Entitlementitis: An African Disease?

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Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

My nephew is 13 years old, his grandmother buys him a school pen every week, because he’s constantly losing them. So I sit the little guy down, I ask him, “How much are you given every week, and how much is left, once you subtract your transport money, airtime money and your snacks?”

We add the numbers on his smart phone, there’s about M30.00 he fails to account for. That’s enough to buy him 15 pens every week. So why does he need this? He gets the point, well at least I hope he does, OR ELSE, lol…don’t judge my parenting style.

The little man’s failure to realise his mismanagement of funds got me thinking, because you see, while he was pestering his “mama” for a new pen, for this week, he failed to realise one crucial element, he never once thought to himself, “Wait a minute, I can fix this, if only I could source my own funds, somehow?”

That’s entitlement for you, it clouds your judgement, like a dense fog, you are incapacitated to see nothing but what the next person can offer you, YOU, YOU!

So then, by this mantra, you fail to do for yourself. “The government should feed me, they should clothe me, they should house me, if I should die, they should bury me, they should help me raise my child…” Hold on Keketso, I’m not disputing that, as they should, you are a taxpayer (I hope), therefore, they are obliged by duty…should you elect them, hehe.

But I just have one question for you, “what is YOUR obligation, towards YOUR life?” TIA (This Is Africa), and here, not everything goes according to plan, most times. So, what will YOU do brother, when that grant fails to come to you?

Our entitlement disease has so far not bore us good fruit. Think of this, how much has changed to the school curriculum since apartheid fed us a watered down version of education, called “Bantu education?”

What adverse effects are still in effect because we failed to realise the toxicity of dependency? Karl Marx once said, “Sell a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish, and you lose a good business opportunity.”

By constantly failing to show interest to work towards developing our own environment, in all areas, socially, economically, politically and otherwise, we ourselves, have propagated the popular picture of the “lazy African” too hungry to even shoo away that nuisances of a fly on his face.

You’ve surely seen it, the African woman with the child on her breast, her ribs showing, wide eyed, mouth ajar, parched lips, dry skin, looking upwards at the heavens as if waiting for manna to fall from the sky.

To pretend as if there is NO hunger and poverty in Africa would not only put in question my intelligence, but it would also be callous and insensitive of me, and I am not a vulgar man. To however paint the whole continent with the same brush would also be a misinterpretation of the truth.

The “African Picture” still to this day, paints us as mere savages, in fact, less than savages because we are constantly shown to be at the mercy of our environment, we are constantly ravaged by droughts, famines, and floods. In fact, the African is holding on by a thread, so it’s up to the west to save us the WRETCHED OF THE EARTH.

I’ve seen that some “poor” Africans have been doing amazing things in Rwanda. I’ve noticed that Makerere University, in the “savagelands” of Ghana is one of the best institutions in the world.

Wait, I’ve also heard that Lesotho, yes that “poor/old” country in Southern Africa has one of the most inclusive policies in the world when it comes to the inclusion of women in politics and education.

But this is by far not the image of Africa that is shown in foreign countries, no wonder international artists and stars come to this side and start asking us where we keep our pet lions.

Jokes aside though, if we fail to take hold of our own destiny we will forever be seen as the “dark continent”, backward, weak and ripe for the picking.

I hate opinion pieces that appear too abstract to actually be implemented. So, in my OPINION, I believe that a step towards the right direction would be to do your part in writing a new African narrative, no action could ever be seen as too unimportant, even pebbles create ripples.

So why not produce your own vegetables, why not apply to that school, that job, WHY NOT WRITE FOR A POSITIVE COURSE (hehe), why not teach classes on business etiquette, why not start that small business…Because you’re an Afri-Can, it’s time to underline that CAN. Okay, quite the cheesy ending, but if you can do better, write it on your own blog, mxwwwwm!

Disclaimer: it won’t be easy, don’t let those motivational quotes fool you, I doubt anyone here has it easy, remember TIA (This Is Africa) after all.

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