OUR African society lives on a dangerous and deadly lie. We have been socialised and schooled to believe that success is defined and shaped by the education system we inherited from our history of slavery and colonialism.
Our Mickey Mouse approach to developmental issues has made us live comfortably with this enormous lie that daily takes place in the name of education, and we hail with unparalleled pride the graduation ceremonies that come with the completion phases of the various doses of education given to our children by a system we have very little understanding of.
It is hard to comprehend the amount of deception enshrined in our education system today, and to contextualise the deadly effect it has brought on the economic status of our continent.
We fought for independence and we won the political freedom to rule ourselves. Our post-independence leadership is a stranded lot. It cannot deal with the truth, and it has essentially sacrificed the truth in the name of compliance to a world order defined by the people we purport to have freed ourselves from.
We run our countries on a political correctness defined not by the needs of our people, but by the diktats of foreign interests. There is an acceptable danger in the writing of this essay, and that danger is that the writer cannot write in this manner from the comfort of a Western country. People get punished and sanctioned for saying the truth, and the pretenses and intentional bliss that comes with the cowardice of avoiding the backlash of telling the truth to power is hailed as civic iconism.
We have to free our children from the enslaving notion that says going to school in itself is a pathway to a comfortable lifestyle. We mislead our children through our education system, training them to have a mentality only useful to other people, and totally incapable of enhancing our own production capacities.
We leave in a world where you face a backlash for talking about slavery, colonialism, or the sickness of the current world order, and we have to live this irony of accepting the reality of former enslavers and colonisers sitting down to determine the destiny of the rest of the world.
There is always that point when highlighting the evils of slavery and colonialism history will become extremism, and there is of course the acceptable level of criticism. We expect a system that once destined us into slavery and colonialism to lead us to freedom, prosperity and democracy, and we hail this kind of insanity as modernity.
We are dangerously blissful to the dangers of an education system that brainwashes and condemns our children into servitude, and we fail to figure out how this education system is in fact an education of ignorance.
Our leadership is blissful to our ignorance, and they are happy to keep things the way they are.
It is an assimilationist leadership, as Amos Wilson would call it, and it believes that solutions to our problems come from getting our children more soundly educated in the current education system.
We tend to all believe that salvation is in being educated by the people who destroyed us in the first place, and we fail to see that white supremacy depends on the lies and deception inherent in our own education system, the only surviving legacy of colonialism.
It is not the white man’s fault that we continue to regard Europeans as the basis and foundation of truth. That is the kind of mental slavery only us can free ourselves from.
We cannot keep blaming the past when we are happy to let another people assume the role of being the educator of our children. It is us Africans who continue to tolerate leaders who keep leading us to our peril and our death through accepting that we are in fact inferior to other people.
The assimilationist accepts that black people will always be under the rule of other races, and this mentality may be conscious or subconscious. It is not within the scope of the assimilationist’s perception to accept that overthrowing the system of racial supremacy can change destiny, and that is precisely why it is hard for the assimilationist to comprehend that Zimbabweans overturned a racial supremacy of land ownership in 2000. It’s a policy defined by many as madness, and this notion has many takers even among us Zimbabweans.
Without an African centered ideology there is simply no possibility to develop Africa’s production capacity. We have accepted a sick world order as the norm, and once again we find ourselves at the receiving end of white supremacy, after enduring the barbarism of slavery and colonialism.
We live in a world system that will label us deviant for advocating for justice. It is a system that has led many of us to confuse equality with sameness. We come to Western countries because we want to be the same with white people, and when we accumulate a bit of material possessions we look around and see that we are now the same as the white people. Fooled by the accumulation of these perishables, we begin to take ourselves as equals to our white neighbours.
We cannot continue to confuse consumer equality with ownership equality. Consumer equality will make us the same with any other consumer, white included, but it does not constitute ownership equality. It does not make us instant producers. Without owning the means of production we cannot talk of economic equality, and Africa must wake up to this fact.
We look different and we are indeed a different people. However this does not make us inferior. Racism is a sickness that has led to the pillaging and wholesale exploitation of our people by the imperial system. It represents a social illness.
We must stop aspiring to be what brought us our misery, aspire to be the replica of the exploitation of our ancestors, or wish to be the replica of what we say we are freeing ourselves from. Rather we must seek to heal the unjust and sick world that today hosts our African misery.
We cannot develop Africa under the leadership of charlatans that envy the thieving system that has exploited us into this misery. We cannot hope to end the woes of African poverty by scrambling in our numbers for the crumbs falling from the high table of imperial wealth.
Consumerism does not build nationhood, and there is no country on this planet that was ever developed by aid.
We are told of the so-called mainstream world order, but mainstream cannot be the solution if it is made up of injustice and deception.
Zimbabwe is in dire need of economic salvation, and anyone that thinks otherwise is a pathetic pretender not worthy a drop of ink in any form of academic writing. But we have people among us who believe this country can be run on a system of accumulation of corruptible wealth.
No aid packages or financial loans will ever in their own right build the economy of any nation. A society pillared on loans and aid is a sick society, and our Malawian kith and kin will testify how their once hailed wonder economy of the mid 2000s disappeared faster than fog in the face of a sunny morning. It took the mischief of two gay young man to have the aid plug pulled in a split second, and poverty was back with a bang.
There are no known pointers to Africa’s production capacities. We cannot be a country or continent after jobs that are identified with the productive capacities of foreign investors. That mentality breeds a culture of servitude.
So many Zimbabweans want answers to the question of the government’s employment creation plan, and it does not appear like many people in government can meaningfully articulate an answer this question, regardless of the continued rhapsodising of the glorious wonders of Zim Asset.
Many of our leaders think in a consumerist way, and for some of them the thinking capacity ends at accumulation level, explaining why it has been a lot easier accumulating land than producing on it, clamoring for free shares in existing investments, and yet commanding nil knowledge on productively sustaining those shares. Some of the shareholders in the collapsing Telecel speak with phenomenal exhibition of business ignorance, and it is hard to believe the company could survive under such breathtaking ineptness.
Some of our leaders are foolish enough to believe that we can one day assume the status of Europe through marriage to its institutions.
This stupid mentality makes our media hail engagements with EU institutions as an end in itself, and some of our politicians have in the past gained significant popularity by claiming to be well placed for the securing of foreign aid.
There is nothing particularly fascinating about borrowing money, or about receiving millions of dollars in aid, and our politicians must stop treating donors and international financial institutions as the solution to our fiscal challenges.
When are we going to halt the retardation of African technology? When are we going to deal with the decline and paralysis of Zimbabwean economics?
This is the time for the true nationalist to define himself. A true nationalist will educate the nation, and this does not mean only providing literacy to the people. True education will create an economic tiger out of our nation, a voice of production among the nations.
A true nationalist will delegate power down to the people. A true nationalist has a character and a soul. Mere statements of ideology do not define him, but he preaches self-governance, nation building, and his heart is with the national economy.
A true nationalist develops institutions to train the nation for its own future. He is not a slave of foreign ideologies, and he does not live on borrowed reasoning.
A true nationalist is not a purist who will allow himself to be paralysed by his own ideological beliefs. He understands the need for revolutionary flexibility, adjusting to any values and acts that will guide him towards the solitary goal of making his country the hub of production.
Africa we are one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!
REASON WAFAWAROVA is a Zimbabwean political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia.