Intellectual Bankruptcy of the African Elite
"The African elite has been a total failure; they cannot
raise their heads in the community of scholars or the intelligentsia.
They want to continue to sit at the head of the totem pole, being
spoon-fed, rather than at the head of the battle line leading the masses
of Black people throughout the world. That they have not been able to
understand that the total Black race is under economic slavery is a
testament to their half-education and illiteracy.
A community cannot survive when its so-called educated citizens are
morally and intellectually bankrupt and decrepit. You cannot have a
community whose intelligentsia are mere parasites of other
cultures.....**It is any wonder then that we go to school and still come
In a highly provocative piece culled from his book, Capitalist Nigger:
The Road to Success, pp. 97-119, Chika Onyeani concludes that the
African educated elite is a failure, an individual who is not useful to
the society, either in Africa or even as migrants.
Africans are not a forceful people, neither are they aggressive to the
point of a fight to the finish. We are not resolute in our commitment
to a goal and lack the devil-may-care doggedness needed to scale a Mount
Everest or the Himalayas. We are easily influenced and distracted in
pursuit of a quest to reach a set goal and to be the best that are
destined for us. Intellectually, we are bankrupt and decrepit. We have
a very short attention span, and have a very short burst of energy which
easily extinguishes in the face of impediment.
We prefer to be parasites of a culture which we had no hand in creating,
a Caucasion culture which took them years to perfect, and which we
cannot easily emulate in its basic tenets - a predisposition to make
wars not only on themselves but more so on others for intimidation and
supremacy. Unlike his Caucasian counterpart, the African is a
compassionate fool, easily influenced to hospitality of known enemies
because of their acts of deceitful intentions.
The balkanization of Africa by the six Caucasian nations, Britain,
France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Germany, resulted in the creation of
disparate and at best, baseless boundaries, countries without geographic
significance. The fig ht to gain independence, was not so much the
aggressive pursuit of the goal of independence by African leaders, as
the realization by the Europeans that they had looted all that they
needed to loot from Africa. The leaders of Africa who benefited from
the handout of independence to African countries had no concept of the
ideals of rulership they were inheriting other than their desire to
displace the Europeans in their oppression of masses of the people and
their opulent lifestyles with the resources of the people.
These leaders' vision was in stark contrast to that of Nelson Mandela
and Kenyatta, the Kenyan Mau Mau leader, Kwame Nkrumah, Mwalimu Nyerere,
and Nnamdi Azikiwe, all of whom were ready to give up their lives in
pursuit of the freedom of their people. They understood what it was to
be independent and free and were ready to give their lives to attain
that goal. The lack of commitment to the real meaning of freedom and
independence by those African leaders who "won" independence for their
respective countries from their former colonial masters has done more to
impugn the intelligence of the Blackman and raise more questions about
his ability to govern himself.
Today, Africa is worse off than when it gained independence from the
former colonial masters. The standard of living of the masses has
decreased steadily since gaining independence to the extent that now
there is more malnutrition, more diseases, less provision of essential
services, such as good roads, clean drinking water, good health care
provision and less freedom to express one's views. The promise of
independence has hardly been fulfilled.
Africa has incurred more debt, yet has nothing to show for it. The debts
incurred were used more for grandiose projects than for services to
benefit the people, such as the late Houphuet-Boigny's $1 billion to
build the so-called biggest and best known Cathedral in his remote
village in Yarmousoukro in the Ivory Coast. That is $1 billion to build
a Cathedral that is now not being utilized by the people, a large amount
of money gone down the drain. Was it necessary to build such a Cathedral
and deny the people essential services?
The issue in this portion of the book is not so much to show that the
leaders have not provided the leadership which would make us proud and
show that we can stand on equal footing with the rest of the world, but
rather to show the intellectual bankruptcy of the so-called African
elite. The elite, rather than the majority of the crude African
leadership, stand out as the single group which has damaged Africa most
because of their quest for an easy life of luxury. This is the group
that took over the baton from the former colonial rulers. They took over
the opulent life lived by the oppressors. Rather than eliminate the
excesses of the Caucasian masters, the elite saw their takeover as an
opportunity to double the pain of the masses of the people. Their claim
to the throne vacated by the Caucasians was that they had gone to
school, an education in which practical learning was not a requirement.
The elite inherited the European's position; he inherited his huge
offices; he inherited his more than 10 messengers; he inherited his sex
on demand from his numerous secretaries; he inherited his disrespect of
his subordinates; he inherited more than three cars; he inherited his
huge houses with several servants and drivers. He inherited his demand
for unquestioned authority and obedience. He was pampered beyond human
endurance by the masses who expected to see a difference from Caucasian
behavior. Instead they found that their behavior, in most cases, was
more tyrannical than their Caucasian predecessors. But the elite's
excesses would not be allowed to go on forever unchallenged;
unfortunately, the challenge came from the wrong quarters - the military.
One by one, African governments were taken over by military men of
questionable character - immoral and illiterates such as Idi Amin of
Uganda, Emperor Bokassa of the Central African Republic, Sergeant Doe of
Liberia, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Sani Abacha of Nigeria. Jammeh of
the Gambia is the latest in a line of idiots who seized power because
they possessed the gun, and then quickly seized the ballot box in a
corrupt election to declare themselves democractically elected.
The greatest sin of the African elite is not opening their mouths to
challenge these despots. They feared for their opulent lifestyles.
They feared losing their presents of money stolen from the masses for
their prostitutes; they feared being deprived of air conditioned homes
when the masses are out in the streets without electricity; they feared
their swimming pools not being filled with water when the average man
could not even get a clean drinking water and had to depend on polluted
and infected streams to get his water; they did not want to be deprived
of attending Clubs and drinking free drinks at the expense of the
masses; they did not want to be deprived of trotting around the globe.
The Europeans, on the other hand, decided to let these buffoons be
perceived as having taken over, and they exercised, and continue to
exercise, power over these puppets in any major decision making.
Unfortunately for the African elite, the buffoonery called the African
military had their own ideas of personal enrichment and aggrandizement.
The elite was the first to congratulate any military idiot who seized
power and protest how their predecessors had corrupted the country and
looted its treasury. They danced to the tune of the new dictator in the
hope that they would be spared their opulent lifestyle. But the
military being who they are, preferred to spend the country's largess
and money on their string of loose women rather than on the comfort of
the elite and the provision of essential services to the masses of the
people. They cut off their privileges and curtailed their attempts to
question why their lifestyles were being scrapped. Those who attempted
to question the military, were quickly jailed or executed to send a
message of intimidation to others never to attempt such a "disrespect of
constituted authority." At the first sign of a contraction of their
lifestyle, most of the elite packed up and fled Africa, to the United
States and Canada, and others to European nations. Today, there are about 2.5 million Africans in the United States of
America. The majority are the elites who fled and the new elites who
are planning to return to an extravagant life of abundance. Hence, the
African immigrant group has been declared by the U.S. Census Bureau as
the most educated immigrant group in America. But beyond the fact that
he is highly educated, the African immigrant, unlike his Indian, Chinese
and other immigrant counterparts, has not had any visible impact on
America. Most are still caught up in their loss of opulent lifestyles
in Africa, and have not been able to assimilate into a society which
does not recognize whether you are a "prince," a "chief," a "commoner,"
son or daughter of wealthy parents, but only recognizes what you have
accomplished by yourself.
There is this nauseating nostalgia about "life back home, where I had
seven servants, who washed and ironed my clothes, where I did not know
where the kitchen was situated in my own house, where I had five drivers
for my five cars, where I could have as many women as I wanted, where I
rubbed shoulders with powers that be, where everybody called me
Sir/Madam, where people understood that I was a very important person
(v.i.p .), where I took 30% of all contracts I awarded. Now I am just a
number in America SS: 123456789. In America, nobody knows who I am and
hardly cares; they don't recognize that I am a prince or chief who is a
security guard, right? .... on and on, ad infinitum ad nauseam.
The so-called educated African in America is tragically damaged
psychologically between his concept of his own importance and the
reality of American life. Many have been living in a dream world of
returning home to grandeur, and avoid being assimilated in the American
society until their coffin has to be sent back to their homeland,
without accomplishing anything: avoidance of participation in the
American way of life, which is looked on as inferior, and the reality of
not having made any contributions to a continent which is beckoning for
people with ideas to return to contribute to the economic development of
Africans talk incessantly about their homelands - they know everything
that happens there. They criticize everything. They will sit and talk
a whole day about the leaders who are creating one problem or another,
without ever offering solutions. They have all kinds of organizations
- compounds, villages, towns, counties, provinces, states, countries
- the missions of which are the betterment of the area back in Africa,
but which in actual fact is used for displaying the same self-importance
which the American society had denied them.
Saturday after Saturday, Sunday after Sunday, there is this meeting or
that meeting. People come there, list all their degrees, the schools
they attended, the positions they occupied back home, their parents'
standings in society. By the time they finish reciting all their
accolades, the time for the meeting has more than elapsed and the same
happens the next meeting.
Le Mensonge peut courir un an, la vérité le rattrape en un jour, dit le sage Haoussa
se SURPASSER ,ne JAMAIS ABDIQUER,TOUJOURS RESTER HUMBLE