Mon, 25 Mar 2024 Feature Article

Prodigals Think Modern Slavery Abroad Is Worth Dying For

Prodigals Think Modern Slavery Abroad Is Worth Dying For

African politicians knew that some wealthy and middle class voters sought a foreign country they could relocate to, with one to ten million local currencies. One politician started thinking about election promises. He promised to make traveling overseas easier to divert attention from their failures, if voters would elect him. He would then govern over deserted country so that he could loot it blind without opposition. After all, he had sent all his children and wife abroad too.

Many Africans are worse than the leaders we always blame in order to excuse ourselves for the same actions we blame leaders for. Given the chance, many Africans would do the same thing. If the first hard earned fortune prodigals make is to look for a foreign country where they can squander it, imagine what they would do with the country's Central Bank. Even villagers conspire with foreigners to loot natural resources without the knowledge of local governments!

Some talented poor African children had to be supported with grants and scholarships so that they could return home to build because the number of universities were few then. These days, private students that were pampered with allocation from the Central Bank through moneybags are given foreign scholarships. The exchange students loved their stay abroad so much that they refused to come back home!

What we have are African countries that cannot furnish or rehabilitate primary schools buildings, supply chairs and desks but have hard earned foreign incomes from natural resources allocated to “good” education abroad. We know that anyone that cares more about patronizing both private and public schools abroad at the expense of local schools at home is worse than prodigal parents and children.

It used to be our pride that Africans that studied abroad working hard to pay their fees could not wait to return home to start businesses, become Activists and teachers. Today, wealthy Students patronize private schools with high tuition for courses that are widely available in African countries. Mind you these are not Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics students that can come back and make their countries grow or become world class rivals of the developed countries. Most of the Youths have the vigor to fight for justice in their countries.

The Nigerians Middle-class and the leaders must stop laundering money and talents that can start local projects and small businesses out of their Country. Most foreigners in Nigeria know that it is one of the best places to make money in the world. Yet, greedy Nigerians think they can make more money faster in the Western and Eastern world. Only to be disappointed when they face reality outside and too ashamed to go back home as failures. If they work half as hard in Nigeria as they do outside, Nigeria would be a place to point to and reclaim its past glory as the world's most successful African community.

What do Africans do when Africans make their first million? They sell everything they have in exchange for tickets and visas to countries that despise them. The fact that Africans are no longer forced into slave ships but break their necks risking sea and desert or fly on Boeing 747 to reach modern sugarcane plantations diminished their worth all over the world. They point to their communities as zoos only good for the burials of their dead bodies.

It is ironic that it takes a great deal of money to cross legally and illegally into the borders of European and North American countries. The fortune is not coming from the poor people in Africa or South America but from the middle class based on the perception of freedom and better life which they could have fought for in their own countries. Every country has the oppressors class that live on the cheap labor of the lower class.

What about individuals that made money from legal and illegal activities? They also squandered it like their leaders, monkey see monkey do. It demonstrates that when Africans, even from other countries make money, they do not know how to invest in legitimate businesses that would catapult their communities and countries into development for the benefit of their masses. What good is wealth that only benefits a few leaders and their cronies?

Those who stood up, fought and died for Civil Rights again and again in every generation become jealous when they see those who refuse to pay the sacrifices cross their borders looking for what they refused to fight for at home, in their own countries. Even worse, they resent migrants who filled or take advantage of the opportunities their Freedom Fighters made possible in their own country.

People who believe that the pursuit of personal pleasure is more important than the common good or liberation of their communities from abject poverty are simply incapable of moving their children or any African country forward. They are pleasure seekers at the expense of their people. Most of them have sold their children abroad the way our chiefs sold their people into slavery. They lose those children that hardly look back forever.

The difference between the old slavery by the chiefs and the new political money launderers is paying foreigners to take us into their countries. While most African leaders sought foreign investment abroad as salvation, they laundered more money out than most foreign investors can bring in. Since they follow the advice of foreign investors, their focus is how to make more money outside than to invest inside.

Though some African artists are finally breaking through, personal fame is not enough to lift a whole community, country or continent out of poverty. Even Michael Jackson could not lift most African Americans up the economic ladder in the United States. A tree cannot make a forest. But if Nigeria with a huge population of 200 million could not lift up Africans, we must look for other countries; even as small as Losoto, to lead Africa back into wealthy forest.

Foreign money that is taken to foreign countries to purchase goods, materials and services create factories, jobs and value there while local currencies depreciate in value. The more local currencies it takes to buy foreign currencies, the more local people have to work to buy the same goods, materials and services year after year. In other words, the price of the same imported tractors doubles every couple of years because it takes more local currencies to buy. Money that can be used to uplift the same communities they call zoos.

Yet, a token few Nigerians lucky enough to be managers in foreign countries know that they are being watched daily waiting for them to fail. They dare not steal a penny! It does not make a difference what balance and check are instituted at home, Nigerian managers would beat the system and go to jail knowing there are ways out of jails. Those that ran away regretted it when they saw how those convicted in foreign land for money laundering got a hero's welcome home. The ones that stayed home and bare the consequences got absolved of criminal charges.

Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa1