Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Somali Solution to Killings by Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria By Abimbola Lagunju

There is a Yoruba proverb that says, “iwakuwa ni a nwa ohun ti o ba sonu” which literally translates as “to find a lost item, you have to look for it in the most improbable places”.  The word “item” here is not limited to physical objects, it could be solution to an intractable problem of relationship, health or good luck. Following the same logic is the common wisdom that solutions to a particular nagging problem can be sometimes be sourced from the most unexpected quarters.

Despite public outrage and outcry at the killing of innocent citizens by Fulani herdsmen in Benue, Plateau and Taraba States and more recently in Kogi, it appears that the President, Mr Muhammadu Buhari does not have any solution to stop the killings. Besides visits of appeasement to the affected states, there has not been any concrete radical policy or a promise of one from the Federal Government to stop the barbarity. Mr Buhari appears to be sitting on the fence just like his predecessor did when Boko Haram raged and conquered territory in some North Eastern states. Just like Mr. Jonathan, Mr. Buhari is hoping that the problem will simply go away without getting involved. But this problem won’t go away so soon. It needs a long-lasting solution.

The National Assembly has not proposed any solutions either. They are thinking about the next election timetable, whether the cart should come before the horse or the vice versa. As the Yorubas would say again, “won fi ete sile, won npa lapalapa” which means the alabosi doctors of the National Assembly ignore leprosy infection in a patient, only to dedicate their time to curing his ringworm. They make the right noise after each killing and then move on.

Affected states and others in potential fire-line of the herdsmen have hurriedly passed what they call anti- open grazing laws which some people in important places, who can really put a stop to the killings have criticized the laws as undesirable. Anti-open grazing law discourages roaming about with animals outside confinements. It does not talk about what to do when the herdsmen kill farmers and innocent citizens. It presupposes that the existing Criminal Act or Law is sufficient to deal with criminality of the herdsmen.

“Iwakuwa”!  On 18th March, 2018, just two days ago, BBC published a story under the headline “Somalia clans secure peace with death sentence and hefty fines” . When I read this article, I thought, “Voila! This is the solution to herdsmen killings in Nigeria.” It is a primitive solution, but a simple one that everyone understands. BBC calls it “macabre” solution to “a macabre problem”.  We need such simple solutions like this to our intractable problems in Nigeria.

Nigeria seems to have more in common with Somalia than with any state in ECOWAS region. Together, we share the bottom of all indices like infant and child mortality, unemployment, dangerous business environment, criminality, violent adult death rates, state failure, corruption etc.  Like Nigeria, Somalia is a killing field. They have El Shabbab, we have Boko Haram; they have clan violence, we have ethnic violence; they have suicide bombers, we have suicide bombers; they have murderous herdsmen, we have killer-herdsmen; they have a federal state they do not understand, we have a federal state that we do not understand and we want to restructure. Somalia is a country with which Nigeria can compare notes of failure. We need closer ties with Somalia. Since geography does not seem to matter again for the membership of ECOWAS (a la recent attempts by Morocco), Nigeria may as well sponsor Somalia as a member of the regional body.

However, unlike Nigeria, Somalia has responsible elders. They want to put a stop to the senseless killings by some clans. Here, in Nigeria, the elders defend killing of others by members of their ethnic groups.

BBC reports that “There has long been tension between many Somali clans due to rivalry and competition over resources such as grazing land for livestock or access to water.”
According to the report, after three weeks of negotiation and mediation, the clan leaders with some officials reached the following solutions:
1.      Anyone found guilty of carrying out a revenge killing or vendetta will face a death sentence.
2.      The family of the perpetrator will also have to pay a $100,000 (£72,000) fine.
3.      If someone comes to a communal area like a bore hole or a grazing area with a gun then the army or the police should confiscate the gun. If he refuses to hand over the weapon they should shoot him straight away in the head.

This package of harsh solutions bypasses the legal system. It is a direct agreement between elders and binding on all members of the clans. It may as well serve as the building blocks of co-existence in Somalia of the future.

All the three solutions are adaptable and applicable to the problem of killings by Fulani herdsmen. As for Solution Number 2, Miyetti Allah which stands as the moral and legal person for the herdsmen will pay the fine to each of the families of victims. This same solution is applicable to IPOB, OPC and all other organizations in whose names murder is committed.

Just like in Somalia, these solutions may also serve as foundation for peaceful inter-ethnic relationship and co-existence in future Nigeria.

“Iwakuwa ni a nwa ohun ti o ba sonu”

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Public Office Holders of the Religious Republic of Nigeria By Abimbola Lagunju

Nigeria’s history cannot and should never be written without mention of monumental theft and corruption by its public officials and politicians. The history of the country should not be a simple narrative in which public officials, heads of private sector, religious and ethnic leaders are ever portrayed as heroes and their heinous financial and other crimes against the people of Nigeria are simply forgotten. Nigeria’s history should be a holistic and forensic one that takes into account the complete person, actions and services of all those who have at a point or the other been determiners or actors in the complicated political, economic, religious trajectory of this nation.

It is a painful aberration of justice that those who have driven and are driving this country aground and who escape justice while they are active or alive become heroes on quitting the scene. Roads, Estates, Buildings and other infrastructure are named after them to rub salt into the wound of injustice. In some instances, some political actors of questionable achievement name some landmarks after themselves. Those who should be excoriated for disservice to the nation become immortalized!

These malfeasant citizens, who should be ostracised, are the newsmakers in this country. And we, the common people have been numbed by their crimes into seeing them as role models. Their crimes against our country have become so commonplace that we have accepted it as a norm of governance. We have been made to accept that a goat eats and denudes the grass where it is tied. We have accepted that it is our fate that our officials have light fingers and there is nothing we can do about it. We can only register our disgust in beer parlours, in short postings on social media and those inclined to write, churn out articles that few bother to read. And when they read, their focus is on the messenger, not on the message. As a little digression, the confusion of the messenger with the message is a major disease in our country. Nigerians do not care about any message; it is the messengers that attract them. Look at the worship places; majority of Nigerians mark the worship attendance register either on Friday or Sunday, yet the country represents a textbook case of what a country endowed with so much should not be.  Evidently, Nigerians both high and low are in permanent disconnect with the tenets of their religion. Expectedly, the Religious Republic of Nigeria is more dysfunctional than any godless nation.

Now, back to our thieves. That Nigeria has delayed or distorted development milestones is no news. That those charged with administering the country are responsible for the negative development dynamics is also old news. What is news in recent times are the outrageous ingenious strategies that our thieving officials adopt to hide their loot. Some open proxy accounts to which they are the sole signatory in the names of fictitious companies or individuals; some dispense with the bank and hide millions of dollars in their rooms; others cart the money abroad and some hide their loot in water tanks or septic tanks. A new loot storage invention was recently unveiled by a Nigerian official who claimed that a snake swallowed a large amount of money.  The fact that our light-fingered public officials go to great lengths to hide their loot is an indication that they know that what they are doing is morally wrong. Why then do they feel obligated to steal? Where is their religiosity? What did they learn from the messages of their pastors, imams and marabouts?

Another new dimension to this orgy of national destruction is the ease with which these culprits slip out of the hands of the administrators of justice. In a way, it looks like the movie, “catch me if you can” but different in that while the authorities in the film were making genuine efforts to catch the thief, he was always a step ahead of them. In our case, we have the impression that our authorities oil their hands to catch fish in a muddy pond. And they call in the press to witness their efforts. And our press put all their focus on the effort, not on the result. So, we read daily reports of these dubious efforts and with time, no one remembers any longer what kind of fish they were looking for and for what reason. The “fishing” authorities soon jump into the pond of corruption and become fish themselves. And life goes on – good for the thieves and in unforgiving poverty for the people.
While still walking (as in alive or barely), a Nigerian political office holder is recycled by his governing mob or recycles himself in different parasitic forms. Recycling serves two purposes; first is the protection of the loot from previous appointment and the second one is continued primitive accumulation of loot in the new assignment. The rate of recycling is such that, but for governors who become senators and vice versa, we do not remember the chain of pastures which a current Nigerian official has denuded in his service to self.  It is pure self-service. People do not matter as they do not exist.

Nigeria is what it is today because Nigerian peoples have always patiently looked on and in some instances looked away while a group of people, who call themselves leaders shamelessly set themselves to destroy the country. And these rulers sometimes marvel at the pliability and timidity of Nigerians. They now believe that they can say or do anything and get away with it. And they do get away with it! One military dictator, after he had assiduously looted and corrupted the economy of our country, famously said he was surprised that the economy of the country had not collapsed….! And this was under his watch!

Reason and justice (for which Nigeria is not known) demand that if we cannot bring these official scoundrels  to justice while they are around, we should ensure that history exposes them for the crooks they were while active in service to the nation.

Unfortunately, Nigerians who engage in writing the political history of this country and its different actors whitewash these thieving officials either while in power or outside power for diverse reasons that vary from religious affiliation through ethnic bigotry or outright intellectual laziness. They invariably invent “respectable” epithets like “Uncle”, “Pa”, “Mama”, “Elder Statesman” for them even when they have been indicted or convicted of crimes against the people of Nigeria. These writers who seek to make heroes of villains are as guilty as those they whitewash. They are corrupt manipulators of Nigerian history and history will more unkind to them than to the thieving officials. They, with their pen, represent poison for the future of this country.

Thankfully, online existence of daily news of crimes committed against our nation and the availability of search engines have changed the game. In 20 or 50 or more years, we can have detailed pieces of history of malfeasance of each of our thieves. If they escape justice, their future generations will not escape the shame. And the time will come in this nation when the sins of the fathers will be visited on the sons….and daughters.

Podcast of an Interview on African development granted by Abimbola Lagunju to Borders Literature

I recently gave an interview to BORDERS - Literature for all nations. The interview centered on one of my books, "The African in the Mirror" that focuses on development in Sub-Sahara Africa.  The interview is a reflection of my thoughts on the problems of development.

Please find the link to the podcast below:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Adjunct to Abimbola Lagunju’s South Africa: A Land Of Thugs And Cutthroats By Abu Bakarr Kaikai

Dr. Abimbola Lagunju’s article “South Africa: A Land Of Thugs And Cutthroats” (2017) is a great piece of intellectual work, which provokes strong ‘ideological’ connotation, for the Black South Africans, who have been deceived and cheated by illogical political elites and their cronies. On the other hand, a ‘revolutionary thought’ for the rest of the Sub-Saharan Africans, who need to adopt ‘aggressive’ drive to respond to the actions and inactions of the South African people and government. Abimbola consciously employs the flashback technique in his article to deliberately inform Black South Africans of the sacrifices Africans made, either as individuals or collectively, as states in the liberation of South Africa. Black South Africans should not forget these efforts in a hurry, otherwise posterity will not forgive them.

The article paints a grim picture of South Africa, as a country occupied by crooks, state operatives, inept political elites characterised by blurry political ideals, who have secretly re-invented themselves through manipulating and carefully converting ordinary Black South Africans into thugs and blood thirsty human vampires. The result, Xenophobia.

As the South Africa leadership continue to play deaf ears and pay lip serves to the destructive nature of Black South Africans, bigotry and prejudices in the guise of nationalism have become the order of the day. Thus, sporadic outrage, organised attacks and inhuman attitude of Black South Africans towards people of their own colour, invoke a nostalgia for the Era of European imperialism: the bastardization of African men, women and children; and the devastation of the African Continent in the name of civilization and development by Europeans and some Black Africans dressed in ‘Western Clothes’. While poverty and unemployment may have been, a causative factor used for killing other Africans in South Africa, such behaviours have no disconnection between the previous White rule and the present Black rule in the country.

The reality is, South Africa is still mentally colonised: hence, they still need freedom from that absurdity. But decolonisation will be difficult, since Black South Africans are a typical representation of JAY GATSBY in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’. They will continue to blame and kill their fellow Africans for their laziness to stand up against the very culprits that marginalised and refused them access to the resources of their country.

Black South Africans are, of course, afraid of confronting the real demons; instead, they point their angers and frustrations towards other Africans by marring and decapitating them.

But, even as they continue to maim and kill others, ‘for robbing them of their jobs’ there is a sense of daily confusion emanating from the lack of identity, strength and self-realisation amongst these vampires as in Abimbola’s article. Their subjugation to the narratives of White Minority South Africans, of other Africans, as thieves, Trojans and a good for nothing people, have made Black South Africans very cynical and doubtful of their own existence; particularly when interacting with people of their own colour.

This manifestation of Xenophobia, summary killings and destruction of other Africans as evident, raises two questions: (a) Are Black South Africans really confused about their identity? (b) Are they living in a dream world of illusiveness?. But the reality is, Black South Africans are ‘something that evokes xenophobia, semi-literate thugs, violence, corrupt leadership, carjacking, rape, inferiority complex and ingrates in the minds of other Africans’ writes Dr Abimbola. For such, they have neither the social connections nor the confidence to move freely among other Africans who have made their fortunes through hard work and resilience.

To dismiss this spell of Western rhetoric and ideology vibes that have held Black South African vampires’ hostage in their own country, there is need for social and political revolution. This revolution will require Sub Saharan African governments to reinvent the wheel, like it happened in the 1930s with the emergence of the ‘Negritude Movement’ against European domination in Africa. Black South Africans need more education, this time, it will be rooted in African autography, coin from Africa ideology, taught in African Languages and led by African Teachers. May be this will bring back their Africaness!

Although Black South Africans “…aren’t Caucasians neither are they Asians’ (Abimbola Lagunju, 2017) they still live and feed on the land that belongs to Africans. If the premise therefore, is true, then they will need to understand and respect our values and traditions; and have a sense of our friendliness to strangers. Through this exposition to our values and believe in the Africa unionism, I hope, Black South Africans will regain consciousness and accept their ‘Africaness’. Otherwise, ‘we will cut diplomatic ties with South Africa…expel South Africa from the African Union…reduce all trade links to the barest minimum and, lastly cut all sports ties with South Africa. (Abimbola Lagunju, 2017). We will not continue to hold back, and allow other Africans, once again behave like colonial masters whose single hate for Africans subjected us to slavery in our Continent.

Shame on you Black South Africans. Or be the change our people died for.

April 1, 2017

Thank you Abu Bakarr for this great contribution. AL

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Nigeria: Measuring Stages of Their Regime by Stacks of Corpses By Abimbola Lagunju

To those who fatten themselves on murder
And measure the stages of their reign by corpses
I say that days and men
That the sun and the stars
Will crush those who barter other’s patience
And the season allied with men’s bodies
Will see the enactment of triumphant exploits
                                                                     David Diop (Certitude)

When Thomas Hobbes wrote the Leviathan in the 17th century, Nigeria as a State had not yet been born. To other philosophers of his time, the idea of a society without laws where life was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" and individual power or might of a small group ensured brief survival was too far-fetched. John Locke, Montesquieu, Jean Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, John Calhoun and others argued in different treatises that Hobbes’ idea was a fantasy. An unlikely possibility.  They argued that the social nature of man would make such a state as described by Hobbes impossible. They could not imagine that such a state could have existed in human history and the thought that such a state could one day emerge did not cross their minds.

Enter 1914, and Nigeria was born under the British rule. Nigeria was governed as a British appendage under British laws. Nigerians were considered servants of the crown. It was generally assumed that Thomas Hobbes and his Leviathan had disappeared for good; after all, his theory was an imagination of what life must have been immediately after Adam stepped out of Eden to live on his own. The agents of Britain in Nigeria and Nigerian citizens of the time never heard of Thomas Hobbes. Before the British, Nigerian citizens, grouped under different ethnic groups and kingdoms had their values, norms and codes of behavior that respected sanctity of human life, rights to property and collective protection against disruptive forces either of nature or man-made. In other words, the State of Nature never existed in our land.

Enter 1960, Nigeria was born again. The country obtained independence and the responsibility of creation of a modern state fell on the shoulders of Nigerian politicians.  With independence came the ghost of Thomas Hobbes. The British left our shores but invoked the spirit of Hobbes, their compatriot to take their place. Thomas Hobbes came with two of his books (the Leviathan and On the Citizen) which were embraced and devoured by the Nigerian political class. The result was Operation weti e in the Southwest, pogroms of easterners in the North and ultimately the Nigerian civil war. One of Nigeria’s post war leaders boasted in the eighties that his favourite book was “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli. He added this book to Thomas Hobbes’ books as instruments of state management. In addition to these three books, Nigeria rulers cherish and rule by the tenets of a famous phase ascribed to Immanuel Kant, who famously wrote that “it is not the responsibility of the State to make people happy”.

Here in Nigeria, we live in a de-facto modern Hobbesian state.  Violence is a way of life in Nigeria. Every day, it hangs like a dark cloud on the inhabitants of the country. No one really knows when and in what form or from which quarters violence will be unleashed on the hapless citizens. The Nigerian State has lost its monopoly of violence and the instruments of violence pervade the Nigerian space. There are organizations like MEND, Boko Haram, OPC, IPOB, Herdsmen under Miyetti Allah and others who rival the Nigerian State in violent armoury and are actively competing with the Nigerian State for territory.

As a true Hobbesian state, Nigeria looks like and behaves like a senseless and meaningless war zone. Nigerian rulers speak like they are anomic commanders of a lost war in which all strategies to manoeuvre out of their miserable situation of defeat have failed and counting of corpses is now their only task. To them, lives that are wasted in their absurd theatre of war do not have faces; they do not have loved ones and they are just numbers. Just bodies! Mere statistics to be compared with the number of corpses under a previous regime ! At the beginning of this year, Femi Adesina was reported to have said, “It was unfair for people to blame Fulani herdsmen killings on president Buhari as over 756 people were killed by herdsmen in two years under former President Goodluck Jonathan. I think that is very unkind.”  Then he gloated…”and I will try to back my position with statistics. In 2013, particularly, there were nine cases of herdsmen invading communities in Benue state alone and more than 190 people were killed. In 2014, there were about 16 of such tragic developments with more than 231 people killed. And then there was a change of government in May 2015. But between January and May 2015, there were six attacks which left about 335 people dead.” Haba! These are human beings Mr. Adesina was referring to, not chickens, not cows. One hears of such morbid statistics only from the police when they compare figures to show their effectiveness in combatting crime or from the military engaged in a war.  

And the President, Mr Buhari also reads from the same script as his aide.  Just a couple of days ago, in Taraba State where he is visiting, hear him, as reported by Premium Times, “Taraba has had more bodies than Benue. The number of persons killed in herdsmen and farmers clashes and other violent attacks in Mambilla Plateau, Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, is more than those killed in Zamfara and Benue states combined.” Mr. Buhari said he ”has a way of gathering his own information on all the crises and killings in the country.”

Nigeria is experiencing difficulties in functioning as a responsible modern state. This is not about any party in power – they are one and same. Our rulers are reading the wrong books; they are giving evidence to the reality of what was otherwise thought to be impossible. And we are their victims. This prehistoric State of Nature governance style will only lead to chaos; it is a dangerous social experiment that will ultimately consume the country.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

When Civilization Kicked Us in the Face on The African Bus By Abimbola Lagunju

When Civilization kicked us in the face
When holy water slapped our cringing brows
The vultures built in the shadow of their talons
The bloodstained monument of tutelage….
                                                                David Diop. The Vultures.

Many African youths do not have any idea of African history; and honestly, I feel they really do not care. The numerous volumes available on African history and politics are tedious, and but for the most tenacious and knowledge-thirsty youth, they are largely ignored by majority of youths. We cannot blame the youths. They have many challenges to contend with, from the serious school materials to the pervasive audiovisual entertainment, which actively competes for their time and attention.

However, these youths find it difficult to understand why there are many shortcomings in their environment. They do not understand why their society should be different from those of other cultures. They are concerned that they do not have the same access to services and goods as their contemporaries in other parts of the world. They know that something is wrong; and they cannot put their fingers on it.

In order to understand the present, one must sometimes make a journey into the past. However, the journey to the past may be volumes of books that may prove to be a challenge to the youths. And knowing where to start from may be a major constraint too.

Here in these extracts from my book, I have tried to make a satirical sprint through African political history. I have focused on the most important moments of African history, namely slavery period, colonialism and post independence period. The focus is on the calamities that befell black Africans during these periods.

By presenting this in a short satirical form, it is my hope that the different historical facts deftly hidden in the text will engage the curiosity of the reading youths, and will encourage them to find out more about their past, get them more interested in their present, and inspire them to selflessly contribute to the building of a better Africa.

Hear this activist riding On The African Bus:
I nurse the pains of loss of courage, pains of transformation of the hunter to the hunted; of metamorphosis of an aristocrat to an unwanted classless being. I am a pained witness to the deconstruction of a creator of ideas to a crass consumer; to the change of roles of benefactors to beneficiaries. We, the drivers of history have become passengers of life, living on the fringes of our appropriated past. Disrobed, divested of our princely garments in the predatory arena of conquerors, we, the descendants of Kmt[i] say “…yes to the whip under the midday sun.”[ii] How have the mighty fallen!! And while the tired builders of ancient Egypt take their rest under the neem tree in the Sahel and on the coast, others claim their feats as theirs and then confine the exhausted warriors to books of historical failures. Like all conquerors, they rewrite history. They forget at will things that happened when they were historical infants; and frequently remember things that never happened. They choose to forget their own foundation, the origin of their knowledge, the beginning of their existence, the KMT. History begins at their point of convenience, from the moment of their prowess.

They rewrite everything; they whitewash it. They whitewashed Kepre Kare Senworsert the First[iii], Latinised Narmer[iv], and even assigned the writing system of the Land of Blacks to Raceless creatures! The conquerors took everything; they take everything: small and big, old and new.  If it is good, it cannot belong to this part; “….anything of value found here does not belong here.”[v]
It belongs elsewhere, far from these shores, somewhere in the north, occasionally, grudgingly in distant Asia.

Now, at the mercy of the elements, sans direction, sans plan, we dance to all winds. We are drenched when it rains. Our brain sizzles in the cooking sun. Fried. Barbecued. Roasted. Boiled. Cerveau Sauté à la carte.  And even now in our prostrate state everyone picks the brain. Each according to his appetite. They eat as much as they want and even do take-away.  No credit to the brain restaurant. No mention of the incorrigible Good Samaritan except in bad books. He is not even mentioned as the Foolish Samaritan. Just plain bad. Useless. Bad genes.  Black sheep. God’s mistake!  No history – we had no history until the arrival of foreigners. No culture – “their condition is capable of no development of culture…”[vi] No past except a savage one.  No present, except aid - left, right and centre.
No future.

Their Seine swallowed our Sine[vii] as recently as six hundred years ago. Dyed its mind blonde and blue. Hapless Sine digested, it gives up its calories and proteins. Now, stripped of everything except misery, disease and hunger, and mangled in assimilation, acculturation and globalisation, Sine is spewed in putrid vomitus. And in big banners, Sine is declared detested, unwanted. Mission accomplished: pushed, used, dispossessed, now thrown to the bottom of the ladder.  Faux Fraternité forgotten.  Dubious Solidarité sequestered. The human Race is now categorised: Super humans, humans, and the maybes. Who dares challenge the conqueror?

The sapostles (development guys) then came among us, waved Canaan of development in our faces, and we packed our bags out of Egypt. Out of Kemet. Yes, they promised us snow and we believed that snow was good for us. They said the Red Sea was nothing but a dying stream. That our pyramids were nothing but chunks of stones; that we needed to forget our past in order to be free. Forget the past to be free was what they told us. The past is a chain, it is bondage. Leave it. Let it die a quick death. One of their wise men called it “Aid-Induced Accelerated Collective Amnesia” in a conference.

They said the road out of Egypt was not difficult. They claimed it was laid with cheese, burgers, salad, caviar, foie gras, French fries, curry and every other thing alien to our palate. And our mouths watered!  We believed that alien foods were good for us. We did not think about indigestion, diarrhea, flatulence and indeed cancers.

We left everything behind, sold every possession, and moved out into the wilderness, straight for the Red Sea. How on earth could we have believed that the sea was not wider than a stream? Did they hypnotise us? Or are we just plain naïve?

And at the banks of the sea, when we began to understand their intentions, they did not give us any chance to go back or to escape. They blinded us with flipcharts and beamer lights, conferences, workshops and seminars. Some of us even got some perdiem and some, time at the podium. Tons of industrial words, phrases, plans, objectives and indicators. And we forgot everything. Yes we forgot everything as soon as each meeting was over.

Our mistake. They thought we were ignorant, that we couldn’t hold anything except combs in the tiny curls and they organised more meetings and workshops. And we chose to forget again. We told them what we wanted, what we needed. We needed glucose, not grammar. We needed proteins, not programs. We needed vegetables, not variables; we demanded our stolen dignity, not pity. We demanded respect, not project. They wouldn’t listen. They said donors would not want to hear us. We were beneficiaries, and donors were donors. Beneficiaries do not know what is good for their benefit. Donors know better what the beneficiaries need. Beneficiary compliance is very important or the donor could go into fatigue mode.

We began to complain. And when the sapostles heard rumbles of rebellion, they threatened us with selective and collective sanctions, visa restrictions, aid withdrawal, credit denial. We acquiesced, then they herded us into the sea. They pushed our bus in. Some of us broke their legs and others, their heads in the fall.

Many pensioners lost their lives. The hardy ones lost all their teeth.  Our bus lost all its shock-absorbers. The silencer broke. The radiator sucked in mud. Even, our normally obedient driver silently complained.

And now, look at the sapostles in their tight jeans at the banks of the sea, guzzling beer, eating prawns, munching lobsters, watching sunset on our beaches, laughing at us, making studies and writing endless reports. They now call themselves the local international community.........

[i] Kemet – Ancient Egypt
[ii] David Diop – Africa. A Poem
[iii] Twelth Dynasty King of Kemet (1897BC). Known to the Greeks as Sesotris and Kekrops. According to Greek mythology, he was the founder of Athens.
[iv] Known by the Greeks as Menes, he was the founder of Dynastic Kemet.
[v] Ayi Kwei Armah – The Identity of the Creators of Ancient Egypt – New African April 2006.
[vi] Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - Philosophy of History
[vii] A river in Senegal.