Some of you may say I’m racist, some of you may say I have no right to say such things; others may go as far as they can to silence me completely. These are natural human reactions to what I call “the bitter quiet truth”. So before you carry on reading, let’s clear the air a little bit, I must tell you that I’m a black man, a twenty-four year old black Nigerian, both my parents are black Nigerians and my grand-parents too are black Nigerians, I was born and brought up in the most populous black country in the world, indeed I am as black as it gets so I’m not racist because I cannot be racist towards my own race.
So now that you are convinced that I’m not racist, let’s move on. Black people for the most part have an abominable mentality; we care less for each other than other races do themselves. At this point, some “black pridies” will say I’m wrong, they’ll say blacks care more for each other than other races, and they’ll use our close family ties and deepness in tradition to justify their views. Well, let’s take a look at all these views critically and without bias. The poorest continent in the world is Africa, want to know why? It is because black leaders don’t give a damn about their black citizens, period! And no one should try to sugar-coat it. Presidents, regional heads, governors and local officials simply don’t care, and even if they do, they’ll sell their people out at the very first opportunity that comes by. Europeans, North Americans and Asians seldom do this, I’m not saying they don’t but it is more endemic on the African continent than any place else on earth. A perfect example is the devaluation of human life and degradation of the environment in the Niger Delta region of my country over decades since the discovery of Oil there. The big oil companies don’t care about the people that region too, and why should they? They are generally not of the African race, and even if they are, they already know that the local leaders care less about their own people so all they have to do is too keep them well bribed and their people can rot in poverty for all they care. This is a “bitter quiet truth” most Africans won’t talk about or even acknowledge.
Africans are deeply entrenched in tradition, this is not a bad thing, but if these traditions, numerous as they are, prevent the progress and development of human welfare, what use are they in this day and age? Other continents are moving forward at full throttle but Africa is still behind, why? Well, from my observation, I know for sure that for the most part, the people living in these “developed” countries are more pragmatic in their everyday decisions than Africans. The average African family would rather force a grieving widow to waste excess money on a senseless funeral rather than to spend the money in educating her kids. The average African would borrow a huge sum of money just to get married and fall into an endless debt cycle just to impress people, instead of having a simple and affordable wedding with family, friends, tea and biscuits. What makes it so bad is the fact that all this foolishness has been happening for generations and it just won’t stop. I sincerely do not have a problem with most of our cultures and traditions, but I do have a problem with those cultures and traditions that force us to remain subservient instead achieving our true economic potential.
Africans love to reproduce children at a very high rate. This is a very good thing, I love kids a lot. More often than not, most Africans think of children as property rather than as simply children, this is bad; really bad. This is one of the major reasons poor African families can’t escape the pit of poverty. No one has the right to think of children as anything other than children. I can understand with those very poor rural families that need children to do domestic work on the farm and help with household chores, I can also understand with wealthy couples that can afford to have many children, but what I continuously fail to wrap my head around is the fact that most middle income families who have no business with farm work and are not wealthy enough to cater properly for many children, still to this day reproduce children at an alarming rate. This has to stop, it bears too much on the finances of the families and it takes a miracle for all of their numerous children to be fully educated and taken care of. Would not it be more profitable for middle income families to have just about enough children as their income can cater for, so that in the long run and on a broader scale the welfare of so many families will be greatly improved, the poverty level will be greatly reduced and the continent will develop at a much faster rate.
Africans, especially black Africans must learn to think pragmatically, just because some things are doesn’t mean they should be. The late Albert Einstein said rightfully; the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The development of a continent or a country is largely dependent on the collective mentality of the people living within them, and whether we want to accept it or not, our African mentalities need not an overhaul but an urgent change, we need to select and promote the good ones and discard the bad ones without reservation. It has already become our reality, and what has become a reality is quite irreversible, but we are Africans right; and as Africans we can make the impossible possible.