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Africa culture/tradition Nature

Thoughts on the State of Leadership in Africa

No one can fully explain why we – Africans, are so poor in the midst of plenty. I will try to explain why.

There’s a lot of greed and grief in African leadership. When leaders are greedy, citizens stagger in grief. We still don’t know how the dust hit us between the eyes. And while we search for answers, leaders were busy looting the public treasury.

There’s a lot of laughter even when things are wrong – when things fall apart. Top lawmakers forget justice. There are many nations where civil rights are bought and sold like bean cakes. Best jobs are offered on the bases of man know man, so they are reserved for relatives or friends. There’s a lot of paper in the streets. Unemployed CV’s are used by vendors to wrap popcorn, while the owners roam the streets thinking of how to earn a living. Unemployed people fall for their dark side, taking decisions which may lead to social vices like kidnapping, robbery, internet fraud, drug trafficking, prostitution and more.

There’s smiles and sorrow. Out the streets happy children enjoy a game of football and just by the corner a hungry pregnant mother sit begging. There’s an empty stomach crying herself to sleep, there’s an orphan sleeping under a bridge. When the sun set, the beautiful hills we enjoy her view disappear with the evening breeze. But there’s hope to see it the next day.

There’s pain in a mother’s cry. Many pregnant women give birth at home because they can’t afford medical bills. To travel on road is another catastrophe. Bad roads record more death than usual. Some law enforcement agents take bribe before seeking justice and they think it’s their right.

There’s sad parents and children broken by dying hope. Schools are becoming a circus. Public infrastructure lay in shambles. Clean water and electricity are sometimes a luxury. Citizens suffer in silence, many even die silently. Some governments are only interested in retaining power and their economy (money), at all cost. Many pensioners lay sick, years of gratuities unpaid and when they finally die, corrupt officials seize their funds. Teachers receive a month salary after eight months of work! Most are under-payed, they look shabby and may want to do some monkey business to survive.

There’s some hope though. Yet leaders are like citrus; oranges and limes. Some are sweet, others sour. Some give hope that turn to tears and some may give nothing but tears.

I still believe and dream of a beautiful land with beautifully minded youth leaders and followers. A people connected by tenets of peace, prosperity, equity, tolerance and progress.

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his hometown. Read more at www.oiroegbu.com/about

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