What Donald Trump’s Victory Should Mean for Africa

Donald Trump,President of The United States of America.Picture Credit: TIME As the world reels from the news that Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America, we need to take a look back at what the win, combined with the proposed British exit – Brexit – from the European Union means for Africa, Africans and black people in general. Like the push for Brexit, Donald Trump’s campaign was riddled with fear mongering, describing a world where minorities are supposedly overwhelming the (predominantly white) population of these countries. The purview of these two world powers hold is that by ‘letting’ more ‘minorities’ into their nation, the people indigenous to these countries are being pushed out; from leadership positions, jobs, opportunities and other benefits of being a citizen. To the majority of Americans and Brexit voters, these foreigners are making them less than they are supposed to be and they need to take their power back. In plain speak, keep the bloody foreigners out! While this is being touted as nationalistic for those who hold these views, we cannot help but see the underlying (in the case of Britain) and most times, glaringly obvious (Trump couldn’t be clearer) tones of racism, bigotry and hate. It is shocking to note that these two countries that pride themselves on being progressive and the most tolerant of the world powers have massively voted to stop acting like they consider all human life equal. George Orwell couldn’t have been more accurate. The United States of America and the United Kingdom have voted to stop pretending that there aren’t racist undertones in their country. They have also voted to stop pretending that they care about ALL human life. Why is this a historical time for Africa particularly? The answer lies in the fact that Africans and black people keep going to these countries for one reason or the other. Before I look at the Black people from these countries, I will discuss those of us from Africa. The data collated by NOI Polls and Pew Research Center show that rate of emigration of Africans to the US and UK has increased. This is especially explained by Monica Anderson in her article, ‘African Immigrant Population in U.S. Steadily Climbs’ posted on Fact Tank, Pew Research Center on November 2, 2015. Of particular interest to me are these paragraphs: “There were 1.8 million African immigrants living in the U.S. in 2013, up from 881,000 in 2000 and a substantial increase from 1970, when the U.S. was home to only 80,000 foreign-born Africans. They accounted for 4.4% of the immigrant population in 2013, up from 0.8% in 1970. The growth is evident among recently arrived immigrants. When compared with other major groups who arrived in the U.S. in the past five years, Africans had the fastest growth rate from 2000 to 2013, increasing by 41% during that period. (Africans are also a rapidly growing segment of the black immigrant population in the U.S., increasing by 137% from 2000 to 2013.) One factor behind this recent wave can be traced to the Refugee Act of 1980, which made it easier for those fleeing conflict-ridden areas, such as Somalia and Ethiopia, to resettle in the U.S. Back then, less than 1% of all refugee arrivals were from Africa, compared with 32% today, according to figures from the U.S. State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. Statistics from the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics confirm this point. Among refugee arrivals in 2013, five of the top 10 countries of nationality were in Africa: Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia.” But more than a desire to flee war-torn countries is an emigration for proper (and more advanced) health care, better education, more effectively working systems’, tourism or just having a go at ‘greener pastures’. Each of these by themselves is not too much of a problem but when put together, we see the problem as clearly as day; Africa is a failing continent. It breaks my heart to say this because of my optimism about Africa but it is imperative that we accept that we are failing; and woefully so! The rest of the world took pity on us for centuries and allowed some of our excesses. Of course they did this for their selfish gains but we are more to blame for this than they are. We cannot continue to funnel our resources, wealth, revenue or intellect towards improving these countries when ours, and hence our continent, continues to suffer and bleed out. We cannot continue to continue to perpetuate the ‘white savior’ complex and expect more developed countries to solve our problems. And now, even if we want to, these countries are not having it anymore! They are sick and tired of our neediness and constant dependence. They are done with us! So what can we do? 1.        First, we need to wake the hell up! These countries see us as nothing more than pests and leeches and what do you do to these? I will let you figure it out. Before that time comes, we need to borrow ourselves some sense and wake up; 2.      We need to stop believing in the ‘white savior’ ruse because guess what? They have not saved us from anything! In case you don’t know, South Sudanese people are still dying. So are Somalians. Many African countries are still dirt poor. Aid after aid after elaborate event to raise more aid and the problems we have are still very glaring. No country will save us as long as they need us to remain dependent. We have to save ourselves! The black race has to save herself! 3.          There is no better time to strengthen our institutions than at this very moment. We need to start investing – heavily – in our educational and health sectors, our military, government systems, infrastructure, landmarks, power, communications and best of all, our human capital and resources; 4.         The bloody brain drain has to stop! We cannot continue to take so much money

We May All Be Bigots!

Four people holding quote movies.Image: Pexels. Bigot (noun) big·ot ˈbi-gət {Merriam Webster Dictionary} : a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group) Bigotry [big-uh-tree]. Noun. Plural bigotries {Dictionary.com} 1. Stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own. 2. The actions, beliefs, prejudices, etc., of a bigot. As I scrolled through my timeline on Facebook on the 28th day of June, 2015, I came across a post which made me do a double take. I scrolled back up and reread the post. On a normal day, I would never have dropped a comment on that post; but I did. The reason I went back to that post was because it was about one of the most trending topics that week. It was a post about the Supreme Court of the United States’ landmark decision on legalizing gay rights to marriage. This is the post. “#‎SameSexMarriage Well, what else do you expect of a hypersexual society where nudity and sex is the norm and ‘do-do-do’ right from kindergarten to old People’s Homes? They got bored and/or tired of their preordained opposite sexes! And if this rule that allows same sex marriage is not reversed, soon they may get bored of their same sex spouses and may end up dating/marrying animals too. Tir!! May Allah SWT preserve our Iman in sticking to our opposite sexes as spouses. Beautifully and/or perfectly as below…..” The picture above accompanied the post. Reading it, one line caught my attention; the line about a ‘hyper-sexual society’. I was surprised that the author of the post believed that homosexuality was only as a result of a hyper-sexual society. Since I had (in the past) discussed certain issues with this author, I felt that we could rub minds. So I posted this; “ME: Do you know that there are Arabians [sic] marrying transsexuals? Do you know that there are homosexuals in countries where nudity is not found? Where they wear Nikkab and Kaftan only? Do you know the effects of sexually repressing society? Evil persists everywhere, whether a society is hyper-sexual or having repressed sexuality.” When I posted this, I waited to hear his reply. I got one, but it wasn’t his. “BOY 1: I find ur logic pretty twisted…….may be we shud stop “repressing” armed robbery as well! In fact we shud live without code of conduct and allow our animal instincts dictate how we live. “Repressing”!!!” When I saw this, I was like ‘Hol’ up! Urhhh…..what is he talking about?’ Then I replied; “ME: @BOY 1….lol. I am glad you find my logic ‘twisted’. While you may not care about freedom, I am glad you realize that there is evil everywhere…or I hope you do. Maybe you should acquaint yourselves with the number of closeted homosexuals in countries that have….how did you put it…’code of conduct’? Covering up hasn’t prevented men (and women) from being evil; flirting, having multiple partners or even deviating by having sex with children, animals and the likes. So, while I may be ‘twisted’ in my logic, I do realize that society is innately evil and nudity or the absence of it does not make one society any better than another. Get knowledge and be balanced in your ideologies…or quite frankly, take a dive.” Okay…I agree I was a bit harsh. I could blame it on BOY 1 commenting when he didn’t understand what I was saying, but I wouldn’t. It wasn’t long before BOY 1 returned. “BOY 1: Take a dive?………not a chance. But besides dat, if fredoom [sic] were absolute we wouldn’t be having prisons don’t u tink?” To which I responded; “ME: @BOY 1…Freedom is never absolute. NEVER! I’m just saying that people should be balanced in their analysis. Quite simple if I dare say.” “BOY 1: Balanced kuma? (‘balanced again?’ for none Hausa speakers) Am [sic] lost…….” I realized I needed to douse the tension, so I responded with something I hoped will make him laugh. “ME: I pray you get found.” To which he sent a smiling smiley face. Now, as we were having this conversation, the author of the post had not said anything. But that changed after a while. AUTHOR: Yusuf Jnr Interesting! I have missed a lot’ooo….just where have I been all these while?  ‘Ramadan tinz’. Yeah……it should be just that. OK, where do I begin? Tomorrow is another day In-Shā-Allah….am gonna cool off and come back a little calmer. From his response, I had a premonition that we weren’t going to ‘rub minds’. While he was cooling off, another friend of his came to the party. “BOY 2:  Something Ramatu something, you made your point. Now who said “Arabians” (I think you meant to say “Arabs”) were saints? Arabs are humans and there are sinners among them. But get this clearly, no ‘straight’ government in this world would do this. America is gay. Well, now technically they are. And whoever finds this post offending could be the opposite of an arrow…If you know what I mean. Lastly, before you sing your narrow minded song about civilization [sic], and America being civilized [sic], zip it! I don’t see si.vi.ly.za.shon as sky scrapers and extreme atheism. Si.vi.ly.zay.shon is simply what it is…dunce. think about it, Summun-bukmun!” I am sure you can imagine the look on my face when I read this post. ‘Who the flying French was this guy?’ I asked myself. He even refused to recognize my other names because they didn’t sound like what he believed, instead using ‘something’. What a laugh! I was talking about something, and he was saying something else. And since he felt he needed to correct my mistake, I was quite surprised he made some of his own. Then I saw the words ‘dunce’ and ‘summun-bukmum’. Dunce I know; the latter I didn’t. So, Google to the rescue! When I typed in the phrase,

The North Is Not Hausa

Image: Home Town Nigeria is at a very bad place now, with hatred sown deep into the very core of society. No one can tell just how long that hatred has been going on, but one thing most are sure of is that, any attempt at forcibly removing it will further widen the gaping wound which is Nigeria today; and probably destroy the last vestiges which we are holding on to. This hatred is beyond religious: in fact, religious issues are not as deeply seated as those related to ethnicity and tribalism. The Northern part of the country seems to bear the brunt of this hatred, with the Southern, Eastern and Western parts showing their distaste of the ‘Hausa-North’. Is this too broad (and maybe too bold) a statement? Well…it gets worse.When I was in the university, just a few months before graduation, my sister came to me and asked that I hang out with her and some friends. They were both from one of the South-Southern states of Nigeria; though one of them had lived in Kaduna State until he gained admission to the university. The other was visiting the North for the very first time.We primped and went out to hang out with the guys. While talking, I noticed that the new guy was staring at my sister and I in a very unsettling manner. After enduring the Xray-like stare for a while, I shot him a glare. He became unnerved and apologized. He said he had always had the view that the North was a wild land, inhabited by uneducated cattle shepherds who had an unusual thirst for power. He said he had actually told his friend that he hoped he was not bringing Hausa ‘fura da nono’ sellers to come hang with them. Even in that assessment, you can’t help but see how wrong he was about his knowledge of the Hausa tribe. We laughed about it and in the end, he said, ‘I have changed my views about the Hausa man and the North’. When I asked if he had met any Hausa man, he snorted and said, ‘You, now!’ (For crying out loud, I’m a mix of Idoma and Ebira. But let me continue.)A little while back, a friend told me of his experience with some people when he went to serve in the Eastern part of the country. They were welcoming until they found out he was from Borno State. Easy camaraderie turned into glacier coldness. They watched him with suspicion and accused him of being among the Hausas who had killed their fellow Igbo brothers. At one point, he was scared for his life. He actually thought they were going to kill him. This only changed when they saw him in church one day. After the service, they accosted him. When they ascertained that he wasn’t a member of Boko Haram sent to bomb their church, they asked him how a Hausa man could be a Christian. He explained to them that he wasn’t Hausa.  One of them quipped, ‘Are you not from Borno?’.  At his affirmation, they asked again, ‘Is Borno not in the North?’ Nodding his head, they said, ‘Then you are Hausa jare!’. Despite his explanations, they still wouldn’t believe that the North wasn’t solely a Hausa region. My friend had to resign to their strongly held ideas, even accepting the nickname, ‘Hausa boy’. He just couldn’t get it into their heads that Hausa is not even an indigent tribe in Borno State. Kanuri yes, but definitely not Hausa! A friend on Facebook also told me of his brother who had gone to one of the Western States for an interview. Having scored the job, he set about looking for a house. He asked a security man to help him get a place. When the security guy was free, he took my friend around and they met many landlords. One would expect that he would easily get a house. But he was rejected by all of them! As soon as they realized he was from the North, they clammed up and refused to give him their houses for rent. One landlord went as far as saying that he didn’t want a Hausa man in his house and that he sure didn’t want a “Boko haram” in his house. This man had to resort to living with the only nice person he had met in that town; the security man. His money was not good enough to get him a place as long as he was perceived as Hausa. The worst part is that there are only five states in the North that are predominantly Hausa. They are Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa. That is to say that of the nineteen Northern States, there are only five States with Hausa people making up the majority indigenous population. Why then are we all regarded as Hausa people? Adamawa State has about 58 indigenous languages, Kaduna has about 57 and Benue has close to 14. I can talk about these States because I have some attachment and affiliation to them. Add that to the Hausa States and that is just eight out of nineteen. What about the other States? Are their individual tribes not recognized? Must we all be swept in the same boat? Now, I have no problems with the Hausa people. They are very nice people. I’ve lived with many of them and I understand them to a certain point. My worry is that people, especially those from other regions of the country, feel that the North is made up of just Hausa people. What is worse, they attach illiteracy and underdevelopment to the Hausa people, and in essence, the North. Clearly the North cannot claim to possess the same exposure or average level of education with Lagos, but we are not a cluster of huts or open spaces as other regions think. When I was in camp for the mandatory orientation exercise of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), we had

Quick Links

Find Us:

Beaufort Court Estate,

Lugbe, Abuja.

Call Us: