Europe is the Eldorado because…

  • Our brothers and sisters over there say it is hard but they stay nonetheless, not making any plan to return because the shame of returning would be unbearable, they think/say/feel.
  • Parents want their children to marry a white person
  • When a girl or a guy is walking down the street here with a white man or woman, you can see the envy emanating off bystanders
  • When people know you have come from Europe, they want to be your friend – who cares who you are deep down
  • When you choose to return, you are vilified by everyone, from parents, especially parents to everyone whom God gave a brain to, and that’s everyone
  • In bars, night-clubs, in the streets…, you are considered fashionable when you are wearing some non-descript “European” fashion as opposed to a beautiful piece made from batik or wax fabric (I know Wax is made in Holland)

So this is better                                              

  • Nobody cares when you tell them about the brain-deadening jobs most of our brothers and sisters do over there – who cares or intellectually stimulating when they can point out to the tomato picker from Italy who’s built a duplex
  • When you tell them the tomato picker is the exception and point out to the many who die out there, they accuse you of being jealous – you don’t want anyone to have the opportunity

So in the end, you keep quiet.  You don’t tell anyone anything.  Because when a person doesn’t want to hear you, you gotta do the wise thing and shut up.  In any case, what can you tell a person who tells you they want to go because they have no opportunity in their own country?  Yes, you could tell them they are lazy, and that would be the God-honest truth.  Many of the African youth eager to go to Europe are just plain lazy and opportunistic.  They would rather pay £1,000 at least, sometimes even £4,000 for the chance of a miserable life in Europe instead of setting themselves up in a little business in their own country.  On a continent where the informal sector is well-developed, there is simply no excuse to this rush to a so-called Eldorado.



The problem with Africa is Africa itself

I was listening to a debate today about the situation in Mali but after hearing commentators upon commentators vilify France for its imperialism, I turned the TV off.  The comments were in essence saying the same thing: it is always the fault of France (or any other country in Europe or America) if Africa cannot develop itself.  There is so much of the same thing you can hear again and again without being tired.  To quote Patience Dabany, chéri, ton disque est rayé.  Always blaming Europe for all the woes of Africa is now starting to sound like a scratched record.

The problem with Africa is Africa itself, anything else is a false debate.  It is because we are unable to say no that Europe will keep on pumping our resources – natural, financial, human and whatever else we might have as valuable for many more years, if not centuries to come.  After all, what interest does Europe have in leaving us alone?  General de Gaulle even said, “France has no friend, she only has interests.”  So which part of that sentence are we Africans struggling to understand?  Or what do we get out of this exploitation that we sit there, accepting it?

Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria called on the French, the British and the Americans for their assistance in finding out where on earth Boko Haram had hidden the girls?  And he actually only got out of his stupor when the Bring Back our Girls campaign got too much for him to pretend that nothing was happening.  By the way, before anyone thinks the mothers of these girls were sitting in front of their mud huts with their hands under their chin, let’s establish here and there that the campaign started with the women of Nigeria first before everyone else got onto the bandwagon.  What would be nice to know here is why did President Goodluck Jonathan not call on Cameroon, or any of the other countries it shares borders with, or South Africa?

Some speak of rivalry and pride.  The mighty Nigeria couldn’t be seen to be weak.  But of course, it could afford to be weak when France organised that summit.  But if Nigeria wanted to appear to be strong, what about its neighbours or the other African countries?  If your brother wants to let pride blind his eyes, can you not be the bigger brother?  But our African countries behaved as if what was happening to Nigeria did not concern them, otherwise, they would have got a move on sooner.

You get my point.  The problem with Africa is not Europe; it is Africa itself.  Nobody is forcing us to run to the Europeans or Americans every time there is fire at home; what’s forcing us however is our own lack of unity.  And what’s worse is that we don’t learn.  Since when has any intervention of Europe on the African continent resolved anything?  Examples of their fiasco abound: Mali, Libya, Ivory Coast, Central Republic, Sudan…  Soon, Nigeria shall join that sad list of examples and we will then sit around tables and vilify France, Britain and co. for plundering Africa.  But why shouldn’t they plunder if we open the door and tell them to help themselves to everything.


Are Christians judgemental bigots?


The truth might redden the eyes but it doesn’t break them, an African proverb says.  And I do think that us Christians need to face the truth about ourselves.  I’m not saying we are judgemental bigots, nor am I saying we aren’t.  All I’m saying is that when a good number of people start pointing out a particular character flaw of yours, it is time to start looking in the mirror instead of always saying, “If they had spent time with Christians, they would know otherwise”, or, “Not all Christians are like that.”

Of course not, but it appears that every Christian is like that.  Let’s look at the whole homosexuality affair for instance.  Where is the virulence coming from?  Yep, the church.  Some churches in the West may be coating their virulence in sugary language of “The church is willing to welcome our brothers and sisters but we can’t let them continue in their sin.”  And you want to ask them, “And who erected you judge, brother/sister?”  In our African churches, there is no talk of welcoming anyone.  In any case, if you were homosexual (and I actually hate using that term because nobody should be limited to their sexuality), the look of hatred in our ministers’ eyes as they brandish their Bibles and quote from Leviticus that homosexuality is an abomination of the devil would be enough to scare you away.

Abomination of the devil or not, homosexuals are people, dearly loved by God, chosen by Him too.  And seeing that Jesus summed up the law – i.e. the 10 commandments and even the many rules contained in that book of Leviticus that is being used to bash anyone over the head with – as follows:

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and body


  • Love your neighbour as yourself

The questions we must ask ourselves therefore as Christians are these:

Would God want and condone the way we behave towards homosexuals?  Would God condone the despicable attitude of reducing a human being to his/her sexuality?  Do we behave towards ourselves in a way so devoid of love?  And finally, what I do not comprehend with this virulence is this: when all is said and done, why do we care so much how someone is getting his/her sexual pleasures as long as no child or animal is involved and the sexual pleasure is on the basis of adult consent?

I personally think that the reason why many Christians are behaving in such a bigoted manner is because they are focusing on the imagined sexual practices that must happen in a homosexual relationship and are not focusing on the fact that whether heterosexual or homosexual, we are dealing with human beings who have emotions and who deserve to be understood and accepted as human beings, not as Black, White, Yellow, Disabled, Homosexual et j’en passe!