Fri, Feb 12, 2016
One of Africa’s great men, Kwame Nkurumah, called it the last stage of imperialism.
“Believe in a set of rules where you are the victim.” If neocolonialism had a maxim, the italicized statement would be it. To know that neocolonialism gets down to our beliefs is not only appalling but also equally awakening. These can be economic beliefs, political beliefs, cultural beliefs and religious beliefs. Anything or anyone that penetrates these spheres of influence in a given society is able to subjugate the society. One of Africa’s great men, Kwame Nkurumah, called it the last stage of imperialism.
In Africa, the above phenomenon is evidenced by the continued economic exploitation by Western countries, disguised as investments, which only serve to widen the gap between the poor and the rich. More still, it is seen in the incessant political subjugation by the West whereby laws are dictated, great leaders like Col. Gaddafi of Libya are exterminated using superfluous authority. The cultural beliefs are no exception. There’s a questionable imposition of behaviors such as homosexuality. This is usually disguised in the name of fighting for human rights.
Much as neocolonialism in Africa is mainly attributed to the West and European countries, Africans have played a significant role in feeding and sustaining the devil. We, the victims, portray a more vivid picture of the devil. Africans have practically proven that the extent of neocolonialism is far beyond the economic, cultural, religious and political. They have shown that the devil penetrates our hearts and blood just like a complex belief system that is impossible to break. That is what it is intended to do by its architects anyway! What do I mean in all this outcry?
To the best of my awareness, I know that in most African countries, a white man is treated with profound veneration and reverence. Am I suggesting that we should disrespect the white man? No! I am suggesting that there is a difference between worshiping a white man and respecting a white man. The continent’s elites and politicians would rather have their children study in European colleges and the likes yet they are entrusted with the authority to make sure there is quality education. Doesn’t such an act of betrayal defy the notion that elites are wise? As if that’s not enough, tenders to do developmental construction work are awarded to companies from European countries and western countries as the home companies are believed to be masters in executing substandard work. Aren’t Africans supposed to raise their own standards? Who do they expect to transform their companies to credible enterprises? For any serious African, all these questions are food for thought. There are many more manifestations of the neocolonialism virus in the blood of Africans.
As long as Africans keep believing this way, they cannot live beyond these gruesome manifestations of neocolonialism because one cannot live beyond what one believes.
Risk is not only right but inescapable. I can immediately sense a big “NO!” from the sceptics of such a statement. Well, I mean, as long we are going to say we are Africans who believe in our values, we should be ready to showcase this belief not only in writing but also practically. It is in the practical part that risk comes in because we are bound to contradict, conflict and disagree with other beliefs. (in this case, Western beliefs and European beliefs)
You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over the grand canyon? In the same way, if we really believe in our values and believe in developing independently, the time to show that is now!
We could write thousands of articles condemning neocolonialism, but if we are not ready to embody our words, the phenomenon is here to stay.
Is Africa ready to break free of the deeply held and widely spread cultural, political, economic and religious entanglements? Is it ready to face the consequences of following this way out given that it’s currently lost in depending on the West? Consequences such as trade and travel sanctions. Consequences that have the potential to destroy the continent in case we are not united in taking action.
A few of Africa’s leaders have already seen this way out. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is the most determined of all. The problem is that his colleagues are skeptical of taking this way yet it’s the way out. The fallen Libyan leader is another example of a visionary who had spearheaded the exodus from neocolonialism before his downfall. Africans retreated from this exodus after his downfall. We all know and see what is happening in Libya now. In case you don’t know, I must tell you that it’s the repercussions of risk that I had earlier talked about, that are happening in Libya. African leaders ought to follow this way out unanimously, with a vehement determination to rebuild Africa and restore the true identity of Africans.
As it stands now, on the great continent of Africa, it looks like we are suffering from “learned suffering”. We have learnt how to live in the deceptive comfort of neocolonialism. Long live to the leaders who have seen the way out. Long live Mugabe. You are the living hope that we will, one time, escape this quagmire.
Edrine Habasa is an autodidact bridge engineer, dialectician and knowledge enthusiast. He's also a debunker of falsehoods as he champions the truth.
Are you impressed, have any concerns, or think we can improve this article? Comment below or email us.