Ghanaian writer, Ayi Kwei Armah, wrote some 51 years ago in his novel “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born” that the political Messiah’s; non-corrupt, selfless, competent, intelligent, compassionate and far-sighted leaders and citizens of Africa are not yet born.
Where are the beautiful ones of Africa? Have they not grown? How long will the departure of our heroes continue to lay us bereft of hope?
The cloud has put to birth—but the showers of its birth are scanty. The African soil has to be pregnant of seeds, but the prowess of the showers are frail, flows too shallow, cannot deliver her of her bounties.
Why do the African showers rain scanty? Why do they faint at the rattling of the ‘rays’? Why do they drowse and storm below their weight?
Mama Africa sows her seeds, she delivers not the juice but the pangs of agonies. Her fields lie fallow, her forests lay waste, scanty of shrubs and trees. Because, though the cloud has delivered of her beauty, the beauty has not delivered of her effort.
The beautiful ones of Africa have been born truly, but they are not doing beautiful things. The clouds did deliver and set precedence, but this precedence, the paths most have deserted.
What is it in beauty when it cannot reflect beyond itself? What is beauty when it lacks the will to stem the tide of fellow distress? Then for beauty to be beauty truly, it must not only be within, but it must also rise, flow out and war, treat and address until beauty beautifies the ugly beasts of things in the society.
The present African youthful populace is more, from every factual evidence, smarter and intelligent than their previous generations. The turbulent wind of globalization has ensured the widespread of intelligence, awareness and enlightenment.
The African continent now produces more graduates than ever witnessed of the previous academic generations. They are good users of ICT, internet gurus; we’ve become more informed than ever!
If information then is power, given the beauty of intelligence, smartness and awareness that accompanies it, Africa’s present youthful population is expected to do more for the continent or should have done more as the case should be.
Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyere, Patrice Lumumba, Obafemi Awolowo and a host of other departed clouds of heroes had little at their disposal, however, they strove hard to give more. The African youth must then prove the true beauty we have been made of by the education, enlightenment and greater awareness we’ve received through the benefit of a more interconnected world.
How did the African continent thrive when it had fewer intellectuals then than it has now across its breadth and width?
How did the African continent survive the claws and entanglement of the colonial tie when there were just a few pockets of individuals with the beauty of education, enlightenment and political awareness in its stock?
Now we have them immeasurable! Since we are greater in counts—the African continent should soar!
We cannot just claim to be intellectuals, philosophers, scientists, engineers, and other academics and professional tycoons without sitting up to do something for Mama Africa and not always for ourselves. This is because the beauty of these professions is never in themselves, they are much more in what we are passionate about, what we have to offer. We must be passionate about healing the societal ills! We must learn to offer ourselves in selfless spirit.
This calls for a united front, and this marks the difference between us–plenty but less performing generation of intellectuals, and them–scanty but more achieved past generation of intellectuals. There is a notable symbiotic relationship, mutual focus and mass support, fueled by the spirit of nationalism that can be recorded among them.
This shows that where unity thrives – where the incense of national glory burns wider and farther than individualistic pursuits, the intellectual number-count ceases to matter. When there’s unity, much can be achieved with little.
There are a few nationalists we could point at today in Africa. No matter what they’ve done, not much have gone ahead to surpass the feat of the ones past.
But we cannot forever live to feed on the efforts of our departed heroes. New nationalists with the beauty of education, enlightenment and awareness must rise to the occasion of germinating the seeds they’ve sown.
If one generation has sown the seed even with little at their disposal, another generation with more must rise to water, another must awake to these vision and reality to weed, and another must reinvigorate itself to treat, another must prune. The joy is not that we may live to eat of the fruits, the joy is that we may live to be forever in the heart of the eating generations.
Mother Africa is pregnant. The cloud has delivered of her beauty. The beauty must deliver to germinate her seeds!