Skip to main content

Africa and The Blame Game

Kudakwashe Manjonjo
Harare, Zimbabwe
“Please may I have some fish” asked a certain young black man? In all his wisdom and knowledge the grey old white man looked at him and said, “how about I teach you how to fish instead so that you can catch as many as you want?” “Aaahhh, sir that’s a problem, you stole my forefathers fish and now I’m hungry and have nothing to eat.” The white man replied, “Are you saying you have no fish left in your home?” With a firm response he said, “no, but you took my fish!” 

The attitude of the black man has been personified as the African character by Chika Onyeani who wrote the famous book called “Capitalist Nigger” at the turn of the century. Onyeani argues that Africans have a psychology of blaming Europeans and the West for under-developing and keeping Africa in a state of attitude. “The blame game has become a permanent part of our lives.” 



Is it true though?  Do we as Africans blame all our failures and problems on non-Africans? One could be led to believe so. In academic circles, it’s always argued that one factor that affected the whole of Africa is colonialism, and most of the problems can be traced back to colonialism. The Berlin Conference of 1885 where Europe split up Africa like a chocolate cake had no regard of ethnicities-which has led to the ethnic clashes all over Africa. Colonialism had assimilation in which Africans were educated to live as white people, hence why most of Africa has lost its cultural values. 

With colonialism, Africa accepted governance systems that they had no idea how they worked, and that’s why there is corruption. Walter Rodney in his famous work called, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” also argues that it was the capitalist system with the Europeans at the top, was the principle agency for Africa’s underdevelopment because they systematically siphoned resources from Africa.


That being the case and the examples given being very difficult to argue against, the blame game it must be noted, is not focused on what happened to Africa, but more importantly its reaction to the events. Just like the young black man, is Africa still complaining about yesteryear events?


Onyeani believes that it is. He says, “We are not men enough to accept responsibility for our actions. Africa needs to stop the blame game and accept responsibility for the present state of the black race.” Essentially that is what Africa needs to do; be in charge of its future. As it is true that the past directs or rather implies the future path, the ultimate truth is that our interpretation, beliefs and reactions to the past are what will in due course define the future.


And this translates to owning our own modes of production; oilfields in Nigeria being run by Nigerians, diamond mines in Botswana being taken over by an ambitious African youth, telecommunications cable lines being designed and developed in Kenya and solar energy technology developed in Central Africa Republic, being a leader in world inventions.


This will mean that ultimately, when the old wise white man offers us how to fish, we will learn and do it well. It is that day when Africa stops blaming the world for all its problems that it will be able to foresee that solutions can only come from within itself.





The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of IGNITE THE YOUTH are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of IGNITE THE YOUTH. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Call For African Youth Activists

What is an “Ignite Activist”? ­ An Ignite Activist is a high powered​ and ambitious young African individual. They are patriotic about their own country and the African continent as a whole. They are keen to speak out, share their opinions or experiences, and are always ready to defend the well-being of the African Youth! As vocal youth activists, they strive to not only lead the conversation on African Youth, but to ignite young Africans into Change-makers!
About Our Youth Activism Program ­ For a period of up to 6 months, corresponding youth activists will be engaged under the leadership and guidance of our International Panel. While there will be a formal set of activities, youth activists will have the liberty to call upon fellow members towards a particular cause, post and share articles or video messages to make themselves and their views heard! After 6 months of voluntary service, these members will be accorded with Alumni status and receive adequate recognition for their selfle…

Bisharo Ali Hussein (Somalia) - African Youth Role Model Series

Bisharo Ali Hussein is a Kenyan-Somali activist and outspoken champion for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Somalia. She channels her activism through her career as a Protection Officer for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Galkayo, Somalia and also served as an African Youth Activist of Ignite The Youth from 2015 to 2016. As an Ignite The Youth activist she shared on the youth experiences of conflict in her country and “Ensuring Access to Education for all”. Her most spirited campaigns however were part of her Women’s Rights agenda; which focused on demanding an end to Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage, and her advocacy for Gender Equality; arguing for gender-biased inheritance laws to change. Bisharo is currently pursuing her Postgraduate Diploma in ‘International Gender Studies’ at the University of Iceland.
Almost 2 years after serving as a corresponding activist for Ignite The Youth, Bisharo insists that Somali women remain one of the most vulnerable groups in…

The African Youth Commission [PROFILE]

"From Internet Community to One Governed by a Constitution"
The African Youth Commission (AYC) was founded in November 2013, as the African Union Youth Working Group (AUYWG), at a Youth Consultation on Agenda 2063 in Tunis,Tunisia. From 2013 to 2015 the AUYWG collaborated via an active mailing list, for the 2 years of online interaction the network invited numerous African Youth Leaders in the continent and diaspora. The working group later changed into a Commission as the cause of the network evolved by consensus to create a youth mirror to the African Union Commission. 
"The main objective of establishing the Commission is to organize all young people in Africa and Diaspora...to support the work of African youth, Youth structures (Pan African Youth Union & Youth Division of the African Union Commission) in their quest to effective service delivery and advocacy activities on the African Youth Charter..." - AYC
At this point the Commission proceeded to draft its o…