For a long time as Africans we’ve carried a sense of entitlement to AID, to pity, to wealth, to respect etc. As Africans we’ve continued to believe the world owes us something; and this leads to such statements as “We’d like Obama to increase Aid to Africa”, the common one “Naomba serikali”. Maybe other races have the same issues but I wouldn’t know as I have interacted most with Africans than with other races throughout my life. It doesn’t matter much where the African resides, or where they were born but most surely you’ll find them have their own version of “Naomba Serikali”.
This habit of handing over our responsibilities to the world instead of taking care of it ourself is not helping us. Anytime you blame someone else for your situation, you automatically give them the power to do as they please with you and in turn render you completely powerless and dependent on them. When you put in nothing, you get nothing. You harvest what you sow.
You as an individual, should be the change you want to see in the world. You’ll hear most Africans in the Diaspora say they wouldn’t live in Africa because Africa is corrupt. What they forget is, Africa is a continent not a person. If you evacuated all Africans and took them to another continent, Africa would be left crime free and incorrupt. The truth is WE ARE CORRUPT, you and I.
Systems are set up by governments to make running the country easier; but every time I go and try taking the short route, I mix up the system and in turn slow down the process for the rest. As a government worker, when I leave my jacket at the office and go out to run my own errands and still expect my salary at the end of the month after offering no service, I’m contributing to the rot of the system. We might be willing to point to the Kanjo workers and the Policemen that are bribed, but ask yourself who bribes them? You and me….exactly. You and I are the root of all that rot, and when we have kids and teach them that is the way, we’re contributing in making Africa corrupt. You can’t be complaining of the heat while still stocking the fire with more wood.
Our entitlement runs too deep. When one of us flies out of the country to wherever, it can be to somewhere as close as South Sudan or as far as New Zealand. Or we come by some money, most usually after a corrupt deal. We suddenly feel like every other person should bow down or better yet, prostrate and kiss our feet. The perceived self importance, makes us feel entitled to abstract “rights” and respect that we’ve never earned. Why do you expect people to worship the ground you walk on while all the money you have was from stealing from the public coffers? I was enraged recently to watch a whole member of parliament condemn a grown up CEO of a corporation to “Not speak when an MP is speaking”.
There was an article sometime on a local daily in Kenya where they talked about the Summer bunnies, i.e. Kenyans from the diaspora who went home during their holidays. The article was hilarious and infuriating depending on which side you’re on. Many back home have cursed the diaspora for their “pride”. It’s amazing just because someone came abroad and married a white man they feel they are better than the millions that stayed in Kenya to continue building the country. Some of us in the diaspora, learnt of the word Right when we landed here and make sure we threaten any African with knowing our rights. I find it hilarious when our so called diaspora call the Kenyan embassies and demand their rights, yet they will never call and demand the same rights from the foreigners’ offices or even the embassies of the countries they live in.
Something we keep forgetting is every time you have a right, you also have a responsibility. You have a right to freedom of speech, but you have a responsibility to think before you speak, as Waititu has come to learn the hard way. Currently, the biggest is about voting. Kenyans in the diaspora want to vote. Which is commendable, considering most of us in diaspora don’t like being associated with that backward country we call home. Well most of us already gave up that right to vote, but that not withstanding the new constitution gives provision to reapply for your Kenyan citizenship; but how many are willing to do that and lose the passports of their new countries? As always the diaspora is up in arms giving demands, we want polling stations in every town and state in the countries we live in……and as always, “IT’S OUR RIGHT”. How many of us in the diaspora are willing to go out and vote????? Those that actually vote, go home for the elections meaning for them, if the elections are brought to the embassies in their resident countries, it will definitely be cheaper than going back home. Not unless you live in Dodoma and have to go and vote in Dar-es-Salam, then it’s cheaper to go to a county at the border.
Now companies in Kenya are going for Diploma holders and/or high school drop outs rather than Degree holders. Their reason for such an absurd move, they don’t want any of these “entitled degree-holders”. When our MPs last week passed a bill to award themselves 9.1billion shillings as gratuity, their argument was, It’s their right. Forgetting that the doctors had been on strike for 3weeks and the teachers for close to 6weeks; because apparently the country didn’t have money for them yet in the middle of the night, money was found to give the MPs send off packages.
Still wondering why our leaders behave as they do? I don’t. They’re just a representation of who you and I are. Remember the day you called demanding your right to get a new passport issued by the Embassy in Berlin yet you had not fulfilled your responsibilities, you sent in the documents late and they were not completely filled? Remember you abusing your Kenyan au pair here in Germany, telling her how useless she is and should be returned back to Kenya, forgetting you were also an au pair once?? Remember delaying paying your house help, but if you found some nice shoes on your way home, you “suddenly” found money to buy them?