Time waits for no one

The one thing I really like about the clock, is that it keeps on going forward – not backward. Forward ever, backward never. If the clock stops going forward, it is in most cases, due to mechanical or battery problems. Otherwise, it is all about forward ever.

Hum. Interesting indeed, isn’t it? How does this reflect human life? Life goes on. Does it apply to the African situation? The time factor does indeed explain certain issues in human life. But hardly does it reflect the African realities. Perhaps, a good reason why Africans are allergic to time. Have you heard of the “African time?” Not yet? Really? Let me save you the torture of cracking your brain, thinking. Just have an appointment with an African, whether a poor beggar on the street or a company executive, director of a government agency – or even the President – you’d be shocked how late they would come to the appointment. And how unconcerned they would be about coming late. Try to be angry with your African friend for coming late and you’d see how surprised and indeed mad they might react to your anger. “I am only just 2 hours late.” You hear that? “only?” “just?” Ok, leave that one alone. Let’s go back to African history and how the Africans’ refusal to learn from its history has contributed immensely to the enormous challenges facing the continent today.

Yes, in the USA for example, the slavery contributed greatly to the disorganization and near annihilation of the black race’s root, resulting in loss of identity and heritage amongst blacks. The infamous trade has resulted in low self-esteem amongst the black community and this is unconsciously passed down to their generations. Apart from being resentful amongst many blacks due to the bad historical experience of their ancestors, it is evident that many blacks are, financially, politically, socially and academically far behind their white counterparts, for example, in the USA. The imbalance and inequality are evident. But that is not a reason to sit down and mourn the past forever in the name of self-pity. Is it?

On the other hand, the Whites in the USA, for example, have climbed to the economic apex due to slavery, passing their ill-gotten wealth from generation to generation. Unlike their black counterparts, who are products of low esteem, slavery has given the whites a superiority complex, power and authority. This superiority complex is the mother of racism, which has been causing irrevocable damage to humanity.

In Africa, the footprint of slavery is clear. From ethnic consciousness to nepotism, corruption, war, etc. all, which draw the wheel of economic, political and social progress back. But unlike in many societies which place the emphasis of the history as a lesson for the future, many Africans would rather continue blaming the past for their present failures. Rather than looking back, learning from the history and avoiding its repetition, the lamentation of the past and self-pity have occupied the centre position in the psychic of many Africans.

Isn’t time for Africans to move forward and take charge of their destiny? Why must African leaders succumb to the seductive manipulations of the Western world aimed at keeping African continent perpetually poor and under the economic cum political shackles and control of the West? To achieve this control over Africa and the rest of the third world countries, the West usually present a common goal, agenda, and interest. The question is why can’t Africans form a common front against the West to achieve their own agenda and free themselves from the modern day economic and political slavery in the hands of the West? While the West hardly blame the third world countries for the failures of the West, Africans would rather continue to point the accusing fingers on the West for all their woes instead of accepting African leaders’ shortcomings, and come together and challenge their common enemies. At the end of the day, African leaders are and must be accountable to their African subjects. Unfortunately, if Africans can tolerate the blatant failures of their vision-less leaders and still allow them to rule them, soon, Africans will learn that time waits for no one. Remember: As you make your bed, so you must lie in it.


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