Opinion: An open letter to all Africans

by David Adeleke


In the words of David Oyedepo, “there are no 3rd class nations, only 3rd class citizens”.

Dear fellow Africans,

Our continent is in trouble. Deep trouble. Our problem is as a result of lack of capacity. Our lack of capacity has left us incapacitated. Incapacitated in the sense that we have refused to take responsibility for our challenges and these challenges continually crush our continent. We are not backward because we are black, we are backward because we are ignorant. We are backwards because we have refused to improve. I mean, look at it, the average African has no value for knowledge. They’d rather take care of the immediate needs than invest for the future. We have come to the point where tomorrow hardly ever matters to us. Our feeling of inferiority has caged us so much that we subconsciously believe that ‘it is only right when it is white.’

In the words of David Oyedepo, “there are no 3rd class nations, only 3rd class citizens”. The citizens determine what becomes of the nation. Look at America. America was built by ordinary men who took extraordinary risks and pursued their extraordinary ideas with passion for extraordinary results. The likes of Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, JP Morgan and Henry Ford. We, in Africa, have decided to keep blaming the government for our woes. We have forgotten that the people in government were once normal citizens like us. Their lust for corruption and evil did not just start in one day. It developed over time. We have to wake up to the truth and begin to take responsibility. We should stop blaming the government, we’ve done this for too long. Take a look at Mr. Dangote. He is Nigerian but look how rich he is. He has taken the opportunities that life gives him and has made something of himself. Instead of us antagonizing the rich and expecting from them, why don’t we aspire to be like them too and then help society in return? Huh?

Your background doesn’t determine your future. A lot of the great men of our time and in times past were from very poor, disadvantaged backgrounds but through sheer determination, responsibility and discovery of purpose, they became what we know them as today. I know that no height is too far for me to attain because I believe in myself. But can this be said of my fellow Africans? Do they believe in themselves? I also know that no record is unbreakable, people are just too lazy and unwilling to pay the breaking price. Sacrifice is the breaking price needed. The level to which you are able to sacrifice determines the level you will attain in life.

Africa’s problems range from inferiority complex to a wrong value system where we celebrate what is not needful. I mean, people status is now determined by material wealth and not the value they can add to society. Africa also suffers from information deficiency. We would rather read gossip columns than read up stuff that will help us grow and become better people. People now go to school just for the certificate and once they get this, education ends for them. They start to degenerate. I heard of the story of a graduate of Geography from a Nigerian university who thought that tsunami was a country. How sad?

Our consumer mentality is also killing us. While the Whiteman keeps remodeling his products through research and improvement then he dumps them in Africa, we labor and waste our hard-earned money trying to purchase the next gadget when the one we have is still very much useful. We are so irresponsible and we lack accountability that drawing up a budget and making investments is alien to many of us. All we care for is how to spend our next paycheck. Our continent lacks vision and the very few who have such visions are antagonized and portrayed as frauds. Look at all the good people and even some churches trying to salvage what’s left of our dignity and all we do is crucify them for little mistakes on the internet.

It is so bad that few people will read this article to the end. Thank you for reading but most importantly, I want you to take something from this article. Africa is in trouble but her solution lies in you only if you are ready to pay the price. Let us stop thinking of ourselves alone and start reasoning for the good of others. Africa will be great again, it’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when. The how is strictly left to us the occupants of the Dark Continent. We must rise like the phoenix from its ashes and light up the world again as in the days of old. God bless you. God bless Africa.


Yours faithfully,

A fellow concerned African.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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