Sunday, February 24, 2013

Will the face of Africa ever change?

War, Poverty, Corruption, AIDS, Hunger....
I was reading this and it hurt me that in Africa children still die of Malaria. And just when I thought I had had enough of the bad news I came across this: The 25 Most Miserable Places in the World and you'd be shocked  (or not) that Kenya is ranked 13.
For a continent that has most natural resources, diverse tribes and cultures- it just gripped me that the face of Africa will never change, not to anyone else who lives outside her.
At this time, we have so many people who leave Africa because other continents offer better job opportunities and education- but though miles away, they miss the little things like family meals, their homes and simply being in their country- some leave hoping never to return because of war or some calamity they cannot explain.
I recently had a Google Hangout session, and it was beautiful to hear people from around the world tell me some of the good things they love about Kenya-they went on about Literature, Music, Art and the Maasai shuka's and beads-some loved the food, but one person just asked me "if you could raise money to help your own people during the Kenyans4Kenyans drive, why can't you work together to ensure that you meet the millennium development goals?"
I froze and felt as though "we give you the good news before the bad."
But as we talked more, I realize that other countries did have issues. They had beggars, homeless people, criminals behind bars, they did die of diseases- it's just that they did find ways and implement these ways to reduce the cases. They show better control than most countries and Leaders in Africa- and now that I know of that-all I can do is ask, what are you doing about the social issues around you?
I reckon some of you might tell me "social issues, well I have my personal issues to deal with." Fine, everybody does have an issue here or there, but have you ever looked around you and thought of how better you could make the place?
Say, let's start with the simple things- if you live in your own compound, how clean is it?
If you live in an estate and always have trash collected every week, how neat do you pack your trash? I mean, it is simple stuff really-for if your environment is clean that says lots about you. In fact it's just reminded me about people who throw trash while in a moving car! It's the reason why every time I see those big Matunda (a.k.a Mafruits) bus coming my way I duck- just in case someone throws a bottle of soda or water and it hits me.  I mean if you can keep your home clean, why litter the road, aren't there people and animals who live along or near that road?
But, back to what I was saying- Africa has people who are full of ideas.
We want so much for her but never get beyond our words and that's the saddest bit really.
Take some time and do some positive online research or the social issues that countries are facing and you will realize that some have citizens who start initiatives that help solve that problem- just how much more does Africa need? I am proud that there's a man in Uganda in who is done with buying coffee from abroad in his local stores, and wants coffee farmers in Uganda to produce high quality coffee and get there fair share of its sales, (read about him here )
What are you doing about it?
What do you feel you can do and ought to?
I am on my way, talking to people about it- learning about initiatives from entrepreneurs as I get started on my own- truth is, it is hard because there's the negative mentality- but I know for all it's worth, Africans had better wake up and stop blaming the slow development on slavery and colonialists. The colonialists went, Africa had her independence, but it's her children who have plundered it with their "it's my time to eat" policy and lack of faith in their ability to stand out.

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How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody?