During long bus trips, like the one I’m enduring now, I think about how historically, so much was taken from Africa.
Not just slaves, but potential.
The loss of this potential has had exponential ramifications.
So many countries benefitted from the plight imposed on these African people.
But today I’m seeing strife. No real change, sure people have cheap Chinese scooters, but what do these African children have to look forward to?
Becoming taxi drivers.
While the Chinese make small gains on exporting bikes and glossy garbage.
The real objective is creating dependency.
Cheap phones. Bikes. Roads. Medicine.
Now we have a relationship.
Let’s work together to disadvantage your people.
It’s a zero sum game.
No winners, in the long run, despite the Chinese assertion to the contrary.
Actions have reactions.
All actions are a result of a reaction.
Momentum however stubborn can be arrested, then changed.
The children here are trying to sell me peanuts in a gin bottle.
It’s Monday afternoon. I’m waiting for my bus while watching a little girl walk around touching garbage with a teddy bear strapped to her back.
Her mom drops balls of wet flour into sizzling oil until they float, then sells them for pennies.
One day soon, her daughter will be doing the same.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola will sell billions of dollars worth of products here then abandon any effort to install an infrastructure to recycle their garbage.
How is that allowed?
The Chinese and their infrastructure contracts are making parts of Africa better short term sure, but what’s Africa going to look like in 50 years?
Congo, Benin, Gabon, Ethiopia and Kenya, all pay China to build cheap roads.
Roads that corporate China then uses to export African resources.
Then China uses these roads to import cheap Chinese made products, made from the very same African resources.
It’s 2019 and I’m watching a little boy fill wine bottles with yellow gasoline.
Meanwhile, my pronoun paranoid culture is addicted to Netflix, while here in Africa, a 30 year old woman is already grandmother.
We can give so much to these people and don’t.
I don’t mean money either, fuck that stuff.
I mean coming to Africa and not being afraid.
Not being suspicious of people.
Just being yourself.
This action alone will have a positive reaction, that could inspire a kid, who could change the trajectory of this entire cultural meteor.
I assure you atrocities are in action here, that must be reckoned with.
How can so much beauty exist around this much suffering?
It’s a contrast I can hardly acknowledge.