You Know You Are African If…….

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1. You know you are African when the party starts by 4 pm and you arrive by 7 pm.

2. You know you are African if you had a maid or a driver growing up.

3. You know you are African if your relatives all have leather couches and gigantic framed paintings of themselves or Jesus hanging in the living room.

4. You know you are African if you have a dish like DSTV at home.

5. You know you are African if your parents woke you up with a cane.

6. You know you are African if your parents threaten to give you a dirty slap if you don’t behave.

7. You know you are African if your the youngest so you get the smallest meat in the pot.

8. You know you are African if you ask your parents for a ride to school and they tell you how they used to walked 5 miles barefooted to and from school, so you can walk.

9. You know you are African if half the things you’ve packed to travel are not yours.

10. You know you are African if everyone older than you is ‘auntie’ or ‘uncle’.

11. You know you are African when you were a young girl your parents expected you to know how to cook or else no man will marry you.

12. You know you are African if as a girl your butt is not big enough and you get very disappointed.

13. You know you are African if you get in serious trouble if you forget to greet your parents first thing in the morning “AHH, HAVE YOU SEEN ME THIS MORNING?”

14. You know you are African if a kissing scene comes on TV and your parents are like “EHHHEHHH, SO THIS IS THE TYPE OF TING YOU WATCH EH?”

15. You know you are African if your parents get angry at you when you cook for yourself and not the whole family.

16. You know you are African if your parents yell “YEEAHHHH” while on the phone, either something really good or something really bad happened.

17. You know you are African if you were reminded that your mates carrying first in class don’t have two heads.

18. You know you are African if answering your parents with “WHAT?” is like cursing.

19. You know you are African if your dad says something like “COME HERE MY FRIEND”.

20. You know you are African if your brother insults you with “God punish your father”

21. You know you are African if every adult African you meet claims to have been top of their class.

22. You know you are African if every rich man claims to have hawked bread and oranges before making it big.

23. You know you are African if the house maid goes to the public school while the children attend the private schools.

24. You know you are African if going to the University is not optional.

25. You know you are African if your mother has a minor disagreement with her sister and they don’t talk for 10 years.

26. You know you are African if you go to the village only during Christmas or Easter periods.

27. You know you are African if you make cheaper or free calls at night.

28. You know you are African if your whole nuclear and extended family attended your graduation ceremony.

29. You know you are African if telling your father you are pregnant outside wedlock feels like a death sentence.

30. You know you are African if if you have 3 phones with 3 different SIM cards.

31. You know you are African if if you are told you have to “inherit” your elder brother or sister’s clothes.

32. You know you are African when your parents never admit having sex outside marriage.

33. You know you are African when your parents hire a lesson teacher for each subject you are not good at.

34. You know you are African if your parents constantly find it difficult to realize that you are grown

35. You know you are African if it’s perfectly okay to show up to one’s house without notice and expect to be fed.

36. You know you are African if every black cat is possessed.

37. You know you are African if every barking dog will bite you.

38. You know you are African if you were told as a young girl that you will get pregnant if a boy touches you.

39. You know you are African if your mum puts you on the phone with everyone she speaks to even if you don’t know them.

40, You know you are African if you have a plastic bucket in the bathroom.

41. You know you are African if blackouts are nothing new to you.

42. You know you are African if your mother had a shop in front of the house where she sold provisions.

43. You know you are African if your parents call you from the other side of the house to take their plates to the kitchen.

44. You know you are African if guys toast you like “hi, my name is Kennedy, I like you, can I have your number?”

45. You know you are African if the food store is locked by your parents.

46. You know you are African if your father got more than two pieces of meat or the laps of the chicken while you and your siblings eat mostly chicken skin.

47. You know you are African if you have to show or give your parents the money that your uncle or auntie gave you.

48. You know you are African if your parents told you to “eat and remain for your brother”.

49. You know you are African if you were forced to attend the same church your parents attended or labelled a rebel if you don’t.

50. You know you are African if your parents call you by your full names only when you are in trouble with them.

African Time is Killing Africa

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African time can roughly be defined as the habit of deliberately arriving minutes (sometimes hours) late to a meeting/occasion. According to Wikipedia, “African time is the perceived cultural tendency, in most parts of Africa, toward a more relaxed attitude to time. This is sometimes used in a pejorative sense, about tardiness in appointments, meetings and events.”

In Africa, when planing an event, you should endeavor to factor in African time. So for example, if you intend for your event to commence by 12pm, factoring African time means you schedule it to start 11am, so by the time people come late, it starts at your desired 12pm.

African Time continues to give Africans a bad name. It lingers around like an awful smell that will just not go away. Everywhere you go you see examples of tardiness that can be linked back to the myth of African Time. I have lost count of the number of otherwise classy events held at swanky venues I have attended that still started an hour late. Nothing is safe from African Time. I have been to weddings that started up to three hours later than the advertised time. And the guests waited and survived on a mixture of small talk and gossip. Time is taken for granted in this region. It is seen as a renewable resource. Yet Africa misappropriates time as it does to other resources, such as minerals. With this tradition, everything in the continent is always running behind schedule.

The concept of African time has become a key topic of self-criticism in modern Africa. According to one Ghanaian writer, “One of the main reasons for the continuing underdevelopment of our country is our nonchalant attitude to time and the need for punctuality in all aspects of life. The problem of punctuality has become so endemic that lateness to any function is accepted and explained off as ‘African time’.”

No society can hope to be competitive or catch up if it disrespects time. Unfortunately – and this is the bad news – the concept of African Time continues to provide a convenient excuse for the tardiness of those who are lazy or just plain rude. Of course, those who invoke African Time are not stupid, they know that by saying that it is part of African culture to disregard punctuality, very few will have the nerve to challenge them. What gets to me are the many senior officials in both politics and business that seem to delight in arriving late, as if this confirmed their status.

According to Ghana’s Kofi Nyandeh “The problem in Africa is that people are not paid by the hour and therefore they have no respect for time.” For Africa to develop, our ideology on time has to change. This culture has been criticized for affecting the continent’s development and productivity. But this thinking keeps Africa as one of the world’s poorest regions. Increasing foreign investments and international trade mean that Africans must realize promptness does not only define their future but also shows integrity. Time is one of the most precious gifts given to man and definitely the only one given to all men in equal share of 24 hours each in a day.

 

References:
African Time on Wikipedia
What is this thing called African Time? by Victor Dlamini on Daily Maverick
Time for Africa to abandon tardy culture to avoid punctuality problems on Globaltimes

Africans And The I-Better-Pass-My-Neighbor Mentality

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Africans and their oppression mentality. I spent some time in the UK and I can tell categorically tell you that you will never know a rich man until maybe you Google him. Rich and poor shop in the same shopping centers, rich and poor watch football matches together, rich and poor enter the same trains and buses, rich and poor live in the same areas, rich and poor’s kids attend the same schools. The so called rich folks over there drive the same cars and most have one or at most two cars.

Come down to Africa and the only similarities between rich and poor is the fact that both cry and laugh, both eat and both poo. That’s where the similarities end. The rich live in high brow areas while the poor live in low class areas. The rich acquire unspendable wealth while the poor live by hand-to-mouth. The rich have 4 or even 5 cars they drive once in a year while the poor can’t even boast of one good car. The rich would rather die than enter public transport while to the poor, public transport is the only way.  Even among the not-rich-not-poor group of people, the oppression mentality still exists in different ways; from the neighbor who buys a sound system and makes sure the volume is at its highest when playing music or movies to the neighbor who buys a generator set better than what his neighbors have.

The Whites (if I’m permitted to call them that) don’t care. They don’t care if they have just a car as long as it takes them to their destination. They don’t care about the brand of phone as long as they can communicate with it. They don’t care about any of that. Africans on the other hand like to keep up appearances. They buy what they can’t afford just to belong. They rather borrow to keep up a borrowed reputation than admit they don’t have.
Until Africans get rid of this defeated, myopic, small minded, atrocious mentality, Africa’s bright future will only remain a mirage.

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10 Habits That Keeps Africa Backward

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1. African Time: African time can roughly be defined as the habit of deliberately arriving minutes (sometimes hours) late to a meeting/occasion. This character flaw of a habit is tagged “African time” probably because Africans are more prone to disregarding and disrespecting time than others. Time is one of the most precious gifts given to man and definitely the only one God gave all men equally with the rich and the poor, the tall and short, the wicked and the kind all receiving the same 24 hours each in a day. Been un-time-conscious goes a long way in showing the kind of people we are; people that don’t respect schedule, arrive any time they please irrespective of what others do or think. We need to get rid of this habit to advance as a group of people. Click HERE to continue reading “African Time is Killing Africa”

2. Accumulation Mentality: In an interview with Charlie Rose, Warren Buffet stated that his children will not inherit a significant portion of his wealth. He said “I don’t believe in dynastic wealth. I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing”. This goes against the African mindset of accumulated wealth. This is a case whereby rich people, mostly corrupt public officials, accumulate more money than they could ever spend in 500 years. “I will accumulate enough money for my children and their children to spend” is at the back of these accumulators’ minds. An African mentality that needs to be purged.

3. Spare-the-rod-and-spoil-the-child Mentality: This is a very dicey topic and I’m going to try as much as possible to explain my point without appearing dismissive of our traditional beliefs. Africans have this “spare the rod and spoil the child” mentality in their approach to disciplining their children. In the Western World, its a criminal offense to physically strike a child in the guise of discipline.
Ask an African and he/she will tell you two things about their approach to discipline;

  • Its an instruction in the Bible that sparing the rod would spoil a child.
  • When you don’t beat a child, he or she will not be disciplined and would grow up wayward, take a look at the Western World and their stubborn kids.

In a bid to get to the bottom of this notion, I searched deep into the Bible via Google and discovered that “spare the rod and spoil the child” is not in the Bible. The closest to that notion is in Proverbs 13:24 and Proverbs 23: 13-14. Proverbs 13:24 (NIV) reads “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them”. While Proverbs 23:13-14 (NIV) reads “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death”.
Just like “Heaven helps those that helps themselves”, spare the rod and spoil the child is not in the Bible, verbatim speaking.
Click HERE to continue reading “Africans And The Spare-The-Rod-And-Spoil-The-Child Mentality

4. Bribery: An African man will tell you that your only obstacle to getting any contract signed, or acquiring any document, or getting that certificate endorsed, or getting out of trouble or even getting a driver’s license is oiling the palms of the right person or people with the right amount of money. I’m not saying you can’t bribe people in the Western World, far from it but bribery in African almost goes unchecked because its a usual thing. Something that has to be done to get things done.

5. Violence Against Women: In the Western World, if a wife reports a case of assault (the threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent ability to cause the harm) or battery (a criminal offense involving unlawful physical contact) would lead to the arrest, detention and possible imprisonment of the husband. But in Africa, reporting the case alone is standing the risk of further brutality by the maniac of a man who would not only be let of the hook by the law enforcement agents but will go as far as telling his wife “you have the guts to report me, you are dead”. Who are we fooling? A people that have no respect for their women will never move forward. Never.

6. Overreligiousness: Africans and religion. We are the most religious set of people on the face of this earth. To put this into context, I spent almost 2 years in the UK, Coventry City to be precise and I can categorically tell you that the biggest church in that City is a Nigerian church. Going to church on a Sunday, you are sure not to miss white people wandering about the street, some smoking, others drinking. And these are the same whites that pay their tax, obey traffic rules, respect women, don’t bribe officials, don’t engage in sugar daddy and cougar relationships etc.
Then Africans, the most religious people on earth, the same ones that pack into church on Sundays, the same ones that pay their tithes and do not pay their taxes (even after Jesus said “give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and unto God what belongs to God «Mark 12:17»), the same ones that fast for 40 days and 40 nights at the directive of their pastors, the same ones that listen to their pastors more than the listen (read) to the Word of God. Click HERE to continue reading “Africans And Their Overreligiousness

7. Abroad Mentality: No sooner was I mentally composing the contents of this number that a text came in from MTN which read “America – land of opportunity. Learn about America – how to visit, school, work or relocate. N50/5days. Text 1 to 38799”. Everyone wants to travel abroad to make it, now MTN wants to money from the African thirst for Oyimbo money. Instead of staying home and making it as a first class citizen, Africans are busy running abroad to make ends meet as a second class citizen. As my pastor would always say “promotion is from above not from abroad”. Be guided.

8. The I-Better-Pass-My-Neighbor Mentality: Africans and their oppression mentality. I spent some time in the UK and I can tell categorically tell you that you will never know a rich man until maybe you google him. Rich and poor shop in the same shopping centers, rich and poor watch football matches together, rich and poor enter the same trains and buses, rich and poor live in the same areas, rich and poor’s kids attend the same schools. The so called rich folks over there drive the same cars and most have one or at most two cars.
Come down to Africa and the only similarities between rich and poor is the fact that both cry and laugh, both eat and both poo. That’s where the similarities end. The rich live in high brow areas while the poor live in low class areas. The rich acquire unspendable wealth while the poor live by hand-to-mouth. The rich have 4 or even 5 cars they drive once in a year while the poor can’t even boast of one good car. The rich would rather die than enter public transport while to the poor, public transport is the only way.
Click to HERE to continue reading “Africans And The I-Better-Pass-My-Neighbor Mentality“.

9. Husband-Boss Mentality: In America, a man marries a woman and there is an almost equal right in the family. If he decides to end the marriage, she is entitled to about half of his assets. He is not allowed to maltreat her or tell her how to live her life. She is entitled to either changing her surname to his or retaining hers. Cross the oceans into Africa, equal right in the family? For where! He decides to divorce his wife and she gets absolutely nothing from his money. She’s literally married into the man’s family at the mercy of her husband’s parents and sometimes evil sisters. She dare not resist changing her surname because no man will marry a lady with that mindset. Women in this part of the World are told to achieve but not more than their husbands, told to listen and not speak, told to do as he says even if the decision doesn’t benefit her. Is that life?

10. We have rulers not leaders: Africa is littered with rulers not leaders. We live on a continent where 5 current serving Presidents took over power before I was born. We live on a continent where Presidents like Teodoro Mbasago (Equatorial Guinea), Jose Santos (Angola), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Paul Biya (Cameroon), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) have ruled their countries for 35 years, 35 years, 34 years, 32 years and 28 years respectively. We live on a continent where 8 of the 10 longest serving current Presidents reside. We live on a continent where people assume that they have the birth right to rule and even go as far as passing on to their children to continue from where they stopped. We live on a continent where a failed President is seeking a second term in office without shame, a President under whose watch insurgency grew 500%, a President under whose watch thousands of people have been killed, a President under whose watch corruption has blossomed. This same President is clamoring for re-election in the guise of transformation and continuity. Which continuity?
We live on a continent where a military dictator who ruled, I repeat ruled the country over 30 years ago. A man who imprisoned and killed thousands under questionable circumstances. A man who has enunciated violence provoking utterances. A man who has failed in his quest to become the President on 3 occasions. A man who has officially become the oldest Presidential candidate ever in his country. To put this into context, the United States has had 44 presidents (including Obama) and the oldest to assume office is Ronald Reagan who was 69 years. This is the same man who is seeking election under the guise of change. Which change? To the analog or digital age?
Click to HERE to continue reading “African Mentality of Rulership Instead Of Leadership

Africans And The Spare-The-Rod-And-Spoil-The-Child Mentality

Flogging

This is a very dicey topic and I’m going to try as much as possible to explain my point without appearing dismissive of our traditional beliefs.
Africans have this “spare the rod and spoil the child” mentality in their approach to disciplining their children. In the Western World, its a criminal offense to physically strike a child in the guise of discipline.
Ask an African and he/she will tell you two things about their approach to discipline;
1. Its an instruction in the Bible that sparing the rod would spoil a child.
2. When you don’t beat a child, he or she will not be disciplined and would grow up wayward, take a look at the Western World and their stubborn kids.
In a bid to get to the bottom of this notion, I searched deep into the Bible via Google and discovered that “spare the rod and spoil the child” is unscriptural. The closest to that notion is in Proverbs 13:24 and Proverbs 23: 13-14. Proverbs 13:24 (NIV) reads “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them”. While Proverbs 23:13-14 (NIV) reads “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death”.
Just like the phrase “God helps those that helps themselves“, spare the rod and spoil the child is not in the Bible, verbatim speaking.

On the other side, it seems like Western World kids are stubborn, they could be unruly, rude, lethargic and strong headed. African kids could be respectful, obedient, nice but whose deceiving who? Who wouldn’t behave properly when faced with a cane/belt? What happens when these African parents aren’t around? These kids go back to their normal selves but with the Western kids, they behave the same way with or without their parents’ presence. Looking at it from another angle, when these kids finally grow up, who becomes more useful to society? Who pays dodges taxes? Who supports corruption? Who beats their wives? Who engages in 419? Who accumulates ill gotten wealth for their children’s children? Who bribes officials? Who throws a tire on people accused of stealing and burns them to death? Your guess is as good as mine.
So how good has the “spare the rod and spoil the child” approach done for Africa? We are simply breeding pretentious children who behave when threatened with flogging and return back to their unruly behavior when no one is watching.

I recommend a fusion between the African and Western world style of child upbringing:
Instead of constantly flogging, beating, bashing our kids, we should try a bit of the talking and listening like the Whites do. They failed in their system because sometimes kids need a little bit of motivation (spanking) to do the right thing while Africans have failed because sometimes kids need a listening ear more than a flogging hand to do the right thing. Most times we are so much in a hurry to brandish the belt/cane and flog sense into our children’s heads but why not listen to them. Even if you need to discipline them, why not try another approach like; buying something for their siblings and not for them, taking their siblings out and not them, banning them from visiting friends, stopping them from watching their favorite shows on TV etc. If you notice, African kids are scared of their parents, an African girl takes in and aborts without any parent knowing with the mindset that “my dad will kill me”. A while girl gets pregnant and although she knows what she did is wrong still confides in her family who help her through the journey.

Am I saying we should stop flogging out kids? No! I am saying we should try a different approach. Instead of 100% flogging, let’s try 20% flogging and 80% talking to and listening ear. It works wonders with children. They need someone to listen to them. Please be that person. Don’t ever bring up kids that are scared of you. Never.

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Further Reading: 5 Ways To Discipline A Child Without Spanking

African Mentality of Rulership Instead Of Leadership

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Africa is littered with rulers not leaders. We live on a continent where 5 current serving Presidents took over power before I was born. We live on a continent where Presidents like Teodoro Mbasago (Equatorial Guinea), Jose Santos (Angola), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Paul Biya (Cameroon), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) have ruled their countries for 35 years, 35 years, 34 years, 32 years and 28 years respectively. We live on a continent where 8 of the 10 longest serving current Presidents reside. We live on a continent where people assume that they have the birth right to rule and even go as far as handing over to their children to continue from where they stopped. We live on a continent where a failed President is seeking a second term in office without shame, a President under whose watch insurgency grew 500%, a President under whose watch thousands of people have been killed, a President under whose watch corruption has blossomed. This same President is clamoring for re-election in the guise of transformation and continuity. Which continuity?
We live on a continent where a military dictator who ruled, I repeat ruled the country over 30 years ago. A man who imprisoned and killed thousands under questionable circumstances. A man who has enunciated violence provoking utterances. A man who has failed in his quest to become the President on 3 occasions. A man who has officially become the oldest Presidential candidate ever in his country. To put this into context, the United States has had 44 presidents (including Obama) and the oldest to assume office is Ronald Reagan who was 69 years. This is the same man who is seeking election under the guise of change. Which change? To the analog or digital age?
I’ll repeat my earlier statement; Africa is littered with rulers not leaders. What’s the difference one might ask.
A ruler issues directives or commands and his subjects follow those directives either from the motivation of fear, respect of love. Personal choice is limited. A leader by way of contrast models the best way forward by example and through consultation. He or she articulates a vision and people follow because they are convinced its the best way to go. A ruler rules by the “do as I say” mantra while the leader leads with the “do as I do” understanding. A ruler commands while a leader guides.
Here is a little illustration to put this into context; last month or so, the terrorist group ISIS captured and burned to death a Jordanian pilot. In response, Jordan’s King Abdullah II promised to fight back hard against ISIS saying that the death of the Jordanian pilot at the militants’ hands will not be in vain. He was quoted as saying “we will pursue ISIS to avenge the death of this one soldier till we run out of fuel and bullets”. Days after his statement, Jordanian fighter pilots conducted a series of devastating airstrikes on ISIS targets killing 55 members of ISIS including a senior commander. That’s a leader. In contract, somewhere in Africa, thousands are being killed, maimed, widowed by insurgents and their ruler stays put in his posh residence busier with his re-election campaign than avenging the lives of the dearly departed. That’s a ruler.
Only when we get rid of rulers and engage the services of leaders would Africa ever develop.

 

Africans And Their Overreligiousness

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Africans and religion. We are the most religious set of people on the face of this Earth. To put this into context, I undertook my Master’s degree program in the UK, Coventry City to be precise and I can categorically tell you that the biggest church in that City is a Nigerian church. Going to church on a Sunday, you are sure not to miss white people wandering about the street, some smoking, others drinking. And these are the same whites that pay their tax, obey traffic rules, respect women, don’t bribe officials, don’t engage in sugar daddy and cougar relationships etc.
Then Africans, the most religious people on earth, the same ones that pack into church on Sundays, the same ones that pay their tithes and do not pay their taxes (even after Jesus said “give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and unto God what belongs to God «Mark 12:17»), the same ones that fast for 40 days and 40 nights at the directive of their pastors, the same ones that listen to their pastors more than the listen (read) to the Word of God. These are the people that would drop their Bibles after church and pick it up only on Sundays before church. These are the people that would fight with their neighbor because he entered the bathroom before his time. The same people that would come down from their car and harass another driver because he mistakenly bashed their car. The same people that would bribe their way out of trouble or their way into a contract. The same people that would sleep with their boss for promotion or sleep with their secretary for sexual satisfaction. The same people that would beat their wives for talking back at them or maltreat the house help for no just cause. The same set of people that would pray before an exam and yet use expo during the exam.

Africans attach everything to God and the devil; someone dies, God has a reason. Someone is poor, God has a reason. Someone commits a crime and he blames the devil. Nobody wants to take responsibility for their actions, since God is the supreme being, its easier to shift all the blame to Him when things are not going well. African leaders are corrupt and they are told to pray instead of doing what the Western World would have done; get those corrupt fools out of office and prosecute them. A man is jobless and he spends all his time praying and fasting instead of improving himself, acquiring employability skills, advancing himself academically, milking his contacts in his desired industry.

I am not in anyways advocating for a God less society, we can’t do anything without God for He works in us both to will and to work… (Phillipians 2:13), but enough is enough with ascribing God with everything that pertains to us. Africans are like the proverbial farmer who spends most of his time praying for harvest when he hasn’t worked on his farm, hasn’t planted any seeds. Africans are like the married couple who pray for children but don’t engage in child conceiving activities. There should be a balance between religion and common sense. We have failed to strike that balance.
Who are we deceiving I would ask?

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