Friday, May 15, 2015

Africa, My Africa

I amNigerian; a very patriotic Nigerian. I am African; one who believes that Africa is still the best. 
But I have this to say
It's obvious we need a re-orientation; it's obvious we need to get our values back. African parents used to ask questions like 'where did you get the money from?", "how did you make it?", "what do you do for a living?". Some African preachers used to ask and be sure your money is from a legitimate business before accepting your offering. 
All these are long gone from us. Bank managers who steal are ordained pastors; politicians who steal from the masses are chief elders; drug barons and 419 kingpins are church committee members and Knights. As long as you bring in the filthy money, front seat awaits you.
Those who truly labour; those who do legitimate things are despised because they often don't have too much to throw around. A garbage man is despised because he works hard and has refused to become a criminal. A corn seller is despised because instead of going to steal, she sits by the fire to feed her children. A mechanic is called useless because he looks dirty in his job. Even teachers are now disrespected because they don't have much.
In a sane society, teachers are heros. In a sane society, a garbage man and plumber earns as much respect as a doctor because they understand the fact that there is dignity in labour. They respect him because he is contributing to the good of the society. They respect you for as long as you don't get into crime. 
Prof. Babs Fafunwa initiated the 6-3-3-4 system of education; where are we today? Even though we claim to have it in place, are we really practicing it? Where are the vocational schools-plumbing, tailoring, catering...? All we put in their head is that they are failures until they go to college and in going to college, it must be a University, not polytechnic. Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Motors didn't attend a tertiary institution before setting up the first vehicle manufacturing company in Africa. Cosmas Maduka of CosCharis didn't attend secondary school before he started business. It's possible they have done that now, but before then, those "illiterates" employed and paid graduates. 
We need to go back to our values; we need to teach our children that there is dignity in labour. We need to stop teaching them to just read and pass exams. We need to start imparting knowledge for the future. 
Parents need to become parents again. Stop honoring your younger son who brings in the money from drugs; stop giving him the place of the eldest who runs his small shop to feed his family, he is your first son. 
Preachers, stop choosing only the rich as elders and deacons; stop giving positions only to the rich, that's not Christ. Encourage your struggling members who have refused to soil their hands. Let those rich people in your church know that they must be respected. 
God help us. We sure need a re-orientation in Africa. We need to bring back the good old days when integrity was respected and celebrated above money.
Africa, my Africa.

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