Africa; Of Sorrow, Tears and Blood!

Adeola Aderounmu.

Africa is not alone in the menace of violence and barbarism but as Africans, some of us are obliged to focus on Africa. That is where our shoe pinches. The ongoing military brutality in Kenya in the hands of a senseless civilian is simply a case of spreading sorrow, tears and blood (an expression made popular by Fela). Kenya may have been a stable country until the notorious Iwu-like election that was conducted by the shameless Obasanjo-like Kibaki, but like Nigeria, Kenya has always been and remains a very corrupt country. Also, in a similar manner to Nigeria, Kenya is also the proud home to some of the poorest people on earth.   

It is hard to reckon that Africa is the acclaimed cradle of civilization. Leadership in most parts of Africa since the departure of the forced colonialism is a very big scandal. Some authors and commentators are always quick to retrace the woes of Africa back to the doorsteps of France, Britain, the US and other powers that have besieged Africa in the past and the present. It will not be surprising in the days ahead as the clouds gets thicker or clearer in Kenya that we will be told how some external powers have been involved in the bloodletting going on in Kenya. On whose permission would that have been if it turned out so?   

Beyond the placement of blame and unnecessary distractions of expectations of foreign involvement in the resolving of the mass murder playing out in Kenya is the general situation of things in Africa. Africa remains the most corrupt continent on the surface of the earth. Poverty is like an eternal plague foisted on Africa soil. There is a possibility that the poorest people on earth are living in Africa. It is so unbelievable that some of these people who survive on less than 1 dollar per day are found in Nigeria and Kenya.  

It is also disheartening to see how the instrument of governance in Africa has been misused over and over again. African leaders are selfish and merciless. They not only steal and loot, they are also reputable for their willingness to use military might to crush the voices and actions of the innocent. Images emerging from Kenya are very very unpalatable. A lot of theories are emerging on the nature of the violence and the possible expansive dimension of things to come. Yet, it remains unjustifiable how a civilian government can unleash military terror in the name of self-preservation/ perpetuation in power. Some African countries are doomed! Infact, they are cursed!  

Reprieve is not near at all in many countries in Africa. Where the leadership is unrepentantly blinded by greed, senselessness, inhumanity, evil, worthless self-preservation and uncontrollable ethnic consciousness, disaster is the end result. This is what has confined Nigeria to an everlasting destination of zero progress and this is what seemed to have caught up with Kenya. Regardless of the nature or origin of the problems, the consequences of mis-governance in Africa have common denominators. There is widespread corruption. Poverty is escalating. On top of these two popular disasters are several physically-felt dehumanizing agonies. There is serious sorrow in Africa. The people are crying as a result of lack of food and social comfort. The crime against humanity in Africa is so bad that blood is spilled at anytime and anywhere like water. Sadly, millions do not even have access to clean water. Many land and water are polluted to make sure that the dream of clean water will remain a mirage for several rural and urban dwellers alike.  

In the midst of all these however, it must be pointed out that some people are still lucky. Somehow, through hard work and through some strokes of luck, a handful of people have escaped poverty and are carrying on with decent lives. But these few people cannot cast our minds away from the greater majority whose daily plights continue to symbolize the ugly image of Africa. In Africa, the leadership has failed the common followership. In many places there is absolute ignorance that has made it easy for dictatorships to hold sway permanently. In some places the followership is simply tamed. Still some are feebly resilient. And when the followerships decide someday to show some resistance and demand for their rights, they are brutally crushed! Africa as a continent is a dilemma on its own.  

This is where I have refused to wholly subscribe to the attribution of Africa’s present woes to western influence. The bulk of Africa’s problems are traceable to madness of the leaders. The leaders have refused to see beyond their noses and some of them continue to sow the seeds of ethnic discord among several other discordant tunes to take undue advantage of political situations. In the process, they have brought ridicule and shame to Africa in addition to the spread of poverty, penury and impoverishment.  

The sorrow, tears and bloodletting on the African continent will continue for some time but the outcomes from the Kenya crises will serve as a benchmark for the future regarding the limits of madness at the helm of political affairs. Indeed the outcome unlike the resiliency that characterized Nigeria will serve as an eye opener for possible eventual emancipation of the African continent and the future application of the understanding of the principles of justice and fairness.  

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