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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AFRICAN INTELLECTUALS

31 May

KOSOKO OYEYEMI

An Open Letter To The African IntellectualS: Dear Africans
In Diaspora, What We Need Are Inventors & Innovators, Not Paper Success,

Realistically speaking, anytime I see it in the
dailies that a Nigerian or a Black man broke a new record in any University in the United Kingdom or United states, I am not always fascinated or taken aback, in short I see it as a Norm. Prior to Independence of African states in the 1960’s, the Europeans labeled our forefathers as sub- humans, one who can’t think or do anything good for his
society and his personal self. Walter Rodney in his Book ‘How Africa Underdeveloped Africa’ opined and supported this notion further by explaining succinctly how Europeans opened up and colonized the African economy. The Europeans, in turn, objected that Africans lacked the intellectual vigor and ability to introduce new innovations to their society; thus the reason the white man saw the Black man as his own
Burden, who must be educated on how to be a better person.
However as a Pan-African who’s more enamored with the history of Africa, I refuse to subscribe to the fact that Africa was the burden of the white man, this is akin and paramount to the way and Manner the bible reported Africa to be the birthplace of civilization with special emphasis on Egypt, also it should be noted that Zimbabwe, Benin and other African empires were already
thriving in making pottery and others while Unthat kingdom was still very much inconsequential. Today the average African man lives in a very decent house, he is a
professional in the field of Politics, Medicine , Law etc and can withstand his compatriot anywhere in the world. This brings us to the Issue of how some Africans /Nigerians break different academic records in diaspora, however I have always been left with the close question of ‘what has happened to those African record breakers’. On a very close remark, I am been made to understand sacrosanctly that the university
abroad retains or big multinational companies employ them and offer them big and juicy contracts.

However, what the world needs more is Inventors and innovators, and It is in these areas that the African is largely deficient, and let me shock you further, without
these intellectuals, our continent is still and will remain in the abyss of history. Any
time I read on the dailies, the encouraging story of how a certain black man broke a certain record in the US, I don’t always help but imagine what such Individual can do for
the continent, I am a student of Politics of Development and Underdevelopment, and I understand that the potential for progress and poverty alleviation in Africa relies
on capital generated from the power within our minds, not from our ability to pick minerals from the ground or seek debt relief and forfrom assistance (After all we’ve been borrowing since time Immemorial). Today when You read history books too closely, you will be made to realize that in all modern
inventions: airplane, radio, television, telephone, motor car, etc, the African Man has no share in the glory…painful
indeed.

Just as the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and others have impacted greatly to humanity through their innovations and ingenuity. Where are Africans academic
breakers over the years? Whereas news of such academic record breaking by Africans, is commendable and encouraging, it
is imperative that we understand that such
achievement subsists and stems from ability to reproduce what was taught and already known.
Until that time when African record breakers come up with new inventions and innovations, and can be mentioned and held in the same breath like Isaac Newton, Albert
Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and a whole lot of others (from another race), I will not be impressed by paper records achieved by our African brothers and sisters abroad!
http://storried.com/an-open-letter-to-the-african-intellectuals/

 

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Opinion

 

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