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09.11.2019 Feature Article

The Export Of Illiteracy From Africa To Europe

Happy young Africans safe arrival in Spain, Europe but how many of them are willing to learn? Photo credit: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer
Happy young Africans safe arrival in Spain, Europe but how many of them are willing to learn? Photo credit: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Being illiterate means not knowing how to read or write but if you are able to make it to Europe; you must take this as an opportunity to educate yourself.

Europe is not like Africa one can be employed without a good educational qualification, for example, in Belgium, before you get a job as a cleaner, the commonest job, you need to show an attest that you have followed training in the cleaning industry.

Surprisingly, despite years in Europe, many Africans exhibit illiteracy everywhere, including public transport.

In the buses, trains, and trams, among passengers, it’s very easy to identify Africans because of their extensively loud voice when communicating.

However, at times, this phenomenon doesn’t only involve illiterates but people despite having an education, yet, they fail to adequately use the acquired knowledge and the most puzzling thing is that they are often unaware of it.

When one visits the library, you will see a few black people but when you visit the drinking bars and cafes, you will see many blacks.

Africans fight, screams and make gestures on the streets of Europe, sometimes, just like they are in Africa.

Imagine an African, with a European passport for years, some over two decades, yet can’t speak Dutch, French or Italian, what impression do you give the citizens of the country or at the immigration when travelling?

Yet in Africa, including Ghana, there are white nationals that speak fluent vernacular. It's a big disgrace to any African to live in a European country for a very long time, yet can’t speak the language.

We have people like that also in Ghana. Many Ghanaians living in different cities throughout the country for years, can’t speak Ga, Ewe, Hausa, Ashanti or Akan. They simply can’t learn, all that they can say is I hate this language.

Imagine, because you want to make an article more interesting, you add a music video clip, maybe reggae. What happens next is you receive insults as a marijuana smoker. This shows how ignorant and stupid some people can be in Ghana.

In Bijlmer, a neighbourhood in the South-East of Amsterdam, a young man struggling, has turned his living hall into an eating parlour. I decided to enter for a delicious local meal.

Inside the eating place, I decided to answer nature’s call, therefore, I went close to the toilet to empty my bladder.

As I opened the door, I was shocked to see an African woman with trousers pulled to her knees sitting on the toilet.

The scene I wasn’t expecting thrown into a state of deep confusion. How could a woman enter the toilet without locking the door?

I will never forget the anger and the verbal attack from the woman. She accused me of opening the toilet door without a knock.

All efforts to explain to her that in Europe no one knocks a toilet door before entering but it’s her duty to lock the door fell on deaf ears.

“I thank God that I was sitting well on the toilet, so you didn’t see anything,” she said.

“I didn’t come to Europe neither to knock at a toilet door nor to look at a woman’s golden apple,” I told her.

Eventually, her boyfriend who was then at the place stepped in to hold her but why people are not willing to learn and wouldn’t accept their mistakes?

The world is a beautiful place but what has made it a difficult place to live is people who find it hard to accept the truth.

They prefer lies, dishonesty, crime and various negative activities affecting our communities. If you don't join them, they will hate you and if you go on your own, they will still hate you.

To learn something in life is very important the reason the Bible tells us today at Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning and the one who understands obtain guidance."

And "an intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge,” at Proverbs 18:15.

There are many life lessons many ignore because they don't care who they hurt. I just realized that under this article on ModernGhana news: Akufo-Addo Is Becoming More Wicked Than We Thought – Akamba, someone used my name to post a comment. If it's the person's wish to set a trap for me because of hate, surely, you'll fall in it.

Joel Savage
Joel Savage, © 2019

Joel Savage is a Ghanaian-Belgian journalist and author. The accredited press-card holder of the Flemish Journalists Association once contributed regularly to the features column of the Daily Graphic, The Mirror, Ghanaian Times and the Weekly Spectator. The writer currently lives in Belgium., Column Page: JoelSavage

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