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SLAVE!

As a young boy growing up in elementary school, my favorite subject was first English (because I never failed it…not at any time) and secondly history. I loved history because it provided a mental escape for me who liked to fantasize and dream a lot. Imagine a ten or eleven year old sitting in a class and learning about greek philosophers such as Socrates,plato,arostotle etc and religious leaders such as Mohammed,Jesus Christ,Buddha etc outstanding explorers such as David Livingstone, Mungo Park,Ferdinand Mangelan,Sir Francis Drake etc Pan Africanists Kwame Nkrumah,Jomo Kenyatta,Omar Muktar,Haile Sellasie, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe etc.Yes, that’s where I was and who I was.

An interesting topic which was taught us is the TRANSANTLANTIC  SLAVE TRADE.Consistent with the curriculum of study,we were taught that there was a dark moment in our ancestral story when the ‘white’ man would leave Europe and the Americas to come and grab and steal our people to go work and farm his platations. I was told that our people were rich,happy and settled in their own place, but the greedy white man would travel down and grab them and steal them away for his own end and means.I developed a picture in my head of saintly white robbed black men and women who were here and attacked by not so saintly dark robbed white men who did them all the wrong.In otherword we were the victim and they were the villain.That was what I was told and I believed because I had no alternative view to the subject matter (In those days there was no world wide web…at least not in my growing environment…and that was 26 years ago).

Ten years from that point and two before my dad died I got into a conversation with him. It was concerning  something In my home town (where he spent his last years on earth) where the graves of two chiefs who had been deposed from their domains further up north and had died in exile. The epitaph  read ‘Here Lies the remains of Chief XXXXXX, The Paramount Ruler of YYYYYY, who was deposed in the year bla….bla…bla..  and died here in exile’.

Since he had been born in that same town and grown up there.I took the liberty to ask him why the graves were there.It was a simple inquiry as to “Why dad were these chiefs deposed from their throne and sent here on exile”?

“It was the British son”He answered.

“After the Parliament in England passed the act outlawing slavery in the british empire there was a need to enforce since it was still going on and many who were benefiting from it  refused not stop.

“The realized after many years that scrouging the waters for slave ships carrying captives to the Americas and the carribeans was not doing the job enough….because the marchants were still been supplied by the traders in the hintherland.

“Those two chiefs were notorious for breaking that law and stubbornly allowing the trade to continue thriving in their domains.They even promoted it and prospered by that as well.

“It was realized at some point that the trade could not and could not stop in that part of the empire as long as they ruled.

“As such, they had to be deposed and sent out on exile….to stop them and their agents from continueing to suffer their subjects,victims as well as prisoners of war by selling them away into slavery….supplying the  illicit  chain”

(Gulp!)

It was a mild surprise for me….that the british in far away England made laws to abolish slavery and had to fight to enforce the laws to protect the locals from suffering?But how could an all white Parliement in a white man’s country make laws to salvage black people in Africa from their own kind…and even expend resources to enforce those laws against local resistance? This was not a book read….I saw the graves and the information written on it personally (they still are there as we speak)…although they excluded of course the wrong they commited to merit such punishment.The contradiction between what I had been taught and what I was seeing tinkered a little with that image I had carried in my head for the previous ten years into adulthood.

That aside. Do you know why I believe my father’s explanation? I am yet  to know of any ‘African’ Abolitionists. Yes I have read or heard about European and American ecclesiastic and political entities (individual and institutional) giving time money and effort to abolition efforts, but not a single local one. If there is one or more, I’d be interested to know.

It was not until 2002, ten years counting from now when I heard a teaching on TRANSFORMATION by  Dr Mensah Otabil that the true picture of the events fell in. I still remember that conference was organized Leaders (Ecclesiastic, Corporate, Civil & Political) and it held courtesy of House on The Rock, Lagos, Nigeria.He said a few things, some of which I remember…(Quote)

“You know a lot of Africans when they hear the phrase slave trade, think slave……

“The operative word in that phrase is the word trade.Which tells that it was actually a trade.The slave only speaks of the commodity that was being traded.

“The british came, the portugese came bringing sugar,tobacco rum…and we took whole humans beings and gave them in exchange…..

“Some chiefs took their subjects and say “give me a little sugar”…some fathers took their children and said “give me a little salt…some others took their brother saying “give me a little rum to drink”.

(Shouting)“THAT MENTALITY WHICH MAKES YOU THINK THAT A MAN IS WORTH SUGAR…….

“If someone comes to meet you to ask that you sell him your brother, why would you even negotiate with him in the first place…….

“My question is have we changed.No wonder our leaders go and sit in board rooms in Switzerland and sell all of us….

(End of Quote)

It was that which the conneced of the various dots.Whilst it’s true that the trans antlantic slave trade was initiated by the western capitalist establishment (which of a truth was dominated by white men), the other side to the story is that Africans contributed to the flourish of that evil commerce in an almost if not equal measure.The whole thing happened because their was a local support or co-operation to sustain it.In the words of Dr Otabil “Had we not sold, they would not have bougth”.

That some Africans contributed and even benefited from the trade is not what make it painful to me. Nor is that we have rewritten the history of the event in our generation and handed out the half truth across generations to western discredit. But, rather that we blame the Europeans for the folly of our own indescretions.It is amongst the people of my race that one would go to a phone shop and with his wide open buy a phone braded and nokia and go home to insult the shop keeper for selling him such an equipment…because it refuses to work like his brothers black berry.That if he does not muster the ‘bold-face’ to go back to the same shop and demand for ‘ compensation ’ for being allowed to keep the same phone he complained about!

Everything I have mentioned thus far is looking at the one same issue from the broad scope. To bring a little practicality to the entire subject in terms of proof. I’d narrow it down on the foremost geo political entire on our continent….in some respects; Nigeria. Out of the same country emanated a prominent reparation champion Chief M.K.O. Abiola’s  (R.I.P.)His efforts was geared towards a compensation for Africans and Africa  for the effects of slave trade (Though it still remains hazy as to who should pay and who would receive the payment) in the late 80’s into the early 90’s.Due to his demise the project has seen a graveyard, but the effort has been commended as a noble attempt.

In a manner that is stranger than fiction this same country of his,just 20 years or so down the line, generations of fathers (who were educated using the same history curriculum I began my discourse with) are giving away their daughters to join the human traffic to Italy to work in the commercial sex industry (yes you heard me right….industry).Mind you this young ladies are being introduced to such by other brothers, sisters ,cousins ,nephews or someone within the same community.Oh….I forgot to mention this time around, the term Slave Trade has been abandoned to history as being too archaic and negative and a more positive rebrand has been adopted using “Italiano”, “Jandoo” or better still “Huzzling”!

(For those of your who wish to spy my inspiration please find/buy and read ‘Buy The Future’ By Dr Mensah Otabil)

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Understanding One Concept of Capital

Capital does not have to be human or financial.It could be intellectual or possibly spiritual.We often forget that Great Britain did not transcend into the great empire it became in the centuries past because it was financially or humanly wealthy.Most of the colonies that it conquered and ruled over were more populous than it was (like India) and abundantly more endowed than it was (like Colonial Africa)

But how could a country devoid of any significant deposit of natural resources (it’s colonies supplied all of the raw materials that powered it’s great industries) or significant demographic representation (As a country I personally do not think it amounted up to 1/10 of the outside population of the inhabitants of it’s various colonies) become so powerful a force of reckon?The answer is found in it’s abundance of spiritual capital.

By spiritual capital I am not talking exclusively about religious habits,followership nor institutions characterized by worship,penance,prayers,fastings,almsgiving etc but in inclusive of  an applicable interface between the man and his world which is called CULTURE.In a culminative sense civilaization is made up an adopted culture tested and proven over time.And the given culture of a people is built with the building blocks of the prevailing values as applicable to the individuals in within the same  community.For the british, it was courtesy of the christain reformation that swept over some perts of Europe back then…although a Buddist Japan has an similar story of pragmatic development without a christain background….looking at the matter objectively.

It is when religion and religiosity translate into indivual and communal values in a moral,ethical and aesthetic sense, that is when it can be injected into productive outcome via the channels of industry and governance.

Afterall that has been the known trend in most story of human advancement with civialization!

 

If Only The Queen Had Asked Him To Tea (Analysis On An Economic War)

Thirty years ago, Idi Amin announced the expulsion of 80,000 Ugandan Asians. Trevor Grundy remembers those fevered days and explains how a better understanding of the erratic dictator’s flawed character might have played……

During the early hours of Saturday August 5, 1972, General Idi Amin, Life President of Uganda, Conqueror of the British Empire and the Last King of Scotland, had a dream. Still in his pyjamas, the six-foot three-inch former British Army sergeant called some of his senior military advisers into the State House in Kampala and told them that God had ordered him to expel the Indian/Asian community.

That morning in Nairobi, I and other editors of the tabloid newspaper The Nation read the first news agency reports describing how The Almighty had also ordered Amin to take over Asian-owned hotels, mills, breweries, sugar refineries and cotton factories.

In Amin’s dream, God told the general to nationalise all of the houses and flats owned by Uganda’s 80,000-strong Indian community, made up of Hindis, Muslims and members of the Aga Khan’s small but wealthy sect, the Ismailis. The Ugandan Life President gave non-citizens just 90 days to leave the country.

That same day, 18 leaders of the Indian community – wealthy, usually optimistic men – were summoned into Amin’s awe-inspiring presence. They shook their heads in disbelief when they heard what he had to say.

They had all “milked the Ugandan cow without feeding it”, and had ripped off the economy by sending millions of Ugandan shillings to relatives in Britain. They should make plans to get all the members of their universally detested community out of the country by November 9.

“If you don’t go by then,” Amin told them, “I will make you feel as if you are sitting on fire.”

In Nairobi, the mood among Kenya’s much larger and even more powerful Indian community was of good-humoured incredulity. Weren’t Ugandan Asians Idi Amin’s best friends? He had said so dozens of times since overthrowing the quasi-Marxist President Milton Obote the year before. In January 1971, Ugandan Asians had joined hands with blacks and whites and danced in the streets of Kampala when they heard that the “Redeemer” Amin had ended the corrupt and always menacing rule of Obote.

The day after Amin’s thunderbolt announcement, I joined a close Ismaili friend, who worked as an accountant at The Nation, a paper owned by the Aga Khan, for a family picnic. Mansoor told me that Idi Amin was so erratic; he would probably retract his expulsion order within a few days. “He has probably had a row with the British High Commissioner, Richard Slater,” he suggested.

“He was probably rejected by some Indian beauty and wants his own back,” said Mansoor’s wife, as we laughed and enjoyed our picnic.

But Idi Amin was in no mood to retract a single word. On August 9, he appeared on television to tell the Asian community that even Indians with British passports must leave within 90 days. They included teachers, doctors, nurses, business leaders, lawyers, building contractors and the men and women who ran the twin pillars of the Ugandan economy – agriculture and tourism.

“Asians,” he said, in front of a sea of beaming black Ugandans, most of whom wore military uniforms, “have kept themselves to themselves and as a community have refused to integrate with Africans. Their main interest has been to exploit the economy. They have been milking our economy for years and now I say to them  all – Go!”

At the start of October, I was called in to see one of the Aga Khan’s advisers. He lived in Paris and helped oversee the spiritual leader of the Ismaili community’s vast fortune. I was told that, for the next few weeks, he did not want to see hostile features in The Nation about Idi Amin. I should choose “light, bright” articles and avoid horror stories from Uganda.

Mansoor took me aside and said that the Aga Khan had sent his diplomats to Uganda, where they had reached an agreement with Amin. He would receive an undisclosed sum if the Ismailis left unharmed. Diplomats working for the Aga Khan had also made arrangements with Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, to “ease the way” for Ismailis. Large sums were invested in that country’s embryonic tourism industry.

It was at that time that the first reports came through that Idi Amin had started to turn against his black countrymen. Anyone who criticised his anti-Asian policy was picked up, murdered and fed to the crocodiles.

No one was sure what Amin was up to. Rumours flew around Kampala, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam that he was having trouble holding together the army and needed the wealth of departing Asians to placate powerful officers from tribes other than his own.

In state-controlled newspapers and on radio and television, black Ugandans were being whipped into a frenzy about the way Asians had ruined the economy. Almost overnight, Kampala became a city of queues – for injections, for passports, for the tiny amounts of currency they were allowed to take with them: less than pounds 50 per family. In addition, no family could take more than two suitcases of possessions.

Houses were abandoned, furniture was left in derelict buildings. The cost of secondhand cars dropped dramatically, while the price of unworked gold rose from pounds 50 to pounds 125 an ounce.

By September, with the November deadline for expulsions approaching, rumours swept Uganda, and reached Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. The British would be the next to go, it was said, then the Americans and finally all Europeans would be slung out of Africa. Amin had set a stunning racial precedent which Africa’s poor and downtrodden might applaud and copy.

Terrified fathers heard stories of Indian girls being raped by out of control soldiers. In their hundreds, they packed into trains, known as Kampala Specials, and fled to the East African coastal cities of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam.

By the end of October, as many as 30 flights a week were leaving Kampala for London. On the way to the airport, police put up roadblocks and stole the few possessions that Indian families were trying to take out with them. More than once, the giant Amin appeared at the airport, his massively decorated chest puffed up, to laugh at the Indians who had once seen him as their protector. “This is wonderful,” he told his cronies. “Wonderful.”

The Old Etonian British High Commissioner wondered what to do next. Unknown to him, and the confused diplomats in Kampala, a young social psychologist, Mallory Wober, could have offered some sound advice.

Wober had entered Uganda at the end of the 1960s, under the auspices of Edinburgh University, to study the impact of rapid industrialisation on rural Africans. But as the expulsion crisis continued, he decided he wanted to psychoanalyse Amin. Courageously, Wober wrote an article in the Ugandan magazine Transition in which he suggested that, despite his great bluster, strength and determination, Amin was a dependent type who was desperate to be told what to do by someone in authority. Good at receiving orders, he craved the approval of the Queen, of organisations such as the British Government and Army and, above all, of hugely respected new African leaders, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in particular.

Nyerere had won international approval in 1967 after launching his Fabian-style blueprint for socialism, the widely acclaimed but disastrously unpractical Arusha Declaration, which effectively stole all Asian wealth in Tanzania. Wober said that Amin thought he would gain the respect of Nyerere by kicking out the Indians, but Nyerere continued to ridicule Amin, referring to him privately – and later, in public – as an idiot.

Throughout his dangerously erratic military career, Amin kept a picture of King George VI wearing a kilt over his bed and always referred to the English king as “my old commander in chief”. Just before his downfall in 1979 (at the hands of his old idol Nyerere) he wrote to Prince Charles and told him not to marry Diana, because she came from a different station in life. “You will live to regret this,” he warned.

As well as analysing the dictator’s character, Wober pointed out the part that Libya’s Colonel Gadaffi had played in this African tragedy. Soon after Amin came to power, he visited Libya, where Gadaffi was in the process of booting his small but economically powerful Italian community out of the country. Gadaffi urged Amin to do the same to the Israelis who lived and worked in Uganda and, upon his return home, to declare Uganda a Muslim state, despite the fact that only six per cent of the population was Muslim.

“Idi Amin always needed someone powerful to give him orders,” said Wober. “First, it was the British Army, then it was Milton Obote. Next came Gadaffi and finally, God.

“Amin both loved and hated Britain and used the Asians in Uganda as a weapon to try to punish people for not taking sufficient notice of him. Perhaps if the Queen had invited him to Buckingham Palace for a cup of tea and a sandwich in August 1972, the whole East African tragedy might never have taken place.”

August 2, 2002 4:05am

Copyright © 2002 The Daily Telegraph. Source: Financial Times Information Limited – Europe Intelligence Wire.


CONVERSATION BETWEEN AN AFRICAN AND AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINE

Recently, I had a conversation with an Australian Aborigine on facebook.It was an interesting discussion which bothered on the attempts for self-actualization by the original inhabitants. It’s somewhat  political in style, but I have no doubt the reader will learn a thing or two.Please excuse a few grammatical errors as the spelling might not be concise with how you know words should be spelt in an english dictionary:

 Michael Caleb-Havilah I have been reading posts on this page and find them pretty interesting.But there is one question which remains to me unansad:IF THE LAND IS ND SHULD REMAIN ABORIGINAL BECOS IT WAS NEVA CEEDED IN A TREATY….WHAT ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENTAL VALUE ON THAT LAND…THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT,THE STRUCTURE & INSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNANCE,THE ECONOMIC SYSTEMS,THE TECHNOLOGY,THE INFRASTRUCTURE etc. Yes the land is aboriginal alright,but australia is more than bare land today.Candid ansas please.

Australia – Always was, Always will be Aboriginal Land Michael, it is widely unrecognised that the great majority of infrastructure such as roads (aka Cobb & Co. tracks) connecting the various, and then colonial townships, were developed on the walking tracks of the Aboriginal people in the various states across australia. the national government only came into place at federation which was on 1st January 1901 (some 113 years after initial invasion/colonisation), previous to this there were a bunch of self governing british colonies. Additonally, much of agricultural industries especially related to cattle and sheep and railway systems were built on the blood and sweat of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well – where they were either sent out to work as 10 year olds and had their monies kept in the government coffers or they were exempt from the relevant act (according to what state they lived in) and able to work as ‘free’ men but then most time the white people would underpay or not pay at all (go read the Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith and you’ll find out about that!)…. and then finally, there is the white australia policy/agenda that sought to deliberately and conscientiously EXCLUDE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from full and equal participation in the development of this nation – oh and that didnt stop until 1967 (like 46 year ago!)… ALWAYS WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE ABORIGINAL LAND, regardless of the union jack!

Michael Caleb-Havilah ….and where is the place of the non-aboriginal australian in this ‘land’ of yours…?at least the terminology ‘australasia’ is an anglofonic word which was nt sourced to any aboriginal language…even english the language with which you’re speakin with me rite now…

Australia – Always was, Always will be Aboriginal Land where is the place of the non-aboriginal people? obviously where their ancestors come from. my ancestral connection to this land called australia goes back over 60,000+ years which is equivalent to 3000 generations. in comparison, 225 years of colonial history is equivalent to around 11 generations of people that have transplanted themselves from their ancestral lands. Winani Mirikala, in my native language, means to ‘keep the fire burning’, it is something of a motto for myself to never forget or deny my connection to my ancestors and my ancestral lands. all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s walk in two-worlds, our people’s world and the white man’s world, pretty much similar to all other native peoples around the world. i’ve learnt to master the english language and white man ways of doing things – you got to get by and to be heard…

Michael Caleb-Havilah ….in the 60000+ yrs yur ancestors were…what developmental value did they have on the ancestral land prior to the arrival of the colonists?aside yur language,race nd land (wit its mineral nd natural resources),wat legacy can yu point to in yur country which can be traced to aboriginal ancestry…?…(given dat even the concept of aboriginality was coind by the white man to give yur race a collective identification)

Australia – Always was, Always will be Aboriginal Land Michael, aside from the large proportion of the east/sth east coast, which copped the main brunt of colonial activities, there are still a large number of Aboriginal people who maintain and continue cultural traditions that have been unbroken for the past 60,000+, let alone the past 236 years of colonisation. as to your mocking of developmental value it really is quite simple, this land is a vast continent rich with many resources and obviously located in a good spot on the planet to have harboured the right kind of environmental conditions to sustain life. There was no need to build fences to establish proof of ownership, which is basically the foundation of whiteman’s legal system (individuals at arms length competing with one another for resources in the same area). as to legacy, it’s the living breathing cultural expression of all Aboriginal people from time’s gone to the present. and finally, i dont a give a toss what word/name/view people such as yourself, or other ignoramus types, hold in relation to the connnection of Aboriginal people to this ancestral land – it’s not a bout words, it’s about the blood that runs through our veins. dunno where your mob comes from, but if you want to deny them or ancestral connections then that’s your problem – i live in the land of my ancestors and i’ll praise, honour and repsect them without hesitation.

Michael Caleb-Havilah :d…I’m not a white man mate..

Australia – Always was, Always will be Aboriginal Land im not saying that you are, so dont get snidey with me mate!… i dont know where you come from, black white or brindle, i dont know you or your background. my point is, as an ABORIGINAL person, the blood that runs through my veins has ancestral connection to this land that stems back over 3000 generations (60,000+ years). simple as.

Michael Caleb-Havilah Were Australia to become yur ancestral land again and the colonialists returnd to their ancestral land according to yur claim….what wuld you call dat new country since the terminology ‘australia’ and even ‘aboriginal’ are ‘copyrighted’What would be the structure & institution of such a society because each aboriginal nation/tribe had it’s own culture & tradition?…Have you taken the tym to think thru on these issues?

Australia – Always was, Always will be Aboriginal Land Michael, what you’ve said above there is obviously a moot point and one that has been subject of many a conversation no doubt. Me, personally, cannot give you any DEFINATIVE answer on the subject or even conject one – simply it’s not up to one person. having said that, i’d definately like to see reserved seats in governmental structures for ATSI ppl – local, state and federal, in the hope that this type of measure would make way for greater representation of ATSI issues across the country according to each region.

Michael Caleb-Havilah Lols…..But the concept of local, State and Federal is nt Aboriginal but Australian (White…Colonial or European if you will)….in the days of your ancestors (which you impressed me to speak so well of)…you did nt have one country of aboriginal people .Besides how can you have a credible political structure which would Federal State and local segmented without elections….appropriate representation can not and would nt be achieved thru reservation….and all of that concept were intrduced or brought by the whites and colonialist

Australia – Always was, Always will be Aboriginal Land the system of govt in nz seems to work alright, but then they have that ‘magic’ word TREATY to bargain with… while the concept is colonial, it’s a situation where you either adapt or die out, regardless of all the wrongs, Aboriginal people are still survivors!

Michael Caleb-Havilah Lets ATIS alone for a moment….how much of African history do you know?Have yu any idea of African colonial & Post Colonial history?

Australia – Always was, Always will be Aboriginal Land i have a bit of knowledge about it. in terms of their being a number of colonising nations – brits, dutch, french – who’re reaping great rewards from mining of resources and holdings in land… i know a bit about apartheid coz it’s something that was mirrored here in australia, particularly qld and wa. i know that there are many different tribal groups and languages, im not too knowledgeable about the extent of colonisation of Africa, in terms whether all African nations were taken over by some other colonising country or not. and i’ve recently become interested in the level of interest from China in Africa in recent and present days actions. (I watch the Chinese, African and Arabian news on foxtel, very interesting shows and topics – prefer these to australian/american/english stuff by far!)…

Australia – Always was, Always will be Aboriginal Land i know that there is strife as well, particularly in some African countries where the colonising country has withdrawn. i see on news that some democracy process can or have been compromised by undemocratic acts by political parties and some leaders. i see that there is potential for acts of greed to undermine the use and distribution of wealth to those in power with minimal regard for the people. i see that there is a greater number of educated African people who are striving for the best for their people. i see that there are a number of warlords who’ve contributed to the killing and displacement of thousands of people…

Michael Caleb-Havilah ..fair enof!I assume you have regular Internet access….so I wuld advice that you go and do online study of the history of the countries of LIBERIA & RHODESIA/ZIMBABWE…all of the points you enumerated (africa) are good,bt only the effects of smtin deeper.For yu to understand the cause,study wat I just told.You wuld see WHY it is pertinent for you to modify yur own views and WHAT wuld happen to yur country if yu don’t…I’ll give yu a few day 🙂

The conversation thus ended at this point…because he/she never got back to me on that assignment.

HOW MUCH ARE YOU TRULY WORTH?

It was made as an ordinary statement by one of my dearest friends, but has never left me ever since. He said to me years back:

“There are two kinds of poverty in the realm of human existence……

“The poverty of economics and one of values.

“When one has a poverty of economics, it reflects in their lack of the factors of life sustenance. They may or would lack food to eat, clothes to wear, houses to live in etc. They may lack legal tender to help others inspite intentions which is good, pay their debts, or pay for required services etc.

“But when it is the case of the one of values (even if they are economically sufficient) it shows in their attitudes, behavior and/or choices as they respond to what life presents and/or throws at them .The world around them would see it in their mindset, conversation and speech as a matter of habit and lifestyle no matter who they meet, where they are or circumstances they find themselves in.

“This one is a deeper and more deadly type of poverty because it is not found in the person’s environment but inside his/her person”

I have since practiced to live by that principle and to say that it has helped me tremendously is an understatement. And I’d tell you a moving story which illustrates how this poverty of values has been the undoing of many, inspite of gender.

In my late teens I identified with a certain local assembly in my city of dwelling at the time (I must have been about 18 or 19 at that time).There was this man who served in the leadership/eldership of the same as an under-pastor. Besides being an extremely knowledgeable, spiritually and academically, he was also wealthy financially speaking. As it were he was spiritually sound, academically accomplished and financially well-off. I’d call him Mr Billy and I knew him a bit well. He was someone whom a lot came to know with time and reports to have a terrible character flaw unchecked; WOMANIZING. Just imagine a Don Juan fellow with a boiling libido and also charging to put his instrument into anything as long it is dressed in a skirt…..even wrappers, dresses and frocks too…that’s who he was!

An incident occurred in the process of time around him which came to involve a second party named Miss Nanny. Unlike this man, she was a working class young woman of modest means and accomplishment and was busy going about building a life of virtue. She also hoped someday to set up a marriage of her own. She got to meet this same Mr Billy and being young, virile and desirable succumbed to his overtures because he made it obvious to her he would take care of her and meet her physical needs. From the onset, the term of the ‘transaction’ was clear to both parties though undocumented. He needed her to get into his bed and was willing to reward her with as many as she needed and requested trinkets, clothes, accessories, designer make-up etc. So the relationship ensued and went on for a while with both parties getting out of it what they both expected.

Unfortunately, Miss Nanny was engaged to another fellow with the intention to get married as her fiancé. He got to discover that she was cheating on him with Mr Billy and confronted her with it. She denied yet did not stop. Subsequent confrontations and quarrels yet exposed her philandering, and she still went on with it,still. When the poor fiancée realized he could not get her to retrace her steps, he simply abandoned her to her ways and ‘benefactor’ and moved on. The benefits of her new found relationship was just to good and true to be severed from.

Shortly afterwards she took in. Upon announcing to Mr Billy what had happened, he convinced her to get an abortion. He even offered to pay for it. She accepted the offer on the premise that it would do them both good since he was a married man and already had three kids of his own. The money was provided, hospital and doctor consulted and she went through with it.

Strange as it might sound, after the abortion was done, the man said he was no longer interested in her. She made efforts to continue but he would not bulge. He stood his ground that he was done with her and began cutting whatever cords bound them for the time the affair had been on. Her calls began to get ignored. His staff at his office became unfriendly and unattending (unlike before) as “boss, had given express instructions that whenever she came again she was not to be welcomed”. She could not go to his residence at all since she did not even know where it was (They always met in hotels and chalets when the going was good).

One day she came to admit to herself that this man had actually walked out on her and gone home to his rightful family…and possibly to his next victim. She had no legal basis to make any claims nor seek redress as she was not his wife .She had no moral grounds even to go to that same church where they met because naturally it would merely worsen and complicate matters for her and him by earning them an indefinite suspension or outright expulsion (On their part, the biblical standards of adultery on his part and fornication on hers would immediately come to fore in enforcement). So she opted to simply lick her wounds and mourn her loss all by herself. What made her case even all the worse is that she opted to blame the man for the loss of her true relationship as a consequence of her actions rather than taking responsibility for her own contributions in the whole affair. She mourned how much she had lost and clearly at the moment refused to unacknowledged what she gained. She suddenly forgot it was all at the onset a TRANSACTION.

Looking at the entire story on the surface would make you assume the position that the one in the wrong was Mr Billy. Afterall, he is the man. He was older chronologically, stronger spiritually, more informed academically etc and what he did was wrong by taking advantage of a poor young lady to her detriment. But a more wholesome view would show you to move beyond the how and see the why behind it. As in…why would a fine and such a promising young lady like Miss Nanny would trade a life time opportunity to have her own marriage and home for ‘needed and requested trinkets, clothes, accessories, designer make-up etc’? It all goes back to where I began as to the case of a person having a poverty of values.

(Putting yourself in her shoes)Yes, it is when you have a poverty of values that you would refuse to ask yourself some probing questions. What would make you share the bed of a man who already has his own marriage in return for “whatever”? Why would you go through an abortion to exonerate any man who already has three kids of his own and you none from the consequences of his own actions? Why would you rather lose a relationship in with which there is a future than walk away from one with which there is none? Are you so cheap a person that you would you would trade your virtue and future for immediate incentives? HOW MUCH ARE YOU TRULY WORTH BY THE SCALE OF YOUR VALUE SYSTEM?

(This one is a shocker) Do you know why I am being so hard on Miss Nanny? Just a few months ago, I ran into an old friend whom I saw last in 2002 and in 1997 prior. Our friendship emanated from that same church where we all were back then as youngsters (though she was much older).She has become a wife of one man and mother of three kids. She had been since back then a high flying career woman and has risen to a manager one of the topmost concessionairing outfits in town. During one of our recent conversations, she revealed (without knowing Miss Nanny’s story at all) that Mr Billy actually made a similar offer to her at some point in time. Her reward was to have been a job which she needed badly as at finishing school back then. She told me that she did not only turn him down on the occasion, she “walked out on him from his office with my back so turned on him that I have never needed and ever hoped to see him again, ever. Because, I have no need for such a job”!

I could say more, but I won’t. At least that gives you the opportunity to think the rest through.

(THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY COMPOSED FOR AND PUBLISHED ON ‘FEMININE’,MY PERSONAL MENTORING AND INSTRUCTIONAL FORUM FOR FEMALE FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK)

BEYOND RACE…..DEEPER THAN COLOUR.

I had the luxury like many of you to have been born and brought up into a post colonial Africa. However much I consider it a privilege, I am not blinded to the fact that this real positioning has revealed to me the blind spots of the anit-colonial movement (past gone) in our land.

Oh…I appreciate the efforts of the fathers of Pan-Africanism and what it means to us today. The independence Square, Accra from where that movement which spread continent wide became catalyzed remains one of my favourite spots. Whenever I am there and think that it was right on those grounds that the political future of Africa began to take place beginning from Ghana, I have a lot to be appreciative for as to the benefits I enjoy today from the efforts of those who went before us and sacrificed for us in the process. I am and remain a great admirer of Osagyefo Kwameh Nkrumah and those who worked with him to get the job done (please refer to my notes on THE BIRTH OF A NEW NATION)

Yet, I can boldly say that a lot of things was wrong with the concept from that onset .It was though the Blackness of the skin also was the darkness of the mind. However for the purpose of clarity, I would take one angle to the entire thing…the question of race….particularly with the concept of the acceptance of the white African. To help my arguments, I would bring to forth two similar national entities which are Liberia (1847-date) and Rhodesia (1890-1980)

The Pan-Africanist supported and fought for the cause of Majority rule in Rhodesia because they felt that white minority rule there was unjust and un-African. They thought it was not right that a white man should rule in an African country. So money, goodwill and efforts was poured in in torrents into the liberation struggle of that country. That seemed noble. What most of us do not know or fail to admit was that a similar or almost equal circumstance had played itself out in Africa’s first republic, which is Liberia…decades before the British Imperialist Cecil Rhodes organized Bashonaland and Matabeleland into Rhodesia as a colony. Very few know that the way Rhodesia had a dominant minority populace ruling over a majority economically and politically, so it was or had always been in Liberia and that had  been going on for almost four or five decades before Rhodesia came into existence. The principal difference between the two was that whilst the ‘oppressor’ in Rhodesia was of white skin, the one in Liberia prior was in the opposite wearing a black one.

The question which arises is; since both countries had a similar socio-political circumstance, why did the anti-colonial efforts find foot in Rhodesia and not Liberia? Your guess might be as good as mine…. Simply put (as earlier mentioned) the oppressor in the first instance wore a white skin and in the second, black. The Pan Africanist described the first circumstance as ‘colonialism’ ,’imperialist’ or ‘oppression’ but branded the second a domestic problem. It was not until after the ‘independence’ of Rhodesia (which saw it transform into Zimbabwe) that a similar a similar emancipation exercise occur in Liberia. In that same year of 1980, practically through local efforts via a coup de etat, which saw the abrupt end of a century and a half long interrupted dominance of the Americo Liberian elite through the True Whig Party and the Masonic Lodge and brought Samuel Kanyon Doe the county’s first leader of indigenous descent into power.

The oligarchic dominance of the Americo-Liberian caste in that country was acceptable to the pan Africanists. It tells that in their own view, it’s alright to be the oppressor in your operational environment so long as you wore a black skin to cover it up! How do I know or what makes me to be so sure? Just take a walk away from the Independence grounds and go past The Accra Sports Stadium and The Osu cemetery through Castle Road and passing the front of the International Conference Centre into Ridge, you would arrive at the African Unity Circle intersecting Independence Avenue. There you would see the faces of the founding fahers of that organization which we now call the A.U..You’d see the face of William V.S. Tubman alongside Julius Nyerere (Tanzania) Alhaji Tafawa Balewa (Nigeria) Ahmed Ahmed Ben Bella (Algeria) Sekou Tourre (Guinea) King Idrees El-Sannousi (Libya) etc

In all of these what lesson am I trying to draw out? That a white oppressor could exist in parallel to an equal black in two different countries on our continent should teach us a something….And that is the concept of master  & slave  and oppressor & oppressed can exist anywhere irrespective of race, colour, tribe  or nationality. Why? The principle in term of outplay of value transcends what we see on the surface. Putting in plain terms the concept is about an issue of dominance based on abilities. The factor that made the white Rhodesian oppress the Shona and Ndebele is the same that played in favour of the ‘conquer’ in Liberia (By the way, The ‘Conquer’ or Americo-Liberians were a community of freed slaves which was resettled on the West African coast through the efforts of the American Colonization Society from the United States as a group effort of the Abolitionists initiative).I already pointed out two different races in two different nations with an equal or similar outcome. The abilities of any man would always push him up ahead of another in a human community should that other not develop nor rise to match…and that is a true idea no matter the skin colour they wear. In the words of Booker T. Washington “In all history, those who possess the most education and intelligence in any society always have the most control in government no matter what race, colour or geographic location”. It’s not the colour of the container that makes an object sink or swin in water but it’s contents!

The black man seemed to so be obsessed with the idea of ‘removing’ the white imperialist or colonialist (even those who had since become African themselves in Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa) rather than develop and evolve into the productive factor that would give him an equal  and/matching competitive advantage in the same environment

If you had the chance to pattern the human society after the thinking of the beastly community on the Animal Farm of George Orwell’s book, it would be easy to insist that “All animals are born equal”. It would seem noble and may even work for a while. Know, however hard you try maintaining such status quo, it would only be a question of time before some amongst the bunch would prove themselves to be more equal that the others based on capabilities, initiative, and productive outcomes. All animals (or humans) can and will be born equal but it is impossible for them to continue staying equal with time and life because of those factors that already I have mentioned. People who you lack what it takes to forge a path for themselves in life, would always chose as a favourite excuse, the next persons productivity as the cause.

Contrary views are welcomed!

Food For Thought

Many years ago, I came across a published article in The Guardian which impacted my thinking very much. I have never since been able to get it out of my mind.I showed the hard copy print to as many of my friends as I could at that time, for a recommended read.I even showed it to one of my former lecturers back then in school and indeed it became a subject of intense discussion.I have since been able to lay hold on the soft copy online and thought it would make a nice featured article.The owner of the article has granted right for anyone to take it and do whatever with it.As such it will be my first featured article on this blog.I hope you like it too:

AFRICAN HISTORY:LOST,STOLEN OR STRAYED

When I was ten years old, living in Africa, my father posed the following question to me:

“The story or the warrior, which is mightier?”

“The warrior!” I replied.”

My father shook his head in disagreement.

“The story. The story is mightier than the warrior,” he said to me.

“How can that be?” I asked him.

“The story lives on long after the warrior has died,” he explained.

This month is Black History Month. We celebrate it by telling stories of the contributions of black Americans to America.

Also, today is President’s Day. We celebrate it by telling stories of the contributions of American presidents to America.

We tell stories about Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. We tell how Jefferson coined the phrase “All men are created equal.” A phrase written in the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson wrote, “All men are created equal.” But he meant, “All white men are created equal.”

Jefferson did not believe that white women are equal to white men. He did not believe that black men are equal to white men. Not much has changed two centuries later. As they say, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

In his one and only published book, called “Notes on Virginia,” Jefferson explained why white men are intellectually superior to black men. Jefferson wrote that it would be impossible for a black person to understand the mathematical formula in Euclid’s famous book called “The Elements.”

Euclid wrote his book, called the “The Elements,” 2,300 years ago. It is the second most reprinted book in history. It is second only to the Bible. And Euclid is, perhaps, the world’s greatest mathematician of all time.

To the ancients, Euclid’s Elements was a notoriously difficult textbook. The story is told about a discouraged student that asked Euclid:

“What shall I profit by learning these difficult things?”

Euclid, visibly angered, said to his assistant:

“Give this boy a penny, since he must make a profit out of what he learns.”

Because The Elements was notoriously difficult to understand, Jefferson wrote that it would be difficult for a black person to understand the work of Euclid.

He believed that only people of European ancestry could understand the subject of Geometry.

As an African mathematician, I studied and understood geometry. There was nothing in my experience that could lead me to believe that whites have greater mathematical aptitude than people of other races. Yet, that stereotype persists among white mathematicians.

While researching the origins of the Euclid’s work, I was surprised when I learned that Euclid never even traveled outside Africa.

“How could Euclid be Greek, if he was born, raised and educated in Africa?” I asked.

It occurred to me that Euclid, the greatest mathematician of all time, was neither Greek nor white. It occurred to me that he was probably black and full-blooded Negro.

I found the best explanation in a book on “History of Mathematics.” The author explained that ancient Egypt was not in Africa. “Egypt was part of Greece,” he added.

I was curious about how Euclid looked in person. As I probed further, I discovered a widely circulating photo of Euclid. It was the photo of white male that seems to be 90 years old.

I asked: “Is this a true portrait of Euclid?”

Upon reflection, I realized that it was a fictitious portrait. It was drawn 2,000 years after Euclid died.

Euclid died 2,300 years ago in Africa. And we do not have any true portrait of any person that lived before Jesus Christ. We do not have any true portrait of any person that lived even 500 years.

I later learned that many Greek scientists of ancient times were born, raised and educated in Africa. And I still wonder if those Greek scientists were actually black Africans.

Our history books are full of erroneous statements.

Black History Month is a period for us to re-examine the erroneous statements in our history books.

A period for us to challenge these erroneous statements in our history books.

A period for us to teach our children the truth. Teach them that Euclid was not Greek. That he was not white. That was born, raised, educated and worked in Africa. That he is African.

A period for us to acknowledge that science is the gift of ancient Africa to our modern world.

If Euclid never traveled outside Africa, we should assume that he is African. Which raises the profound question:

If Euclid is African, then Thomas Jefferson must be wrong when he argued that an African couldn’t understand the work of Euclid?

Euclid was the warrior and Thomas Jefferson was the storyteller.

As my father taught me, the story is mightier than the warrior.

The story lives on long after the warrior has died.

Thomas Jefferson’s belief that an African cannot understand the subject of geometry lives on 200 years after Jefferson has died. It lives on in the belief that whites make better mathematicians than blacks. It lives on among historians of science who are reluctant to acknowledge the contributions of Africans to mathematical knowledge.

When I was young, I believed that the warrior is mightier than the story. I did not understand that the pen is mightier than the sword.

As a young man, I believed history is about the truth.

As an older man, I learned that history is both truth and illusion.

I learned that the value of my scientific discovery is in the perception of those evaluating it.

I learned that the black student considers me to be his role model.

I learned that the up and coming white scientist is reluctant to accept me as his role model.

I learned that the established white scientist considers me to be an anomaly. Considers me to be a “freak of nature.” Considers me to be the anti-Christ. Considers me to be a scientific vampire that sucks on the white race. Visualizes me as a monster with couple of horns on his head.

I learned that what I am is not as important as what I am to you.

I learned that when you ask me: “Who Are You?” that you really meant “Who Am I?”

I learned that you are searching for yourself in me.

Twelve years ago, a magazine hired a white man to prepare an illustration of a supercomputer wizard riding an ox. I was supposed to be the supercomputer wizard. But the white illustrator, who knew that I am black, portrayed me as a white person in his published illustration.

I learned that the white illustrator was searching for himself in me.

Five hundred years ago, Leonardo da Vinci was commissioned to paint his masterpiece “The Lord’s Supper.” Before the Renaissance period, many paintings of the Madonna depicted a black woman. The infant God or Christ-child was depicted as black. But Leonardo da Vinci was searching for himself in Jesus Christ. He re-depicted Jesus Christ as white.

The Bible did not tell us what Jesus looked like. But we know that he lived in the Middle East or an eastern extension of Africa. We know that the Hebrews sojourned into Egypt and Africa. We know that Moses had a Cushite (Ethiopian) wife. When we put the facts together, we know that Jesus likely looked like a dark-skinned Palestinian, Yemenite or Egyptian.
Michelangelo used his family to pose for Jesus Christ. Michelangelo was searching for himself in Jesus Christ. During the Renaissance, the mother of Christ became a white woman.

I learned that King James wrote the Bible the way he believed it was supposed to be written.

I was trained by white mathematicians. I read books about History of Mathematics written by white authors. I learned in schools controlled and dominated by Eurocentric thoughts.

Considering where I came from, it was heresy to suggest that Euclid was African. Psychologist named this phenomenon “cognitive dissonance.” I call it “The Fear of the Truth.” We are afraid of the truth that the real Jesus Christ is dark-skinned. We are afraid of the truth that the real Euclid was an African and a full-blooded Negro.

I learned that Euclid was portrayed as a European to instill a sense of pride in white students. To embed a feeling of intellectual supremacy into their collective subconscious. I learned that European mathematicians were searching for themselves in Euclid.

I learned that Africans are the pioneers in many other fields of study.

I learned that the modern chemist is not aware that the word “chemistry” meant “black man’s science.”

I learned that the word chemistry was derived from the word “Kemet.” And that Kemet is the ancient name for the land we now call Egypt. And that Kemet translates as “land of the blacks.” And that “chemistry” means “black man’s science.”

Yet the story of black people’s contribution to the science of chemistry is not included in chemistry textbooks. As my father taught me, the story is greater than the warrior.

We Africans have to tell our story. We underestimate the power of the story.

“What happened to the black people of Kemet,” the traveler asked the old man.

“For legend had it that the people of Kemet were black? What happened?”

“Ah,” wailed the old man, “they lost their history and they died.”

Isaac Asimov is the author of more than 500 books. One of his books called “Biographical Encyclopedia of Science,” is standard reference in many libraries.

The Encyclopedia of Science:

Acknowledges that an African named Imhotep is the Father of Medicine.

It acknowledges that an African is the Father of Architecture.

It acknowledges that an African is the first scientist in recorded history.

It acknowledges that the earliest Greek scientists were educated in Africa by Africans. That they lived and worked in Africa. That they were even born in Africa.

If the earliest Greek scientists lived in Africa, then it leads to the profound conclusion that Greece is not the birthplace of Western civilization. It leads to more logical conclusion that Africa is the birthplace of civilization.

The oldest mathematics textbooks are called the Rhind, Moscow and Berlin papyri.

The Rhind Papyrus was not written by Alexander Rhind — the Scottish traveler that purchased it. It was written 4,000 years ago by an African named Ahmes. But it was renamed after a non-mathematician that purchased it.

The Moscow Papyrus was not excavated in Moscow. It was excavated in Africa. But it was renamed after the city of Moscow.

The Berlin Papyrus was not excavated in Berlin. It was excavated in Africa. But it was renamed after the city of Berlin.

Ladies and gentlemen, we should give credit where credit is due. Scholars name a book after its author. Scientists name a discovery after the discoverer. And technologists name an invention after the inventor.

Why then were African textbooks Europeanized by naming them after European cities and persons? The reason is that the story is mightier than the warrior. Ancient Africans were the ancient warriors and modern Europeans are the modern storytellers.

History is called “his story.”

It is a story told from the perspective of the storyteller. From the bias of the storyteller. With the prejudice of the storyteller.

“What is history?” asked Napoleon, the conquered French emperor.

“History is nothing but a lie agreed upon!” Napoleon answered.

Carter Woodson is the name of the historian that founded Negro History Week in 1926. Woodson wrote:

“When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions.”

“You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his (proper place) and will stay in it.

You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told.

In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary,” said Woodson who was the son of former slaves.

Someone asked me: “Why don’t we have a White History Month?”

“Every month is White History Month.” I explained to him.

However, our goal is to make every month Black History Month. Our goal is to include black history into American history. And to include African history into world history.

African history is a search for answers to profound questions. Universal questions such as:

Who are we? Where have we been? And how did we get here?

History is the compass that tells us who we are, where we have been, and where we are going.

We now know that Africa is the birthplace of humanity. It is the Motherland of all people: black or white.

We should teach our children that:

Science is the gift of ancient Africa to our modern world.

Finally, and most importantly, we should remind them that

Africans were the carriers of light.

Africans were not waiting in darkness for others to bring light to them.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with you tonight.

(Transcript of Black History Month keynote lecture delivered by Philip Emeagwali. Part 1 was delivered at Arizona State University West, Phoenix, on February 17, 2003.)

SOURCE: www.emeagwali.com

Half Baked Graduates?True Reflections

While walking to work this morning, a thought popped in my head.You see I had been wondering on what next I should post since, and has really been finding it a difficulty coming up with any write up that will not be techie inclined.When you have profession and occupation like mine that keeps you online most work hours, you tend to see life only from the view point of URLs,links, code,tools,freeware etc. Even ordinary everyday things like eating becomes virtual….So I wanted write something inspirational or motivational.

In my reflections I became reminded of an email which I sent to some who was and still is a stranger to me.Though I never did get a reply, nonetheless, I am proud of the composition and as many times as opportunity will me the chance tell people about it as well as the incident that precipitated the writing and sending of the mail itself.I have chosen to recal it and post it to you.I hope that when you read it, you’d learn a thing or two.Here it is below:

Hello Mrs Kolapo,
I read your article published in The Punch of May 16th, 2008  on the back page. I actually was intruiged by the subject you were discussing on our ‘half baked graduates’.It kept me busy while waiting for a friend to finish her transaction at a bank in Ikota Shopping Complex.
Let me state upfront that the contents of this response may offend you as I am going to be as frank as I with my opinion on the issue at hand.When airing my views on anything which I am passionate about sometimes I can be outrightly blunt to a fault.
You stated that you noticed that in the recent strategic repositioning done by UBA for its crusade to global competitiveness only 20% of the manpower engaged graduated from Nigerian universities.The remaining 80% prefered who are foreign graduates indicate the extent of resentment that institutions are begining to show for our own graduated products.One question dat automatically came to my mind was dat “if those two appointed with Nigerian education could have what it takes to match their foreign trained counterparts….does our situation seem as hopeless as some people seem to have made it to appear”? “If professor Soludo said 80% of our graduates are unemployable, how come the employable 20% were produced by an equal and same system”.How does an oven produce full baked and halfbaked confectionery simulteanously when they all stayed in the oven for an equal period of time? Does the sentiments of one organisation no matter how high in regard we place it reflect the view of a wider society?I beg to honestly disagree.
To assume that our universities is producing only half baked, thus unemployable graduate is a myopic view of the issue at hand because these universities account only for a percentage of our entire tertiary education system.What about the Polytechnics, colleges of education, monotechnics, vocational training schools, training institutes, seminaries etc and other schools too numerous to mention who sometimes even have a stake to send participants for the NYSC scheme.Are the products of those half baked too? Besides does every graduate produced by our universities have to end up in an employment? What is wrong with deploying their education in a productive self employment? Why do employers complain of half bakeduniversity products while at the same time use them to discriminate against their counterparts from other schools, especially the polythecnics? Who is fooling who? If you cannot find who you are looking for out of a university, what stops you from considering the product of another type of institution if he/she has what it takes?
Let’s address some hard truths; In any venture of learning when it comes to knowledge, information, education the primary point of reference is the LEARNER not the SYSTEM.Which explains why even ivy league and prestigious schools abroad (including the ones that the UBA 80% attended) have their fair share of drop-outs and not-do wells.Not every Havard, Cambridge or Wits graduate have turned out well at both the process or performance level. The product of a Nigerian university can turn out well and product of a foreign one turn out bad vice-versa depending on the attitude of the individual in question to learning as an entire task.I personally know the first cousin of a friend who was sent to an american university by his wealthy parents when my own friend had to settle first for Federal Polytechnic, Idah and latter Federal University Of Agriculture, Makurdi in the early 90’s.Today the ‘Americana acada’ is a drop-out with no skills, no job, no income and a constant source of sorrow to his family while the ‘local champion’ (who had to do his  undergraduate work during the Abacha years) is the opposite.Which explains the reason why YOU thought you had missed a lot during your study years in Unilag upon being at that American university.If the library of your then school was ill equiped, how well did you make use of the facilities available through the over seven other public library that I personally know in Lagos alone (definately there’s moreout there) most run as information service centre’s of foreign missions?.
You’ll be amazed at how many of our beloved ‘undergraduates’ are in school to acquire certificates without education.They will buy and sleep their way with lecturers through school up till ‘graduation’ so that they will not experience discrimination at work and in life.I PERSONALLY DATED ONE SUCH TWO YEARS AGO. Before we started she claimed to me to have read so and so from that and that university and as we progressed she developed more than enough explanations as to why could not progress to national service or get a proper employment.
The half baked ones that come from our schools are so BECAUSE THEY CHOOSE TO.No one who has basic education has the excuse to remain ignorant…..but may do so if they so chose. There’s too much opportunity for personal development available in our age.If you doubt me simply consult the world wide web.
That does not excuse the SYSTEM (secondarily) though.Since you (we)have identified the lapses in the system…what has Professor Soludo done or helped us with to address the issue and remedy the situation.I have very little respect for opinions from people who only tell us what is wrong without telling us what to do as to make it right. Since you came out of that system and Professor Soludo also did and on top of that has a say in the government, should’nt it be that he help us out of the situation rather than complain?If the oven does not bake properly, what do we do to repair or possibly replace it?
I hope this helps.
Humorous as it might sound, I never got a reply from her.Sad, is’nt it?