'Shithole' comment; A wake up call for African leaders

Sun, 14 Jan 2018 Source: Tinkaro Asare

Obviously, the truth is bitter, and when spoken, stirs controversy, attracts insults, generates arguments and hypocritical interpretations, mostly from people who are affected by it.

A quintessence of this is what is happening now across the world after the comment by the leader of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. He allegedly referred to some countries as “shitholes", during a discussion on immigration.

There have been divergent views since this comment was made; majority of Africans believe, that the comment was an insult! There are many who are of the view, that President Donald Trump, was not wrong in his supposed statement; they opined, that is the true reflection of most parts of Africa.

Their defence emanates from the fact, that majority of Africans when given the opportunity, will choose to move outside the African continent to the United States of America or other European countries because of the literal “shithole” nature of leadership and governance on the African continent by the political, religious and socio-economic leaders.

In Africa, many countries have “shithole” leaders who care only about their families and friends; leaders whose sole aim for being in leadership positions is to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses they are supposed to ‘serve’ thereby, engaging in all manner of corrupt and illegal practices with their cronies.

The suffering on the continent of Africa is not because the African youth is lazy, but for the fact that there are inadequate and unequal opportunities available to give him/her the needed support, even when he/she decides to show love, care and support for their society and environment through individual initiatives.

There is lackadaisical support from people in authority and that is the truth! upon a second thought, should that be enough reason for President Trump to call the African continent a “shithole”? Obviously Not! He should have said “shithole leaders”!!!

Our strength as a continent over the years has been measured by the world in the depth of how the world has progressed and not necessarily by how far the continent of Africa has come---after gaining independence a few decades ago from foreign rule, imperialism, neo-colonialism and interference over the affairs of our continent. Neo-colonialist interference continues to exist in many forms, and I believe, it is a reason why the leader of the United State of America will categorize our side (Africa) of the world as being a “shithole”

If the African continent is well managed with the Pan-African spirit of progress and development and within our own wisdom and technocratic systems, we can make a contributive impact to the world and we would be viewed and talked about with the respect and honour we deserve than we have had over the years.

We must wake up from the slumbers of “we can't do” and move forward in strength and solidarity of working with ourselves as a continent to develop; for there is no single foreign nation, that will come and solve our problems and challenges for us.

Our history guides us with the power of boldness, strength of wisdom, the courage of hope and hardwork which, when fully utilized by our African leaders, can make our continent a strength of grace and a world -power of development for peace, alleviation of poverty, proper management and the eradication of diseases.

Critically analyzing the arguments from the youth of Africa after President Donald Trump’s comments on Africa, gives me the assurance, that the global awakening of our patriotic consciousness is at hand and the future ahead of us will be one filled with hope and grace of love for our continent, and the people in it, and also for the world.


Columnist: Tinkaro Asare
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