Petronella Sibeene Reminiscing over those years when I had African history as a subject, one of the main interesting topics that come to mind is the slave trade. Indeed, our great-grandparents suffered at the hands of those colonial masters. But when I look at what is happening today, I have come to realize that actually, our colonial masters can still reap profits from us without necessarily using the effort of physical slavery. Why is that? Well, for those who might agree with me, our current methods of containment that we use on ourselves say it all. Look at our Ignorance. I was once told, the best way to hide something from us black people is to put it in a book. Books have been written by wise men but very few of us find time to go to bookstores, let alone libraries where one has to pay no cent. Only a few, if at all, read these books that might help us unleash our economic potential. Heard of the father who gave his son a novel as his wedding gift only for the son to throw it away not realizing there was a million-dollar cheque inside the book? Guess who opened the book? The son’s first born child a year later. Apart from that, at one point or another, we have all met people who sound so narcissistic. It’s I – Me is never missing in any sentence they utter. Wise people call that Selfishness and this in its simplest terms would mean thinking about yourself and not caring about other people. Look at our population – there is a segment that has indeed achieved some form of success. Unfortunately, this segment seems to have missed the fullness of his work. This group does not see itself as being responsible for helping the unsuccessful. The few that seem to care are also doing it in a condescending manner. Our selfishness does not allow us to work together on any endeavour of substance. Our selfishness lets our egos get in the way of our goals. Help organizations seem not only interested in promoting their names without making any difference in their impoverished communities. We are content to sit in conferences and awarding plaques to best speakers and not best doers. We steadfastly refuse to see the power of teamwork because we are selfish. Unfortunately, with selfishness comes Greed. A strong wish to have more of everything, money, power and things in general can never be said to have spared us. Since the abolition of slavery, we have had large amounts of money at our disposal. Any westerner can actually target us as a market for any business venture, no matter how outlandish, we will buy into it. We continually want more and in as much as financial experts talk about the importance of saving, to us it sounds like an insult. It would not be strange that there are some fathers who neglect their children because they want to buy the four-cornered shoe. We still think pushing the latest car and buying a huge yet empty house gives us “status”. Our greed holds us back from collectively making better communities and as a result, the vast majority live in poverty. We will continue showing off to each other while westerners build solid communities with the profits from the businesses they market to us. Yebo, they will continue to contain us as long as we refuse to read, continue buying unnecessarily things and as long as we continue giving to “helping” organisations that end up using the money for their own selfish needs and not to the benefit of the needy communities. By the way, if you read this please share it with a fellow black brother or sister. Remember, we don’t read… Eewa!
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