Why do African people always run to their oppressors for help?
Since the first time I heard of the Trans-Atlantic and the Arabian slave trade, I’ve been stuck with one question in mind to this day “Why do Africans run to the Westerners?”
In many of my daily conversations with my fellow Africans, in barbershops, restaurants, roadside newspaper vendors, bars, debates, business places, social network platforms, and in many other congregations, I hear my people subconsciously crying out for “WHITE SAVIOR.” Seeking acceptance, and many would do whatever it take to be approved by the Westerners.
‘The international community is watching. No politician will be able to rig this election.’ A guy said to me a day to a presidential election. It’s disheartening to hear young Africans pouring out their faith in the Westerners to protect the African interest. The same westerners that created smooth tunnels for corrupt African politicians to masturbate African resources into the “international communities” pockets.
‘The British prime minister and the queen is going to order Nigeria government to grant Igbo people their own independent country.’ My elder brother once said to me on the issue of Biafra.
‘Donald Trump will use Buhari as a scapegoat.’ Said a famous YouTuber concerning alleged corruption practices in Nigeria political sphere. Such a sentence is typical among many Africans who, in search of a ‘’messiah,’’ believe that the Westerners would somehow and someday come to their rescue. And all their burdens will disappear. History has proven such daydream to be wrong too many times that it now seems like our people talk in such manner just to keep their hopes alive. While many are busy calling out the Western powers for Neo-colonization, we should never ignore how ‘’The Miseducated Africans’’ are calling upon the colonizers to fix African challenges with Eurocentric solutions.
The faulty thought pattern that keeps our people behind the rest of the world originated from low self-esteem, a result of a lack of self-knowledge created by colonization. This pattern has sipped into the veins of our communities that many Africans no longer believe in their kins.
‘Black man, black mentality. ’‘Black man, black timing,’ Are among many of the derogatory terms I grew up hearing on daily bases among older folks. The first is supposed to mean a ‘’Backward mentality.’’ and the later ‘’Never keeping to time.’’ I believed in these terms until I moved to Europe and lived among the people that we deemed to be ‘’Effective and efficient.’’ All the things I thought about the ‘’Glorified’’ Europeans were proven wrong by the lifestyle of the same people I was taught to do everything to be like. I encountered people coming thirty minutes late to an appointment of one hour. People called to cancel their appointments 10mins to the rendezvous. It was then that I came to understand that Africans home and abroad have a lot of minds decluttering to do. These people that we strive to emulate are no better than us.
Between the years 2018 and 2019, I spent nine months interviewing hundreds of African migrants that crossed into Switzerland from Italy and Spain. One consistent sentence in all the interviews is, ‘’If I knew Europe was like this, I wouldn’t have left home.’’ And still, many Africans are on the same perilous journey right now, I mean, as you’re reading this article. Some are crossing the Sahara, some are in smugglers slave camps in Libya, while some are on the sea expecting humanitarian boats to rescue them.
‘’Here I am in Europe homeless, and leading the life of crime on the cold streets of Switzerland. I risked my life crossing the Mediterranean with hope for the riches I envisioned in Europe. I wish I knew better.’ Said one of the migrants from The Gambia, and then the tears came flooding down his eyes like Victoria falls. The reason behind the flooding of many Africans to the countries that their parents fought against is a mystery. A mystery that requires an entire study to be understood. The rush to countries that have embassies in African countries that they place under sanctions, and wouldn’t issue travel Visas to the citizens of their host countries.
I felt sorry for him, but I couldn’t help him out of his troubles than advising him to go back home (The Gambia.) ‘The white savior had failed you, it’s time you look back to your root. Some sunshine would help.’ I said. How did we get to believe that the people who enslaved our people, colonize us, and declared those who asked for our freedom criminals have somehow become our saviors? Love us? And would accept us into their communities? And perhaps share their meals with us at no cost?
‘This government needs to build more infrastructures to attract foreign investors.’ A friend said to me in a meeting.
‘Why do they need to build infrastructures to attract foreign investors when the corporations take their Return On Investments (ROI) to their home countries and leave us with nothing?’ I asked.
‘Our people need jobs, money, and the foreigner’s expertise because they are smarter than our us.’ Said, my friend. I was stunned by his answer, speechless for a good five minutes or so. I spent hours explaining to this friend why his views are damaging to the building of our communities.
’Putting faith in Westerners is the problem that our rulers brought upon us due to poor negotiation in the 1980s. And today, they travel to the West for medical care due to a lack of reliable healthcare system. The chicken has come home to roost.’ I said.
‘’The Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) was a neo-liberal economic reform initiated by
the Britton Woods Institutions; World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
which negatively led to the collapse of African economies, including Nigeria. The objectives
of SAP were intended to restructure and diversify the productive base of the economy and
curtail dependence on oil, achieve fiscal and balance payment viability and improve
efficiency through private-led development. The strategies for the realization of SAP by
the government were through the adoption of realistic exchange rate policy, devaluation,
rationalization of tariff regime to aid diversification, trade, and payment liberalization,
commercialization and privatization of public sector enterprises, among others.
…The specific measures implemented
included exchange rate or Naira devaluation, liberalization of the economy,
and export trade, the abolition of agricultural commodity marketing boards, cut-
back in extra-budgetary spending and adoption of tight fiscal policy, reduction
in subsidies privatization and commercialization of public enterprises.
…Liberalized trade and relatively open markets to promote
globalization. Neoliberalism advocates the supremacy of the private sector in determining the
political and economic priorities of the world and seeks the transfer control of the economy
from the public to the private sector.’’
To build an investment system that serves foreigners without a roof that protects the local’s interest is the master vampire that’s sucking the life out of most African countries’ economies. The Western banks are across Africa but not to serve the Africans interests. Africans must take responsibility for placing higher values on everything that comes from the West and the East.
For African children to succeed, we must unite entirely without compromise. Lack of togetherness is another betrayer that handed the keys to our economies to outsiders. Outsiders who treat us like toddlers that need constant guidance, and occasional snacks to stop crying. We must work toward processing and setting the prices of our exports, enhance trade among African states, and develop a mindset of solidarity toward one another.
The respect your get from people is equivalent to your self-esteem. As the wave of Pan- Africanism is rising by seconds, Self-love, and belief in the ability of our fellow Africans to deliver quality products and services is an emergency necessity.
The narrative of ‘’The White Savior’’ is affecting every area of the Africans lives, from trading to dress code. From the education system to what and how we eat. From how we speak to how we marry. And when we discuss these issues, the ‘’Highly miseducated Africans’’ would say. ‘It’s modernization’ Or ‘civilization.’ Which means that the African ways are not modern or civil.
Being awake is knowing that many of the knowledge the Westerners brought to us was stolen from our ancestors. The invaders took whatever they saw and then adapted them to European ways to serve them, before imposing the adulterated version upon us.
As much as the Westerners had and are still contributing to Africa’s trouble, the Africans must take responsibility by seating on the leading role in solving their problems.