children are taught not to speak our languages but colonial languages as a demonstration of our “education” levels?
Why is it that what we call “education” in Africa is the process of westernisation – the “White” falsification and indoctrination process of the african mind – but more importantly and strangely, why are we so proud of it while at the same time demonise the West – “White” people or the colonial system for the injustice done to us?
Why are we too happy to have the West (“white” people) give us an “education” and happily send our own bright minds to be “educated” (indoctrinated) in western social indoctrination centres called schools and universities?
Strangely, we expect them to be taught to solve our [african] problems.
While, in the process, by doing that, we are taking money out of and therefore effectively bleeding our own economies of essential funds, into western economies, that send to us paltry crumbs in ‘aid’ with stringent conditions and give them the temerity to dictate to us their values based on that.
Why is there no reverse similar process, where the West (white) people go and/or send their own bright minds to Africa to be “educated” by africans?
Is it possibly because they perhaps think and believe that there’s nothing of value to learn from Africa and taught by africans?
There’s little wonder and it is not surprising that, as a result of our westernisation – “education” – we’ve accepted and therefore call, for instance, western business practices and standards as “international” business practices and standards without critically asking what exactly makes them “international”, particularly if and when, africans hardly participate in or contribute to the creation of such practices and standards.
Even where it is obvious, they are hurting african businesses and interests, we hardly pause to ask: in what way does our following and implementing these “international” practices and standards work against us, our businesses and other interests? Cui bono?
But we proudly follow along and play ball, beaming with great excitement to be part of an “international” trade and business system, yet, keep wondering why our businesses struggle and rarely progress and/or succeed in the same system.
Why our economies are always lagging behind – falling far too behind western businesses and economies in so-called “international” business and economic rankings while and as a result of being stymied by these intentionally designed structural limitations we accept as “international” business practices and standards.
Consequently, this creates quite a desperate situation where, if africans – african busineses – want to be successful in “international” business and finance, are left with no option but to be forced into working with western – “white” – institutions and businesses on their terms and conditions, often a costly alliance on the part of africans.