Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why I have still not posted about World Environment Day


Yes, indeed.

Tuesday 5th June
It’s 4am. Accra. I got out of bed to get ready for work as usual, and seconds after, the entire neighbourhood went pitch-black. The lights are off. Electricity is out. Black-out. In my head, I can see 10,000 people in the neighbourhood shrug their shoulders and say to themselves “What’s new?” This situation is as common as small change in our part of the world. 

In this same vision, I can see them grab a candle and matchsticks OR a kerosene lantern OR a battery-operated torchlight OR a rechargeable lantern of sorts OR power on their diesel/petrol generators. A few will even have the greater luxury of turning on their alternators and yet a smaller number would not even have had time to blink in between the black-out and their self-powering deluxe petrol/diesel generators coming alive.

Most times, I can’t help but wonder why most of Africa still has insufficient electricity, still has intermittent flow of energy, still has major problems keeping economies running and growing. We have more opportunities to make hydro-electricity, more sunshine to make solar, enough wind to charge up a storm, and more than enough biomass options to make organic, environment-friendly coal, biogas, etc for cooking and petty fuel needs. MUCH MORE THAN ANY OTHER CONTINENT. We have an abundance of natural, green resources (we are now very quickly depleting and abusing), and because our population figures compared to the spread of land is low and spacious, and there is more than enough for everyone. Why do we still have a huge problem with the one thing that can rapidly grow our economies and put money in the people’s purses – Lord knows they work so hard for a pittance.

One word. POLITICS.
I know that we’ve sold our souls to the American, European, and Chinese governments.
I know that it is because Africa has been trussed up and tossed into the laps of these “super” countries and African leaders are busy doing the strip-tease and shimmying up and down the pole, dropping it like it’s hot to the power-drunken, hysterical, drug-induced, hyena-like hoots and catcalls of the “super” plunderers and slave-drivers.

Look at this:
Candles
Matchsticks
Batteries
Torchlights
Torches
Rechargeable battery units
Lanterns
Alternators
Generators
Automatic plant-size generator-sets

Are these goods (mostly) manufactured in Africa? No.
Are they companies owned by Africa(ns)? No.
Are they bringing any profit to Africa? No.

Yet all these items and more are what Africans turn to each time the lights go off. The use of our own natural green energy sources is very miniscule because most Africans cannot afford it, and most stockers refuse to sell it in unit sizes that can be afforded by the average bloke. And then again, those who can afford it are busy using generators. Why?

Because those selling the solar are mostly non-African companies. They have been instructed to market mostly non-green products to us.
Because most of the banks on this continent are non-African owned. They will not grant us funding to develop or grow our green industry and energy sources – it is the one answer to our economic success as a continent.
 Because most of the import companies and large merchandise shops are owned by non-Africans. They have a part in the conspiracy that ensures that we get what they decide to bring us, not what we want. And what they bring us is like all the above, geared to ensure that we keep purchasing their products, we keep relying on their products even for life-saving issues, we do not have access to energy and fuel products that can make use of our natural resources – like solar, wind turbines, biogas, etc - , and that we do not develop these aspects of our economy, because if we did, we would with all our resistance to suffering and familiarity to hard work, progress so quickly that in a few years, our natural resources, our minerals and wealth, our high IQs and brains, would make us the biggest, richest, most powerful, energy-abundant, mineral-wealth abundant continent in the entire world. WE would be in power of ourselves, and would have the most resources and deepest intelligence to automatically take control of our own affairs and invariably that of the world.

But as some of my very old folks say here, “White man’s witchcraft is real somethin.”
Every African leader has somehow fallen inside the ‘’scheming. We keep on taking the aid. We keep on flying over there for fancy lunches and tours and state visits, and forums. We keep on going to beg for grants and welcoming their investments. We keep on bending over … backwards, forwards, and all ways. Now if it were only the leaders doing this, I wouldn’t be writing this ….. but they screw us all. Not once, as many times as they like. Not by only one master, but by several. Not in one aspect, but in everything, and not for a lifetime/generation only, but for several.

It is so much like a voodoo curse placed on a bloodline. No matter what you do or where you pass, once you have a drop of that blood in you, you get a feel of that voodoo. We cannot escape it, even though it is our leaders doing this horrible thing. And we suffer most for it, even as they make bundles and bundles of money for themselves and if wise, their families.

So every time the light goes off in Ghana now, I just notch it on the wall for the Americans, the Europeans, and the Chinese… and the pension benefits of our African leaders. Here is more usage of their candles, batteries, torches, generators, alternators, and even petrol/diesel. Their livelihoods are made by the number of times our lights go off a year, and the total hours they STAY OFF. Their livelihoods are made whilst our children die in hospitals, candle-fire deaths; mothers die in labour on the delivery mats/beds in pitch-black clinics and health posts; dignified men and women come home with barely enough to feed and educate their children month end after month end, and our leaders keep shimmying up and down that pole… dropping it hot.

Its 5.12 am. The lights are still off. I have been sitting in the darkness, typing this out on an american-made notepad, in the glow of a solar torchlight assembled somewhere in the world, but at least, charged up by my African sun. Yeah, it is a start. What are you doing?

Now, to my African leaders, in the words of one of my sister-girlfriends said, “Africa does not want more aid. She wants her shit back. All of it. Now.” 

2 comments:

  1. "I know that it is because Africa has been trussed up and tossed into the laps of these “super” countries and African leaders are busy doing the strip-tease and shimmying up and down the pole, dropping it like it’s hot"

    OMG you're hilarious. I can't stop laughing but on a real note, I SEE YOU.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I am laughing. Not cool. I see you too.

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