So the big news coming out of Africa right now is the case of the aid workers that kidnapped a bunch of Chadian children. Darfur has taken a back seat for now as Sarkozy rushed to Chad to have some of the accused released.
It is sad that in this day and age people still think that anything goes in Africa – from real old-school piracy off the coast of Somalia to taking of so many children out of the country with complete abandon of due process.
No doubt, a better life awaited the children in France. They would surely not live under the constant threat of hunger, disease or violent death from the many clashes that define the Chadian-Sudanese border. But this alone does not give foreigners a right to take away children to Europe to grant them a better life.
This case is a clear example of the age old way of solving Africa’s problems – running away from the problem. Africa’s most talented people who cannot stomach the endemic corruption and crumbling infrastructure run away, celebrities whisk children away in front of flashing cameras and in this latest example, poor African children were almost smuggled into Europe. Everybody seems to be eager to leave. But who will remain to repair the roads? Who will man the hospitals?
The children may not have been aware of what the aid workers were crafting, but I bet that some of their parents might have conspired with the aid workers to have their children taken to Europe where they would be guaranteed a more humane livelihood. Africans take risky boat rides every year in an attempt to reach European soil.
It is high time Africans of all ages came to the realisation that running away will not solve Africa’s problems. Instead, Africans should be bold enough to face the problems and provide solutions to them. Europe has not always been so rosy – at least relatively. It had its dark centuries, but Europeans did not run away. They faced the challenges, conquered them and then went ahead and conquered the rest of the world.
That said, remaining on the continent does not mean that we should not interact with non-Africans. On the contrary, we should have a complete thirst for what is going on beyond the continent. We should borrow as much as we can and be willing and bold enough to drop our own practices that are “backward.” We are not Africans because of our elaborate funeral rituals or spirit beliefs but because we are passionate and full of Ubuntu consciousness.
next time we shall be looking at the meaning of Ubuntu……