The first reaction of some Africans, when asked why Africa is poor amidst her human and vast natural resources, is to blame the West for the years of slave trade and colonialism.
Psychologists have tagged this kind of reaction as victim mentality – that is, maintaining a kind of dysfunctional mindset that seeks to feel persecuted in order to gain attention or avoid self-responsibility. Added, persons with this kind of mentality constantly attribute their problems to external factors. No wonder why Africa has refused to take responsibility where it ought to.
Am I absolving the Europeans of the vile atrocities they committed in Africa?
Definitely, no! I am aware of the cataclysmic effects of the slave trade and colonialism either immediately or enduringly. However, shall we say that because the Europeans conquered and ruled over the spirit, soul, and body of Africa in a gruesome manner for more than 500 years (if we begin to count from the first day of incursion), we should not move on and take the necessary steps that will activate the continent’s development?
No! Africa will not grow by constantly blaming others for its plights. As a matter of fact, Africa will continue to wallow in self-pity and stretch its begging bowl to the West for aid if it refuses to quit its victim mentality.
Africans are not the only people that have had to pass through a phase where they were dehumanized, humiliated, and dispersed in the diaspora.
For instance, the Japanese did not blame the Americans or ask them to pay reparation for dropping the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In fact, Japan has moved on to join the first world countries since it surrendered to the allied forces. In addition, other countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea were formally colonies of brutal lords but despite the horrible experience they went through, it did not stop them from taken responsibility where they ought to.
Given this, Africa MUST quit its victim mentality in order to rise. With the rise of populism in Europe and America, the world is changing. And a time is coming when the West will no longer send aid to Africa or depend on some of her natural resources like crude oil. Africa will definitely be stranded for a while until it finds an alternative to its dependency.
In order to avoid this looming disaster, Africans must quit blaming fate and the West. They must forgive, forget, and work hard to ensure that the glory of Africa is restored.
Unity, trade and peace in Africa must be achieved if Africa is to prosper.
Credit: Mark-Anthony Johnson