Why Are We Where We Are ?

Why Are We Where We Are ?

I listened to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speak in her presentation “The Danger of a Single Story” and she said “…if I had not grown up In Nigeria and if all I knew from Africa were from popular images, I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals, and incomprehensible people fighting senseless wars; dying of poverty and AIDS; unable to speak for themselves and waiting to be saved by a kind white foreigner…”. I asked myself how far from the true picture this statement is.

The history of slavery in Africa paints the picture of an opportunist Western World cashing in on the lack of mental enlightenment to deceive us into handing them our own brothers and sisters to work their industrial revolution into reality. But I know that every human being is not only born with a conscience, but also with a will to either enforce right or permit evil, and that is irrespective of the color of your skin. And so I ask, “Why did the slave trade succeed; was it just because the West had the ability to bomb us into submission, or …?”

According to the UNAIDS, over 75% of deaths from HIV/AIDS in 2007 were in Sub-Saharan Africa. In fact a Ugandan MP was urging the government to place a ban on funerals on weekdays some years back, as people spent more time going for burials, no thanks to the high level of deaths from HIV/AIDS related cases. So, are Africans more promiscuous than the rest of the world or what? (At least I know of a particular European country that is a core host to Nigerian girls who are going for prostitution).

Back home in Nigeria. I know that Nigerian crude fuels a size able part of the industrialized world, and the fact is that they do not get these resources for free from us, yet we owe them billions of dollars as a nation. I grew up learning about the groundnut pyramids and large cotton plantations in Northern Nigeria, the heavy cocoa export from Western Nigeria, rubber, kolanuts, etc. We all seem to be farming crude oil now, and we import the most ridiculous things, those that should not cost us too much to produce ourselves.

Africans are seen as the bottom of the totem pole in almost anything progressive, from development to education, from public health to good governance. Yet we are seen as the top players in sustaining long running conflicts and churning out the worse leaders the world over.Leaders from African countries classified as poor are major depositors in Swiss Banks,posing the question of where all the wealth comes from.

What can be said to be the reason for our setbacks as a people?



18 thoughts on “Why Are We Where We Are ?” by abbey (@abbey)

  1. SO many things.

    The main issue has to be the one responsible for the slave trade in the first place:


    Everything else is an offshoot of that main thing.

    Every body thinks he is superior to the next man, so when he is position to share he keeps EVERYTHING for himself.


    1. When people blame corruption for our ills,I ask if its a trademark of Africans or Nigerians.At least two major players in the Wall Street have been indicted for their roles in sharp practices with Bernad Madoff currently in jail, Lets not even start listing other corruption cases in the developed world. Someone even suggested to me once that the British taught us how to be corrupt(get a bird eye’s view of the history of the English from the story of the Tudors). So how come they keep going forward inspite of corruption, yet it is said to be killing us as a people?

  2. I don’t know if the problem is genetic or a curse from above. Majority seems to be more confortable being on the bad side.

    1. hmm…why would we be cursed?

  3. Corruption ! Corruption !! Corruption !!! It has eaten deep into †ђξ system and in all ramification. †ђξ system needs a total purge.

  4. Sad truth. Here’s a good read: mindofmalaka.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/you-lazy-intellectual-african-scum

    1. I have read that writeup, and its actually quite interesting. But are we totally to be blamed for all we are going through?

  5. I don’t know what to think. Maybe we are the descendants of that noah’s son that was cursed*cant remember his name now*, or we are just tooo selfish and think we know too much meanwhile, we don’t know enough.

    Or maybe we are too naïve to explore and experience. Bottom line, me no know.

    1. Hahahaha…I like your stance. I don’t either, but am trying to pick at different brains and see if I can come up with enough reasons to form a solid opinion of my own

  6. Another depressing Nigerian story.

    Our problem isn’t corruption. Our major problem is innate acute stupidity.

    1. lol,,,”innate acute stupidity”, that’s an interesting view. Your point seems to support the notion that the ‘white-skinned’ man is superior to us intellectually,is that your belief?

  7. I hate to say that mean reason is corruption. So many have been said and written about it and nothing really seemed to have change after all.

  8. Things ve nt been d same since d West colonised our lands n we allowed them our minds 2 colonise too. Though it was nt as if we were beta b4 they came bt we cld ve gained 4rm their coming, we so much bliv in democracy 4gettin dat a child needs a firmer hand yl growin; we shld ve sat down 2 weigh what govt structure fits us most-we didn’t.

    1. I like your comment, but are we better off or worse off from Colonization? Also, which other system of government would have been available for us to choose from apart from the one offered by our Colonialists?

  9. I also had the opportunity to listen to Adichie’s speech and all I can say is, we all can point accusing fingers alright when in actual fact we contribute one way or the other to how Africans are represented outside Africa. They arrive at conclusions through misconceptions they read about or stories they have been told. It’s up to us to change those misconceptions through our writings and stories as well. Let them hear our own side and tell them the danger of a single story

  10. We are where our choices have led us. When Adiagbon— a lot of people have probably forgotten about him—-tried to stop corruption in Nigeria, what happened to him? He was killed. He was the only one who stood for something. He didn’t just sit around saying he would do something. He did something and the people who didn’t want change took him out.

    1. I see your point…..IDIAGBON nt A

  11. CORRUPTION!!! Am reali tired of the word but sadly…it is the truth.It has eaten so deep into d Nigerian/African system and people,that u begin 2 wonder…WHICH WAY?We really need a God sent help 2 purge and clean our land .

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