The economic divide between the rich and the poor in Africa is enormous. There can never be a similarity of the kind of lives people lead on either side. This article is not a discussion about the rich or the poor.
I am simply addressing the African political leader. These are all the elected leaders of Africa from representatives of the smallest units to the Heads of State whom I have called Mr. African politician. Forgive me my fellow ladies but I am struggling to see you or hear you. I am not accusing you for the nonexistence, I’m only saying what I see.
Mr. African politician, the continent is great, just awesome! The natural resources are plenty and the people are just adorable. The rivers flow with clean fresh waters, the forests abound with tall strong trees and all manner of natural herbs for every known ailments and the children sing happy songs in the villages without a care of any problem in their world.
This is the Africa my grandparents described. I never knew of this Africa. I know the complete opposite.
The Africa I witness daily as I go about my business, what I see on TV, hear on the radio and read from the internet and dailies; a nice house, made dirty and needs to be cleaned again. I don’t understand how poachers, illegal loggers, illegal fishermen, drug dealers, rapists, terrorists, human traffickers’ thieves and all manner of criminals can be part of Africa.
Anyhow, there is also you and I. Yes, you read right, that there is also you and I who are actually equals because we are both human beings still alive and with the hope that tomorrow, we shall wake up again. I chose to address you today because of the hope that you and I share about being able to wake up tomorrow.
One day Africa was free, then again one day, it was under colonialists. Our grandparents would sit down and imagine how life would be without the colonialists.
Some dreamt of possessing wings that would enable them to fly anywhere they wanted because they would be free. Others dreamt of eventually overcoming hunger and having enough to eat if not plenty.
Others dreamt of peace and security and the final end of discrimination, unfairness and selfishness. These were hopes and dreams of a generation that is gone not long ago. One day, the colonialists left. It’s almost ten decades now and it’s an abomination to think of what Africa has become as opposed to what our grandparents dreamt of.
Mr. African politician, when you are elected into office, many African people see hope. You hold that office because the promises you gave the people who elected you were hopeful.
The women with sick children saw good hospitals able to take care of their children, the youth saw opportunities for them to explore their never-ending innovative selves, the men saw their children in school, clothed and wives happy because they had many avenues to win bread while the aged saw happiness and rich legacies for them to leave their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
These are some of the simple hopes your ordinary electorates saw that motivated them to que up and cast their vote for you. I cannot even exhaust the list of the hopes that the learned and the elites had in you.
I am disappointed. Not because you let me down, but because you have the audacity to live a normal life when everything else is abnormal around you. How can killing of innocent children in the name of fighting your rival tribesmen be normal?
How can naked bodies of your people including children be paraded on local and international media because of severe hunger that prevents them from even raising their hands to block the photo shots be normal? How can the population of your elephants and rhinos drastically reducing in less than ten decades be normal?
How can majority of your people living in slums, shanties and huts when your posh places are full of foreign residents be normal? How can 70 percent of your population living below the poverty line be normal?
Everything that comes to mind about all the current situations in Africa are abnormal. I can only conclude that you, Mr. African politician are also abnormal.
There is no advice I can give you that has not be recommended. All I can say is that history has been proven to be the best teacher. Therefore, no situation is permanent. You cannot and will not stay in power permanently. There will come a time when that leadership will be taken away from you willingly or unwillingly.
There shall come a time, when you shall have an appointment with death. The only normal thing I know will happen is that, both those days will surely come. The poor will get tired of being poor, the oppressed will find their freedom and the stupid electorates will be enlightened.
You will also die. When that day comes, what will you do? What will become of all the wealth you have? What will become of the seed that you have stored up all the wealth for? I only ask that you close eyes and think of how Africa will be, that day. Because I know that that day to you is an apocalypse.
I am a Kenyan mother, daughter, wife and sister. I live in Nairobi City and I endeavour to impact my generation positively through different opportunities that come my way including writing. I am also a graduate with Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Nairobi. My previous article was published on International Affairs Forum