“Why did Africa let Europe cart away millions of Africa’s souls from the continent to the four corners of the wind? How could Europe lord it over a continent ten times its size? Why does needy Africa continue to let its wealth meet the needs of those outside its borders and then follow behind with hands outstretched for a loan of the very wealth it let go? How did we arrive at this, that the best leader is the one that knows how to beg for a share of what he has already given away at the price of a broken tool? Where is the future of Africa?”
― Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Wizard of the Crow
The past holds mysteries that no amount of documentation, media, research, interviews, or biographies can truly unravel to find all the answers. Looking at the questions that Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o put forward, it goes without saying that we are still looking for answers.
To grab the future, we need to let go of the past. However, we must not forget our history of slavery as if it never happened. We cannot turn away from the truth that we sold our people to the Europeans. To acknowledge it means to admit that we committed genocide.
What legacy will we leave for the next generation? What battles should we overcome now so that our children will not live as paupers in their lands? How can we stop driving our people away to distant lands in search of greener pastures, instead of staying back home to contribute to our collective growth? When will our leaders learn from the lessons of the past?
There’s an African saying, ’Society is like a pot; it cannot carry water when it is broken.’ Africa has not made full reparations for the wounds it has inflicted on itself. The wound is infected and continues to rot. Like an ostrich with its head buried in the sand, Africa turns a blind eye to its faults, causing its people to live like tenants instead of proud landowners.