My current involvement in rigorous advocacy about the African Migrant Crisis is so that we may begin to heal the biggest sore on the face of the continent. The sore has continued to fester with direr consequences for Africa.
Amazingly, many African youths still do not get it. They still believe the grass is greener on the other side, despite the undeniable evidence to the contrary. Would you believe it, some still want to go and wash corpses in Europe, for big bucks? In this day and age? Who knows, I might undertake an investigation someday to know how this legend came about.
Most of these youths have no idea of the atrocities awaiting them in the hands of those who have created a thriving business from their failure to heed our warnings, especially in places like Libya and Tunisia. Crimes against humanity are being committed on African migrants, not on the Mediterranean Sea, like some think, but right inside these two countries, among others. Slave trade, mindless auction of these youths, prostitution of the worst kind, murders so that vital organs of the victims are traded in black markets are going on. It is unimaginable horror.
Meanwhile, we must continue to push and educate our youths to drop many of these fallacies. What for instance, is fuelling the belief, that whereas others attempting the treacherous journey, like them, will end up increasing the statistics of the dead, their case will be different? What is fuelling the ‘Minus me’ belief?
Some of the answers to these troubling questions are found in my book. How well these answers deal with the situation is an ongoing development. Clearly, the situation requires an all-out expansion of all types of engagement, to meet the diverse beliefs and orientations of youths across the continent. And this engagement must move with the momentum of a revolution!
Thankfully, I am encouraged by what I see from some European governments and agencies. The Spanish government, especially stands out for their commitment to managing the scourge from their own end. I have seen empathy, care and thought from close quarters demonstrated by those placed in charge of rescuing those who had faced certain deaths, and rehabilitated them, at great costs.
While I continue to commend these efforts, I must never cease to challenge African leaders to do more to own the problem and commit more to overcoming it now than ever before. Africa cannot continue to delegate the bigger bit of managing this crisis to others.
Her leaders must now hit their strides and take the lead in taking the comprehensive communication programmes for behaviour modification, which we advocate, to schools, homes, religious bodies and every other active agency of socialization for today’s African youth.