Many centuries ago in Europe, parents and guardians used a rudimentary ritual to enforce bedtime for their children. They would, with troubled faces, scream that Africans were coming and everyone should take refuge in their bedrooms.
Scared children would then immediately go to their rooms in fear of strange creatures from Africa. This was the age when Africans were portrayed as creatures without lips and tongues that lived on, among others, human flesh.
While Europeans now have a much improved view of Africans, the image of Africans as brutal barbarians who delight in roaming about in T-shirts stained in blood and excreta of their beheaded victims still bear relevance for the White people’s use of Africans to enforce a bedtime curfew for children.
It matters little how much we Africans try to defend ourselves from this racist picturization of ourselves and it matters little how offended we pretend to be when others portray us as savages. The White people have not just decided that they were going to hate Black people forever. Most of our deeds have given us an image as swine.
While the image of Africans has improved considerably, some of our deeds still cartoon us not as beings as any other but as primitive beings no ancestor would wish to be associated with. This is not to imply that non-Black people do not do crime but that it would seem we as Africans are determined to retain our tag as primitive beings by any means possible.
It is not for the Europeans to take a different, better, kind-hearted view of Africans while we Africans seem determined to hang on and preserve to the medieval image that fundamentally shape our destiny.
We Africans cannot cry foul, prejudice or cite blatant racism when others characterize us as lesser beings because we still have many of our people butchering each other with pangas and other such sharp tools purposefully acquired to do crime and the brutal massacre of our own.
Protesting that the projection of images of decomposed bodies of victims of civil wars by the western media bores the hallmarks of a long established agenda to tarnish Africans is just collective propagation of denial. It is a fact that some of our deeds and misdeeds as Africans give our detractors more ammunition than they actually have to demean us.
I have prefaced this discussion with this rather depressing and provocative depiction of Africans as a very dangerous species of humans in order to underscore that progress in changes in attitudes towards Africans is in large part weighed down by the criminal behaviors of some of our relatives and close family.
Perhaps instead of denying that most of our people are brutal savages implanted with hearts that desire the collection and indiscriminate use of butcher tools, we need to introspect for it is true that some of our people act towards their fellow beings worse than brainless creatures do.
It is a fact that most animals cannibalize only after running out of options while we seem to close in for the kill at the first attempt. For us Africans to consider ourselves human beings as any other and yet for some of us to find a career in committing the most sordid crimes is not only embarrassing but depressing. We really should not protest when others characterize us as beasts and use this characterization to prompt their children to go to bed early.
Certainly the Whites may and do blow things out of proportions in their characterization of us but we Africans are the architects of our own ruin. Our propensity to blame our sadism on colonialism and the influence of foreign culture means that we avoid taking responsibility for our actions.
An essential element of humanity is the willingness of a people to embrace mistakes and learn from these mistakes to become wiser.
Thus, our determination to avoid taking responsibility for our own actions and/or for using the influence of foreign culture to justify our limited progress in all areas imaginable means that we are convinced that our lives and our futures lay in the very hands of those we blame for our savagery.
Perhaps this also constitutes an honest admission that it is the responsibility of those who had characterized us as primitive beings to make us acceptable on their own terms and therefore that the Whites characterization of us is not so far off the mark after all.
Accordingly, whenever some Africans comment that Africa is for all Africans, essentially meaning that Africans should consider themselves entitled to benefit from the wealth in/of any African country, I am reminded of the White man’s apprehension of Africans and cringe at the thought of illegal aliens and their organized criminality.
Indeed the Africans are coming but this time they are invading Africans countries which were committed to building a future for their nations while the rest were stuck in their refusal to commit to changing their circumstances without looking for excuses to lay claim to victimhood. This penchant for crying victimhood is basically designed to avoid the necessity of confronting the challenges that are of our own making.
Too often, those who have not taken it upon themselves to create wealth for themselves and their nation, are quick to lay claim to the wealth created by others using the silly proposition that Africa belongs to us all and that Africa’s wealth deposited in and/or generated by fellow Africans elsewhere must be enjoyed by all Africans irrespective of country of origin.
In many ways, such lame reasoning is used as justification for migration, especially illegal immigration and the gruesome activities of most illegal immigrants. It is meant to legitimize violent theft and cross-border crime. The aliens will proudly and threateningly pronounce that they have sacrificed their lives to help us be who we are today.
Over the years, the problem of illegal immigration has come to overwhelm some Southern African countries resulting in conflict between locals and illegal immigrants and/or widespread violence.
While xenophobia violence has come to characterize relations between citizens and foreign nationals in South Africa, other countries such as Botswana and Namibia which are also experiencing the influx of migrants are yet to experience full blown violent confrontations between locals and their guests who have a craving to do crime even when it is not really necessary.
However, with the illegal immigrants creating and/or inflaming social problems, it is just a matter of time before violent conflicts erupt.
Batswana who live mostly in peri-urban areas and borderline villages are already overwhelmed by illegal aliens and their criminal activities that certainly constitute a flagrant violation of national sovereignty.
The influx of illegal aliens and the subsequent criminal activities that are clearly overwhelming the criminal justice system means that Botswana has lost control over its borders.
Forget about the influx of lawful destitute migrants mainly from Asia, it is illegal immigrants especially of African descent who pose the greatest challenge mainly because they are way too many, dangerously violent and unshakeable in their passion for theft.
It is for this reason that Batswana must lobby government to reform the entire system of immigration controls in order that we claim back our country from dangerous illegal aliens. Batswana have to demand assurances from their government that the country still has absolute control over its borders.
It is estimated that the length of Botswana border with Zimbabwe is about just 800km. In border patrol terms, this is such short a borderline that it can be guarded by people with guards houses set some few meters apart.
Yet, the reality is that there is hardly any borderline between Botswana and Zimbabwe because aliens cross into the country to do crime whenever they wish, anytime, any day and anywhere. The Government of Botswana seems to have given up in at least making these aliens respect our values.
It is not an exaggeration that Botswana is failing to police its borders. However, the most scary part of it is that nobody really cares hence we are beginning to see vigilante patrols along borders and in most villages. Soon these vigilante groups would arm themselves to the teeth to protect property and secure lives.
For some reasons, immigration has never really been raised as a critical national issue and immigration issues seem to have no appeal to politicians and their political parties such that no political party has ever been committed in giving it the priority it deserves.
In closing, it is recommended that His Excellency President Dr Masisi set up a Presidential Task Force on Immigration as the first steps in addressing the issues of immigration especially, illegal immigration. Such bold action will reassure Batswana that their government does have the political will to confront the problem of illegal aliens.
Be warned, the ‘Africans’ are coming!!