Not in Defence of the Chinese Galamseyers

Posted by By at 7 June, at 18 : 03 PM Print

Not in Defence of the Chinese Galamseyers

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Not in Defence of the Chinese Galamseyers

A polemical satire by Femi Akomolafe




Wow, Femi, it has been a long time. How are you keeping?

Yes, o. I am good, thank you very much.

Terribly long time.

You are so right, my friend. How is life treating you?

You don’t want to go there, Femi. It is all lamentations. What happened?

What do you mean by what happened?

You were silent for so long. Why did you keep quiet?


Is that an answer?

What more can man say, my dear friend?

A little explanation will do very nicely, thank you.

You can be persistent, can’t you?

What are friends for? Is there any particular reason why you kept quiet for so long? It is so unlike you. Anyway, I have missed you and your trenchant opinions. Even if I don’t always agree with your iconoclastic stance.

Man need to sit back at times, observe things and…

Sorry to cut in, but I wondered how you managed to do that with all the burning national and internationals issues buffeting us all the time.

You are funny. We will not be alive and be human if we are not buffeted with local, national and international issues, would we?

But at least on the real burning issues that cried for attention, you could have, at least, address those ones and enlighten us with your radical takes on things.

And what difference would that have made. What difference have all the pontifications made?

You are not getting despondent, are you?

That is not in my nature. Nah, man is nots not getting despondent. I Just decided to stay aback to watch and observe things as they sail on their rough trajectories..

Honestly, I expected a pan-Africanist like you to come out with some pungent blows against the Chinese Galamseyers who destroyed our environment and polluted our water bodies.

Did the Chinese do that, now?

What type of question is that now, Femi? What do you mean? Have you not been reading the newspapers?

Indeed, I have been reading newspapers, listening to radio and watching the television. I do my best to follow current affairs. I just wondered why we blame the Chinese for the calamities we invited on ourselves.

You! What do you mean by that? I thought you were a Pan-Africanist! Ha!

It is either you do not know me well, or you do not understand what Pan-Africanism is supposed to mean..…

What is Pan-Africanism supposed to mean if not solidarity among African peoples?

That is too pat and far too simplistic. Pan Africanism does not mean the telling of stupid lies in the name of African solidarity. To my knowledge, it also does not mean burying one’s head in the sand and play the hypocrite, which, I believe is at the root cause of our problem…


Wait and let me explain…


Are the Chinese or the foreigners really to be blamed for degradation of our environment and the pollution of our rivers?

Who else is to be blamed. Have you not seen pictures of them and their equipment?

We are to be blamed, if the truth be told. Our gargantuan selfishness, our boundless greediness, our abject lack of vison and capacity to think beyond the now, our unbridled materialism, our insatiable and gluttonous appetite for easy life, our stupendous unwillingness to face reality, our crass stupidity, our utterly incapability to plan…



Are those not too harsh words to use, Femi

To be honest with you, I wish that I possess harsher words in my vocabulary. I wish that I have the oratorical skills of Robert Ingersoll or Frederick Douglass to rain thunder, brimstone and the rest of the heavy stuffs. It disheartens me to see how utterly hypocritical we can become at times. All we do is to pretend to be good people when we certainly are not. Our stupid and selfish actions belie all our sanctimonious, duplicitous posturing. So, it makes us feel good to blame the Chinese. We feel fulfilled and sanctified to declare ourselves blameless and pour the blame on the foreigners for our mindless and unbounded corruption. We feel good, yes! We are not ones to ask ourselves simple questions. Like, for example: Who invited the Chinese and the Russians and Ukrainians and the rest of the foreigners into the country? Or do we imagine that the Chinese just landed in our forests and start to dig gold? O, we are such wonderful bloody hypocrites and pretenders. We pretend not to see or read or hear evil. We have government, right. Our government has all the appurtenances of a sovereign state – police, armed forces, secret services, etc, etc. All the men and women in these agencies get paid to protect our national interests. Why don’t we ask ourselves why all our officials went to sleep while our forests get despoiled and our rivers polluted beyond redemption? Of course, critical self-examination is beyond us. We are not concerned with self-analyses. That is not in our culture. Since we are such a beautiful, peaceful, god-fearing nice people. it is easy for us to blame foreigners. Don’t we have a president with uncountable ministers? How about our over-compensated members of parliament who do little apart from ratifying loan agreements? Not to mention our professionals in all the sphere of life. And what happened to our glorious journalists, including the so-called senior ones? Where were all these people when our environment gets degraded by illegal miners? Are we to believe that our MPs and our elite do not travel to their villages, towns and regions? Did they all lose their sight and failed to see all the devastations all over the country? Who gave the foreigners residence permits? Who issued them with gun permits? Who provide their gold bullion with security? And you talk of pan-Africanism! And you blame Chinese. Ha!

Are you denying that there are illegal Chinese miners?



It appears that you are not following what I am trying to tell you. It appears that like most of us you hate the truth with passion. It looks like you, like most of our compatriots, finds the truth repulsive. Where did I absolve Chinese or foreigners? No, I did not absolve the foreigners. What I am telling you is that it is blue-blooded Ghanaians who sold out. That is a fact we should not hasten to run away from. Per the law of the land, it is only Ghanaians who are granted license for small-scale mining. It is our own people who obtain these licenses and go abroad to invite foreigners in. It is our chiefs who gave out the lands after receiving their four-wheel jeeps and fat cash payments. We all know these things, yet we pretend and vociferate loudly against Chinese and other foreigners. Honestly, I think the foreigners should gather themselves and take us to international court for duping them.

Femi, you certainly cannot be serious!

And why not?

You are saying that the Chinese should take us to court after they spoiled our environment and polluted our rivers.

Again, it appears that you heard only the things you wanted to hear. No Chinese or foreigners spoil our environment. We are the ones that destroy our own environment. We did that through our greediness and our inability to take thought for the morrow. That is a fact we have to acknowledge. Blaming foreigners make us feel good, but it certainly is not the whole truth.

On whose side, actually, are you?

What do you mean?

I thought a Pan-Africanist will take side with his own people.

You thought wrong. I am on the side of telling unembellished truth. A genuine Pan-Africanist is one that tell his people unalloyed truth all the time. We gain nothing by pretending that we are innocent and blameless in the degradation of our environment. We serve no one’s interests by failing to tell ourselves bitter and unvarnished truth all the time. It is time that we own up and start to look inward – at our own failings. Do you know the saddest part of the whole Galamsey’s saga?

Pray, tell me.

To me, the worst part of our immense tragedy re the galamsey problem is that we have absolutely nothing to show for all our wanton greediness except the utter waste. We sold ourselves far too cheap. In years gone by, our chiefs sold their war captives as slaves for mirrors, gin and gun powder. Far too cheap. The foreign slave raiders made all the money to build up their societies and we have absolutely to show. To Trumpicate things: Too bad. Today, our chiefs and elite sold our precious minerals for pittance –  jeeps and mansions and smartphones. Far too cheap. I have visited both Amsterdam and Antwerp, two European cities that tout themselves as “Diamond Cities”. By polishing and adding value to rough diamond stones, the two cities managed to transformed themselves into ultra-modern cities of excellence and major players in the diamond business. But look at us; we only employ our muscles to dig the gold, we lack the imagination to establish a refinery that will allow us to add some value and earn more income. None of our well-educated officials can come up with ideas that go beyond digging gold ore up and shipping them out in raw state. It is more than sad. I have visited Obuasi, Dunkwa-on-offin, Tarkwa and other mining communities, and it is difficult for me not to shed tears at our stupidity. Just look at the woebegone sight that confront you at Obuasi! The town is even sinking. And that is a town in which gold has been mined for over a century. We ended up with nothing, absolutely nothing except devastation that makes the eyes sore and teary.



About the Author

Femi Akomolafe is a passionate Pan-Africanist. A columnist for the Accra-based Daily Dispatch newspaper and ModernGhana, and Correspondent for the New African magazine. Femi lives in both Europe and Africa, and writes regularly on Africa-related issues for various newspapers and magazines.

Femi was the producer of the FOCUS ON AFRICANS TV Interview programme for the MultiTV Station.

He is also the CEO of Alaye Dot Biz Limited Dot Biz, a Kasoa-based Multimedia organisation that specialises in Audio and Video Production. He loves to shoot and edit video documentaries.

His highly-acclaimed books (“Africa: Destroyed by the gods,” “Africa: It shall be well,” “18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories”, “47 Careers for the Unemployed Graduate,” and “Ghana: Basic Facts + More”) are now available for sales at the following bookshops/offices:

  1. Freedom Bookshop, near Apollo Theatre, Accra.
  2. The Daily Dispatch Office, Labone – Accra
  3. WEB Dubois Pan-African Centre, Accra
  4. Ghana Writers Association office, PAWA House, Roman Ridge, Accra.
  5. African Kitchen in Amsterdam Bijlmer

Read Introductions here

Where to buy them online:

On Lulu Books:

18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories

Ghana: Basic Facts + More:

Africa: Destroyed by the gods:

Africa: It shall be well:


Africa: it shall be well

on Kindle books:

on Amazon books:

on Lulu Books:


Africa: Destroyed by the gods

on Kindle books:

on Amazon books:

on Lulu Books:


My Lulu Books page:


Get free promotional materials here:

  1. Africa: it shall be well:

A FREE Chapter of ‘Africa: It shall be well’ could be downloaded here:

  1. Africa: Destroyed by the gods (How religiosity destroyed Africa)

A FREE Chapter of ‘Africa: Destroyed by the gods’ could be downloaded here:

Read a review here

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Kindly help me share the books’ links with your friends and, grin, please purchase your copies.


Femi Akomolafe


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