On Shithole and faux outrage

Posted by By at 5 February, at 03 : 38 AM Print

On Shithole and faux outrage

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On Shithole and faux outrage


My Books on Amazon

  1. Africa: it shall be well: https://tinyurl.com/sn64ocd
  2. Africa: Destroyed by the gods: https://tinyurl.com/vglfk7w
  3. 18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories: https://tinyurl.com/s7qrp4p

Try and get your copy. And, please, help me share the links.

Kind regards,

Femi Akomolafe


It is funny, and probably a good thing, to see so many Africans coming out to defend their continent, after the US President’s outrageous description of Africa as a shithole.

If only so many of us had not waited for Trump’s lambast to become this passionate about our beloved continent!

The question, however, remains as to whether we were outraged because Mr. Trump told a lie, or because he is a white man who cannot keep his mouth shut.

I ask my question because this exactly is what I have been busy with for over three decades. I have written almost 400 articles urging our people to wake up from their deep slumber and demand better governance from our misrulers (see my blog: www.alaye.biz/category/blog).

I have spent a vast amount of my own time and money traveling around the world to interview prominent Africans to canvass for solutions to our problems (see my website: www.alaye.biz).

The sad truth is that most of us simply do not care about our societies. If we did, there would be no way we would continue to accept all the indignities our misrulers have dished out to us over the years.

Africa would have seen tremendous change and improvement if only we had raised our voices and demanded that our rulers do the job they are paid they to do. If we had made it our business to demand good governance, we would not have situations whereby our mis-governors cushion themselves against all the inhuman conditions in which they force us to live.

I am totally fed up with all the arguments being put forward on why we refuse to join the rest of humanity in lifting ourselves up from the depth of the economic morass we are in.

People have kept quiet, enjoyed their bourgeoise lifestyles and closed their eyes, ears, and mouths to all the inadequacies and wretchedness they have seen around them – including adults openly defecating in broad daylight in our cities. Suddenly, they feel outraged by Trump’s remarks.

Why are they not outraged by the conditions they see daily in Africa?

In response to Trump’s remark, many posted pictures of their well-appointed manses and boasted that they don’t live in shitholes.

That, precisely, is the problem. Of course, it is not every African that lives in a shithole. But enough of our people DO live in shitholes, and that should worry us.

Sadly, it doesn’t. The blessed ones among us live in sickening opulence and close their eyes, ears, mouth and, more importantly, their conscience, to all the rot around them. They do not even care enough to be apathetic.

And what about the African presidents who responded to Trump’s insult like excited Imams?

Would any foreigner be insulting us if these unashamed misrulers had tackled and fixed the problems in their lands? What excuse do these apologies of leaders have for not giving their people food, water, electricity, and decent housing? Instead of taking Trump’s jab on the cheek and accept that they have failed their people, these leaders resorted to issuing stupid tweets.

And, pray, what exactly are they going to do after issuing after their juvenile Tweets? Would they expel the IMF/WB Overlords in their land? Would they ask the US Troops occupying their countries to leave? Would they stop begging for aid from the US or refuse to accept if offered? Would they refuse a summons to the White House?

Shameless African misrulers have sold their countries down the drain, and they come out to posture with false dignity.

And what are we to make of the release by the AU?

What should we think of over-compensated African officials who sit down in their Chinese-donated offices, and depend on foreign donations for their upkeep, who wine and dine themselves silly, refuse to condemn all the misgovernance in Africa, and  refuse to tell the African otiose elite to stop their looting and the oppression of their people, but who now come out to talk about African Dignity?

The AU is the least organization that should puff with false pride; it simply lacks the moral stand to pontificate on African Dignity!

It is, of course, not a good thing to be insulted, especially by foreigners. But rather than for us to huff and puff and beat our chests, it would be more profitable for us to learn from the Asians. Subjected to racialized taunts, the Asians recognized their technical inferiority, went to work and emerged victorious as world-beaters in industrial and technological capabilities. No one today can taunt either Japan or China as inferior beings.

The sad thing is that we would not be the object of ridicule if only we had listened to our ancestors. Frantz Fanon told us a long time ago that “No one treats his imitator like an Equal.”

Dr. Henrik Clarke told us that we cannot consider ourselves independent when we still call on our former colonial masters to do things for us.

Why do we Africans titillate ourselves when the sad truth remains that sixty years after of our so-called ‘independence’ we still cannot feed, clothe or house ourselves without foreign assistance?

Our agriculture relies heavily on foreign inputs. We have no textile industries to talk about – many of our people still buy and wear second-hand clothing from foreign lands, including underwear. The cement we use to build our houses relies on chemicals such as Calcium oxide, Silicon dioxide, Aluminum oxide (alumina), Iron oxide, none of which we produce. This means that we cannot build our houses, or our roads and bridges, without foreign input! 

Those of us puffing with false pride should ask ourselves why sixty years after independence, Ghana still needs  US$3 million World Bank assistance to solve the abysmal sanitation problems in its capital city

Maybe those Ghanaians/Africans expressing outrage at Trump’s remarks should take a look at this piece from my archive, “The Audacity of Looting,” Excerpt: “In a nation that relies on DONOR SUPPORT for more than half its budget, the retiring President was to receive a lump sum of US$ 400,000.

No, we are not talking about the President’s normal pension which is guaranteed in the constitution – this is an ex-gratia award (defined in Encarta as “given voluntarily: given as a gift, favor, or gesture of goodwill, rather than because it is owed). .

The ex-President’s retirement package also includes two houses – one to be in the nation’s capital and the other at any place of his choice. These houses are to be built, furnished and maintained at the state’s expense for the duration of the physical life of the ex-President. And at the expiration of his life, they are to remain the property of his family. Six cars are to be given to the ex-President by grateful citizens vibrating with gratitude.

Lest one should be mistaken that these were to be some jalopies not befitting the status of the former President of a country of Ghana’s standing, the committee’s recommendation clearly spelled out the types of cars to be provided. These are three saloon cars, two cross-country vehicles, and one all-purpose vehicle. And that’s not all as far as the car department is concerned. The six cars are to be bought, insured, fueled and chauffeur-driven at Ghana’s taxpayers’ expense. That’s not all, folks: the cars are to be changed every four years!

The list continues: Appreciative Ghanaians are to provide their retiring President and his spouse free medical care for life. They are also to be provided 24-hours security and police escort to facilitate their movements, as befitting the status of the former first couple. They are also to get an annual budget for ‘entertainment,’ and an ex gratia award equivalent to 18 months consolidated salary, and an additional resettlement grant if he has served two full terms.

And we are not done yet: the ex-first couple is also entitled to travel overseas for a maximum of 65 days at the expense of the poor Ghanaian taxpayers.”- Femi Akomolafe, “The Audacity of Looting

No one would quarrel with a retiring president who wants to go home with his nation’s treasury if only he had been able to fix some major challenges while in office. The sad truth is that Ghana, like almost all African countries, is still mired in underdevelopment that should shock us in this age.

Instead of looking for false analogies, why don’t we concentrate our energies and FOCUS on rebuilding Africa???

Why do those who pointed out ghettos in the USA and other countries, fail to point out what exactly is the difference in the conditions there and what happens in Africa?  It surely is a matter of CAPACITY.

The simple fact which all our rhetoric cannot obfuscate is that while the US has the capacity to fix her problems, WE DO NOT. The reason there are deprived areas in the US is ideological; ours is technical. Should Americans vote in a progressive leader, they can very easily solve the problems that confront them; we cannot.

For those who missed it, here is the link to my article my article, “Respect is not an Entitlement?

We should channel our anger into thinking about the contributions we can make to uplift our sinking societies in Africa.

The truth is that we are so far behind that we should not be wasting our time or energy on responding to Mr. Trump.

Emotional outbursts might be gratifying to some, but it is wasted energy. We are told that Trump does not read, so why play music to the deaf?

Let us remember the Yoruba proverb: Onígbá ló ńfi igbá rẹ̀ kó ilẹ̀ tí wọ́n fi ńpèé ní àkárágbá./It’s the owner that packs refuse with his calabash that makes others call it a broken calabash.

Let us stop the huffing and the puffing. Let us redouble efforts to catch up with the rest of humanity. Let us prove ourselves worthy of our proud African heritage. Let us make Kwame Nkrumah proud by proving to the world that we are capable of governing ourselves.

Let’s all take a good look at the pictures below and ask ourselves if we do not deserve better:



About the Author

Femi Akomolafe, a passionate Pan-Africanist, was one of the PCs Pioneers and ran a Computer Consultancy firm in Amsterdam, the Netherlands for several years, where he also set up the first African Bulletin Board System (BBS), the precursor to the Internet. He also established the first Black Newspaper, The African, in the country.

Femi has been very active in the Pan African Movement since the early 1990s.

A columnist for ModernGhana and a Correspondent for the London-based 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 was also the Man and Machine Coordinator at Alaye Dot Biz Limited, a Kasoa-based Multimedia organization that specializes in Audio and Video Production. He loves to shoot and edit video documentaries.

He is currently engaged in vegetable farming.


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

  1. Freedom Bookshop, near Apollo Theatre, Accra.
  2. WEB Dubois Pan-African Centre, Accra
  3. Ghana Writers Association office, PAWA House, Roman Ridge, Accra.

Where to buy them online:

On Lulu Books:

18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories https://goo.gl/Skohtn

Ghana: Basic Facts + More: https://goo.gl/73ni99

Africa: Destroyed by the gods: https://goo.gl/HHmFfr

Africa: It shall be well: https://goo.gl/KIMcIm


Africa: it shall be well

on Kindle books: https://www.createspace.com/4820404

on Amazon books: http://goo.gl/QeFxbl

on Lulu Books: https://goo.gl/SQeoKD

Africa: Destroyed by the gods

on Kindle books: https://www.createspace.com/4811974


18 African Fables & Short Stories: https://goo.gl/s9tWAf

 on Amazon books: http://goo.gl/1z97ND

on Lulu Books: http://goo.gl/KIMcIm

 My Lulu Books page: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/FemiAkomolafe


Get free promotional materials here:

  1. Africa: it shall be well: http://alaye.biz/africa-it-shall-be-well-introduction-in-pdf/

A FREE Chapter of ‘Africa: It shall be well’ can be downloaded here: http://alaye.biz/africa-it-shall-be-well-a-free-chapter/

  1. Africa: Destroyed by the gods (How religiosity destroyed Africa) http://alaye.biz/africa-destroyed-by-the-gods-introduction/

A FREE Chapter of ‘Africa: Destroyed by the gods’ can be downloaded here: http://alaye.biz/africa-destroyed-by-the-gods-free-chapter/

Read a review here


Contact Femi:

Femi’s Blog:
Website: www.alaye.biz
Femi on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/author/femiakomolafe
Femi Akomolafe’s Lulu Books page: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/FemiAkomolafe
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ekitiparapo
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Femi Alaye;
Gmail+: https://plus.google.com/112798710915807967908;
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/femiakomolafe;
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/fakomolafe
Email: fakomolafe@gmail.com
Profile on New African magazine: http://newafricanmagazine.com/tag/femi-akomolafe/

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


Femi Akomolafe

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