Social media is full of bellicose individuals, whose entire pursuit is to belittle and demean others, while touting their own greatness, by displaying their certificates and achievements in one religious, academic or technical field and career or another.
“I have 10 years’ experience”; “I have 3 Master’s degrees and 2 PhDs”; “I know the President, personally”; “Do you know who my dad is?” “I have been in politics longer than you have been alive”; “I had a personal revelation from God”… on and on they go, before they drop the final pieces of their braggadocious bombs on their hapless targets: “What have YOU got to show for yourself? You are nothing, worthless, unqualified to speak in my presence, let alone breathe the rarified air that I breathe.”
This structure of arrogant aggression spreads through the various strata of social media ‘hierarchy’, which mirrors the existing societal hierarchy, where those who have a little more than the rest exert their own version on them, and on and on. Turning social media interactions into virtual minefields and battlefields which explode, every now and then, with varying degrees of hostility, and the outcome yields new ‘kings of the castle’. Social media has become a place where a simple conversation or comment can be misconstrued and twisted to mean almost anything under the sun, causing many to retreat into silence or direct messages where they have conversations that are ‘saner’ and more controlled. And the trend is not stopping.
But the worst part of all that is, these arrogant online braggarts are either a reflection of the self-proclaimed ‘elites’ who are running the affairs of the governments, businesses, INGOs and whatnot, that are said to keep society going… or they are a part of them. Imagine a world or system that is controlled by people with such sick and arrogant attitudes. So you do not have to wonder to much why life is the way it is.
As they walk around proclaiming their ‘greatness’, they spare not one thought for the true reality that is playing out around them, in the domains where they are said to have ‘stamped’ their authority or left their mark. By doing so, they miss the opportunity for humility to catch up with them, and to cause them to have a life-saving change of course. And because of their missed opportunities, the younger generation, within the space of their influence are left unguided or at best influenced negatively. So, these self-claimed experts go about flaunting their peacock feathers but remain irrelevant for things that really matter.
Mister, Madam or Doctor degree holder will not blink an eye as they drive past rivers that are black with pollutants and full of filth, on their way to receive an award for their work in improving their environment. Reverend or Archbishop so-and-so will rest easy, in garments lined with gold, and bejeweled ornaments adorning their fingers, while little children play in the filth around the black rivers of death, eating maggots because the poor little humans thought they are rice, and throwing their poop away in plastic bags. The ‘men of God’ act as if the gold were their birthright, instead of the works of compassion they claim to align themselves to. The Minister or Permanent Secretary of Education, with all their various degrees and qualifications, will not think it dumb to use the instruments of state to fight against the parents of the children they are saying they want to ‘educate and empower’, and to force their compliance to their will, despite abundant evidence and feedback from the parents and the children that the educational program they are insisting on rolling out is not working for the people they are supposed to be serving.
Lawyers and judges alike, who enjoy regaling or disparaging each other with fancy words and statutes, will not pause for a moment to consider the high levels of injustice in their land, when the man who stole US$2 is imprisoned for years, while the one who stole US$2 billion goes free, because of ‘who he is’, or who he paid off, and he is allowed to steal again. Mr President or Prime Minister have no qualms enjoying the bounty of the land and selling it to former and new colonizers, while the men and women who fought for their country’s independence, and their children are living in abject poverty, ignored and rejected.
Financial and economic experts will not consider that all their fancy economic modeling is not working, in the light of the increasing gap between those who have money and those who do not, plunging those who do not into desperate economic times – they will not think that it matters that one person lacks while the other has more than they can use. They actually think that is how the system works, because that is what they were taught in their fine-fine business schools and courses. Medical professionals will use complex treatments for conditions that were caused either by the complex medical treatments they used before, or by the chemicals that were put in the food and water that their patients consumed. And they will hail themselves and each other for their innovation and savvy in solving a problem that no one else could solve – while the cause of the disease goes unknown, misunderstood or continues to thrive out in the environment. But not one of these so-called experts will stop to consider that things in the continent around us are not actually working, and, perhaps, a different approach is needed.
All of these so-called ‘experts’ are so jammed up by their papers, that their brains are full of technical words and terminologies that have blocked their eyes, ears and hearts from understanding that neither the bragging about their training, nor the complexity of solutions that they offer are getting them or Afrika anywhere. They keep missing the simple points like: The more medication we need, the less healthy it shows that we are. And, rather than fixing the issue of health at its root, they choose, instead to build more hospitals and brag about their health ‘care’ budgets. So, instead of dealing with the capitalist food and water system that is using toxic chemicals in their production, and which are the real culprit in the rise of health issues globally, they borrow more money to build hospitals and health centers, which are almost nothing more than breeding grounds for our collective health ignorance. For that there are more hospitals than factories, community farms and playgrounds should show us that we are not healthy, and that our health priorities are warped.
They will not consider that the more debt a government incurs, the more they are trapped by the lender into agreements that compromise the sovereignty of their nations and that instead, a more mindful path of building with available resources that which can be built, would be the more reasonable approach. They will not consider that the more a tax authority burdens the citizens of the country, the less the people have and, within a very short time, the less taxes they will be able to collect from them, whereas allowing them room to grow will do the same for the economy as a whole. They will not consider that the more chemicals we spray on plants in order to ensure that they are yielding food, the more death we introduce into our soils, water, environment and bodies, when, rather, we should find out how things are meant to work in a healthy and safe way, and do that. This way we actually restore health to the environment, plants, animals and ourselves.
They will not see that having a clean environment is as easy as closing down factories producing toxic waste, cleaning up the land and water and moving forward with production techniques that are actually safer, cleaner and healthier. They will not remember that the resources of the land are for use by the people of that land and that providing access to resources like land, clean water and indigenous and strong seed can go a long way towards stabilizing economies, more than sitting on hundreds of thousands of idle acres (or those under toxic farming) can ever do for the people.
Because, at the end of the day, life is simply about seeing each other, seeing the needs, and finding simple, sincere ways to resolve issues, in order to ensure that each one has the ability to live in dignity all of their days. These ‘experts’ are only good at regurgitating what they heard in class, what they saw during a ‘benchmarking tour’, or what their masters in the west or east tell them is good for Afrika – rather than simply using their eyes, ears and noses to find the problem, and using their hearts to meet the real need.
Instead, they prefer to blind themselves and destroy their senses with their expertise, and white papers and statistics, when the solution actually requires them to just follow the river upstream, find out what is causing the mess and take a shovel to remove it. They do not see that their papers are actually a part, or a cause of the problem, because they have been blinded by the lies that they were taught in school by people who were taught those same lies. And they have been poisoned by the pride that comes from embracing the lies that their degrees, diplomas and accolades tell them – and from forgetting who they really are.
And so, they spend time on social media making others feel inadequate and useless for not flying on the same airplanes, staying in the same hotels, or driving in the same cars that they do. Even when those people work just as hard as them or even more so, to earn a basic wage. Instead of realizing that society in Afrika just needs a different approach than their papers conned them into taking.
It is shameful to try to create some kind of aspirational culture, when the thing that we are pushing people to aspire towards has nothing but death to offer in return. Of what use is it to aspire to own or live in a 3-bedroom house, or drive some fancy 4×4, when the path to getting it means that you step on the heads of others to get there, or cause their deaths or oppression in the process?
Are we saying that Afrikan society is a ‘by any means necessary’ society? The kind that takes pleasure in baring one’s breasts or bank balances in order to get one’s way? Is this what we are saying that our children should aim for? That they should do all to get a scholarship from one organization in the UK, or the US, or China that will grant them a degree that opens them up to a job in government or civil society… and in return they then become the kind of person that betrays their country, by opening the doors to these foreign countries to pursue their wicked goals in Afrika? Or are we saying that it is morally ok to allow highly toxic materials to be dumped in any part of Afrika because of money? Knowing full well that the only reason why those who brought those materials to Afrika was because they knew the level of toxicity those materials carry and the effects on their own people. But we allow it in our land, not caring what danger we put our people in.
Are we so blind that we cannot see the levels of foreign control and their tools of manipulation anymore? Simply because we want to have the kind of recognition, residence, or motor vehicle that others have? We must understand that this, what we are building in Afrika, is a culture of prostitution of the highest level and anyone who does not recognize this whoredom has been blinded by the lies of the papers that grant them the titles and access to spaces that they so desperately sought and still seek.
There is a problem with these ‘modern’ societies that we are trying so desperately to build in Afrika. They are consuming our souls to the extent and the degree that we have forgotten who we are and what we are supposed to offer ourselves, each other and the world. And this has to stop. It is shocking the levels of deprivation and degradation that we have sunk to as a people. This is something Nigerian musician, Brymo, captures in his song, Down, in one of the most apt descriptions of societal decay:
Something dey go round town
People dey go downtown
Some people dey stand around
You wanna to know, go downtown
Them say the Chief
E dey sleep with the thief wife
Aboki for corner
E dey sleep with the chief wife
The neighbor daughter, carry belle for the thief child
Something dey go round town
People dey go downtown
The world is spinning round round
The world is going downtown
People dey go uptown
Anyway anyhow now now
Chop your own and clean mouth now
We print and loot and share around
Them say the priest
E dey pray for the thief
Shadaka for Allah
Blood for the spirit
People no bother
Dem they wait on the Lord fa
Something dey go round town
People dey go downtown
The world is spinning round round
The world is going downtown
Something dey go round town
People dey slam head for ground
Dem say garri still cost for town
Few people dey smile
More dey frown
You can watch his video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALSbiS4zHvs
Basically, what Brymo is describing in his song is the state of the nations and how we close our eyes to the evils and rot, while mostly covering them up with religious nonsense. We steal, loot and share public funds among our friends and associates, while the man on the street barely has what to eat or feed his family with. And because we are not paying attention nor heeding the voice of reason, the world is literally going downtown. So it feels ok that the priest prays for the thief to continue stealing, while the daughter of the local chief is impregnated by the thief. A smelly situation that can only be called shameful. A merry-go-round of a foolish and mindless society that is not paying attention to the fact that when things go round, they always come back around.
We need to be very afraid of the culture that we are creating for Afrika. It has to dawn on us now, today, this instant, that the more degrees, diplomas, and theological experts we seem to acquire as a people, the worse things seem to get, and that perhaps we are missing the point of it all. Blindly embracing what we were told by the people who oppressed, tortured, sold, raped and murdered our grandparents, and great grandparents for their own personal gain; and who are still working behind the scenes controlling Afrika, is FOOLHARDY to say the least. Accepting their version of reality, their version of education, their version of society, their version of morality, without running it through the appropriate filters has cost Afrika more than we can ever imagine or understand.
Mothers are running around on social media sharing content and perspectives about their lives that are so deeply personal and explicit that I often wonder if they realize that their children and their children’s friends either already are, or will soon be on these same platforms. I wonder if they know that children learn more by example than by talk-talk. But you know the reason why they are not conscious of it or sensitive to it? They think themselves to be sophisticated, grown up and wise in the ways of the world by talking about sizes of men’s private parts, and their or their partners’ sexual prowess, in the most profane ways in public spaces. And if you do not approve, they toss you an irritated and dismissive ‘You do you boo’, as they continue to recruit those of like mind.
It is the Hollywood and Kardashian phenomenon, which has blinded many into thinking that the display of foolishness and immorality are acceptable forms of social interaction and engagement. Never for once do they seem to think that there is cost and consequence for these seeds that they are sowing in society.
When you have an elected Afrikan government official proudly talking about how her underage teen daughter is schooled in the use of contraceptives, bragging that they will get them a vaccine for an STD, a vaccine whose consequences will only be known in 30 years; while others are pushing for abortion to be legalized; while yet others are pushing the LGBTQI agenda with all strength and force, while unseating or browbeating those who are standing against it… you ought to know that you have big problems on your hands.
Fathers are also running around on social media doing the same, each group appears to be trying to out-profane the other. With the men flashing their cash, fine clothes, alcohol and multiple affairs with women for all to see, not thinking that the basis for this foolishness came from corrupt and idiotic 90s music videos, which were designed specifically to accentuate the so-called ‘good life’ of big houses, clubbing, womanizing, alcohol, designer clothes and drug use. They do not stop to consider for one moment that this mindset actually succeeded in infecting a generation of men, and women who carried the infection on to the next generations by their mimicry of these fake manufactured lifestyles. Living out their endorsements of the foolishness they aspired to, while setting an example for the younger to copy… and boy, have they ever risen to the occasion! We have a lot to be ashamed of and sorry for.
Governments and businesses in Afrika are experts in the push for uselessness and lifelessness on their people by creating societies that are based on futility. I mean, what do you really expect when you push your citizens into debt and your youth, in particular, towards gambling? As though these are positive or sustainable methods through which to help people grow or to keep people occupied. To then stand back in shock when the results of these activities are revealed is utter hypocrisy. Discovering that your people overextended themselves through easy access to credit, and are now dodging the consequences by skiving debt repayments (just like the government). Or finding out that your young men and women have no idea who they are and believe that ‘good life’ is the result of shortcuts and quick gains. Well, all these ‘experts’ better keep in mind that an explosion in society is well on its way. And no one will enjoy its outcomes.
I wonder sometimes whether these ‘experts’ actually believe that the outcomes they are getting from their various activities and interventions are good. Do they believe that these are the ultimate achievements for mankind to aspire towards? Or do they just believe that, per what they were taught in school, that they are now at the pinnacle of all things that man can do? Is that why they brag? Is there nothing more that they feel within them pushing them to interrogate the world around them or their own choices and actions? Or, could it be, that they are too afraid to admit to themselves and to those around them that what they are all doing, individually and collectively, just does not seem to be producing anything worthwhile, and that the whole system just needs to be scrapped? Perhaps, deep down inside, they know that we simply need to go back to basics. Are they ignoring niggling doubts and worries? Are they ignoring that inner voice inside that is telling them that they are sitting on a steaming pile of poo and they are responsible for cleaning it up? We can do better and we must do better, before its too late to even do anything at all.
Wisdom is justified by her children, and currently the children of these Afrikan ‘experts’ are pointing to a dark, dark wisdom, whose only output for society, and the world, is uselessness, futility and lifelessness. Time for humility to reign, so that right thinking can be restored and pure wisdom prevail.
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Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine and the host of Msingi Afrika Television. Her hope is to see the Truth shared, with all who will listen, for the transformation of the people and the continent of Afrika - and the world. She believes passionately in the critical role that Afrika and Afrikans have to play on earth right now and hopes to ignite the spark that will cause them to see and believe who they are, so that they can live out their Truest lives for the remainder of their days.