Saturday, June 3, 2023


Mr Mashiri was a very bitter man. He felt that blacks would never rule this continent; whites would continue to rule from behind the scenes. ‘I have witnessed and experienced black on black racism, the white man shall rule us forever,’ added the bitter man, digressing from my interview on his piggery project.

‘The other day I was doing my shopping at a supermarket in Phakalane .The white man forgot to pay for an item he was holding in his hand, the guard followed him outside and politely asked him to pay for the item, to which he did,’ added the very emotionally charged man.

‘I then did my shopping, bought goods worth P456 and forgot to pay for the peppermint bubble gum I was holding in my hand. The guard literally flew at me grabbing me by the trousers and dragging me back into the shop shouting: “Thief, today we are going to show you how we deal with thieves”.

“I was forced to pay P20 instead of P4, the Indian owner was so pleased with my ill treatment, even my black men, the till operators and the supervisor just stood there looking at the unfolding drama like zombies,” what a shame complained Mr Mashiri.

He went on to highlight that he was with the wife and his two-year-old daughter. Adding to his anger, he had P2000 in his pocket which he showed the guard and the manager still did not accept it was a mistake.
“Just check what is happening in Kenya. Mr Barak Obama who is vying for the highest office in the land ,to my knowledge has not yet said anything about the debilitating unfolding events in that country. To add salt to the wound, Mr Obama is of Kenyan descent, what will he do if he is voted into power? It is my wish he does not get voted in.”

He requested that I go and do research on the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia. He was quite sure it would show why Africans are a disaster when it comes to ruling themselves.

Despite the findings I made, as an eternal optimist, I believe ‘Africans will one day control the continent politically, economically, socially and spiritually much to the disappointment of the pessimists.
Mr David J Modiega in his foreword to the Botswana Council of Churches book, Responsible Citizenship: Building Democracy, says: ‘The churches want to prevent social decay in the form of cynicism, apathy, withdrawal and general feeling of dejection, hopelessness and eradication of the culture of intimidation.”
With the church taking such a stance, I am convinced Africa will one day be the power that will hold the World together.
Leafing through the European Union book, Key Facts and figures about Europe and the European, I came across the item where they say the EU regards ethnic and cultural diversity as great assets and it promotes tolerance, respect and mutual understanding. If we could do the same in Africa things would not be as bad as they are in Kenya; the 1994 Rwanda genocide would not have occurred.

I found in The New African year book 2001, a very disheartening analysis of the Congo during King Leopold II’s reign (1885-1908) in Belgium a country a little over 30 000 square kilometers. He made Congo his personal property, pillaged its resources from the vast country whose size is around 3 444 000 square kilometers, all the while planting seeds of disunity among the tribes.

Liberia, a country in the same league with Ethiopia for not having been formally colonized has a challenged history to talk of. In the year 1822 the American Colonisation Society, wishing to get rid of the free slaves no longer needed by the plantation economy, repatriated them to Liberia. Other slaves refused to be repatriated to Africa.

The chequered history of Liberia leaves a sour test in the mouth as the freed slaves went on to practice what was done to them. Imposing forms of forced slave labour and sold the indigenous locals as slaves to Spanish colonizers. There is still great animosity between the locals and the slave descendants.

It is my belief the current mega African ÔÇôAmerican superstars can be lured to come back to Africa and invest in it. Even the middle class will do well to be invited. African governments must devise plans to accommodate these brothers and also the Africans in the Diaspora to come and invest in their continent.

The likes of Oprah Winfrey have started the ball rolling by building a school for girls in South Africa. I am sure there are quite many out there willing to come and do their part. Investment in areas like diamond mining, commercial farming and even tourism.

If our leaders take so much pleasure in luring the Chinese, why not vigorously campaign for the Africans to come back home, this is their motherland.

When Europe came to Africa, it used the business, church and state machinery to pillage the resources. Why not take a cue from this scenario and make life better for the Average African.

The burgeoning middle class can make a big difference. Just check who is consuming most of the luxurious goods.
The mega rich churches, especially those now coming from Nigeria, have identified this class’s potential. Money is being made like there is no tomorrow. One wonders if it is being used to create generational wealth.

The missionaries were used to subdue the thought patterns of Africans by educating blacks to want to serve whites. Why not take advantage of the scenario arising in the Pentecostal movement. If one wants to see for himself the surprising contribution the Church is making one can just pay a casual visit to the well-known Winners Chapel International Gaborone.

Churches need to be encouraged to help eliminate tribal conflicts as their members are from all walks of life, but, of course, the whites rarely go to churches founded by blacks.

The governments need to set up machinery that encourages investment in the wealth generating industries. In areas like mining and farming, very few of these resources are not in the hands of the black man. Just look at how much the issue of land has been exploited by Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe making the country the focus of the whole world.

It is in the interest of the governments to make the middle class participate in the economy in all fronts. Africa is our motherland, the onus is on us to protect it from further pillaging.

The current electricity shortages hitting southern Africa can easily be averted if the Inga Dam Hydroelectricity project were fully financed. The Botswana government, with its reported huge reserves, can go to invest there or, better still, our mega rich blacks in the Diaspora could do the same.

The Inga Dam is reported to have the capacity of lighting up the whole of Southern Africa or the equivalent of lighting up half of Europe. But it will be imperative to make sure it benefits the Congolese first.

The likes of Mr. Mashiri are quite many out there. It is my hope that the church, media, governments and the business community can make an effort to sensitize fellow Africans that the battle to fight mental colonization is far from over. It will not go away if we persist with the slave mentality and look down upon ourselves.

I have made some disturbing observations though on toys being sold in our shops. Most of them have white characters, the dolls for young girls and boy’s toys. Just go to Shoprite, PEP or any such shop and look in their toy section. We continue to breed youths who view whites as role models thus perpetuating the colonized mentality.
We do that when we give an innocent black child a white doll.


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