“The sad truth is that we, Africans, are lazy!” (Straight Talk)

Updated on March 04, 2021, Dorcas Céleste Koidima
“The sad truth is that we, Africans, are lazy!” (Straight Talk)

In reality, Africans are lazy! Everyone demands progress but no one wants to invest fully. There is no glimmer of development for a lazy nation. Africans are fat lazy people. To get Africa back on track, we must work to ensure that its people tirelessly take the path of work.

“Only hard work pays off!” Africans seem to have failed to understand the depth of this maxim which has founded the individual and collective development of great nations. When we trace the thread of the construction of the most advanced nations on the planet, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Russia, China, etc. it is easy to see development takes hard work and sacrifice. There was no respite in their drive to build wealth and improve the living conditions of populations under the instigation of their rulers, with different regimes but similar ambitions for the destiny of the homeland. Everything that currently forges their supremacy is largely based on the virtue of work. The industrial revolution in England, the French revolution, the conquest of the American West... are all examples that testify that “It is Man who gives meaning above all to his life.”

Better, this attachment to work is most affirmative in these so-called wealthy nations, all the more so as emerging countries - India, China, North Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. are using the same springboard to take the lead. A stay, however brief, in these regions invites to admit this evidence. The nights are as active in offices and construction sites as the days. “Those in front do not lose a single opportunity to progress further, it is the last who spend their time having fun,” one would be tempted to caricature.

Yet those who are blatantly behind are indulging in uselessness, triviality. The fun goes beyond the book and engulfs any social, economic and political takeoff in desperation. The inhabitants of the continent hesitate to realize that only work is the source of wealth. They watch this fierce struggle with an aberrant passivity. The mainland's private sector is failing to support all the job seekers that public administrations filled with a gang of “I look forward to the end of the month” fail to fit into their ranks.

This sad reality inhibits the expectations of working rural populations and the hopes that the international community places in the black continent. While some locals believe Americans, Europeans and Asians don't sleep, they do nothing to align themselves behind their dynamic. Africa remains the melting pot of fun. We are ecstatic to find ways out of this destructive laziness in democracy, the expression of which does not present this backward facet in the countries from which this model has been imported. The notion of freedom seems to have been misunderstood.

In most of the continent's urban centers, “time is not yet money” and in rural areas, it is the men who play nurses or walk from cabaret to cabaret, leaving the fields to women, children, to then claim the contents of the attic without counting the countless holidays.

It is disgusting to remember that Côte D’Ivoire and Ghana were at the same level of development as South Korea or Malaysia in the 1960s. The continent's notorious overall unproductiveness results in large part from its underdevelopment. And one wonders what could have been presented today as an outline of development in certain African states if there had not been certain infrastructures favored by forced labor. Having passed the stage of successive independence, Africans have misunderstood the conduct of their own destiny. There has been more rest, in bars or in dance halls to drink or dance, around arteries to applaud the departure or arrival of heads of state than to get down to business.

All attempts to generate awareness to turn the tide have been drowned in an amalgamation of internal and external plots. Even today, many African countries still resemble the Zaire of the 1970s, where Mobutou Sésé Séko chained, in blinding joy, his compatriots with an orchestra per square meter. Many leaders, lacking plausible arguments to give hope to their fellow citizens, who slyly perpetuate this gentle method of enslavement. Perhaps the decision of Alassane Dramane Ouattara's regime to raze the famous “Princess Street” of Abidjan, a bastion of recklessness, is part of this desire to refocus the population in its constructive role. Fatalism has so dangerously gained the upper hand that good initiatives sometimes come up against involuntary non-participation.

At a time when public aid is drying up, when major technical and financial partners are also faced with debt situations, the black continent should show a burst of pride and come out of the shackles of despair that seems to invade its inhabitants in their vast majority. The youth, to whom the Cameroonian academic, Achille Limbé, appealed to courageously take their destiny in hand and calmly trace the furrows of the future of the continent, seem helpless and have their ears plugged. All-out desperation unfortunately takes precedence over his ambitions. There is so much to take care of profitably in Africa that it is impossible to shut up in the face of voluntary and collective suicides caused by illegal immigration. This fugue draws the source of its ignominy in the decay of the state and in part in the choice of the short scale by a fringe of youth. One thing is to blame the government for its inability to find suitable solutions to reduce unemployment and idleness. Another is to admit that it is impossible to find a job for every unemployed person. In this, the youth can bring the systems of government to bend to its will of self-determination as long as it puts a damper on the current way in which it is treated and decides to take its responsibilities to bend the leaders who have lost concern for their future.

The love of work, the taste for entrepreneurship, the culture of a sense of responsibility, the primacy of the general interest, the construction of individual and collective well-being are all values that Africans lack. These are downstream of democracy and training which build a framework conducive to the achievement of the common ideal of development. Many graduates and trainees prefer to indulge in “bamboula” than to occupy themselves or actually look for a job. Everyone demands progress but no one wants to invest fully. There is no glimmer of development for a lazy nation. It is true that the socio-political and economic environment contributes enormously to weaken individuals. Given that the nationals of the continent show extraordinary self-sacrifice when they are outside its borders or employed in large groups. But more often than not, sacrifice, imagination and ingenuity are lacking.

More than fifty years after the conquest, with horns and cries, of national and international sovereignty, celebrated each year with drums and fanfare, Africans have not yet fully realized the price to be paid in the conduct of the destiny in complete freedom. From the countryside to the city, you pretend to be a hard worker, in love with 10-hour breaks, naps and lateness at work. Followers are resistant to the slightest sacrifice. A few years ago, the astronaut and president of “Microsoft Africa”, Cheick Modibo Diarra, was amazed when he saw young people with able-bodied arms in the streets of Ouagadougou while their country is full of immense hydro-agricultural developments, untapped.

And the greatest shame that lends itself to Africa is of course its inability to be able to get enough food from its fertile lands to contemplate the famine under which its people are plunging. Large firms and countries far away from the continent flock there to buy thousands of hectares in order to exploit them for commercial purposes while a large part of Africans with able-bodied arms continue to suffer the pangs of undernourishment and poverty, malnutrition. This other sell-off appears to be an insult after the shameful bargaining of public enterprises and natural resources. Laziness is established as a rule favored by a context of degrading interventionism in which the levers of development lose their priority in the face of a luxury that insults any conscience of a poor country. Suddenly, in the countryside and the cities, the able-bodied arms become invalidating. The rural exodus is in full swing. Even in rural areas, more and more men are abandoning the fields to women to roam the markets.

While in large urban centers, the majority rely on the busy minority or on providence. Resourcefulness is fueled by an instinct for survival. Africa is lazy; its inhabitants limit themselves to the bare minimum and sleep. And the taking back of their destiny, which can only be accomplished through work, is still being heard. After achieving their greatest miracle, the food sovereignty acquired through its ability to feed its billions of people, the People's Republic of China has taken shape as a world powerhouse, and it is giving itself no respite to achieve this vision. And the Middle Kingdom owes this salvation not to agribusiness but to family farms that have produced results through hard work and faith in the land. Know-how, expertise, wealth and well-being are acquired through work.

Africans are fat lazy people. To get Africa back on track, we must work to ensure that its people tirelessly take the path of work.

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