By Olayemi FakoladeThe early sunshine that rose on that day was the first sign that it was a special day. The sun's intensity was just right for the occasion, and showed that heaven was quite happy with the earth. It was a bright and warm day. The daylight shone brilliantly in the clear, blue sky. Suddenly, the bright shining sun began to give way for thick dark clouds, lightning flashed across the sky. A storm was coming. Everyone present wondered at the unpredictability of the weather, it was like the event that day was also going to be unpredictable too. In fact, unpredictable was the choicest word that could aptly describe the future of this young union that was about to be formed and commissioned. Everyone began to rush into the hall of meeting now. There was a bit of shoving and impelling, but apart from that, every other thing seemed fine.
They began to arrive now, in their exotic cars and armed array of body guards. Many of them appeared in their very colorful attires. It was like there was a contest of who was going to be the most beautifully dressed. True to African leaders nature and culture, they wouldn't miss an opportunity to show forth the beauty of their continent and tradition, not especially when the occasion was the inauguration of the largest organization/body in Africa. The event holding was the inauguration of the Organization of Africa Unity (now known as Africa Union), the venue was Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the day was May 25th 1963. It was something close to what no other continent had seen. It was an unprecedented feat and a laudable achievement for the continent. After much speeches and few events, the charter was declared and the body was launched.
Soon after the commissioning, the first need of the body arose; there was the need for a dedicated office and headquarters. When this became obvious, the enthusiasm which had welcome the flag off of this young body became dampened. The different head of states stared at each other endlessly. Of course there were financial big weights in the group like Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt and Ghana in the group but none of them were willing, none of them seemed adequate. Did I just say 'not adequate'? Yes, none of the member states posed as being adequate to provide a head office.
Though Africa Union was established in 1963, the problem of the Africa Union building lingered until 2012, a total of 49 years. That was when China came to the rescue and saved the continent from embarrassment. You probably cannot imagine that now, but what I just wrote is true. China built the first and only Africa Union building for Africa with a whopping 200 million dollars. That singular act sent a strong message across the whole continent and indeed the rest of the world. It exposed the inadequacy of the entire continent. It showed Africa as inept and inadequate. It revealed our inferiority complex.
"It is not inequality which is the real misfortune, it is dependence." • Voltaire
Yes, Africa, especially the African leadership is largely suffering from the inferiority complex. This complex is a continuous feeling of being inferior, inadequate or being 'less than'.
The most significant causes of inferiority complex are events or occurrences in the past that makes you think that you are not capable or worthy. Individuals often suffer from inferiority complex due to abuse, being physically weak or handicapped, Having a lower social class, being continuously bullied, belonging to a certain race or skin color etc.
While this is true for individuals, this is largely true for nations as well and sadly can be true for an entire continent. When you read up about the brutal colonial past Africa was subjected to, it will not surprise you why the entire continent till this day is still inferior, inadequate and unworthy. How else can you explain a continent that cannot build a building for herself, how else can you explain when most of our countries are worst of debtors with the International Monetary Fund(as we speak, Angola is on her knees begging for aid), how else can you explain the ravaging poverty of the entire continents and the beggarly stature of most of our governments. How else can you explain the ignorance and a high level of illiteracy up to 50% (not that the other 50% are actually educated, but they could make an attempt while others do not stand a chance), How else do you explain religious houses and centers springing up everywhere largely feasting on the people's gullibility.
Inferiority has brought down entire nations and continents. It has reduced potential and made slim the abilities of able bodied nations. The slave master left our continents long ago but yet still has his control over our wealth and education and economy. The slave master lost control of our lands but still has full control of our minds. The slave pattern of thinking and slave mentality has raised an entire continent where slaves arise to make slaves of their fellow men. This reflects vividly in how we practice religion and approach to solving problems. Leaders are so few and scarce on our continent. Here, you have despots leading their countries for as long as close to five decades. Inferiority complex has made Africa placed her sword in the hands of her enemies.
There is a common story in the Bible in 1 Samuel 14. It was a scenario where Israel went to war against their fiercest enemies, the Philistines. Due to some reasons, the Philistines decided to fight with them a strategic war rather than a physical war. Rather than fight with sword and guns and tanks, the Philistines only waged war against the blacksmith of the land, responsible for making Israel's weapon of war. So every time the Philistines gained entrance into Israel, they only had one target and those were the blacksmith of the land. Not the king, not he generals of war nor the soldiers, just he blacksmiths. I wonder how Israel were never suspecting of this move. It was simple and casual, but it was strategic and effective. In a few time, there was no longer any blacksmith in the land. It became a scenario that whenever any soldier in Israel wanted to sharpen his weapon of war, he had to make a trip to the land of the Philistines to sharpen what he wanted to fight with. On the day of war, there was no longer any sword or weapon in Israel. This strategy immediately unveiled the effects of inferiority complex you will always see in any person, government, nation or continent that has the problems of inferiority complex viz Dependency, Expectancy and Insufficiency.
Let me explain thus, when a person is suffering from inferiority complex and dependent, he might have his own thing but he won't recognize that because he sees no value in anything that belongs to him or that he owns. He will always look to others as having something better than he has. He will travel across oceans, journey through seas and do anything possible to access what others have while he neglects his own thing. I never came to understand the reason why many Africans are desperate to leave their countries until I came to understand this concept. I never understood why many African heads of state and many top officials will always travel abroad for medical treatment until I diagnosed their problems as being always inferior. They see no worth in what they have and all that is theirs but will always strive for what is in others. They cannot afford to provide for themselves and their countries what they lack because a slave does not bother to think of equipping himself. A slavery mindset cannot bear to harm himself to always fight whatever challenges him, be it his master or a contemporary disease. The next time you see an African leader in the UK or the US for medical treatment, don't blame him. It's because he is still a slave. Be the President, a Governor or a king.
Can you bear to think that President Putin is going to the United States to receive medical treatment? Can you bear to think that President Obama is visiting the UK for Medical consultation? It is not that their countries already have everything they wanted to have but to them, it will be an honor to die with whatever ailment in their own land rather than die in a foreign land. That is what it means to be adequate. Inadequate countries will always seek education elsewhere, medical treatment elsewhere, training and development elsewhere. When you seek the help of your enemy to develop your mind, how well do you think he will go? The sole reason many African minds are educated to feel inferior. No regards if it's a B.A or B.Sc, M.A or M.SC or PhD. That is why we have lots of educated lame certificates but few thinking minds. PhDs and professorships that cannot refine our own oil or develop machinery for our own farms. We cannot extract our own ethanol nor build our own trains. What kind of PhDs cannot solve the problems of the people using the innovation of the indigenous resources we have at our disposal. Our minds need a total transformation.
Let us present an African medical doctor and a non-African medical doctor to a sick African and ask him to choose the doctor to treat him. You are right, most likely he will choose the non-African doctor. Why? Because he has been mis-educated to believe that by nature white men are better.
Invite an African to two meetings - one called by Africans and the other summoned by non-Africans. You are right again, that African, all things being equal, will attend the meeting called by non-Africans on time and attend the one summoned by his fellow Africans anytime he wants. Why? He dare not offend the 'international people' by attending his meeting late. Notice that this "selective punctuality" on the part of so many Africans, particularly Nigerians, is what passive thinkers call "African time" (or "colored people time,").
By comparing the leadership styles of African leaders and non-African leaders, one also observes another handiwork of inferiority complex/lack of self-confidence. Specifically, one notices that while non-African leaders wisely refuse to invest their countries' money and resources in Africa, by practicing "charity begins at home," most African leaders are very proud to invest African money and resources in non-African countries. Why? In their miseducated minds, Africa is "unsafe heaven," while "American Paradise" - the safe heaven. What a lack of self-confidence! What a leadership! It is a pity!
The bottom line is that a polluted African mind accepts that Africans are, by nature, normal human beings, while non-Africans are "aliens." A polluted African mind believes that non-Africans are "divinely" chosen to live in "Paradise," the "safe heavens," while Africans are "divinely" relegated to "unsafe heavens." A polluted African mind does not know that "America," "Australia," "Japan," and "England" are products of tireless research engineered by true compatriot leaders and elite. In fact, a polluted African mind does not know that George Washington, the first President of the US, did not have, for instance, Space Exploration Program. Nigerians, for instance, must know that the reason for lack of so many developed areas in Nigeria is that so many Nigerian leaders rob their own people only to deposit the loot abroad. As such, the money that could have been used to produce our own paradise in Nigeria is senselessly siphoned out of Nigeria.
African children have been repeatedly told lies, and the liars never, for one day, reflected upon the horrible consequences of their lies. They never realize that if a lie were told repeatedly, sooner or later some people would start believing it to be true. Just as a determined and concerted effort to tell a child that he is stupid is likely to get that child thinking and acting stupid, "educating" African children to develop low self-esteem and feel inferior has produced so many Africans who have, consciously or unconsciously, accepted that they are ordinary humans while non-Africans are 'geniuses' divinely planted in "Paradise"
The next problem I will discuss is the problem of expectancy or 'donor mentality'. Inferior people love gifts. They do not feel adequate enough to work hard, earn enough and get whatever they want for themselves. Like slaves, they expect gifts constantly from their master. There is no better way the west is killing Africans more than the periodic 'Debt relief' and loans and grants that are handed out to Africans and African government. No nation can develop in irresponsibility. No wonder they seem to publicly help us but mock us at our backs calling us 'fantastically corrupt'. If we borrowed, we should be made to pay. It's that 6-year old simple.
"Living off others is a form of bondage-for if you take from a person his responsibility to care for himself, you also take from him the opportunity to be free." • Cameron C. Taylor
Africa will never develop until we crush our donor mentality. Our journey to development will begin when we start refusing any help or aid from anywhere and choose to work with our own ideas. Like someone said "Why ask for your daily bread when you own the bakery?"
"Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it." • John D. Rockefeller
Now is the time for us as a people and continent to begin to refine our own oil with our own equipment made by our own engineers and begin to export to our own African countries and by extension the rest of the world. We must begin to produce our own foods and clothes. We must begin to use our indigenous resources and materials to construct our own buildings and houses.
I'm absolutely convinced that every nation on earth is built to be self-sufficient if only they will choose to think and use their minds.
What else will Africa be waiting for? This is time for Africa. In the next article, I will begin to discuss solutions and active steps we can take to start our road to sufficiency and adequacy and how we can totally crush our inferiority complex.
"Nothing will change until we change - until we throw off our dependence and act for ourselves."• Myles Horton,
TO A BETTER WORLD
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