Addressing the terrible culture of begging of the African mind…

A begging bowl is not a Pathway to prosperity of any kind

A begging bowl is not a Pathway to prosperity of any kind

I seek to address a terrible culture of begging the African mind of 2014 have inherited from the people of the past. My worry is not so much for the full blown adults who form today’s power centres. My concern is about the young minds of today who are fast forgetting about the noble deeds of how growth happens, and are jogging to take that mindset of begging to govern their own times. I am concerned that my own son and the children of his age will grow up to witness this culture as the norm of their time; and God help them if they have the blessing of being trained by a parent like me; because then, they would be the exception and the odd one out. I know that life, in all its uncertainties, compels interdependence to very great extents. Across human endeavours and dealings, our need for one another is an apparent reality we have since learnt the necessity to master.

No individual, business or nation can really afford to go it alone. Life demands mutual exchange for meaningful progress and satisfaction at different levels. I know that lending a helping hand, without expecting anything in return, is a necessary reality society must brace up to meet, time and again. However, extending aid and so-called favour at whatever level, does not presuppose the inferiority of the receiver and ought not to puff up the giver. Even where the receiver, out of ignorance, fear and opaqueness, exists in a perpetual mode of begging and receiving, it’s the social responsibility of the giver to educate and emancipate the ignorance of receiver with necessary information and not necessarily more giving. The goal of the giving hand must be to bring the receiving hand to equal status or there will be reasons to question the motive of the giver. A begging bowl is simply not a pathway to prosperity of any kind; we truthfully need more than bowls, we need brains!

This begging culture is continental as much as it is individual. Foreign aid to Africa has continued for over 60 years, with over $1 trillion spent and yet, more than 50% of Africans still live on less than a dollar a day, and Africa is still the world’s poorest continent. Isn’t it insane to keep doing the same thing over and again, expecting a different result? Why is there money in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, when he has no common sense? The basket will never hold water except it develops the capacity to do so, by fixing its leaks. And the slave that adores his chains will remain in perpetual bondage. Foreign aid has kept Africans alive and added great value, but foreign aid has not brought us socio-economic freedom and power, not because it does not have the capacity to, but because Africa has not developed the morality, decency and character needed to build and grow their economies. Already, across the continent, irresponsible governments have held the people captive, while much of the people depict character traits akin to their leaders.

After all, leadership is always chosen, appointed or elected from the majority; hence, the character of leadership is only a microscopic reflection of the character of the majority; leadership is us. Aid at its best is palliative; it cannot be relied upon for Africa’s development and competitiveness on the world stage. For this, African leaders and their people must take responsibility. Successful people and entities of means must develop the character to stop empowering people to recycle waste and to be unproductively engaged all in the name of help and support. Young people need to learn to roll up their sleeves; ignite their heads and get to work. The greatest asset of a man is not outside him…It is inside. His able hands, his working brain under God are his productivity tools.

Don’t give someone money to pay rent when you have not audited the recipient’s preparedness not to be in that position ever again. Support is only deserved by a human spirit with a clear, practical and useable plan to do same for someone else within the shortest possible time. We have a duty to stop giving people money to run a wedding when they have not made equal investment in making the marriage sustainable. Wedding is only a day, and marriage is a life time. Someone has not thought of buying a generator that can at least contain one AC in their bedroom at least and his asking for money to feed hundreds of people he didn’t even invite at a wedding or naming ceremony? If people invest half the effort they invest in weddings on their marriages for example, society will be better and more graceful. Search for sustainability before you offer support.

I’ve told people again and again that Africa needs the skills required to say NO than the ease of saying YES. Any fool can say YES but NO is tougher. And that’s where mediocrity meets the system and allows nuisance to continue in the name of generosity and benevolence. For me, to love is to eliminate fear around you, not to reward the fear in people. African philanthropists must bring capacity power to bear, by creating lending to small, medium and micro businesses. Fully functional adults are needed to be alive to their roles and responsibility to society for lifting millions out of poverty across the African continent. This is the aid Africa really needs and only she can provide it. Sincere and determined efforts can rebuild the continent. Africa must begin to rethink its beggarly position. Favours are only sustainable if the recipient has the character to make it work. And if, by the way, the recipient does have the character, then it may not even need aid at all.

For extremely poor Africans who desperately need support, conditions must be set by givers to measure and see the effect of the assistance rendered. And if any one must stretch out hands to receive support, then he or she must be willing to roll up their sleeves, make it work, repay his debts if required and stand on his own two feet. It is a perfect thought that Favour is not free; and for every degree of favour that you seek, you lose a level of freedom! Many have traded theirs and Africa has been trading her freedom for over 60years. The cycle has gone on for too long. We must break the begging bowl now! This is the TIME!

Posted on April 8, 2014, in Smooth-Life*Clinic* and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Now what do we say about those involved in the act of using kids to beg and perpetrate evil? I don’t know how best to put this, I”m somewhere in the northern part of the country where the popular practice of Almajiri is so rampant. Prior to my coming here, I had an entirely different idea about what this group of kids do but I”m here now, I see them everyday and its so pathetic that these supposed leaders of tomorrow are there on the streets, begging, scavenging, sleeping in the cold….maybe this is not the best place to voice out my opinion on this issue but I’ve asked questions, some say its tradition, others say its just ignorance…but I ask again, what is the government doing to put an end to this?
    I think i”m hearing someone asking what I have done myself to help the situation. well, I wish the whole Nigeria can see what I’m seeing, feel what I feel, then maybe the questions will be redirected.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: