Thursday, May 22, 2008

Africans un-unite!

Afro-pessimissm (n.) - 1. the perception of sub-Saharan Africa as a region too riddled with problems for good governance and economic development.

"Is this what I'm feeling," my friend asks from Cape Town. She's worried. This feeling does not sit well with a native of Africa.

Afro pessimism. That's what we're feeling. And dammit, it's not like you want to!

And to be in a different country, safe and far away from all the doubt and speculation in SA, you feel a little like a pansy. Like you've become one of those people who left SA because they're running from a horrible place with no future.
And I don't believe that.

But here I am. In Korea. With a perfect transportation system. With a capital city that is the safest in the world. I've seen one homeless person - and he looked reasonably happy, eating a can of tuna with pretty chopstix on his warm blanket in the subway.

I want to go back home eventually, but now I'm a little scared to do that. I'm scared to send money home before I've seen the outcome of the next presidential election (what will it do to the exchange rate?).

And I partly blame the media - the only time news from SA is important enough to air, it is bad news. So, that's all I hear.
Partly I blame afro-pessimism. If you believe something bad is going to happen, it probably will - eventually. And you did nothing to prevent it.
But mostly I blame bad government. But this could be a good thing, because governments are changeable and fix-able.

So, speak up, change, keep the most beautiful country beautiful and don't lose hope. But most of all don't be a pansy.
(* Afro-pessimism's definition was found here:

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