Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Slavery and Lagos slums

OBJ is working hard to be Africa's foremost statesman. Yesterday in Abuja, for Emancipation Day, he commented on how slavery and colonialism are to blame for Africa's current deplorable state. A president is only as good as his advisers. I'm desperate to meet the people who have moulded him into the statesman he has become. And now that he will leave without "tenure extension", he leaves bathed in even more glorious sunlight. How did it come to this?

On financial remittances, Lagos has received a loan of $200m to fix up the slums, make them look sharp. However, Ghana, the West African neighbours Nigeria loves to bully, gets a grant of $547m. For good governance. Nigeria gets the money with strict conditions, USA dashes* Ghana the money. All fingers are not equal.

*dashes is Nigerian slang for a gift.

16 comments:

Akin said...

I think this slavery/colonialism whine is seriously old-hat.

I was born after all that had passed, why should a past in which I did not exist still define a present and future where it should not be relevant?

The real issue is in Africa, we gained responsibility after independence and got carried away with useless ideologies - lost our traditional values in the process and squandered the future of our people in the excesses of government and misrule.

Now, we blame slavery and colonialism? No, we might have been colonised, but definitely not enslaved.

Only, the freed slaves that created Liberia in 1847 have any right to that and they are long since dead.

The shame of it all is that it is arguable that the services and infrastructure left by the colonialists worked for while after they left and now, with all in our grip and grasp there is nothing to show.

I do not want to hear that old tale again, what are going to do about it and get along with doing it?

Aba Boy said...

I don’t think slavery/colonialism is the only reason why we find ourselves in such a deplorable state (Make no mistake it does play a role). So on that point I disagree with OBJ and ask him to also look at leadership or better put the lack of leadership as one of the main reasons why we seem to be going backwards.

My Talking Beginnings said...

What a silly old oaf!

Everchange said...

exactly mtb. Obasanjo complaining about colonialism carries about as much significance as Mugabe droning on the same...it's all a ploy to divert noses sniffing his shit.

TaureanMinx said...

Colo whatt???? more like corruption and greed which is what led to slavery in the first place. PUULLLEEASSSEEE..meanwhile did u see the slave trade series on my photoblog?

Ghana deserves it, what's the point when it won't really be beneficial to Nigerians except the few who get their hands on it?

Gosh I sound so cynical

kemi said...

Foolish, foolish OBJ.

How come Ethiopia, which was not on the slave route and the only African country NEVER to be colonised, is doing much worse than the rest of Africa?

TRAE said...

good to see Nigerians (Akin,Aba Boy,Everchange,TaureanMinx) reasoning like this. where were you guys when disillusioned naija gal was crying over spilt milk (slavery) on her blog.

culturalmiscellany said...

Trae - Nkem contacted me about that last night. I think he was hoping I'd word something incorrectly here, drop myself in it and increase his ratings.

Everchange said...

Trae, that was different. I am not saying don't talk about slavery. I am saying OBJ talking about slavery is a political ploy. Beeeg difference.

Onya Baquebeich said...

@akin: you might choose to distance yourself from the inherent plight that grips the continent firmly at the bottom of the worlds food chain by establishing that you didn’t leave in that era, but you cannot deny the fact that there are Africans all over the world who are at the bottom of their respective countries foodchains because of the resounding effects of slavery. There are generations of black people in the United states and Europe who will live and die in poverty because the fact of the matter is they just don’t know how not to have a certain economically hindering mentality (call it a complex) which is a by product of slavery.
The countries which THE EUROPEANS have drawn in Africa are 40 year old forged boundaries which shouldn’t have ever existed in the first place. Western Europe is “seemingly” in harmony because they’ve had over 5000 years of fusion between Gaelic tribes and Germanic nomads to establish that eastern France isn’t a war zone which resembles 1960’s eastern Nigeria. Most African countries have no more than 100 years (if that) of this fusion.
We can all shout out about the fact that we should see the blue print of Europe and take their lead but what I’ll say to you is this: show me one civilisation today which is living in perfect harmony and hasn’t evolved over thousands of years of ORGANIC fusion and I’ll show u a race of Martians.
The fact of the matter is that there are countries in Africa which should never have been countries. Northern Nigeria would probably live more harmoniously with Southern Mali than Southern Nigeria; just as The South Western Yoruba’s have more in common with the largely traditional Yoruba speaking people of Benin republic than we do our eastern brothers. that’s the legacy of colonisation.
@taurenminx: corruption and greed did not lead to slavery. A market does not exist without a buyer. A market cannot fail to thrive if a buyer turns up with several big ships and ammunition aplenty. Sell or die.
@trae: u think talking about slavery is crying over spilt milk? I think you fail to comprehend that slavery is an inherent part of 21st century African society...the shackles might now be lifetime loans which kill more per year than any transatlantic voyage ever did, but trust me, slavery still exists big time.

Akin said...

I am not saying slavery is not an issue, I am just saying it should not be continually used as an excuse.

Monef said...

@trae - I shudder to think of all the Caribbean and African-Americans who will read that post. It is insensitive and makes you sound arrogant. As you have never been enslaved, you cannot belittle it. The problem with OBJ touting it is that there are so many problems at play in Nigeria today that can be fixed, it is wrong to focus on slavery without taking action. That is like an unemployed guy refusing to go to the job centre and at the same time complaining about hunger.

@delot - well said.

Soul said...

we have $36Billion is reserves.
Why do we need a loan again?.

Re: slavery. I second everything Delot has said.
And add that Nobody EVER says to the jews stop talking about the holocaust.

It's laughable how black people can say ohh slavery and colonialism is in the past, when they are still being colonised just under a different guise.

At times when information is soo cheap and easy to come across, it's just crazy that soo many can skip over the information just because.
We are already being enslaved a second time die to our very own ignorance.
it's funny, because we have a little money we think it doesn't affect us.
Africa is being used as a medical experimentation zone, genetically modified crops which american public won't eat are being dumped in our laps.
and aid NOT trade is crippling us..

yet we think because we can now wear the knock down designer clothes that we are free..

I weak o.

Akin said...

@Monef: We are talking about Africa here, OBJ was talking about Africa which is a completely different demographic from the whole black race.

In that perspective, you are the one flaring up matter and extending it to contexts that are not part of the mix.

Neither did I belittle slavery, but I refuse to play victim or take on a victim-complex in order to show ineffective solidarity with those who have suffered.

Rather, I want us to move beyond slavery, having dropped the chains on our ankles, we should drop the chains on our minds, on our prospects and on our future.

No matter how much this slavery/colonialism talk is brought up the ones who perpetrated those acts are not going to repatriate anything apart from offer presidential apologies for their misdeeds.

The question is when are going to springboard from our misfortunes to greater things rather than be weighed down by them.

ngozi said...

the difference btwn the jews and africans is this: no jew has ever let the holocaust stop them from getting their act together. jews went on to make and are still making great contributions in the fields of science, finance and the arts.

we need to stop whining, and do sth!!!

Monef said...

@Akin - I wasn't actually referring to your comment, I think what you are saying makes sense and it holds weight.

I was commenting on the fact that TRAE called slavery 'spilt milk'. That is what I deemed insensitive.