By Tab Ogwal
Amidst the current situation caused by a global pandemic,COVID-19, one wonders why Africans in the first place pride in their bookish Education that literally doesn’t impact on it in equal measures like their degrees, PhDs suggest.
In fact, I agree with those that hold the view that African elites are the biggest problem for Africa today; it’s, unfortunate, but true.
Who are they and how to recognize them:
1. They have achieved a social status by association with the colonial apparatus. It means if we will ban English or French in Africa tomorrow, they will lose everything including themselves. If you’d ban the import of foreign milk, coffee, soap, they will fight us, because they prefer everything that is not local. They have turned our alienation into a social status. Not speaking our languages, not dressing African, not eating African, not building African, not dancing African,… all means you have moved to a higher social status! Not being or looking African physically and culturally is viewed as better and more desirable way, and the petty elite represents that model.
2. They believe in white superiority and black inferiority. They live in Africa but just like the British colonizers did. From their house to their garden, they eat, dress, talk, behave like white. They only thing that reminds them their africanness is their skin color, otherwise they are ‘white with black mask’, like Frantz Fanon put it.
3. Why don’t they reject their skin color? Simply because it is profitable. It gives them the mask necessary to identify with the masses, otherwise Africans had already rejected white colonialism. Now we have black colonialism carried out by the current African elite, or petty bourgeoisie. They view our countries exactly like whites colonizers, a place to exploit for their own benefits not a place to develop for the benefits of the people. The British and French colonizers also built railroads, ports, roads, but not for the benefits of the locals, but to be able to withdraw resources from Africa back to Europe. For the current petty elite, everything they do means further exploitation and dehumanization of our people.
4. They got rich in Africa, but they put their money in foreign banks, send their kids to foreign schools, spend the money on foreign goods only. Many after getting rich go live in Geneva or London like Ibrahim Mo or Strive Masiwiya. They prefer to pay tax on their wealth in Europe and then go on the medias saying they want to remotely develop Africa from London, with often stupid and unrealistic ideas. A lamb went to live among wolves then started promising freedom to all lambs from the oppression of wolves. Only Africans do such things.
5. They are totally disconnected from the reality of the continent.
Bring them to a local forest and ask them to name 5 local trees, they would be incapable. Ask them to name 5 Africans flowers, they won’t be capable. Ask them to name 5 African dishes, they won’t be able. Ask them when was the last time they use African medicine, they replied never. Ask them the name of 5 African divinities, they can’t. Ask them to name 5 African TV or radio shows in African languages they have followed during the last 5 years, this will be zero. When they visit the rural areas they have only touristic relationship to the people. Ask them if they have grown a network of informants to get raw news from the populace, they have no idea what a network of paid informants is. Is that an African elite?
6. Their dream is Africa development which means in their small brain making Africa to be and look like America or Europe. So the whole goal of African development is to discard, reject African culture and adopt everything foreign. Presented with an African solution and a foreign solution they would go straight for the foreign one. If you want to convince them, you have to say ‘like in Europe or America’, then you don’t need any other proof to sustain your argument. Culturally extrovert, they use their social status to continue the colonization work started by the Arabs and the whites. The main consequence of that intellectual inferiority complex is that the current African elite kills local creative industry. The huge innovation drive of our youth is unnoticed, un-nurtured, un-valued, shunned and disadvantaged to foreign importation. The solution to any problem is either importation or call the white man. The elite does not trust the people, they trust everything foreigners.
7. They are very rude, mean, violent, insensitive. As far as they have their nice cars, their private schools, private clinics, private beaches, private clubs, private swimming pools, high end restaurants, they don’t give a fuck about the suffering of everyone else. Living on islands of prosperity in a sea of misery and dreadfulness does not move them. Their compassion is also private. Private compassion for friends and family. Their wickedness reveals it full colors when they give sachets of rice and cooking oil to the poor to get their votes during elections times. They reject education for the people as the slave masters refused reading and writing to the slaves. They are happy to see churches and mosques dumb our people to stone age mentality. Thus the dwarfs stands tall on a field with crawling men and women.
8. They all hold dual citizenship or renew frequently their long term visa to Europe and America. They want to be ready to escape this shithole as soon as trouble hits the fan. They are here only for business like the expatriates. They want to enjoy the benefits of the extractivism but not the troubles their exploitation of the masses causes. They keep their kids safe abroad, and always keep sizeable amounts of dollars, euros at home. They know this place has no future, but they have options.
9. Their main function is to facilitate neo-colonialism. They help the foreign take the lands, get mining licenses, get business permits, buy our assets and businesses. They act as good subalterns managers for foreign businesses, organisations, interests. They are happy facilitator and representatives of foreign interests regardless of the damages those deals could have on our people. The have no dream to be the business owners, the top dog, the Masters in their countries. That’s too much to ask them.
10. They belong to the freemansons lodges, Lions Clubs, Rotary clubs, Royal Institutes, and seat on the board of the majors colonial organizations, corporations, etc. Many are enrolled as paid informants by foreign multinationals, embassies, and Humint agencies. They have no shame about that. Greed has completely blinded them.
11. If you would ask them who are the enemies of Africa, they will get uncomfortable, and mumble things like ‘We have no enemy. Africa is opened to everyone. We should not become like those who mistreated us, raped us, colonized us, stole us and are stealing us right now. We are better. We are made by God to suffer to reveal what is humanity to the world. We should show our Humanity. ‘ Such kind of response just hides something sinister, naming our enemies and going after them would destroy neocolonialism, which they come to depend on and live from. They have too much to lose if we will close our borders, declare the French, the British, the Germans, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Chinese our enemies to avoid or be careful with. Indeed, that elite became long time ago the enemy inside.
12. They are huge supporters of globalization, universalism, and they don’t believe in patriotism, nationalism, cultural differences. But ask them ‘globalization of what?’. They have no clue what that means. To maintain their ability to jump from one plane to another, to move from one country to another without restrictions or fear, they mentally conditioned themselves to be men and women without principles, without stances, without enemies. If you’d ever hear them criticize harshly any country or continent, it’d be their own countries, their own continent.
13. They always have an immigration back up plan in the mind. So, they need friends from abroad. Shame on you!
Tabu Ogwal is a Pan-African and Secretary General-The Pan-African Pyramid in Uganda