Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Have we reached a state of “Ichabod”??

I had an extremely enlightening conversation today, surprisingly, it was with my mother.

You know how I was bitching about how messed up the system is and African politics is in my last post?
Well, Willpress had rightly mentioned in the comments that: “Unfortunately the most important term in African politics is "the grassroots".”
That’s true, and the reason I thought someone like me, despite how passionate I am about the matter, would never have a chance to ‘fix things’ in politics in my own country.
However, after talking to my mum, I suddenly realized that the situation may not be as hopeless as I first thought it to be…although it could just be my mother talking (you know how mothers are, with their comforting lies).
She stated that perhaps the biggest reason African politicians are as selfish and apathetic to problems of poverty and corruption is because they know it all too well.

Most African politicians, especially here, are from humble backgrounds and have experienced poverty, on a personal level, so that once they are in power, the do as much to disassociate themselves with it. They reach a point where seeing their people suffer in familiar poverty stricken situations, it simply no longer touches them! It sounds absurd at first (seriously, these are the people who should know very well what issues the common man is faced with) but it makes perfect sense if you think about it.

Its like how we (well, the TV generation) are apathetic about things like violence, because we see it all the time on TV, from a young age, such as in cartoons like Tom and Jerry (which is an extremely violent cartoon, amongst others children find delight in), pre-teen slap stick comedy (I never found the humour in this by the way) to adult action movies, so by the time you see a dead person on the road in the midst of an accident or mob justice scene, its (sometimes) shocking at first but you forget about it after you edge past the small crowd and commotion!
By the time you reach home you’ve most likely forgotten about it! No big deal, after all you’ve seen worse and more dramatic on TV!

I often laugh at my mum when she gasps in shock when watching an action flick, or when she crys during a sad true life drama! LoL, I mean, its not that I don’t feel the moment, its just that I’ve seen too many to make me jump or shed a tear. I’ve become used to it. Apathetic, even. ( I now have to watch horrors and thrillers at night inorder to feel the least bit spooked!)
It’s sorta the same thing with our current politicians.

Perhaps then there is hope; for the new generation of educated suburban youth (like myself), who are just acquaintances of poverty. Who have always had what they wanted (in moderation of'course) so they are not greedy once in a position of wealth, who are still shocked and horrified at stories of famine, most importantly who have new green ideas on changing and redirecting their nations!?

Today’s headlines read:
“FAMINE KILLS 35, Three million on the brink of starvation as crisis deepens” (Daily Monitor July 8 2009).
And to think, I skipped dinner today because I was full…

As expected, these areas were in the north and east, I say this because where I’m from (the west) people may not be that wealthy, but they always have food to eat. I also can’t ignore the fact that the big shot politicians and people in government (President included) are also from the west. You just can’t help but get the feeling that they don’t care…which is a damn shame and beats the point of having a government! I mean really, if a government cannot deal with basic need such as hunger, then really what are they doing?

Some claim the problems lie with the locals of that area, or that the harvest seasons have not been good due to climate changes, but that is not the real cause of this.

My mum was telling me how when she was at university, brimful of ideas and concepts (much like me these days) she did her final thesis on appropriate land use, focusing on how the locals could use the land, and various soils to grow different commercial produce to sell and make a living. Great idea, no?
Well, at the end of her project, an irritated muzeyi enlightened her that despite her concern and ideas, it wasn’t gonna change much. He assured her; “Don’t you think we’ve tried that? we have, and produced a lot of produce but it all perished! Look at our roads! Which pick up will bother to travel this far to collect our produce to take to sell?”
And rightly so pointed out that the REAL problem was not with land use but with the lack of infrastructure and available markets, which really is something they can’t do much about!

The issue of climate change too can be blamed on our governments!
The rate of deforestation and use of unsustainable methods of living is not given enough importance, yet it’s so vital!
Even more saddening is that Africa still hasn’t really caught on to this! I’ve heard people blame the big European countries and USA for causing global warming, and although they have greatly contributed to it, so have we!

When are we going to stop blaming the white man (I admit, there is indeed a certain thrill about doing so) and take responsibility! I mean we can continue to blame them, but it’s not like they will be tried in the international courts of justice (for one they run the courts-lol), and at the end of the day, they are still way better off than us!
In the recent past, Africans have taken up the role of their white masters and yet still continue to rape Africa! WTF is up with that?
Before the independence era, many of our ‘white masters’ thought we wouldn’t be able to run things without them, sadly, it seems we keep proving them right!... But that’s another topic for another day…

So back to the issue at hand, there are numerous sustainable environmentally friendly methods the government can use to battle famine and poverty, for instance instead of cutting down firewood, like in most Asian countries like India, they use biogas digesters, which turns human excrement, cow dung, or kitchen garbage into fuel that can be used for cooking or generating electricity.
I mean if the government could afford to buy brand new expensive cars for CHOGUM, they surely can afford giving each village household a cow and these biogas digesters?! Its cheap, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, it not only tackles the issue of producing energy, but also is an excellent way to deal with waste (Which is another problem most African countries face). This would help reduce the rate of deforestation, which would stabilize the climate too.

Things have changed. We've been fucked and have fucked up too, and we need to fix it; originally most indigenous peoples (all over the world) rarely would stay in one place for long, because it would deplete the resources of the area, so they would move around, give the area time to replenish itself, and so a balance was kept. Now that civilization has forced us to settle, you find that people over use their land and do not give it time to replenish itself, and by altering this system, we cause problems such as famine. Now we need to fix it.

Its not rocket science. Hell if I can see this, I wonder why they can’t. Or perhaps they do, but just don’t care?? …Famine in Uganda? How? When the solution is so clear…?

You know I would rather live under an effective dictatorship for a few years than a so called democratic government that doesn’t do much. I know this is random but despite Hitler and Stalin’s harsh policies and crazy ideologies, they did what needed to be done, and neither Germany nor Russia can deny that they wouldn’t be where they were if it wasn’t for them.

Is it just me or is Uganda messed up?
Perhaps we need a dictator, not as absolute or crazy like Hitler or Stalin, but an enlightened dictator …like Paul Kagame…

Are we (yes you and me) really that helpless or have we just gotten too used to the way things are?

Have we reached a state of “Ichabod”??

(Yeah, new word 4 your ass!)
I know I've been blogging some long-ass-heavy-shit recently, bare with me as it get it outta my system! i shall be back to my triva shallow self!


yz said...

I'm with you except for the Kagame approval. People called Hitler enlightened too and look where that got the world.

ck said...

Hitler was an architect...(i.e) we will blame whites because they came along with education...with that..we destroyed ourselves. primitive Africa would be much more peaceful...
spears instead of guns...huts instead of sky scrappers. So...who to blame...maybe WE still have hope, but this politics thing is infectious...even if you are one, you still can't us, can you. Hope for the hopeless...

ck said...

Sorry, you still cant fight us ideally. We need many more prolly like you. Otherwise...

streetsider said...

we be of one blood ye and i, as the weeping boy said to the dying wolf...

i have enjoyed reading your long-ass-heavy shit.

yz said...

I admire Kagame's ideas and i'm intrigued by the idea of a working socialist state. What makes me uncomfortable is calling Kagame an 'enlightened' dictator thing. To me that's an oxymoron. Hitler did some great things, I'm sure he wasn't all bad. That good will never be enough though. Amin gave Uganda an airline, took the market from the Indians granting africans access to the economy...and ran a totalitarian state based on fear and death. His good is not enough. If the whites had come, if they hadn't come... The reality is they came and wrecked havoc. Continuing to dwell on it today is only detrimental but it doesn't change the fact that it is real. Responsibility has to be taken for actions, Hitler for the jews, Stalin for the USSR, Amin for UG, the whites for the third world...We have the history, let's learn from it. Cheer Kagame for the amazing country that he has turned Rwanda into but watch him too...the only thing i'm fighting is denial...sorry to post this here eizzy.k

eizzy.k said...

@ Yz - Its cool! long ass comments are appropriate for long ass posts!
You have a point tho, i havent read too deeply into Kagame but so far he has impressed. still, we must "stay woke" as Ms. Badu says!

The reason though i mention an "enlightened dictatorship" is because as ck sorta points out, it would be difficult to implement effective change within a short time (such as a presidential term). as ck sorta points out, it would be difficult to get such support, and even if you do, like Obama for instance, there will still be alot of people, especially the ones closest to you in government that will make your decision difficult to implement!
realistically it would be more practical to impose a dictatorship. ...perhaps sometimes blood has to be shed in order to move forward. Its not uncommon in history. The greatest nations were built on blood...

@ Ck - an architect indeed. but i'm not so sure how Africa would have developed without the white influence...we had our own issues even before the white man you know...guess we'll never know.
U really think its hopeless, huh? Damn.

@ Streetsider - ah. u welcome weeping boy. **hands you tissue...not for the tears but the shit**

Mckeith said...

Ok i'd agree with your post totally but when it comes to Hitler and Kagame i'd probably desire to differ. Freedom is of the essence. Any form of dictatorship wouldn't help at all.
The problem with us as africa is the primitivity of the leaders who at times are the reflection of what society is like.
Look at China. It is said to be a communist state but look at people being denied their freedoms. In any dictatorship it is hard to get the truth. If people are starving you will never find out.
To me we have the greatest ideas here in Africa but the best have been compromised.
Leaders come from humble backgrounds so when they get into power their desire is to syphon the country for their own interests.
There are countries in Africa that are doing exceptionaly well. Like Botswana.

willpress said...

I think the Kagame issue has been discussed at length so I won't delve into that. Interesting observation about the roots of a huge chunk of our leaders. They came from the filth of poverty and thus don't see it as a big deal. Much like 50 who nowadays "fuck the hood", the same hood he sold cocaine to a few years back. Yes, maybe it would be a good idea to find leaders genuinely shocked at poverty due to their not having experienced it per se. Another school of thought doing the rounds is that if we elect people from relatively rich backgrounds, they wont really steal as much as the debutant legislator who is starting from the scratch of burgeois lifestyle. The latter is more likely to misbehave more with the national cake lol.

*my phone battery on the verge of death so ama finish ths layterz*

willpress said...

As I was saying, this may not necessarily be correct and sometimes the intentions of those in the upper classes are misconstrued no matter how nice they may seem. Heheheheheehe there was this one time some MP of an area hit by floods went to the place and waded the water barefooted...some of the locals were really really mad... "We know he has gumboots, why cant he bloody use them, we know that when he is through he will go back to his warm house on higher ground.." I don't know...people at the grassroots are hard to understand and woo...

Anyways the example I really intended to give is that of Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the first president of Kenya and the current Finanace Minister. I believe he has never seen a day of pain and suffering, but yet he has been involved in a major financial scandal: beats the theory that the well to do have will at least have mercy on the country and steal less lmfao!!

Next example: Jimmy Kibaki, son of our current President. He has started a movement for the youth with the slang tag line "Roundi hii si mchezo", (This time no jokes) and people are perceiving it as the start of an attempt to inherit his father's post.

The other unfortunate thing is that the successful, youthful types with no significant political ties hence "clean" ab initio seem to have no interest in plunging into politics...wah. too much vybe , too much vybe...