Will African Nations be saved by bureaucrats reciting jargon, coining acronyms with a heap of journals and tablets towering by their sides? No idea. Yesterday, they were off to the countryside for a political retreat, today, they are sited in big restaurants and maybe tomorrow it will be a diplomatic meeting at the African Union headquarters in Addis. The agenda is simple and appears so real, saving the continent from the dragon of sweet poison (grants) from the western countries.
The end result is a perfect reflection of The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah. Corruption has robbed off tenderness from our esteemed “Honorable” leaders. With a replica of the analogies therein as used by Ayi. His claims remaining valid, “Sometimes it is understandable that people spit so much, when all around decaying things push inward and mix all the body’s juices with the taste of rot. Sometimes it is understandable, the doomed attempt to purify the self by adding to the disease outside.” (Ayi 1960) Funds are the next target, long tendering process, unrealistic formula in arriving at the market price of in-existing goods and services
Ayi Kwei Armah’s, The Beautiful Ones are not yet Born, is certainly one of the most influential literature works of the 60s as well as the most loosely quoted or misused title. His claims still remains valid 50+ years since its first publication by the Ghanaian author. Written in such a time when the young Ghana was undergoing through a transition from colonial oppression to independence. Nevertheless, corruption was also navigating its way and probably taken roots in the public offices and a better part of Nkrumah’s government.
Ngûgî Wa Thiong’o’s child still weeps 50 years plus after it was nursed, sobered up, promised hope and maybe the start of breastfeeding. Ironically, the Jubilee celebrations of the book was done at such a time the child was agonizing after being malnourished, under fed and overworked. The two authors had something in common which could still be what units a people together many years down the line. Since the time Kwameh Nkrumah and the then Jomo Kenyatta of Ghana and Kenya respectively gave hope to the young countries, it’s citizen are yet to reap from the gardens of colonial dominance.
Year after another, the delegation still meets, funds are pumped into the projects, commissions are formed and the end remains so promising. Unfortunately, African Nations have accumulated more debts in the recent years than they ever did for decades. The song is still sung even louder. The Beautiful ones are not yet born. However, some governments have shown commitments, but the bureaucrats are killing it all. The process remains the same with corruption becoming a delegate among the bureaucrats. Will bureaucrats really save the Nations?
Soon or soonest, the beautiful ones will be born and Ngûgî’s child will weep no more.