Hi everyone! I know, it’s been a while since you heard from me. I cannot say I have been that busy…there have been so many things running through my mind that I did not know what to share. There have also been calls for me to write on the recent flooding in certain parts of Accra as well as the Accra passport office and the sad happenings over there. Those ones will come……For now, i finally found the words to express what has been sitting on my chest:
‘Kwabena, Maayi, Keni, Mawuse….. Come,sit down and let me tell you what these beady black eyes of mine have observed under the sun’.
[Pauses and takes a deep breath]
‘Where do I start?’
‘How do I begin to articulate the sadness you feel when someone tells you that the people in Africa have nothing to eat… or when someone makes use of ‘research’ that says that the waste food from Germany can feed two-thirds of Sub-Saharan Africa’. Buei! Is it not rather the case that Africa can feed the whole world?’
‘How do I begin to describe the sound of your heart breaking when you meet someone who tells you that she knows that Africa is really dangerous because there are wild animals roaming the streets… and when you show them pictures of your city, they respond nonchalantly ‘ Ja, aber das ist nur die Touristen viertel’ [ Which translates ‘ Yes, but that’s only the tourist district].
How do I describe the incredulity you feel when someone asks you how they can crack open an Ostrich egg because they saw a documentary on TV about Africa and you are from Africa’.
Don’t believe me?
Type into Google ‘Images for life in Africa’.
In Germany for example, the mental associations with Africa are summed up as KKK- Krieg, Krankheit and Katastrophe’ and every time something negative happens to an expat, it reinforces the dangers of living in Africa.
Do you know the risk premiums that many international companies pay on each expatriate who is sent to Africa?
Many of us who live or have ever lived in any part of Africa know that most of the cities are very safe.However, if you only hear news from Africa that has to do with war, poverty, famine and natural disasters, you make sure that you see to the every need of any expat you send to this dark continent. You put them in the best apartments, you pay their golf subscription, give them a cook, a driver and an international salary of course!
I am sure you know by now that some international companies send the- not- so competent or qualified people to Africa because no one else will go!
How do you carry out complete financial reporting when the financial controller will never set foot on this continent. How do you ascertain figures of revenue and expenditure sent to you from a continent you have never set foot on? How do you make sense of the numbers? How can you be sure that they are true?
Do you think that any manager who is benefiting from the negative images of Africa will ever want a true reflection of his or her life here?
Would such a person be excited to see pictures of the Coco Lounge or Santoku or any of these ‘posh’ places in Accra?
Could it be that on a wider scale, the rest of the world and particularly the west enjoy its role as Africa’s hero, sweeping to our rescue with IMF programs and aid?
After all, Africa is a scar on the world’s conscience. Without all our problems, how would the West look good? Africa needs to remain in dire straits so that politicians in Europe can have meetings about how to deal with the refugee crises or the problem of Boko Haram. The truth is that many parts of Europe are over developed and we need to keep our bureaucrats busy. You can only make so many laws about toothpaste and pavements for the EU member states for example.
More importantly,we have to fight against the Chinese domination of Africa.
‘I better stop before I get myself into real trouble’, after all, i am only a small child’.