The African past often evokes immense controversy. While some scholars continuously blame the west for draining Africa’s resources through exploitative policies like slavery/slave trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism, others believe that the intervention of the west rather sped up Africa’s development by bringing civilization to the “dark continent”. For some, however, the west owes retribution to Africa for sapping it off it’s natural resources.
Africa has come a long way. It has been used and abused, misused and refused. After more than 500 good years of traditional and modern slavery, of colonialism and neo-colonialism, of aggression, repression and exploitation…of accusing, blaming and complaining (abc), it is time for Africa to rise above the ashes. This requires that we end the blame game, for only in so doing shall we learn, find our peace and realize Nelson Mandela’s (2013) words: “I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself”. It is often said that a fool is someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results ( Brown,1983).…and Africa, if we are serious about moving from underdeveloped or developing to developed, we need to stop exhibiting the traits that keep us down. This article is about why Africa should forgive itself, stop blaming, take responsibility, own its power in order to find its peace and development. It explains why Africa should transform itself from a zero to a hero, from a liability to an asset, from a victim to a victor. The following paragraphs state why Africa should first of all forgive in order to find peace and further develop it’self.
–Everyone too has suffered!
YES! Africa, you think you are the only one who has suffered? Hell, no. Europe, Asia, South America and even the world’s greatest nation, USA has suffered from colonization. They all had to wrench themselves out of the pangs of “exploiters” and stand on their own with little means and resources. They have all being discriminated and under-looked at some point. They all have suffered from bad and not-too-good leaders who have misused state funds. They all have been poverty-stricken at some point. They all have made mistakes. They all have problems. And if developed continents could outgrow their problems, you too can.
Therefore, mama Africa, rest assured that you are not carrying the whole world on your shoulders. You are not the only victim. Everyone too has suffered!
–Blame not, waste not, want not!
Truth is bitter but it has to be told. You are the one who sold your brothers to slavery. Now you want to blame “ them whites”. When they tried to end slavery in Africa, you revolted because you wanted mirrors and all they could offer. During slave trade and colonialism, fellow Africans betrayed their own brothers by siding with the whites for a few goodies. You continue to vote the stooges you claim the French have placed to rule over you(Pundits in French African countries hold that France masterminds the placement of their leaders in power by making sure that stooges are enthroned so they can continue to exploit them)…at least, you keep tolerating it. Instead of learning, you blame “them whites”. That is why you keep being a victim of the same thing answering different names (slave trade, legitimate trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism).When you are not blaming the whites, you blame government. Poor, you! It was never your fault, it was always another’s.
I know it is easier to blame the west and stay the same than it is to learn your lesson and strife for gain. But dear Africa, life is too short. Time is of the essence, so let’s blame less and learn more. Playing the blame game just creates a victim mentality, where you are never responsible for anything that happens to you yet you still end up receiving the bad things life has to offer.
In any situation, there will always be someone to blame and it will be easy. But it will take a lot to move forward, join hands and rebuild what may have been broken (Mbendera, 2014).
And you should know, that while you are busily blaming, Europe and America are busily thinking out strategies on how they can get better and make the world a better place. You should know, that you still have the power to turn your life around…and re-make your history. You should know, that you can and should, and MUST move on and not waste time so you don’t remain wanting and have to depend on someone who uses his time well.
So dear Africa, blame not, waste not, want not…and please don’t blame me for writing this article. I am just concerned about the development of my beloved continent.
-Congrats, you have always had a choice!
HURRAIIII!, Africa, you are master of your own destiny. The lord has made us all maker and shaker of our lives. We all have the free will to decide. As earlier mentioned, you have the power to reverse trends of the past and move forward. You have always had a choice, and you can make of your life anything you want, even though sometimes, you have pretended not to notice or you have been too lazy to use it.
So, HIPIPIP, HURRAII! Re-own that power of choice. You were not forced to remain under colonial rule, and so you revolted and got your freedom. In the same light, you are not forced to remain under “neo-colonial rule.”You are not forced to take the foreign aid you claim is meant to trap you into dependency, you are not forced to remain a signatory to the French colonial pact, you are not even forced to be a member of the UN if you feel marginalized. You can either FIX IT or LEAVE IT. But if you choose to stay, please don’t complain. Don’t stay there ,sending out negative energy for it may affect other upward-striving entities.
Above all, you should know, that you have the choice and the power to forgive yourself and whatever negative situation you may have found yourself in. So let’s get better and not bitter. It is hard, but it is possible and…YES, WE CAN!
-So Forgive, Let the gone go!
Forgive, so you can grow; Let go, so you can fly. We all know that everything happens for a reason, and we had better be thankful for all that our experiences have taught us, for all the lessons that we have or should have learned. Or better still, we should see the good side of our experience, like the civilization that colonialism brought. Let us end the Accusing, Blaming and Complaining Syndrome (the ABC syndrome) in Africa. Let us forgive ourselves and whatever race, situation or entity we have hitherto blamed and let us take full responsibility for mistakes of the past.
Forgiveness would release enormous energy and creativity, stuck in past hurts which we could channel to positive use. Forgiveness would raise us above pain of the past and enable us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery as Bob Marley(1979) rightly advised in his song: Redemption song. That is the only way we can stop being the fool that does the same thing but expects a different result. That is how we are going to end intra-African and civil wars which are often caused by a dire need to be right and blame the other party for the wrong. And above all, that is the only way we are going to find our peace and strife more freely towards development.
– Brown ,R,M.(1983).Sudden Death
-Mbendera, P.(2014).Get Beyond The Blame Game, http://newsofthesouth.com
-Bob Marley(1979),Redemption song, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redemption_Song