Nelson Mandela stood for an equal African society where people will have the freedom of speech, freedom of association, rule of law and total emancipation from racism and all the characteristics of the apartheid era. It is very significant to recall that his struggle for an egalitarian African nation took over 27 years of his youthful age but today he is an accomplished and celebrated world leader with high respect as one of the greatest African ever- who lived and died for his people
Today am not going to write about Technology development in Africa as usual though this article is similar to when I looked at Digital colonization in Africa, am motivated right now to celebrate Nelson Mandela while pointing out that African leader’s action and inaction has been the major cause of underdevelopment in Africa.
Honestly, it feels fulfilling joining the rest of the world to celebrate the life and times of Nelson Mandela-An African freedom fighter and a world leader of great respect who was laid to rest a few hours ago in his home town in South Africa. Nelson Mandela stood for an equal African society where people will have the freedom of speech, freedom of association, rule of law and total emancipation from racism and all the characteristics of the apartheid era. It is very significant to recall that his struggle for an egalitarian African nation took over 27 years of his youthful age but today he is an accomplished and celebrated world leader with high respect as one of the greatest African ever- who lived and died for his people.
His achievements and all that has been said about him by world leaders like President Obama give hope and inspiration to young Africans. Am particularly moved by Mandela’s love for humanity as clearly seen in his action and words during his life time. He was in deed a complete gentleman.
As the World is celebrating an African leader who fought and emancipated his people, there is no better time than now to talk about leadership and the challenges of Africa. Lack of self-less Leaders who will have the interest of the people at heart has been a major challenge to Africa and her development. This is why the international media often times refer to Africa as a dark continent; third world; home to corruption, hunger, sickness, diseases, war, unemployment, underdevelopment and other social and political vices.
This only points out the fact that the woes of Africa is hinged on leadership, our leaders will always take the blame. African leaders need to reflect on how leadership has affected the present state of Africa and her global relevance. Nelson Mandela whom we are celebrating today distinguished himself as a great leader no wonder his final journey on earth brought a new story for Africa, a story of hope and a future which can only be sustained through good leadership.
In addition to the encomium showered on Mandela by African leaders, it is more important and useful at this time for our leaders to imbibe those good attributes and qualities that Mandela exhibited in his life time. This is how to show respect and immortalize him in the hearts of the people.
Just as Nelson Mandela lived and died loving and fighting for the good of South Africans and the entire black race, one would expect many of our leaders to learn from him. Who among the African leaders will emulate this virtue? Mandela’s believe and ideology gave Africa a voice globally. I learnt that over 91 heads of state around the world have come to pay tribute to him and that makes him one of the celebrated leaders in the world. Mandela is the single reason why Africa and the black race is celebrated today.
The emancipation of the black race and Africa in particular is a continuous struggle that must not end with the death of this great African leader .There is a new challenge, a new fight for Africa which looks endemic because it is being inflicted on the people by their people. It is really not as it were during the time of Mandela but I can tell you that the same oppression, suppression, humiliation, deprivation is being meted on Africans even on the African soil.
It becomes very worrisome when our leaders have held siege over most African nations as the new task masters- colonizing and agonizing the people. This is indeed more challenging than what Nelson Mandela fought against and that’s my fear.
Africa’s colonial masters are now our brothers and sisters who we share the same birth place, color and ethnicity with. They are in most cases elected under a democratic arrangement with their respective cliques.
Talking about Africa democracy, how will the democracy in Africa be accessed or evaluated at this point? Can these head of African nations who gather today paying tribute to the great Madiba do a bit of what Mandela did for his people?, Can they free Africa from corruption, war, hunger, high mortality rate, disease, poverty, unemployment and mediocrity? These are the questions running through my head right now.
Let’s look at Nigeria which is my country and where I have lived for over thirty years now, there is really nothing to be proud of here except for the common Nigerians who despite the challenges believe for a better tomorrow. Leadership in the country has continuously degenerated as the year goes by. One of the biggest nations in Africa is heavily infested with corrupt and selfish leaders who continuously loot the nation’s treasury to enrich themselves and the people loyal to them. You see leaders who are not accountable, who do not consider the welfare of the people. All we hear every day in Nigeria is missing public funds by one public office holder or the other. While the unemployment rate is increasing every day, high cost of living and poverty, there is perennial lack of basic amenities like electricity, safe drinking water, good roads, health facilities you name them and yet the nation is the 6th largest oil producer in the world. Nigeria cannot boast of any sector that is running smoothly. This is a country where the young people do not have any atom of hope and future. Corruption has been the single reason there has not being any meaningful development in the country. The point here is that as a densely populated African nation with huge human and natural resources, the stability of the country is paramount and has a great impact on Africa.
This is the scenario in most African nations with the leaders not being responsible and accountable. There is nothing more to say, we all live with these challenges in Africa but who will save our nations this time?
The truth must be reiterated that the woes of Africa is caused by African leaders and they should be held accountable. Nelson Mandela was an exceptional freedom fighter, an African leader whose principles and ideology should be emulated not just by lip service but by real actions. For me this is a major challenge especially for African Leaders!