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20.11.2021 Feature Article

Prodigals Use African Wealth To Enriched Other Continents

Prodigals Use African Wealth To Enriched Other Continents
20.11.2021 LISTEN

There was a man that loved his family, village and country so much he almost sacrificed his life working to death anywhere he could find jobs. Even in the mines outside his country. Luckily, he accomplished all he could for his family, village and country. No matter how gifted a man, family, village or country is in talents, wealth and natural resources, only good character can manage and keep them in place, productively. Otherwise the wealth will be lost to those that are smarter.

We know that charity begins at home. Contrary to popular assumption, wealth is not limited to money. Wealth in many cultures are among those that are highly respected because of their contributions and skills in Arts, Sciences, Crafts and Culture, not necessarily in money. Indeed, the richest are not the most respected. Things Fall Apart taught us that in Umuofia, age was respected but achievement was revered.

Despite all his struggles and effort for his family, his village and country, another man died realizing only his personal dream, not that of his family, his village and country. He was driven by the wise saying that good exemplary character is the best inheritance not material wealth in the family, village or country. Those can be wasted and fade away through idle fingers that did not toil day and night for wealth.

E tu Brutus experiences teach us that love for, and to one another are not exactly the same in return. It can be more or less. We may find out that some of the people we love the most are the least to trust. Yoruba folks put it succinctly as: we know who we love, we do not know who loves us. Eni afe lamo ao meni to feni.

Another class of people that have wasted their opportunities, regretted and are desperate for just one more chance. They look for cohorts that have made something out of the same opportunity they wasted. They want to manage other people's money! Only a fool would allow their cohort to manage his money when the same manager could not manage his. These managers never give up on others' money, giving financial advice on how to increase others' wealth.

Their last appeal is begging others to lend them money. People who have no means of paying back ask friends, not banks, to lend them money. Compassionate friends can lend but if they do not want to turn their friends into foes: make sure you lend money you can forgive. It may turn into a no win situation.

Nevertheless, you do not punish your family, village or country by denying them basic means of survival. Otherwise, the curses and shame would cloud the hard-earned accomplishments and reputation built all your life if your family, village and country failed. Some wealthy people decided to leave most of their riches to charity or educational institutions where it could be better utilized instead of being wasted by family or villagers that go on spending sprees.

Every African must look into the mirror and ask if they see themselves in this mirror. Think about the good exemplary character you can build for your family, village and country that passes on and how it could multiply after you are gone. It may be appreciated, ignored or wasted but in your own way, you do the best and leave the rest. Better still, make the world a better place than you met it.

Vanity upon vanity has taken another meaning in greedy cultures. They rationalize it as caring and enjoying what they can get at that moment, no matter how the wealth is obtained. They do not want to accept that immediate gratification can be so temporary, remorseful and the painful end nullifies whatever joy we had. As past ecstatic moments are so quickly forgotten, we would wish we had another day or another year of bliss when regrets set in.

All the Prayers in the world, miracles, rituals, fraudulent activities, money and greed cannot change the character of a man or country for good; these are soothers that only dig deeper into our false hope of better days. They are pacifiers that keep us idle knowing heaven only helps those who help themselves.

Indeed, the richer we are, the more difficult it is to accept the end as those who were rich enough to know reflected: no amount of money can hire someone to take our painful end. Even if they promised you the magic wand to increase your lifespan and take your pain away, you would be dead before you realize they are heaven promises and fake makers. This is why vanity upon vanity is relevant.

There are the wealthy who wished they had a peaceful average life instead of obscene wealth many of us desire. Then, there are some people who turn "crazy" and live on the streets to avoid day to day or paycheck to paycheck responsibilities that have overwhelmed them. A few of them are taken to mental homes to "recover". Recover from what?

In countries where they have shelters, some homeless folks prefer their freedom on the streets instead of the safety of the shelter or being lumped within the homeless like themselves. They complain they do not like the odor, hidden infectious diseases and hate to abide by the rules and regulations in mental hospitals or shelters. The same way a few of us hated Tuberculosis, Ebola or Covid-19 sanitarium.

At the same time we have to understand why a poor man would want to enjoy the temporary relief from poverty, no matter how brief. A different experience from the one we are used to is not limited to wealth or poverty. Some people get tired of their usual food, drink, home, toys, job and even regular friends. Most of us just want the opportunity to compare different lifestyles if we are so privileged rather than be stuck without choice.

Maybe it is the experience of either wealth or poverty that we want before settling for just an average lifestyle. Those born into wealth and riches that have never worked to increase or better themselves, create a sense of entitlement they are willing to fight and die for. Just watch the struggle between creators of wealth and their prodigal children. It is even worse between the poor in countries that are rich in natural resources and their prodigal leaders.

Most of these leaders grow up on welfare: free school and scholarships to any level with stipend as living allowance. They become hooked on welfare as entitlement and would hang on at any cost including oppressive deadly force on the masses protesting their sense of splendor. Like some rich children in a wealthy family.

Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa

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