“We were classed not cursed “2
A continent whose people lack a sense of self value and responsibility can never change the course of events. We as a continent must regain our sense of self -worth if we will become progressive people.
The same way those who moved into houses that they were not prepared to live in and ended up burying their swimming pools, is what happens to individuals that hold on to an inferior worldview, it makes them bury their pools of wealth, talents and opportunities. This has been the case in Africa, we have failed to extract the potential that lies within us so that we can be able to take advantage of the available resources and create a better future for us. As you read this article make a choice to let go of any of anything that may be holding you back from becoming a great daughter/son of Africa. Take time to evaluate your thinking patterns and forsake any second class mentalities, let your action correspond with the kind of Africa you want to see.
A second class worldview creates misfits of people; this is why individuals who possess this mentality, without knowing work towards bringing their surroundings down to fit in with their second class mentality. That’s why most African countries rarely improve in any form. When people won’t change their inferiority and second class worldview, they regress to their inferior and second class way of life no matter where you try to fit them.
So even when nice buildings are erected it’s just a matter of time before they all become decrepit. This is why our governments should not just invest in infrastructure development for the purpose of creating jobs; to sustain any form of development substantial investment needs to go towards programs that are aimed at changing the second class mentality and make the common African become aware of this backward paradigm. You cannot build a first class country without building a first class mentality amongst its people.
You cannot embark on first class infrastructure development without corresponding action being driven towards developing people to have a “first class” mentality. Years ago my mother and I relocated from Kitwe, one of the towns in Zambia to a rural village called Bwalya Mponda, which was really not just any typical village but a rather swampy one. While there I came across a number of incidences that have helped shape me today. I encountered various behaviours that reflected the backward thinking that we tend to have as Africans and noted the gaps that exist between the government’s plans for a particular area and the actual mind sets of the citizens within those very areas. The people from the area where we relocated to mainly had one basic skill which was fishing, and there was not centre for trading. The government came up with a plan to build a market where people can trade their fish and other merchandise, as a way of developing basic selling skills among the local people. This market was also supposed to act as a focal point for networking the locals to those who were coming from outside the village in search of buying fish in bulk. However good the government’s plans were, they did not yield the expected results. The people however, did not use the market for selling fish nor any merchandise, it instead became a place for dumping rubbish; others used it to play games and later basic materials such as window frames and iron sheets utilised to put up the structure were even stolen.
This is what happens when there is a mis-match between the developmental plans of a government for instance and the mentality of its people. Until people’s minds are transformed, raised and prepared for “first class” living, they will always gravitate towards vandalism and second class living. African governments must work towards creating a culture that makes Africans believe in themselves and that they deserve a better life and living standards. We as a people must take ownership of our destiny and it has to start in the mind. If how we perceive our own world does not change, nothing will ever change. The kind of Africa we want must first be perceived and accepted in the mind and then we must commit to living it out in our daily lives, until it becomes our way of life. Any change to move our continent forward that does not involve changing how the common African person thinks will yield no positive results.
Desiring to have a “first class” mentality does not mean one now desires to become a white person or European, no, but rather to accept that you too deserve the finer things in life, so in essence it’s about appreciating your value as an African person. This is about accepting and appreciating your human dignity, until this occurs in the mind, we will always play victim.