Recently, some people have accused me of being too optimistic about Africa. Surely they have their reasons for doing so – just like I have mine for being (too?) optimistic.
Apart from the cautious democratic gains and awareness in many African countries, African steadily growing flamboyant economy and positive metamorphosis, which has surprised many critics, has left investors scrambling for a piece of the action in many African countries. It does not help that China, the godfather of African investments, who first saw the positive handwriting on the wall, has closed her eyes on the rule of laws and good governance and concentrated purely on economic interests instead. Americans and other western countries who had tabled democracy as one of their prerequisites for aid to the African continent are caught unawares. Again before I am crucified for offering African democracy and good governance as a sacrificial lamb at the expense of foreign investments and economic prosperity for that matter, let me categorically say that democracy and the rule of law are the mother of economic prosperity, without which citizens cannot fully contribute to the nation building and economic prosperity. With this in mind, I must say Americans and their western club have a point. However, whether their democracy gospel is influenced by economic greed and control is something else – as if the Chinese are Father Christmas or philanthropist Mother Theresa! Don’t even go to the religious ideology! We are in China, boy!
For those who do not share my African optimism, here is a good reason you might understand my enthusiasm. If the news coming from Zambia is anything to go by, it only gives one more courage to say with some degree of certainty that Africa is coming to maturity. According to Zambian Vice-President, Mr Guy Scott, the sit-tight president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe is considering seriously, just like the former president Rupiah Banda of Zambia, of relinquishing power if he loses in the up-coming general elections in the country.
Should one attach any seriousness to President Mugabe’s alleged promise? Ordinarily, I would not have wasted my time on such “watery promises” but serious analysis of the recent African political landscape shows that many Africans are becoming antagonistic towards sit-tight presidents. Africans want to embrace democracy and become members of the exclusive democracy club. So it would be right to say that Mr Mugabe, even though he might be doing the right thing, has no option than read the handwritings on the wall. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin!!
You hear that?!
Former president Rupiah Banda did the right thing in Zambia and respected the election results. President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal did not disappoint. Nor did Prime Minister Raila Amollo Odinga of Kenya. Even though one could argue that these leaders – with exception of Mr Odinga perhaps – left the political theatre grudgingly, they merit our loud applause for their honorable decision to respect the wishes of the electorates. Before I forget, our beloved Somalia is witnessing some economic miracles, thanks in large to the military intervention by African forces led by Uganda. Where are those who want to crucify me for being optimistic?
PICCOLO: I kinda agree with you dude over African optimism. Yea!
OGO: Thank you Piccolo! I really….
PICCOLO: But I am aren’t damn optimistic over myself. Yea, I’m kinda in a bloody dilemma over my new job. Catch?
OGO: Your new job? Well, yes, I guess I understand.
Dear readers, come closer let me share some secrets with you. Not that I gossip a lot, but I just want to give Piccolo some sense of friendship and respect by not discussing his private matters openly. Yes, he is far away so he cannot hear us. Yes, Piccolo is in a dilemma with his new job.
Piccolo has a new job as a police officer. On the one hand, he criticizes the corruption in Africa but at the same time, he needs some money. It does not help that his colleagues in the police force are rotten corrupt. Worse still, Piccolo’s attempt to work in an honest way earns him a negative connotation from his colleagues. Piccolo is forced to prove that he is after all not effeminate as his colleagues think. Even Piccolo can cite the scripture for his purpose!
The Kata Kata customary court needs urgently a native to act as an interpreter especially now the court is handling a lot of local cases. With Useni’s stint at school, he thinks he is the most qualified person for the job. Not even the daughter can convince him otherwise. Ordinarily, the presence of the Chief interpreter, Useni would have made the court’s work go smoothly, Useni’s grammatical deficiency has given the judge’s rulings other meanings. Judicial nightmares?
Agama’s excessive jealousy and his belittling of the wife make the wife to subject him to more jealousy. After arguing with the wife and telling her she is worthless, the wife has to prove to him that she is after all attractive to other men. Do you blame her for showing these men her nice legs, which Agama the husband detests? “ My wife?” Agama has almost died of a heart attack but not even Saint Peter in heaven has mercy for him.
After trying his luck as a bus conductor, tyre vulcanizer, even attempting to turn his dreams into a lucrative business, and most recently, as an apprentice at the village oracle, Nza has another part time job as a canoe paddler. Nza is not mean, but don’t underestimate him when you try to make fools of him. Ask some white visitors to Kata Kata village! Yes, Nza might not know philosophy, psychology but he is not a “canoe novice.” Don’t forget he is a “swimologist.” A strong wave has come, is Nza mean to abandon his ‘friends” to swim for the lives? A right time to use their philosophy acumen?
Dear readers, we must not allow our friends to get drunk, so let us alert the village chief and the rest of the villagers who are anxiously waiting for their Muzungu Oyibo guests. Are you going with us? If yes, join the Kata Kata wagon. We are leaving oh……….
Yours in Kata Kata,
Editor in chief