lords of poverty

hey brother, here’s my feedback: i can hear your loneliness and i am feeling it too.

back in belgium, back in coldness and in isolation, i am now really dealing with all the disillusions i have been encountering the past months. i am currently cultivating a very egoistic approach towards life: not caring about much except for my own sake, my current state of mind. i became more sober, more hard as a person. i am currently just giving things time as time is the only thing that will reveal who’s talking nononsense and who’s talking bubbles in the air, trying to please me. off course a lot of people don’t like this attitude (parents in the first place) as i am now back in the so-called reality and here there’s no time, the only time is the time for me to start behaving as an adult now, to pretend that nothing happened, all is fine and that i am in controll of my life according to the money driven values my society is being build on.

hard times, mate.

I have spent sleepless nights and long days especially during the month of January as I have been living in a village north of Malawi. This has been because of my evaluation and analyzing of development work in Malawi. My belief, is heaping the blame at the feet of neither slavery (like the African Americans do) nor colonialism. Truly, neither do I denounce some psychological impact nor some kind of stigmatization for African woes. Actually, I don’t buy such brainwash poppycock.
I have come to believe that a lot of we, educated Africans (Malawians) are lazy. “When we rest our heads on pillows we don’t dream big. Me and other so called African intellectuals are damn lazy, each one of us. “It is us and not those poor starving people, who is the reason Africa is in such a deplorable state.”

It is sad but I will say it again “we are lazy.” Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hardworking people on earth. I saw them in the markets and on the street selling merchandise. I saw then in the villages toiling away. This other day I saw a women in the Main Road crushing stones for sell and I wept. I said to myself where are the African (Malawian) intellectuals? Are the Malawian engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher or a simple water filter to purify ‘well water’ for those poor villagers? I asked myself that after forty-eight years of independence, our university faculty of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple small machines for mass use? What is the school there for?”

I started answering my questions that “our intellectuals are found in bars drinking. They are at the Golf Club, Senior Rooms, and Clubs and in meetings for the poor. There are a lot of alcoholic graduates. Malawian intellectuals work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. They don’t reserve the brain for brainstorming during night.”
Malawians in the Diaspora are just lazy and apathetic to our country. They don’t care about their country back and yet their own parents, brothers, and sisters are here in slam towns and dumpy villages, all of them living in despair. Many have died or are dying of neglect by them. They are dying of Aids because they cannot send help for good drugs and good food. They are waiting for the Azungu to do that for them. They are there calling themselves graduates, researchers and scientists and are fast at articulating their credentials once asked. Oh, I have a PhD in this and that…..PhD my foot!

I think we should wake up. As long as we are dependent on the development plans of Americans or Europeans it will not work. The Chinese, Japanese, Indians even Latinos are better, we Africans are at the bottom of the pole.
I feel we should get over the white skin syndrome and begin to feel confident. Become innovative and make our own stuff with American or European help. Because if we put our skin pigmentations, this black and white crap, aside – is there any difference? Absolutely not! We are the same person that is why you came to Malawi and be initiated in the Chewa tribe and became A Chewa though with a white skin. So why do we feel inferior? Why are we still ragging behind? Are we ‘Lords of Poverty’ as argued in another book? No!! I do believe that, as GenCoo’s vision is to uplift the poor villagers to realize their potential, one day “WE SHALL FIND THE WAY OR WE WILL CREAT ONE” towards the end of poverty in Gencoo Villages.
Africa has got stories of educated people – those who got highest grades in mathematics and the sciences and attained the highest education on the planet. They had been to Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, only to leave us with not a single invention or discovery. I know some by name and read about them doing nothing to their country – not that I am judgmental.

It is true that, since independence, we have failed to nurture creativity and collective development. We as a nation lack a workhorse mentality for development and behave like 14 million civil servants dependent on a government pay cheque. We believe that development is generated from 8 to 5 behind a desk wearing a tie with our degrees hanging on the wall. Such a working environment does not offer the opportunity for fellowship, the excitement or competition, and the spectacle of innovative rituals.
Our journey from 1964 has been marked by tears – well, notably. It has been an emotionally overwhelming experience. Loved ones have died due to poverty, hunger, and diseases that could have been easily healed.
The number of graves is catching up with the current population. It’s time to change our social culture too. It’s time for Malawians intellectuals to cultivate an active, positive and progressive movement that will change our lives forever. Generation Cooperation can be one agent of change.
I am not afraid or dispirited, I want to rise to the challenge and salvage the creative imagination of the remaining few of my beloved ones, friends and partners of GenCoo – Malawi. We shall find the way or we will create one!!!!!

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