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Say what??

You Lazy (Intellectual) African Scum!

So I got this in my email this morning…


They call the Third World the lazy man’s purview; the sluggishly slothful and languorous prefecture. In this realm people are sleepy, dreamy, torpid, lethargic, and therefore indigent—totally penniless, needy, destitute, poverty-stricken, disfavored, and impoverished. In this demesne, as they call it, there are hardly any discoveries, inventions, and innovations. Africa is the trailblazer. Some still call it “the dark continent” for the light that flickers under the tunnel is not that of hope, but an approaching train. And because countless keep waiting in the way of the train, millions die and many more remain decapitated by the day.

“It’s amazing how you all sit there and watch yourselves die,” the man next to me said. “Get up and do something about it.”

Brawny, fully bald-headed, with intense, steely eyes, he was as cold as they come. When I first discovered I was going to spend my New Year’s Eve next to him on a non-stop JetBlue flight from Los Angeles to Boston I was angst-ridden. I associate marble-shaven Caucasians with iconoclastic skin-heads, most of who are racist.

“My name is Walter,” he extended his hand as soon as I settled in my seat.

I told him mine with a precautious smile.

“Where are you from?” he asked.


“Zambia!” he exclaimed, “Kaunda’s country.”

“Yes,” I said, “Now Sata’s.”

“But of course,” he responded. “You just elected King Cobra as your president.”

My face lit up at the mention of Sata’s moniker. Walter smiled, and in those cold eyes I saw an amenable fellow, one of those American highbrows who shuttle between Africa and the U.S.

“I spent three years in Zambia in the 1980s,” he continued. “I wined and dined with Luke Mwananshiku, Willa Mungomba, Dr. Siteke Mwale, and many other highly intelligent Zambians.” He lowered his voice. “I was part of the IMF group that came to rip you guys off.” He smirked. “Your government put me in a million dollar mansion overlooking a shanty called Kalingalinga. From my patio I saw it all—the rich and the poor, the ailing, the dead, and the healthy.”

“Are you still with the IMF?” I asked.

“I have since moved to yet another group with similar intentions. In the next few months my colleagues and I will be in Lusaka to hypnotize the cobra. I work for the broker that has acquired a chunk of your debt. Your government owes not the World Bank, but us millions of dollars. We’ll be in Lusaka to offer your president a couple of millions and fly back with a check twenty times greater.”

“No, you won’t,” I said. “King Cobra is incorruptible. He is …”

He was laughing. “Says who? Give me an African president, just one, who has not fallen for the carrot and stick.”

Quett Masire’s name popped up.

“Oh, him, well, we never got to him because he turned down the IMF and the World Bank. It was perhaps the smartest thing for him to do.”

At midnight we were airborne. The captain wished us a happy 2012 and urged us to watch the fireworks across Los Angeles.

“Isn’t that beautiful,” Walter said looking down.

From my middle seat, I took a glance and nodded admirably.

“That’s white man’s country,” he said. “We came here on Mayflower and turned Indian land into a paradise and now the most powerful nation on earth. We discovered the bulb, and built this aircraft to fly us to pleasure resorts like Lake Zambia.”

I grinned. “There is no Lake Zambia.”

He curled his lips into a smug smile. “That’s what we call your country. You guys are as stagnant as the water in the lake. We come in with our large boats and fish your minerals and your wildlife and leave morsels—crumbs. That’s your staple food, crumbs. That corn-meal you eat, that’s crumbs, the small Tilapia fish you call Kapenta is crumbs. We the Bwanas (whites) take the cat fish. I am the Bwana and you are the Muntu. I get what I want and you get what you deserve, crumbs. That’s what lazy people get—Zambians, Africans, the entire Third World.”

The smile vanished from my face.

“I see you are getting pissed off,” Walter said and lowered his voice. “You are thinking this Bwana is a racist. That’s how most Zambians respond when I tell them the truth. They go ballistic. Okay. Let’s for a moment put our skin pigmentations, this black and white crap, aside. Tell me, my friend, what is the difference between you and me?”

“There’s no difference.”

“Absolutely none,” he exclaimed. “Scientists in the Human Genome Project have proved that. It took them thirteen years to determine the complete sequence of the three billion DNA subunits. After they

were all done it was clear that 99.9% nucleotide bases were exactly the same in you and me. We are the same people. All white, Asian, Latino, and black people on this aircraft are the same.”

I gladly nodded.

“And yet I feel superior,” he smiled fatalistically. “Every white person on this plane feels superior to a black person. The white guy who picks up garbage, the homeless white trash on drugs, feels superior to you no matter his status or education. I can pick up a nincompoop from the New York streets, clean him up, and take him to Lusaka and you all be crowding around him chanting muzungu, muzungu and yet he’s a riffraff. Tell me why my angry friend.”

For a moment I was wordless.

“Please don’t blame it on slavery like the African Americans do, or colonialism, or some psychological impact or some kind of stigmatization. And don’t give me the brainwash poppycock. Give me a better answer.”

I was thinking.

He continued. “Excuse what I am about to say. Please do not take offense.”

I felt a slap of blood rush to my head and prepared for the worst.

“You my friend flying with me and all your kind are lazy,” he said. “When you rest your head on the pillow you don’t dream big. You and other so-called African intellectuals are damn lazy, each one of you. It is you, and not those poor starving people, who is the reason Africa is in such a deplorable state.”

“That’s not a nice thing to say,” I protested.

He was implacable. “Oh yes it is and I will say it again, you are lazy. Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hardworking people on earth. I saw them in the Lusaka markets and on the street selling merchandise. I saw them in villages toiling away. I saw women on Kafue Road crushing stones for sell and I wept. I said to myself where are the Zambian intellectuals? Are the Zambian engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher, or a simple water filter to purify well water for those poor villagers? Are you telling me that after thirty-seven years of independence your university school of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple small machines for mass use? What is the school there for?”

I held my breath.

“Do you know where I found your intellectuals? They were in bars quaffing. They were at the Lusaka Golf Club, Lusaka Central Club, Lusaka Playhouse, and Lusaka Flying Club. I saw with my own eyes a bunch of alcoholic graduates. Zambian intellectuals work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. We don’t. We reserve the evening for brainstorming.”

He looked me in the eye.

“And you flying to Boston and all of you Zambians in the Diaspora are just as lazy and apathetic to your country. You don’t care about your country and yet your very own parents, brothers and sisters are in Mtendere, Chawama, and in villages, all of them living in squalor. Many have died or are dying of neglect by you. They are dying of AIDS because you cannot come up with your own cure. You are here calling yourselves graduates, researchers and scientists and are fast at articulating your credentials once asked—oh, I have a PhD in this and that—PhD my foot!”

I was deflated.

“Wake up you all!” he exclaimed, attracting the attention of nearby passengers. “You should be busy lifting ideas, formulae, recipes, and diagrams from American manufacturing factories and sending them to your own factories. All those research findings and dissertation papers you compile should be your country’s treasure. Why do you think the Asians are a force to reckon with? They stole our ideas and turned them into their own. Look at Japan, China, India, just look at them.”

He paused. “The Bwana has spoken,” he said and grinned. “As long as you are dependent on my plane, I shall feel superior and you my friend shall remain inferior, how about that? The Chinese, Japanese, Indians, even Latinos are a notch better. You Africans are at the bottom of the totem pole.”

He tempered his voice. “Get over this white skin syndrome and begin to feel confident. Become innovative and make your own stuff for god’s sake.”

At 8 a.m. the plane touched down at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Walter reached for my hand.

“I know I was too strong, but I don’t give it a damn. I have been to Zambia and have seen too much poverty.” He pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled something. “Here, read this. It was written by a friend.”

He had written only the title: “Lords of Poverty.”

Thunderstruck, I had a sinking feeling. I watched Walter walk through the airport doors to a waiting car. He had left a huge dust devil twirling in my mind, stirring up sad memories of home. I could see Zambia’s literati—the cognoscente, intelligentsia, academics, highbrows, and scholars in the places he had mentioned guzzling and talking irrelevancies. I remembered some who have since passed—how they got the highest grades in mathematics and the sciences and attained the highest education on the planet. They had been to Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), only to leave us with not a single invention or discovery. I knew some by name and drunk with them at the Lusaka Playhouse and Central Sports.

Walter is right. It is true that since independence we have failed to nurture creativity and collective orientations. We as a nation lack a workhorse mentality and behave like 13 million civil servants dependent on a government pay cheque. We believe that development is generated 8-to-5 behind a desk wearing a tie with our degrees hanging on the wall. Such a working environment does not offer the opportunity for fellowship, the excitement of competition, and the spectacle of innovative rituals.

But the intelligentsia is not solely, or even mainly, to blame. The larger failure is due to political circumstances over which they have had little control. The past governments failed to create an environment of possibility that fosters camaraderie, rewards innovative ideas and encourages resilience. KK, Chiluba, Mwanawasa, and Banda embraced orthodox ideas and therefore failed to offer many opportunities for drawing outside the line.

I believe King Cobra’s reset has been cast in the same faculties as those of his predecessors. If today I told him that we can build our own car, he would throw me out.

“Naupena? Fuma apa.” (Are you mad? Get out of here)

Knowing well that King Cobra will not embody innovation at Walter’s level let’s begin to look for a technologically active-positive leader who can succeed him after a term or two. That way we can make our own stone crushers, water filters, water pumps, razor blades, and harvesters. Let’s dream big and make tractors, cars, and planes, or, like Walter said, forever remain inferior.

A fundamental transformation of our country from what is essentially non-innovative to a strategic superior African country requires a bold risk-taking educated leader with a triumphalist attitude and we have one in YOU. Don’t be highly strung and feel insulted by Walter. Take a moment and think about our country. Our journey from 1964 has been marked by tears. It has been an emotionally overwhelming experience. Each one of us has lost a loved one to poverty, hunger, and disease. The number of graves is catching up with the population. It’s time to change our political culture. It’s time for Zambian intellectuals to cultivate an active-positive progressive movement that will change our lives forever. Don’t be afraid or dispirited, rise to the challenge and salvage the remaining few of your beloved ones.

Field Ruwe is a US-based Zambian media practitioner and author. He is a PhD candidate with a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism, and an M.A. in History.

People frequently want to know when I am going to write a book. I’ve written four. You can check out your new favorite titles (with more to come, Netflix and God willing) by clicking this link right here. Go on. It’s easy! See? *CLICK*

This article has 836 comments

    • Kizito Nkurikiyeyezu

      Is it possible to incorporate this article in every african country’s constitution? Aaaah! Who cares, by the time you and I get back in Africa we’re making the same mistakes like our predecessors anyways.

      • omoba

        The problem we are having is not really from our graduates being unable to create or event new things,but the problem is from our home based universities being unable to produce qualified graduate ,we have whole lots of graduate from african whom I believe can’t defend their qualifications,,whole lots of science student student who can’t event anything.well this whole problem is also trace to our corrupt leaders in african.african leaders are the cause off all african problems

      • izimphoto

        listern to Amo theya dissing our graduates and he cant spell “INVENT” not “event”

        • MD

          I believe that we should correct with kindness when possible. You simply could have said you assumed he/she was trying to spell “invent” rather than “event”. I would guess you were trying to spell “listen” and “can’t” when you wrote “listern” and “cant”. We all make mistakes… be kind.

          • Sierra Leone

            LMBO. Awesome! Just F’ing Awesome.

          • vincent

            Just see the energy u guys use to oppose/ correct each other, thats what keeps us behind we focus much on what another person is doing than minding our own business…….instead of challenging fellow african plz help him up so that u all reach the goal u envision

          • Konijees

            This is the problem…Think we know it all..Even the prime minister of England makes spelling mistake..

        • Michael

          It’s people like you who can spell invent but can’t invent a thing that this article is about, you need to go to TATA auto factory in India and find how many of the engineers there will flow with your good english! FEW IF NOT NONE

          you can’t even make a toothpick!

      • Biggy

        very funny, by the time we get back right?…..i hope you will make for the opportunity of being where you are right now…

      • abada

        As the Yorubas say: Alabukun ni fun eni ti o fi obo lo eyan, egbe si ni fun eni ti o gba. Blessed are those who insult you and treat you with contempt, woe unto those who accept to be insulted and treated with contempt.

      • Jo

        Kizito,that is the complacency the article is talking about.

        • eugene Nzeribe

          Dear Kizito, the fact that you know about this and it touched you enough to write encourages me to believe that we would be successful in bringing together the next generation of, at least, a few dedicated Africans who can kick-start the economic and social development of Africa. Please join our small project team at: http://www.icafrica.com/acpd/

      • vincent

        If u want to change anything stop burning energy thinking of the crowd and what they are doing, u should be the change u want to see then the rest will either follow u or live to call u legend

    • dele

      Jaring, almost heartstopping read, but a big load of poppycock. Fact: All of you educated africans reading this, are some of the most hardworking sons/daughters of mother earth known to humankind. Why so readily believe “Educated Africans are lazy” ? A far more effective approach, though one that is far less melodramatic than the selfless martyrdom that Mr Walter so unequivocally prescribes for all educated black people, is for all hardworking (black) people, educated or not, to continue to exploit all available resources at home and abroad to reap maximum advantage. What is true for white people is true for black people and all people…apply your best individual effort for maximum individual gain and your community will profit. The smartest ones know that maximum individual gain is not cushy job with 401k and paid vacation. That’s for the small dreamers. But it takes a lot of small dreamers with cushy jobs and 401Ks to provide foundations for the big dreamers to even have a shot. Hmmm…maybe this is what Mr Walter is REALLY afraid of? Onwards and forwards everyone!

      • Jacob

        You are already defending the indefensible..Typical African fashion and recipe for failure. Dont tell me anything new for what i know is good. Cry beloved Africa..

    • dingze

      no no, its not true,the whites looted most if not all the resources they used to develop their nations from Africa.as for the Americans,they got to where they are through cheap labor.got to give it to them,they have got heart to do whatever they want,they are clever and all but its not true to say Africans are lazy.these guys created a world economy which they control themselves,they determine the price of gold and diamonds but are they the largest producers of these minerals? NO! they are not. World Bank? Who controls it? don’t be fooled by what this guy is saying. Africans are not lazy,they are just oppressed economically by those who control the world economy………..

      • Afrofusionlounge

        Cheap Labor? FREE Labor. Slaves weren’t paid, bruh. Don’t know if this story is true or not, but even if it isn’t its poisonous and wrong to repeat stupid, outplayed racist stereotypes.

  1. me

    Am Crying already

    • Vianney

      if u say the problem is our home based universities which are unable to produce qualified graduates, how about those African graduates who have studied in the best universities in the world? what have they done for Africa?

  2. Pingback: Leadership scratches a sore | Lead by choice

  3. maina

    Lol…at least he admits his phd is ueless

    • meplusyou

      He didn’t say his phD is useless. obviously you didn’t read the whole thing. What he said is that the phD is useful only if it is combined with creativity and used to directly benefit his country and people and not just to work a 9-5 job for some company or university that doesn’t care about Africans. Pay attention!

      • Nadia

        You are so right. The authour learns that having a degree don’t change anything unless it use for productivity. I learned something new today, we have the power and its time to step up….lets not sleep on our gifts.

      • Shem


    • nkt

      really. thats all you took from this? smh

  4. Kimunya Mugo (@KimunyaMugo)

    Field, thank you for your insights. I have made a link in my blog “Leadership scratches a sore” [http://wp.me/p28gFh-13]

    There is need to move from couch diplomacy (talk) towards helping others (action). It may be considered insignificant, but it is a bold step to start off cleaning up our leadership problem. As an African, I believe that our solutions will come from the continent. No one is going to solve our problems, or pull us out of the quagmire that is the African “mess”. We have to pull ourselves up by our very own bootstraps.

    We have to own our problems, for us to appreciate that solutions are necessary. I would propose that is exactly what happened during the uprisings in North Africa.

    • Eugene Nzeribe

      Kimunya, I suggest a small “thinktank” to begin brainstorming immediately from our various places of abode. I hereby invite you and other like-minded Africans to let me know by email to: eugene_nzeribe@icafrica.com, if you would like to be part of this pioneering initiative. Thanks. -Eugene

      • Malaka

        Eugene, would you be willing to start a Facebook page for your proposed think tank? If you would, I would be happy to post the details on my blog. If people are really serious about working together, as many have said here, we should create a space for people to congregate virtually.

        In it, we could discuss plans and risks. As much as we dislike our leaders, we cannot dismiss them. Some of them are ruthless and wouldn’t think twice about beating any dissidents within an inch of their lives if they thought any proposed change would negatively affect their bank accounts.

        And for the love of God, all nay-sayers please stay in your lanes! This is for progressive thinkers only.

        Eugene, what say you?

      • Sifon Inem

        Good thinking. Would love to be part of the thinktank to help raise Africa from her present state in anyway i can help.
        Please send me a mail (i.sifon@gmail.com) on where to start and i follow on Malaka’s suggestion on creating a virtual space for everyone.
        Africa my Africa

      • Selali

        Truth is truth is truth…
        It ultimately tends to speak for itself despite crudeness of delivery or ‘briusability’ of egos.

        I should be interested in being a part of such a group. If it gains any traction by all means drop me a line.

      • sgithinji

        hey am joining the think tank. on the facebook page if you need any assistance you can count on me. my email is solomon.ngugi@gmail.com
        Time we moved forward as a continent.

  5. Mo

    I have shared this widely with all my networks because it is about bloddy time…:) Thank you.

  6. Elijah

    Trueth comes with pain, at first I felt really bad and I was just curiours to read that you punched the messenger. Politics will take us to the grave, which is not fair, lets change our political culture and make Africa home of happyness not rich and te poor. I am happy to be whom I am and I will never complain, Lets all stand and say NO to dirty politics.

    • Eugene Nzeribe

      The problem is not really politics but finding a way to ensure that 700 million Africans do not continue to live on less than $1 day.

    • Bhooqi

      Much has been said already. Its time to dream big, harness our creativity and make our nation great! All hands must be on deck… Where there is no vision, the people cast of restraint….

  7. Ademola

    This is surely another eye opener…its time for Africa to stand up!!!

  8. Fred Moturi

    Can that William come over to Kenya? We need that kind of reproof too. Am astounded!

    • chela Netai

      He does not need to……YOU are his representative here. let us be the change we want to see 🙂

  9. Muna

    Goes beyond Zambia, Nigeria is as guilty. Africa My Africa!!!

    Nice piece!!!

  10. Anthony Etim

    What? Such a bold white man! This article must be broadcast Africa-wide …

  11. ethnicsupplies

    WOW! That was some conversation and in all honesty he could have been talking about Uganda or any other African country. He is absolutely right from many angles, we would sooner buy foreign than buy African, this kills innovation amongst other things. The question is what are we going to do about it?

  12. Fauzia M. Nasidi

    Ah! My beloved continent and people wake up! It is time….

  13. Prince

    There can never be more truth than what William offered, we should not take offense, but wake up from slumber and save mother Africs from this excruciating pain. Thanks Field.

  14. chidi

    the article is quite true… However,I do not believe that African intellectuals are lazy. I see alot of them work hard, design, fabricate and come up with great ideas only to be shot down b govts./politicians who are benefitin from the status quo.

    • Akin

      Chidi that’s quite true too. My friend recently designed a machine “the perpetual motor” check perpertualminds.com. Its so disheartening that he’s find his way out of Africa but good for him and his project. In this part of the world creativity is rarely appreciated, if you come up with something people want to steal your invention. Though this is an international issue but worst is deprivation, we can’t, we won’t and will never. Imagine going to the president that you would build the next operating system that will get the world thinking what next. If you’ve not got to the University, he’ll ask have you got a degree and you go No. They’ll say we can’t help you. That motor is the answer to keep PHCN and NNPC out of business, can’t wait to see it up.

    • Palang

      @Chidi, this addresses governance and we as individuals. Nigeria gained her own Independence past 50years but we have nothing to show forth. I agree we have the intellectuals and hard working who probably would spent their evenings hanging out in expensive clubs rather than plant back what they’ve studied.
      Two forces exist here…we need to exercise our civic rights purposefully by voting the right brains in government, secondly we must rise up as individuals to contribute and make an impact on this soil in whatever capacity we find ourselves despite the challenges.

    • Johnny

      Very true. The leaders have made it difficult to get ahead through science and technology. You have to be corrupt and a politician to get ahead. Hard working graduates are languishing in poverty.

      • Nosa

        No offense to must of you here, but you people are as worst as that begot. He talked about how whites invented the bulb, but fails to say that a black man invented the filiments that made that light bulb work. Blacks Invented the aircondition that keeps mrs. Walter cool in Africa, a black man invented the super computer that pretty much lead to the personal computer we have today, a black man invented the internal combustable engine that to the car we drive today, a black man invented the oven and microwave, otis Boykins invented the TV, Radio and computer he is a b;ack man. Dr. Philip Emeagwali is the “Father of the Internet” the black Bill Gates as they call him. The refrigerated trucks was invented by a black man, the blood bank, The Imaging X-Ray Spectrometer was Invented by George Alcon, a black man.

      • Nosa

        I went to Abuja to see little children that invented variety of things, including solar panels, holipcopter made out of Honda Accord engine, renewable energy to name. an Igbo man Invented a car in Nigeria and the presidents didnt fund it because be he was Ibo, now his car is now being produce in South Africa. Nigerians in America excel in every fields they are in. Africa Has one problem and that problem is leadership. The Asians have gotten their leadership problem in order and the Africans will get their houses in order too….. When we do, the sky will be the limit. We’ve do it before and we will do it again.

    • Naiboka

      Not in the literal sense that Africans are lazy…….Walter’s provocation is to stimulate forward thinking for Africa among Africans. Yes we are intellectuals that are not benefiting our continent

  15. Saheed Dauda

    As bitter as it sounds, but that is just the reality, Chairman Mao came and put China on the path of where she is today, what we have is a bunch of egocentric African leaders whose preoccupation is to perpetuate themselves in power and create a family cum political dynasty, Africa is indeed a scar in the conscience of the global family

  16. Mfundza

    Heh, all these black people so happy for a bwana’s rebuke? Please. If this kind of comment is revelatory for you then maybe you deserve this kind of treatment. Go and read Fanon for goodness sake: 50 years ago he was saying things like this. But you still need a basically racist white banker to tell you this?? One who is perpetuating the very political system you are laying much of the blame on? Come on…

    • Chris Dee

      The ‘bwana’ is the least racist I ever heard of – only someone who who has your interest at heart will tell you if you have mouth odor – the rest will just shy away and gossip behind you. He did the writer (and indeed all Africans) a huge favor by taking the risk to speak, although I doubt if he would have risked it if the flight was Zambia-bound!

    • Sahalu

      Excuses, excuses, excuses! This is an excellent example of the disease we speak of. Many an African intellectual or more apt pseudo-intellectuals help to perpetuate the morass by blaming the white man. Blame the West and blame others. This type of mentality is so childish and so disempowering. Black man’s disease, blame others and further poison the well. The Chinese, the Indians and others are busy building and elevating, some of us are busy, hard at work blaming others. Like Michael Jackson said, “take a good look at the man in the mirror”

  17. NM

    This is nothing new. What Africa needs is an overhaul in leadership and an end to tribalism(at least in Kenya). That seems to be the root of most of our problems and only we can fix it.

  18. Omolebi

    This is thought-provoking!

  19. amoah patrick

    My heart was struck by the revelation of the truth. Indeed truth hurts as it’s been said. I have always been saying the same things Walter said and to my amazement i hear my fellow blacks saying there is nothing we can do. Even when you give them enough evidence of how many blacks are sweating abroad cracking their brains to make that land a haven they say it’s because they are there. MOTHER AFRICA!!!!! WHERE ARE YOUR ELDERS WHO THOUGHT AND FOUGHT FOR YOU? I greatly believe that leaders like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana and the rest really toiled for nothing and until we rise up, they shall never rest in perfect peace.

  20. Karen Wangui

    We seriously need to change our attitude and love i mean love our home and people.

  21. sanga collins

    People please note. Most of the first world was just like this just over 100 years ago.
    THe so called intelectual few taking advantage of the many? thats the way the world works.
    Allow the natural evolution of culture and politics and we are right on schedule to become super powers by the end of the century!!

    • Steve Odhiambo

      Ua entitled 2 ua opinion bro bt its thnkn lyk uaz that continues 2 bring us down…dnt bury ua head in the sand nd wish 4 evrythng 2 all rosy.we hav 2 work 4 that!!

    • Emeka

      Wake up dreamer.If your father started primary school at the age of 16, do you also have to do the same. Innovations are killed at foetal stage in Africa just for personal enrichment. The fact is that Africa is not even on the track of progress, from cape to the horn. Simple.The first step to the solution of a problem is acknowledging it exists. People like you live in denial. Wakey wakey

  22. Chiamaka Adanne Okata

    unbelievably but its true. now i really want to do something

  23. Abimbola Smoothgenius

    Justifiable invincible ballistic word missiles…..its dawn of new season, we must do something.

  24. murwa

    this is what we always see around. in university the dons spend most of their time discrediting their pupils and pulling them down- this has created a kind of vicious cycle. just like on this blog we blame our leaders, instead of pointing the finger in our own direction. we cant blame them when we are the electors! we all have to play our part, we have failed miserably

    • Paradiso

      That is the point!! You got it. If we are NOT part of the solution, we ARE most certainly part of the problem. Period!

  25. Simon Kibira

    THIS IS SO TRUE ABT AFRICA. Typical of Uganda: What amazes me, the author signs off with the Ph.D, and Masters and all these intellectual qualifications that he talks about in the article..! we should have changed yesterday, but its not too late. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??? I mean YOU who is commenting on this piece? start where you are, lift your brother and sister out of poverty.

  26. Ephraim Namwoyo

    Am done job hunting, and am putting all efforts in research to help mother Africa

  27. bantutu

    Invigorating read! Right up to the point you started speaking of our leaders.
    I agree with Walter 100%, our problem is that our elites are a bunch of lazy sods.
    Thanks for sharing, inspiring stuff.

  28. Joash

    Amazing voice for Africa. How true!

  29. tinz

    Very true… And dis is strictly 4 d youths, not jst sit down nd press  … Hw can we innovate 4rm using PMS to smetin we wud easily buy?

  30. ben jabungu (@benjabungu)

    Truly said, and we spend all our lives blaming the white man

  31. Muyi Ladoja

    Having read the article and a few of the comments. I’m surprised more people are not talking about all of us educated (and non educated) Africans are not talking about how to be ‘unlazy’ but rather blame it on our leaders. We all should be fairly ashamed of ourselves (not our leaders this time) because if we work harder, longer, develop and encourage ourselves more we might just get the kind of leader that will help. But my firm belief is everyone of us should strive for excellence, at all human and emotional cost, in whatever endeavour we might be involved in and we might just surprise ourselves and succeed! I am.

  32. Mutya Frio

    In the 80s, a muzungu wrote an article on Time magazine about the Philippines (my home country), titled “A Damaged Culture.” For almost the exact same observations that Walter have of Africans; he had a long list of why we Filipinos are failures and remain a third world country. The author’s observations were not inaccurate, but the observations were also made by a foreigner who simply breezed through the country and instinctively did the most natural thing an unthinking foreigner would do: complain. And fail to see the successes we have as a culture, as a nation, as a people. And then they tell us what we should do. My bottom line is that the sooner we ourselves in the third world put the mirrors to our faces, then nobody else has to. The sooner we see our flaws — rather, opportunities for growth and progress — the sooner we can act on those opportunities. And then we can begin to celebrate our successes. And we never have to put up with another Walter and fall into the trap of believing in him. For we believe in our own people more than the Walters of this world.

    • Chinedu Irozuru

      You my friend is on point. It shocks me to know how ignorant the so called educated people in the third world can be. The only part you didn’t get is that Most of the under development of the third world was engineered by the elite class of the third world. I don’t know much about Philippines though, but I’m dealm sure about africa. In as much as I hate to admit it, our only hope lies in the proper utilisation and management of this enlightenment age we are almost approaching

  33. Sylvia Jules Kal

    This while soooo annoying, is spot on at so many levels. That said, the Walter xter could have put it miore diplomatically and come across less racist. Its so true thayt most caucasian, asian , chinese people feel superior to Africans whatver their position in life, coz they feel like they hav econtributed to every African’s wellbeing, sadly, many european/American Taxpayers have….but lording it over a stranger and calling him lazy is downright rude and shows a lack of good upbringing thats unprecedented. This Walter felt that he could air his views on a flight and get away withit…air marshals and all thayt. Why doesnt he air same views in a proper African Venue….he may not be so cocky after or during….twakoowa

    • Maximuge

      Please, please, don’t get yourself so worked up….that’s bad for your health.

      And anyway, it’s necessary to sometimes come down hard on someone in the way this Mzungu did: that way, the message stays in between your ears for sometime. He did it in a clever way.

      He said openly what many Westerners privately think of Africans….except he also threw down the gauntlet. Basically, it’s a challenge to Africa. If you also think about it, he also said openly what many Africans think about themselves, and of their place in this world.

      We have rotten leaders/ govts (eg. in Uganda, Zimbabwe), just to make the problems we have that much worse.

      Africans, wake up!


    You are wrong here “But the intelligentsia is not solely, or even mainly, to blame. The larger failure is due to political circumstances over which they have had little control.” The intelligentsia are solely to blame but their Apathetic attitudes have prevented them to do what the intelligentsia in the Arab spring have done and take control of the political circumstances not just in Zambia but in sub-saharan Africa.

    • Frank

      If political circumstances are to blame, who are the people in control of the so called “political circumstances?” And it also implies that those people in control are also less intelligent, so if they are less intelligent why cant the intelligentsia who you claim are not solely, or even mainly to blame use thier so called intelligence to get rid of them once and for all???? Hmmmmmm…Laziness or cowardice?????

  35. Ndanu

    I pray that this article sparks a debate that will challenge all Africans to draw all our effort together towards stepping out of poverty. Don’t point fingers at our leaders – that will not yield any tangible results. Rather like one of our continent’s greatest icons to date, Wangari Matahaai, we must do our part to make a positive and sustainable impact in our land.

  36. Chukwuemeka

    Nothing can be blunter!

  37. Ikedimma Valentine Chigozie

    Its highly unfortunate, I wish African Leader will find time to go through this conservations

  38. uchenna igwe

    Powerful article. Its just funny that the author saw fit to add all his degrees to the article, I guess it a credibility issue rather than the ‘African’ propensity to hang our laurels in the sun.

    Anyway, love the article

  39. Princewill Ibrahim

    so so soooo true!!!! We africans are bunch of lazzzzyyy people!!!! Gash..we need to Wake up!!

    • georgeen

      Very true. I have. Always wondered why there is no single successful homogeneous black nation on earth . I think at last I have some answers.

  40. Sekesebi

    Hard but true. I am a Nigerian with so much concern for what the future hold for my country. How can I plan and dream big when most of my nightly dream and plans (short or long term) get blown up by Boko Haram before it get to the drawing board or Government policy coated in total corruption. That lives me with another factor that he did not remember to say – I now transfer all my problem to the door post of the All Mighty God including those that he has empower me to take care of just like the Government Dept do set up committee upon committee for every unthinkable issues just because nobody want to take responsibility for failure.

    • Halilu

      See it right there? This problem has existed long before Boko Haram. That’s what we do, if things don’t work how we want it, we start pointing fingers. We should take responsibility for our actions and act not sit around and talk.

  41. Ijipee

    Am totally speechless!!The truth is hard is to swallow but the guy really hit the nail on the head!!

  42. gombyte

    Well now we know it, then what next? Arise oh Africa!

  43. Uchechukwu O.

    This is challenging; I’ve been challenged by this! It calls for action and not just feeling of pity. We all need to start acting from our little corners!

  44. soni

    Please let me know who I can speak to for the rights to use some of this text for a project… I would much love the opportunity.

    Also PLEASE, you need to let me meet ‘WALTER’ he deserves a hug from myself!

  45. Adeyemi Akisanya

    This, and similar articles, should be complied into booklets and made compulsory reading and discussion in the first three years of secondary school. Undergraduates should have it as part of their General Studies or other (often) compulsory studies auxiliary to their Majors. Artful literalists should form them into rhymes for pupils in primary schools and in Kindergarten. Clerics should form appropriate prayer points for use in prayer and fasting in places of religious worship and devotion. It’s not the author but the thoughts – they are straight on point.

    • grace

      Very good idea;now make it into reality,actions speak l….

    • Eghosa

      I concur with Adeyemi’s comments. We need tΦ really start an enlightening process right from the cradle. African leaders have failed the continent but we as a people need a re-orientation of our thought process.

  46. Morak

    Nothing but the truth. Most of us are educated derelicts.

  47. Pingback: You Lazy African Scum!

  48. Taiwo

    Africa has been completely destroyed by the moribund and over bloated political system which they have no clue at all. You need to see the Nigerian 2012 budget and imagine what the president budgeted for food per day. #900billion Naira on security and the leader of Boko Haram escaped with impunity and just killed 170 in one swoop. All the targets were police and para military installations! Africa is typical ‘miseducation of the negros’

  49. Yusuf

    Perhaps we could start off by borrowing a leaf from the Open-source movement. i found this idea waaaay too compelling. http://www.opensourceecology.org

    these guys are designing and sharing their knowledge on how we can create 50tools and machines called the Global Village Construction Set. tools required to start a civilisation. they are sharing the instructional videos and all…lets join them and do this everywhere, then africa will become something.

  50. Oscar

    It’s fitting, that you end the brilliant piece with all your titles.

  51. Edgar

    Indeed the poor and the uneducated are the most hard working, this piece should ignite action on all the intellectuals. The progress of our countries is stunted because it lacks our input

  52. Mark Bill

    Sadly true. We may blame politicians all we want, but we are the ones who put and keep them there. Time to wake up and smell the humus!

  53. Gideon For-mukwai

    Fellow African brothers and sisters: What should you do if some one gives you bitter medication? Would you drink it, run away or curse off the person.
    Apparently some of us are still blaming our leaders, corruption, the white man, racism an all that. These are all valid points but the fall short of the issue at hand. What can we do?
    Do you think that Chinese intellectuals all like communism? The point I see here is that not withstanding these issues, we must begin to talk about these issues. Lets do something about this.
    Lets join forces, perhaps we can create a web page for an African Awakening to start sharing our views, ideas and use these new social media tools to think, share and mobilize ideas.
    If you like this idea, speak up. A single step is better than no step.

    • Lisa

      Yes you are right, all we do is keep blaming the govt. and corruption, but the problem is us all. The same us will end up as leaders tomorrow and become presidents and africa will continue in the mess it is. We need to change our attitude toways life!!!

  54. tibanyendera

    Bitter,factual,revelatory,racist ..call it whatever you deem suits the article but dont forget walter’s points on Africa(Zambia,Uganda etc….) are continous outbursts we have heard for ages and know pretty well but we seem blindfolded to act…..Its a challenging wakeup call.

  55. Ope

    I am delighted there a lot of africans cut across the continent, who ve seen this story and have reacted positively!. Pls don’t let us just stop here, let’s take this message and ACT on it!. “How would he ever feel inferior when we fly in his plane”?????…..me am a Nigerian.

  56. Abdulkarfat

    Tribalism, ethnicity and religious bigotry are threatening enemies of Africa and always played into the wicked hands of dangerous politiCal leaders. Africa cannot make any head way unless it has achieved peace and unity. We are just been reminded by the piece .

    • Sahalu

      That is so true Abdulkarfat. The central issue (in my view) is culture, not economics. Primitive loyalties permeate Africa very deeply and rule the day. All the talk about economic development, science, technology, education, efforts…. will come to nothing, until a sufficient number of Africans develop real national patriotism. When we effectively identify first with tribe, religion, language and other narrow-minded loyalties, no meaningful economic development can take place in such an environment, as we are easily divided into factions and therefore enemies…..
      Take Nigeria for example, despite all the talk, the country is fundamentally divided into narrow interests, defined along tribe, religion, region and the such. Sure, there are people who have risen above these primitive loyalties, for the most part though; Africa is still primarily a land of primitive loyalties. Absence of real local and national leadership, I am afraid, we are looking at generations yet to come, before we can overcome the morass. If we want Africa to develop, attack the root-cause first and move-on up from there. Sometimes, enlightened dictatorships (to force and develop national cohesion), not the predatory politics we see all over Africa, can do the job, such as China for example.
      And for goodness sake, let us stop blaming the boogieman (white man) for our ills. It is childish, so 1950’s and incredibly infuriating. We look and sound ignorant when we do that, not to mention justifying the view of those that see us as inferior people incapable of taking care of themselves.

  57. Timothy Sempewo

    Well put, I won’t waste more time, I am off to invent…

  58. Oscar Saka

    This is spot on. Am dumpfounded; speechless.

  59. Tee

    Ok.. Without wasting time saying “africa stand up”, here’s my solution: let’s first of all lose our second names.. The surname/tribal names.. And let each african country get a national language that everyone speaks.. I’d suggest english coz it’s spoken widely already. I know you’re going to give me the whole culture value speech, but think about it.. We were colonised in the first place coz the white man found a divided africa based on tribal lines and took advantage of it.. Making one group believe they were superior to another.. See the Baganda in Uganda and the Tutsi inRwanda for example.

    The biggest mistake the slave owners did was to give all their slaves American names and force them to forget their culture.. Do u think Martin Luther King would have led that movement with the likes of Malcolm X if they were still thinking “I’m a yoruba and shldnKt associate with this inferior chap from another tribe”??? No! Hell no! Think about it.. How many of us can’t even marry from another tribe in our countries because the cultures clash?? Wat nonsense is this?! Its 2012 for crying out loud! Do u think we are the first to have tribes and cultures?? Look at the history of europe.. They too had that phase with the anglo saxons and what have you.. How many people in europe now can say they are saxon? That’s just bull crap! They moved on centuries ago! That’s the reason we learn history.. No need to re-invent the wheel here. And some public figure in my country said he only needed to have learnt addition, subtraction, multplication and division in school! The ignorance is unbelievable!

    Also. How about infrastructure?? Why isn’t there a railway line from cairo to cape town? From Dar es salaam to Dakar?? Why? Money cannot be the issue here. The brits build the east african railway in 1896. 1896!!!! They had cheap labour from india.. But we hav prisoners in all our countries. Why not strike a deal with some of them with petty crimes.. Do some work on the railway line and hav your sentence reduced?! I can’t see why not! But our leaders are too high on corruption to even table this in parliament.

    Lastly and most importantly.. How about we re-define our borders?? Why after attaining independence are we stuck along the same imaginary lines that greedy white men drew up for us?? Pitting brothers against each other because of an IMAGINARY LINE!! Did u know that there are Awori brothers in Kenya and Uganda who were Members of parlaiment in both countries because there family was based on the Kenya-Uganda border and so they cld be citizens of both countries?? Why can’t we decide for ourselves what our borders should look like?? If they should be there in the first place!

    Think about it.

    • sugabelly

      Dumbest idea ever. After having our cultural identity almost wiped out by Europeans you want to finish the job finally? Meanwhile French, German, Italian, Spanish, etch Europeans get to keep their cultural history and languages yeah?

      Please, fall back.

      • Tee

        dumb? did you understand anything i wrote about division and borders? are there any spanish speaking people in italy as a result of their borders?? no! if you can’t see that this stupid pride we have of focussing on making one tribe superior to another is holding us back then I don’t know what to tell you.. enjoy your backward position forever.

        stick to YOUR cultures and see how far WE get.

        • Smart

          First, i don’t know how losing our culture is going to solve matters, because our problems are not culture both the leadership who have learn very well from their colonial master and adopted the same technique the European used. As for not being able to marry from a different tribe in your country, i don’t know what country you are from. I’m Nigerian and i will tell you that almost everybody in my generation are married to somebody of different tribes( heck even most of the military dictators married from other tribes). I live in California, US and here they are people of different culture living along side each other. Here in one place you would think you are in China, another its like being in Mexico, then Korea, then Ireland i can keep going. The difference is that the gov’t don’t use it as a tool for manipulation. People that always say look at Europe and usually people that know nothing of European history. There were no people that were more violent and killed each others by the millions, until after ww2 and the scale of the destruction and the realization that another war with the major powers would mean the complete extermination of the European race. My point is, “OUR CULTURE AND OUR LANGUAGE IS NOT OUR PROBLEM, BUT SHOULD BE OUR SOLUTION” The problem with Africans is that we would on a whim we would denigrate, and abandon our way of doing things for a foreign one that we have no understanding off.

      • Frank

        If our whole educational system is based on the western model and if all the text books we study are written mainly in english, whats the big deal about making English a unified african language as Tee suggested? (just thinking)…And I would rather say bye bye to our existing tribes, cultures and borders if it will bring about a new culture of freedom, love, peace, justice, intergrity etc amongst ALL Africans..

    • Mthaka yo wa finda

      Wow.. that may actually be the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life. All your suggestions are as impractical as they are vacuous.

      • Tee

        oh please!

        dumbest thing you’ve ever heard?! how enriched is your life then, huh? and have you picked anything from all the bright stuff you’ve been hearing?? no! how dumb are YOU then?! don’t see the both of you giving solutions.. wait, you’re probably waiting for a white chap to tell you what to do as always right?!

        206 responses so far.. how many solutions?!

        instead of being critiques how about you bring ideas and we debate them!


        • Mya

          Tee and friends ..I hope after two years your opinions have grown .
          Your ideas may not have been dumb because you were focused on unity ,which is a big plus but I wonder if you weighed the positive with the negative .
          The only reason our people have apparently not done what we ought to do,the only reason out education doesn’t seem to help us whatsoever and instead makes us appear lazy to anyone who observes is language . We spend all our time in school trying to understand the language rather than what’s being taught . By the time we get it ..the morale is gone and desperation has set in ..all we are doing is cramming and never understanding.
          Also replacing our own with someone else’s own won’t do us any good .
          You see ..people who are not confident very rarely stand up and say ” I have a great idea!!” If you don’t think you’re good enough ,there is no way you’ll think that others will think you good enough. This might sound like crap to you or like a small thing but it’s the whole point of teaching history . If you’re to teach someone history that only brings down their confidence ,they are better off not hearing it..the white man whom you guys rever so much ..knows this ..and you can see it through his history…at this point you might argue “but that’s the truth about his history” but I would ask you ..”are you sure?”..you might say ” of course !,read the books” and I’d ask ..”do you believe everything you ,read? Does writing down something make it true?” I don’t wat you might say then ,but that for you to ponder.
          All in all ,we already have colour to unite us ..we don’t need to kick our languages in the butt ,we need knowledge ,real education to unite us .once we stop trying to learn and understand other peoples languages and focussing on our stuff..we shall be unstoppable.

    • Chris Dee


      Your opinion is crazy, but I agree with it totally! my children live in harmony with their friends because they only classify them as good or bad influences not hausa, ijaw, yoruba or ibo (nigerian tribes). They hardly know which tribes they come from – its usually we the parents that pollute their innocent minds by pointing out the differences to them. Africans, smell the coffee! We have been conquered by the europeans marauders and a new game is in town – cosmopolitanism instead of village-ism. We need to learn it and fast, or never ‘progress’, whatever that means to you…we need to learn it because the crazy, greedy bwanas wont ever let you be. if you do not control and utilize your resources, they will do it for you, like it or not. they will always quote the bible that says ‘dominate and subdue the earth’..that earth is you, my fellow africans!

  60. Lewis

    we best define ”LAZINESS”

  61. patson

    Great piece

  62. Becky

    Ds is an insightful story. Really want to say a big thank you for opening our eyes to the real true nature of our selves n our nation(African nations)

  63. Julian

    As a piece of witty storytelling, this piece works on many levels. However, as a discourse on Africa’s plight and how to address it successfully, it is inadequate. He is right about the African intellectual abdicating responsibility and past leaders “embracing orthodox ideas.”

    The writer has failed to spell out what those “orthodox ideas” are. He talks about cultivating “an active-positive progressive movement that will change our lives forever.” What are the exact mechanics for achieving that?

    This situation in which Africa finds itself needs to be placed in historical and socio-political context. The long and short of it is that nothing will change for the better if the economic stranglehold of the West – as represented by policies dictated by the IMF and World Bank – is not broken.

    We can make all the cars and water pumps we like, but the dire socio-economic realities on the continent will not improve as long as we keep on implementing rabid, neoliberal free-market economic dictates of the West.

  64. Chuka

    *Standing Ovation*

  65. Tosin

    Spot on! Africans need to start thinking and acting.

  66. Eddie

    The problem with Africa are the intellectuals led by the author, Field Ruwe. With all your academic credentials, you still need credibility by publishing them. Secondly, you are still based in the diaspora while arguing that the political climate is not healthy for you. You have an MA in History, you must be aware of the French Revolution

  67. kenmwaura

    Challenge accepted.

  68. Ronald M. Muyomba

    Thank you for this. I think I should resign my current job and find something more challenging.

    • titilope

      Nice article. Resigning from your job will not solve the situation Ronald. One has to apply wisdom to issues like this. I would say you should still keep your job but think of other challenges you want to work on and make them a dream come true.

  69. Diala Francis

    What a bitter pill to swallow. sad, derogative but unfortunatly true.

  70. ariyo

    I am a Nigerian. After I read this I’ve decided to change my approach to life to one of filling in the need areas rather than pointing fingers. Its so timely and I choose to find a way by helping many people like me, youths, find one! You can join me too.

  71. jeff

    So true.but there’s a lot more to it.in africa the only way we can acheive change is by electing good leaders. But whenever we do this, they r assisinated by the likes of walter or receive death threats if they don’t take ridiculous world bank loans. Well,we haven’t given up.but it will take a lot longer than 47yrs to acheive that.

    • Mya

      Thank you very much ,Jeff ..no one among all the commentators seems to understand the way the west works indeed.just accepting blame because apparently a white man said so .
      The loans are such a foolish and practically illegal burden placed on us .
      We never needed them in the first place but whoever tries to avoid them mysteriously dies .
      First thing we should do is cancel these illegal IMF loans that are in turn scraping us dry of our immense wealth.

  72. Kakube Tajuba

    Bwana Ruwe asante ndugu, you are right on the money! I am one of those unlucky-so-called-masquareding-lazy-intellectuals-in-the-West-who-could-not-find-any-employment-in-mother-country-Uganda. Although my doctorate was in Education, I had moved around in different areas: finance, investment, health care, customer relations, security, etc.. with the belief that the more diversified I am, the better I would be teaching education to would be educators in Africa. Little did I know that I would be turned down in my home country Uganda. So to put bread on the table for the family, I am still “sweeping” (kyeyo) in America! The one thing that stands out is that Africa has failed to understand the history of the West. And, has, instead, blindly followed education models from the West without any adjustments to fit and satisfy the African context. That is why we have miserably failed to make it economically and politically. Until we understand fully how democreracy works hand-in-glove-with c apitalism, we shall remain on the lowest human-totem-pole! Our ancestors must be turning in their graves wondering what became of-the-millett/foofoo-eating-stromg-Africans versus spaghetti-eating-homo-sapiens! God help Africa.

  73. moses Musiitwa

    Let me start by dreaming big!!!!!!

  74. Austine Uche

    This is norhing but the home truth. As a University teacher in Nigeria. I am always stupify by the level of enginerring prototypes in our research centres, no industrial link up, everybody is waiting for contrivances from China, korea, Malaysia, etc even when the prototypes are here with our universities and other research centres. It is a problem of poor leadership quality in Africa and indeed the Third Word Countries in which the whites remain collaberators and beneficiaries. We Africas should see this as a challenge and pull our selves togther.

  75. Iheomasinachi

    A♏ really touched.this is a big challenge †o Africans.

  76. keji busari-ahmad

    Can there ever be a more bitter pills than this?It took a thousands of tonns of hard water to force it down my throat..I had to endure it since the chemical composition is a sure CURE to my age long AILMENT.TRUTH na truth any day!

  77. African in Diaspora

    Am guilty as charged! Sad confession 🙁 this article is eye opening!

  78. Allan

    this is crazy insulting… how dare he…. yet true

  79. Eche

    Reading some of the comments here, you will see why this “walter’s theory” will be true for long time. Can’t we simply see beyond the colour of skin to see the painful truth this man has told the black man. This is a tandem with even more brutal truths penned down in a book by Chika Onyeani titled ‘Capitalist Nigger’. It is a call to those few of us who can afford to make comments through this medium even when we cannot make ordinary keypads, to wake up and together wake our nation up through positive actions

  80. karsh

    one of d problems affecting we Africans is corruption. As pointed out by walter, most of our leaders are easily bought over to change policies in favor of these so calld superior whites. As we think about inventions, discoveries and moving foward, lets not forget that the menace of corruption also needs to be tackled as we move along. God bless Africa- the up coming world power.

  81. tunde

    I feel dis article, but we africans we ar not much bad. We only hv bad govt and mismanagement all they care for is they selves. Loll

  82. okungbowa Daniel

    I quite agree with Walter, our African leaders lack for sight needed to move africa forward. IMF just give them measures that will not help us yet they accept. Our graduates are just there to be called educated yet they have not added anything to the development of their father land.

  83. Olajide fatai ola

    Just one day

  84. abiola otukoya

    This is an african problem,walter told the truth,we need to reason over our beliefs. We tends to pray to GOD to solve human problems. its time to leap out of our frog ponds and act.

  85. cindy

    very inspiring article. and true. it actually awakens my spirit of ambition and desire of what i would like to do for zambia but only UP UNTIL you start finding an excuse or someone to blame for the state zambia is in. being told that we are just plain simply lazy is true and we shouldnt find someone else to blame…ie. “The past governments failed…” that is the problem right there. don’t rely on Sata or blame KK or Mwanawasa’s governments for the countries failure.Or atleast be decent enough to share the blame with yourself because as an african/zambian to be precise we are all responsible for the country. its not sata’s country alone to ensure its success. its my and your duty to. Do it yourself, you don’t need a government to be involved in a university graduate’s work of inventing a stone crusher! why didnt anyone do it? because chiluba did not come to your class?! thats the problem-laziness and always coming up with excuses and someone to blame.all those past presidents despite their flows, have lived their lives &done whatever they did for Zambia.what have you done personally?? Politics/government is not the end all solution to Africa’s poverty.i dont have to be in government to make a significant contribution.farming, banking, business,etc. i couldnt agree more that its laziness not willing to work hard, luck of dreaming big and to add on to that, luck of determination and perseverance. and for God’s sake stop blaming other people but make our own contributions. spend less time at polo grill and brain storm!kmt.

  86. Manex

    This writeup is not about Africa, or Zambia, but about Nigeria. From the President( a supposed Phd holder), to all of us in the ‘Giant of Africa’. I have been thoroughly humbled by this piece. It sure struck a raw, but true nerve…

  87. King Joe

    The man said it all, africans have a very poor mentality. They don’t dream big, they love stagnance which is the only reason why people are suffering. I wish african leaders can see this message and take correction because they stupidity is affecting their people. They take our money to westerners in the name of banking, the westerners loan it to they own graduates to invent and build things while our graduates are everywhere on the street looking for jobs. When the money is too much them westerners to pay back, send war to us, we fight and kill eachother while they steal our oil, gold, timber and diamond and sale their ammunition to us. The man said it all, its about time we wake up from sleep and take charge. Nobody will do it for us, we are the ones needed for this job.

    • vienna4u

      Africa doesnt dream big because most of us werent born in situations where we believed we could achieve big…those big achievements were for those other people. A whole lot of historic events have left the common African stigmatised by a low self esteem and lack of ambition. First came the colonialists then the dictators, we never felt like we had the freedom to hold power in our hands. And even now when the situation is changing, it still feels strange to have power in your hands.

      What people like you and me need is first A REVOLUTION and a serious one against our pervesely dysfunctional govts(unless you are Botswanan or from Seychelles)..Lets get rid of all those old croonies and begin to have new leaders based on their leadership merits. Secondly lets mentor all those young people in the villages and slums, let us provide direction by inspiring them to know that they can achieve anything they want and that they are masters of their own destiny. ….Lets educate our youth, and let them grow to be independent thinkers who act based on moral virtues.

      And to fight corruption..(Am going to let you in a secret everyone knows.) I dont know about other european countries but in German speaking countries no one ever checks you for a public transport ticket and whenever they do, 99% of everyone usually has one.) Its an insignificant situation
      but with a significant moral)…we dont have to be under supervision to act on principle . A whole lot of us have lost our moral dignity to corruption and other mauls that affect everyday African life. Yes we need to gain our sheer dignity back..And finally all those leaders we so love to hate are there because we let them be there. If the people act otherwise they ll come crumbling down on their feet and as long as we just talk and do nothing they ll milk us till death do us part…REMEMBER THE POWER IS IN OUR HANDS…And do not Ask what your country can do for you, ..But what you can do for your country

  88. Patrick

    Every body is touched in a certain way, especially those in diaspora!! you have traveled, got exposed to different innovations, but do you ever learn? barely nothing is transferred back in form of skills and knowledge. Shame we should even hide our degrees!!!!!

  89. Chuksy O

    I am totally in shock and speechless. This is the truth and a bitter pill to swallow. The problem is all around us. We all as Africans are the architects of our misfortunes. Everyone knows exactly what to do; unfortunately the status quo will remain the same.

  90. Chuksy O

    I am totally in shock and speechless. This is the truth and a bitter pill to swallow. The problem is all around us. We all as Africans are the architects of our misfortunes. Everyone knows exactly what to do; unfortunately the status quo will remain the same. I am a Nigerian and shame to say; I see this happen everyday. One of the big disappointments in Africa today, is that of oil rich Nigeria. The corruption today pales in comparison the outside world sees. We can stand as one if everyone can say enough is enough. We can sacrifice for country and generations yet unborn.

  91. Okeke Emmanuel

    You’ve just challenged me to “active” thinking…Thanks
    We must change Africa but start with our individual countries..

  92. Cornelius Adumpo Adagmi

    What a great piece. oh my Africa! wake up from your sleep.

  93. benjaps

    Walter shoots straight and that’s great! But, as Africans, we should ask ourselves why he (and his IMF, World Bank and Broker ilk) are shepherding us towards their path. Is this the new ploy of their ‘superiority complex’? To lead us to a path they understand well, to encourage us to adopt new systems, latest technology, foreign investment – which they will provide for an unhealthy profit – so that they create for themselves a market outside their saturated ones? New markets where, they siphon, in Walter’s own words 20 times more than they give. Markets created by calling the African intellectuals lazy so they can feel guilty enough to engage in ‘collaborative efforts’ with Walter’s paymasters and, most importantly, can use their positions of influence to popularize the ‘simple stone crushing machines’ among the poor, uneducated Africans.

  94. Akandawen Martin

    what a thought provoking piece! hope every African reads and ponder over it

  95. .....

    WOW!!! I’m a U.S. Based NigErian, in as much as we Africans are one of the most riChest continent in the world due to all our resources, ( or let me say Nigeria).. Helping and how to improve has always been on my mind but we do we begin from? Helping the country is one thing and been scared for your life is another thing…May God save us all and in my Martin Luther King’s voice * I have a dream that someday, we shall stand for what rightfully belongs to Us and do something*.. Instead of letting our degrees and time spent in school be a waste.. Wake UP Motherland because it’s about time… I so wish the leaders will read this article.. They will be mad as hell lol.. The truth is better, but it has to be said.

  96. Saadah Abubakar Uthman

    The truth is bitter, they say. We need to pick up the last shreds of shame and turn over a new leaf. In panteka, Kaduna state of Nigeria, u will see all sorts of innovations. Though crudely made, it is atleast a step to technological know-how. I believe with a little shove, Nigerians can produce almost anything they want. They make local scooters, roller skates, kerosine-ovens and soo much more. It is the lack of resources that is really killing their trade. And some of these local inventors have never even seen the four walls of a classroom. I mean, duh? May God give us Leaders who sincerely care about their citizens and Nigeria. Then the sky will be our limit…..

  97. jummai musa

    I just wanna cry

  98. dolapo

    Wow!! What an eye opener! Every word in this article is true..

  99. timi

    How so true, my bb pin 21d21a86

  100. YEMI

    As much as I don’t agree with the tone I however concur with yhe points noted as against waste of African creativity…the question is way forward! And the answer is, don’t wait for the government to initiate change. Grow a conscience and do wat you can…not just for your country, africa but for humanity…

  101. Hadizah

    Wooooooooooooooooow nice one there

  102. AFolabi ayomide

    Dis challenge is not just for intellectuals in Zambia but for all intellectuals in Afica! Let us all rise up 2 dis challenge of laziness dat is killing our continent!!!!

  103. Sarah

    At the risk of being labeled the laziest intellectual African scum, let me say this, the above article makes a good read save for the stripping cow! that is such a distraction to the intellectual attention required.
    Two, there is …more to the equation than just that simple intellectual laziness bubble bull… there is a whole system design and timetable that determines things that be! its clear the writer still fell victim to “muzungu said it, it must be gospel truth!”… the author doesn’t engage independent reasoning at anyone given time, its just copy and paste… how ironical! Walter must be laughing at this article if at all he is real…
    Ofcourse im not saying we should sit and do nothing… im just saying the muzungu and the author are offering a very simplistic opinion to a very complex issue without considering all the variables involved. It doesn’t match-up!
    Seeking in-depth understanding is the key to solving any problem.

  104. ugolee Emmanuel

    A sad reality about the reverse motion grip on the continent. I agree that the delima has been institutionalized by an uncaring bunch of rulers over the decades across Africa. I also agree the those with the trained mental potential for change are largely on that “I am content with relatively goodlife my 9-5 provides. I agree that a lot of those with the hunger and will for change are crippled by far from enabling circumstances. All sad but true.
    But I do absolutely disagree that the above captures every group of Africans there are. There is a group enlightened enough to see through the stage managed plight. This group are disgusted by the rot and mentaly up to the task for change. They do what they can not to be selfish about the power they possess by educating fellow Africans and refusing to get on the brain drain train. They are doing amazing stuff here but would not be celebrated by the media.
    If you have ever been a black man in a study class of group in a white mans school, you would laugh uncontrolably at the concept of the white mans mental superiority. Say that to Egypt, the worlds 1st super power and the land of the invention of mathematics and madicine.
    The new awakening in change of governance in Africa would is all we need and trust me that is the approaching man with the light you see.

    • Fred P.W. Babalanda

      Great challenge. We should stop pointing fingers but need to ask ourselves what we have contributed to Africa. Each one should challenge him/herself what contribution he has made to mother Africa despite all odds. It is good now a couple of us are recognizing the problem at hand and the possible way out of the African problem. Let the revolution start with us and start today. We should use anything in our capacity to change as many people as possible towards the good of the whole of Africa. The change should not be limited theonly the good of our immediate families, because such change will not bring everlasting prosperity to the Continent.

  105. Henry francis

    ”Dey say if u want 2 hid sumtin frm a black man put it inside d book”I feel so bad…..

  106. Benita

    Perhaps if Walter and his kind stops meddlelling in our affairs we will eventually have the opportunity to nurture our ability and potentials. I am not even talking about the stolen black man inventions by the so called white superiors and their biases history An intellectual Black is a threat to the white man. Good he says they FEEL superior, not that they are. The gap is fast closing Walter.

  107. sigismund

    Am tearful!

  108. shina

    I am not angry, I am challenged, and my challenge does not end with me, if our past brains have failed us, its time for this generation to stand and take reign.

  109. Pa Santhikie Kanu

    Well put. I can see all his points. You see, I have been back to my native Sierra Leone after more than 20 years in the US. Brought quite a few roadwork and general construction equipment to help rebuild our war torn country but have been met with a series of dis-appointments. For example, contracts are awarded to individuals with no equipment or experience. They end up renting my equipment and knowledge (as Consultants) to do the job. Project implementers have no confidence in the black man, I had an another encounter with an arbitrator who asked why I could not import the materials I needed from an “European” company. I retorted, do you really think Europe still manufacture’s products as they used to? Is it a crime to buy from our local producers, or if the need be, order direct from China or India?
    You see, this colour complex will continue to wreck our societies. We are supposed to trust the white man because he has “more brains than us”, WRONG.
    When one reads “The Radiance of the King”, by Camara Laye, you see a white man, Clarence, flushed with self-importance seeking a job with the King though he possessed no work experience. He was eventually stripped of his remaining possessions (his clothing) and reduced to a baby making slave machine. C. Laye basically tells us that, we are the ones allowing the white man to feel superior as Walter (in this piecet) puts it. If we only work together, we can achieve a lot more because we have capacity to beat White man both in school and the real world.

  110. enyinnaya

    Very true and Sad. And hurtful

    • DELEs

      Would you explain to me why this is hotful ? I don’t think it is, rather incurr aging to the mind of thinkers.

  111. Sophie Alal

    Reblogged this on The Stray Bulletin and commented:
    All I can say is wow!

  112. ella

    Wake up call*sigh*

  113. comfort Jacob

    Africans Arise to a new dawn…


    The truth does hurt but I am so glad you wrote this… all of us need a dose of this every monday morning as we begin the week ! we are our own worst enemies .

  115. Charles

    Bam! Too painfully true! Its hight time we woke Africa up! But our leaders too need 2 b proactive with providin the right enviroment 4 implementation of such ideas. The mzungu gloats abt the lazy n poor African man n yet his infrastructure is perfect, they got free medical, Govt support 4 bright innovations etc what does Mwafrika have? Nothin, not even clean drinkin water!


    Reblogged this on TABASAMU MONOLOGUES and commented:
    Had to reblog this … Painful truths !

  117. akinsanya adewale

    well, thank God the writter is also a Phd candidate., hope he has also done more than critcize the rest of his kind. Absolutely it’s time we reduce emphasy on certicate and more on cognitive and craftmanship and innovative talent in far.

  118. Sam

    Every single words of Mr Walter were so true that I wonder when will Africans realise the time is. The whole continent can’t boost of any thing our own. I weep for my people

  119. ikheafe reuben

    Really it is a true talk. Africa leader are corrupt. The graduates are lazy

  120. Chris Madu

    Heavy! Personally only Africans can do for Africa. I am tired of all these hunger, wars, disease, and all sort negativities that go on Satelite T.Vs when Africa is in focus. We need to do something fast. Something tangible, not like when a man with a guitar is presented on CNN as an African hero, simply for the spill over effect his music has got abroad. Good, but we need scientists, innovators with evident results working out positively on the life of ordinary Africans in Africa.

  121. Adenike Oyalowo

    Walther’s view so rightly captures the African situation. The average African has a sort of “slavery mentality” which makes him feel automatically inferior to the white man. It’s so bad that we even rush to rubbish a fellow black man’s invention and the smarter white man equally rushes to grab such an inventor. And so while they do all the inventing sometimes with the help of a black man, the Africans do all the consumption. It’s sad really but it’s the truth

  122. Eugenie

    So glad this conversation is happening.
    One of the the major issues we have in Africa is immigration policies that discourage investments in other countries. A Zambian should be able to invest in Kenya, or any other country as he/she sees fit. The East Africa community is moving into the right direction but individual states have to move fast to ease business investment and trade. Until immigration laws are reformed, those who can’t make it in their own home countries will continue to develop other countries except those on the african continent. Rwanda is one interesting market to watch. Its prosperity is largely due a diversity of ideas from people coming from a variety of backgrounds, and a level of patriotism that sprang of the fact that the country was abandoned by the world in 1994. People have the “can-do it” attitude and are creative in their approach to business. The country also benefited from many reforms that have taken place in the last 15 years. We are not out of the woods yet, but people have seen change and are eager to change the ways business is done in developing nations.
    Another major issue we have in Africa is the lack of political stability. each leader who takes power can overturn previous policies. This lack of stability makes it hard for someone to make long term investments.

    Glad to hear Walter’s truth about us, hopefully we can all have a paradigm shift and make change.

  123. jules

    Very totful n Inspiring!

  124. Okolo Nice

    I feel ashamed
    Oh God help me to create a change

  125. Okolo Nice

    if every intelletual in Africa can think right we can change our continent

  126. Mim Kaggwa

    A bitter pill to swallow for us all

  127. cycatrx

    This is strong……

  128. ehimai

    I nid 2 display my talent,Bt I find it difficult 2 do!!!.

  129. Humphreys

    So after such a good article you still ended by showing your accomplishments instead of learning from the article itself?

  130. edima

    What stops us Africans from working hard, inventing machines and achieveing scientific feats? I’ll tell you what: Not the Govt. who is technologically unaware, Not at all. For same govt. fills its presidential villas with every state-of-the-art imaginable, and where unimagined, offers our stolen and hoarded tax for it, blowing even the brains of the White man off with the challenge and task of providing for greedy thieves what their fat-by-rape pockets have inspired. It is the GREEDY GOVT. that thinks first of its pockets and last of its people. The same govt. that will wholeheartedly swallow up our creative ideas by selling them off to the highest-bidding white skinner and leave us groping in the dark.
    We cannot wait for the govt. to change, we have to change the govt. and hope it is not a simple case of ‘new wine in old skin’.
    I have seen great African Drs, Engrs, Scientists, etc. that would rather themselves pen down great ideas and sell them off to the White man at the highest bid, or offer to slave away for him for almost nothing more than a hand-to-mouth guarantee, (except for a fortunate handful) than have their brain- and hardwork ripped to shreds literally by their very own Govt.
    Do I blame them? NO. Am I one of them? I hope not. But everyday I lean further towards the latter possibility. I have to consciously remind myself that White man may teach me what he knows, but I have to exceed his at best limited knowledge …
    That is the sad truth.


  131. Emmanuel

    Hmmm, This is neither my first time of hearing a discussion in this lite nor reading such and seeing people comment here and there.
    Am sure in a few days time everyone will forget this and go back to status quo.
    We all need to start acting and not just read, talk and forget otherwise nothing will change.

    I believe in Africa, we do not only need to start thinking right, but to start acting right. We need to stand up and pay the price for true freedom in Africa.
    Our independence is short lived the day we got it because we stopped acting.
    The farther we are from the date of independence the more dependent we are. I remembered my father’s stories as a kid that the country was better.
    Our progress is two step forward and four step backward, is that truly progress or just creating movement and activities that takes us backward.

    I will propose we’all both at home in Africa and diaspora start an African wide mission called “Support Change In Africa” with local entity in each country e.g
    “Support Change in Zambia”,
    “Support Change in Ghana”,
    “Support Change in Namibia”,
    “Support Change in Nigeria”,
    “Support Change in Congo”,
    “Support Change in Sudan”,
    “Support Change in Togo,
    “Support Change in Cameroon”, etc.

    We ‘ll must come together, we’ ll must be a change agent in our respective corners.
    Thank you Malaka and all.

  132. Ebi Bonnie

    If you could go back a 100 years in a so called third world country the development and modernization wouldn’t be far from what is present now in Africa. The only difference is back then you could buy and/or take what ever knowledge you require as long as you have the ability and or money to acquire it; Back then you were allowed to grow and their were lesser secrets. All Africa require is to be allowed to grow without interference… Afterall these first world came looking for Africa and what they could get from it from the inception, so what’s all this noise about being first world when one stays ahead due to borrowed or stolen ideas;-)

  133. mbanugo patrick

    its the most shocking revelation I have ever heard. Its a moment of truth for africans in diaspora. We must not just read this and drop couple of bluffs after doing so. We can’t just sit on one spot and be dreamers we gotta be doers too. If you can’t act on it or influence a change, pls send it to someone and ask the reciepient to send it to someone. Perhaps it will reach the people who could. We gotta stand up and do something and stop putting the blame on dead politicians.

  134. Akum-yeri Ayom-bil Robert Whittaker

    Hmmm, the truth they say, is painful. Great one there!

  135. Ezeh

    Well written Mr Ruwe!
    No one can make us feel inferior without our consent. For far too long Africans have consented and submitted to being lazy and inferior! Its time for all of us to wake up and take charge. There is no better time for change progress and development than right now!!!

  136. Wemola

    I just feel our governments do not give room for inventions and creativity. Do you know how many inventions and dreams had been wasted by insensitivity of many African governments and corruption? Look at the education system at grass root. our children are not motivated or thought to be creative with their minds and hands unlike their counterparts in the developed world. So what do you expect for future Africa? I believe corruption, selfishness, insincerity, greediness has eaten deep into Africa and this has blurred our minds. The white man has hit the nail on the head and it is time the government encourage and promote creative minds and inventions and stop busy looting our God given resources. We must arise Africa, We must Arise for our future generations.

  137. Pingback: Interesting Piece … | Kenyan Patriot

  138. Daniel Waweru

    Astonishingly stupid piece. I wouldn’t have been surprised had the byline said ‘Ewart Grogan’. Even amid the nonsense, this part is exceptional:

    Knowing well that King Cobra will not embody innovation at Walter’s level let’s begin to look for a technologically active-positive leader who can succeed him after a term or two. That way we can make our own stone crushers, water filters, water pumps, razor blades, and harvesters. Let’s dream big and make tractors, cars, and planes, or, like Walter said, forever remain inferior.

    since it fully accepts the colonial premiss that the human value of people depends on their level of technological advancement. The author proves his point about African intellectuals, if not in quite the way he expects.

    • malkia

      I agree with you Daniel.

      As Africans, we must STOP using the West and their advancements as yardsticks of our OWN civilization. Let us create and think of ways that are uniquely African.

      • Sky

        I totally agree! Benchmarking Africa to the west is equally dangerous and wrong. The author wants us to believe that all is well in the Western World. If we are to list the odds, inadequancies and evils the list will b endless and alarming. Some of the drivers for innovation in the Western World are circumstantial, including greed and need to control. If the world and it’s people we’re all the same & equal – this world I am sure will be a boring place. All the negative words used to define Africa in the authors perspective are relative. For instance POVERTY is a mind thing. If Africans decide that it’s time to remove the leaders they don’t want – they will definitely do it & they have done it where it was NECESARY.
        If there are few hard working and innovative Africans – doing it for the rest of Africans let it be. If its time for Africans to be innovative – Africans have all it takes to do it. Leave Africa alone nature will take its own course.

    • Eugene Nzeribe

      Daniel & Malkia, what I get from this whole piece is that we Africans are sitting on wealth that if properly applied, would make life better for our people if our political leaders were competent even in our traditional “African way”. Our African children who received western education in the last 60 years have collectively failed to use their education and talents to build a better world for the millions of very impoverished Africans that I am sure you see in your villages and slums of Nairobi, etc. Yes, in the world we live in today, technological development is one important factor in achieving human progress. There are others. It is not a colonial premise but common sense. — Eugene

  139. Sammie

    Most of us on this forum, we are those “so called intellectuals” hawking PhDs allover the world. Its time we get back to Africa and put what we learnt into practice. I am personally challenged.
    For God and my Country, Uganda

    • Eugene Nzeribe

      I suggest a small “thinktank” to begin brainstorming immediately from our various places of abode. I hereby invite you and other like-minded Africans to let me know by email to: eugene_nzeribe@icafrica.com, if you would like to be part of this pioneering initiative. Thanks. -Eugene

  140. Ben Kalokoni

    It is usually the mind of the intellectual to believe they see better than those below them. Once I was watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory in which a group of nerds was travelling in a car. Along the way the car developed a fault and when one of the group asked if any of the others knew anything about a petrol engine everybody else rose up with several words about what theory covers what and what pushes what to generate what. After all this, the next and simple question was, “Does anyone know how to fix a broken engine?” and no one could answer. Here now is the thing, some things are easier said than done. Yes, rise up! Make something! Invent something! How about a machine to store electric energy, seeing how we produce the same amount of energy during peak but have no way of storing the excess produced during off-peak hours? How about bio-fuels, and engines away from the Carnot cycle and all? What of solar energy and the great amount of it we have in the subtropics? These dreams big enough? We dream, we pray, some drink, unlike others that run off to the diaspora, like this author, an economic refugee, and we are getting somewhere. It ain’t easy because the white keeps pushing us down but we are like that rock in a certain African adage that beats the river by been still.
    How about that for positive thinking?

  141. Mbũrũ Kamau

    I need a heavy handkerchief to wipe my tears!!!

  142. Emerald

    Sad but true. . .

  143. David Tumwesigye

    The Bwana couldn’t be more precise! We need some really serious shifts ( of tsunami proportions ) in mindset to move ourselves forward and start the process of earning our place on earth! We need more Visionary and pragmatic leaders not opportunistic politicians and it’s begins with us, in each of our own lives. I start now

  144. kiah

    I am Nigerian and Walter was definitely talking about me in this one. It is time to bring change to Africa.

  145. lateef

    It’s indeed a very revealing thought! Africans must sit-up.

  146. Ayo

    I’m from nigeria but i loved every word…this is great! I’m touched…i hope we can all change our mindset and make an impact in our respective countries. I have a passion for ’empowering’ those around me. I pray we make a decision to impact someone somewhere somehow in Africa!


  147. Dack A T

    The episode is heart-touching,Africans we need 2 be awake.

  148. udusegbe omoefe

    This experience is truly African, with a few exceptions. We need to copy and paste technology without re-inventing the wheel. This has not been posible, because corruption and greed has become second nature to African leaders and the typical family setting encourages it all due to poverty and squallor. Let us make a change, start with the “man in the mirror” start with YOU!

  149. Ohanwe Obioma

    Hmmmm what a piece. I can’t but weep for my dear country Nigeria and my continent in general. May God help us!

  150. Obasi Julius

    I am so challenged by this post. The Mr Walter instead of being reproved for his hash choice of words should be commended. African leaders have failed. Our leaders are greedy , selfcentered and corrupt margots fit for d firing squad. They only specialise in looting our treasury and hide them in foreign accounts for them people who enslaved our fore father and aligned us on the path of poverty and misery to keep developing their land. What a shame. Our intellectuals are bunch of educated illitrates. This is a wake up call and I can only say to Mr Walter thank you for this wake up call and to the writer God bless you for this good work. May God bless Africa

  151. EMERALD


  152. a70667

    I’ve been thinking of writing a piece titled: The Comfort Zone of the African Intellectual … this piece just upstaged me. It says everything I wanted to say.

  153. Pingback: Urban Legend Kampala » Unemployment is for Sissies

  154. P.Sein

    The bitter truth indeed !

  155. Munachim O. Matthew Nwoba

    How I wish this message will reach all over Nigeria and Africa at large, also for those who hear it to put them in use. This is a lesson for us all!

  156. Kamau the Kenyan Patriot

    Thank you for penning down what I have never been able to articulate.There is no shortcut to development but hard work.

  157. Adenuga Ademolu Oluwaseun

    Wake up Nigeria!

  158. bayo alimi

    Thank you fo this mind opening scripts!wish to have a chat with you on your maybe a private mail!

    Alimi bayo

  159. bayo alimi

    Thank you fo this mind opening scripts!wish to have a chat with you on your private mail!.
    Alimi bayo

  160. Tarila

    This is an amazing piece. I take not offense at Walters harsh words although the truth hurts. And sadly, his analysis is not unique to Zambia; Most African nations are guilty of all that he said. And it is so shameful to see these countries blessed with so much resources and human capability perform at despicable levels. Recently, I read an excerpt from Lord Lugard’s book ‘The Dual Mandate’; a book written in 1926. Sadly his assessment of the African man and the African state of affairs holds true 86 years later! Here is what Lord Frederick Lugard had to say:

    “In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person. Lacking in self-control, discipline, and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity, fond of music and loving weapons as an oriental loves jewelry. His thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment, and he suffers little from the apprehension for the future, or grief for the past. His mind is far nearer to the animal world than that of the European or Asiatic, and exhibits something of the animals’ placidity and want of desire to rise beyond the State he has reached. Through the ages the African appears to have evolved no organized religious creed, and though some tribes appear to believe in a deity, the religious sense seldom rises above pantheistic animalism and seems more often to take the form of a vague dread of the supernatural”

     “He lacks the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility… he will work hard with a less incentive than most races. He has the courage of the fighting animal, an instinct rather than a moral virtue… In brief, the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children, whose confidence when it is won is given ungrudgingly as to an older and wiser superior and without envy…Perhaps the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his lack of ability to visualize the future.”

    —Lord Frederick John Dealty Lugard, The Dual Mandate, pg.70 (1926)

    • Eugene Nzeribe

      Dear Tarila , what Lord Lugard said in his book is not very different from the type of assessment I would make of a common man or woman on the streets of New York or London today. It depends on your perspective. – Eugene

  161. emmanuel

    This is factual! Although a bitter pile that must be swallowed by everyone who sees a future in Africa. Unfortunately, all of us pay lip service to creativity, innovation & productivity. Let us start from our little corner and stop passing bulk to issues around us. I see a great future in Africa!

  162. sindiso

    painful truth

  163. Ray King

    This is more reflective of Nigeria, my country than any other in Africa

  164. eva

    Its so true, even my pastor has preached the same thing.so touchly,we africans can do more then we think,we should never give up,africa is a great nation and its highly blessed by God.

  165. Richard Chilee

    Our friend walter has spoken to all africans, not just to the intellectuals.let’s stop blaming the politicians and their sick policies, they are not our problem. Our problem is us. Its high time we stood up and ask ourselves the very big question “what will I do for my country?” Wherever you are in africa, you are a microcosm of the larger society! Being schooled alone will not take us away from this quagmire which our plenty ignorance have placed us, we need to cultivate the attitude of responsibilty, intelligence, courage and honesty. Arming ourselves with these, we can be who we want to be, build what we want to build whether its a stone crusher or an aeroplane. We are all princes and princesses and only if we think and act like one, whatever we want in life will be deposited at our disposal.

  166. segun

    who ever wrote this remains blessed.teach this in primary and secondary schools and at the university level we will have liberated minds.
    We live by a structure built by the whites and we go to school acquire degrees and enter the dogma designed to limit our free thinking and creativity,By occupying our thoughts with a 8-5 job which will never allow ♏ε̲ and you to set our minds free from the ancient slavery i call ignorance that continues to modernise itself in our thoughts.
    educated africans be brave and set africa free of poverty!

  167. deji oyelade

    sir,pls take a time & read this

  168. Pingback: Educated Fools! « g2o2

  169. Law

    What a story. And every bit of it is true! We don’t help ourselves instead we do our best to fight against each other (brothers and sisters) in some cases I noticed that the African mentality is one that says “if I can’t have what you have, then none of us should benefit”

    We have not helped our case by allowing other foreign countries like China to exploit our resources.

    For a continent that places so much emphasis on education, it’s a big shame that we have nothing to show for all our learnings. And it’s a bigger shame that we have so much wasted talent out there with no ambition or drive to get up and change things.

    But what do you expect. A lot of our brothers and sisters rely heavily on people from abroad for financial support. In most cases we naturally give financial support to a lot of families back home. Maybe this is something we all have to review. Just like our families Africa is still dependent on other countries. At the age of 50 Africa still has not figured out how to walk let alone talk.

  170. Matthias Ikediashi

    This is reality…the truth is bitter!

  171. gdanny

    Reblogged this on Gdanny's Blog and commented:
    Amazinly nice

  172. gdanny

    Sounds interesting but short on way forward. Where in Africa are things working for the better? I need to re-locate to another part of Africa that is corrupt free. Where my innovations will be supported or respected. Otherwise I so tired of dreaming big only to be frustrated by every African I see, especially those in leadership at all levels.

  173. Adesina omoniyi

    Untill we have leaders that has no investment in oversease, hold our cultureto high esteem, believe in what you can give and not in certificate, give all africans millitary training,if we dont do all these we will forever remain inferior

  174. Ann

    Nobody ‘solves his own problems’, not even the arrogant twat you met on the plane that told you all this nonsense. Telling someone you feel superior to them and they are inferior to even the blah blah sweeping the street makes you arrogant and racist. First you need pride around many westerners otherwise they will crush you and your country. second you need to learn some history and news. Ask this arrogant twat a question or two about a major challenge his country or city has faced in the past year and watch him recline into his chair/shell like a cold snail. Third you need to learn some serious answers. Eight years in the states and I’ve heard it all. Everyone wants to convince you that you are worse off than they are, and it’s up to you to respond strongly otherwise we will continue to be fodder for twats’ jokes. Oh, and he has no conscience.

  175. Ichebadu Amadi

    This is my wake up call

  176. amsayaro

    Reblogged this on amsayaro and commented:
    I got the chance to read this and of course, I had to reblog it. It’s very hard truth but its the bitters we need to get our thoughts aligned to the right thinking…

  177. Nma


  178. Chinedu Irozuru

    I have two wards to say BUll SHIT. Perhaps Mr Walter suddenly forgot it was his kind that encourages African leaders to promote brain drain. Just like he rightly said, there is nothing wrong With the black RACe the only problem is the environment Or should I say the sistem. Do a research on inventions made by blacks and u might be shocked. And incase you have forgotten one of the worlds super power is be ruled by a black. This means there is absolutely nothing wrong with our human resources. The problem is the sistem which was originally programmed to be dependent on the western world. If any one tries to change the programme he will be labelled an enemy or a threat to peace. He will be replaced by a poppet in a matter of time. I have to admit I am very disappointed by the response I am seeing here can’t u people open your eyes? I am a Nigerian and in nigeria for instance I did see a man who developed a cure for HIV and I watched the government shut down his efforts. His name is Dr. Abalaka. Any reasonable person will ask, why the Nigerian government frustrate the efforts of such an asset. By now you should know the reason. I have also seen and heard of similar cases of geniuses that have been brain drained by the government. Listen the only reason they had the privilege to programme our sistem is because their cannons were More powerful than our spears and arrows. And one could ask why our forefathers allowed themselves to be backwards in weaponry, well I cannot tell you. But I can tell you one thing for sure. The Africans are not greedy. They were content with what they had. They didn’t have need to capture and conquer in a bid to expand their territory like the Europeans. If they did, its only logical that they would have advanced in weaponry and might have possibly resisted the curruption and under development seed that was planted by the western world. Once a again I am highly disappointed by the comments I am reading here you Africans are really programmed to fall for anything that seems western. I mean if it wasn’t for Walter you all probably wouldn’t have fallen for the trick behind the story. Africa has been entangled in a western web. it has also been fertilised with the dependency Poison. Today it is confused as she does not know her left from her right. She must go back in time so as to understand Herself better then use every possible medium to achieve complete self sustenance in every given aspect of life. Including technology offcourse. After this is achieved she will naturally begin to dominate and who knows maybe someday super dominate. This must be done quickly before she completely looses her culture. For there is no development without culture. And this could only begin when she begins to have several leaders that are both African oriented As well As anti western. Irrespective of the sistem of government. Democracy= millitry

    • ajibike

      Finally someone with a brain, I’ve been so irritated with the comments agreeing to what this “white man” has said about africans

    • Luwani

      I agree with Chinedu’s point …
      This thing is not new, we know the problems and we know the solutions but we will not solve them when we can’t trust one another….there are a lot of Africans who’re doing their best within the perilous systems and attitudes if you can imagine……
      I pray this Mr Walter guy taking advantage of the broken system repent and change from his ways.

    • nena

      Sir. I do remember that the cure for AID was found in Nigeria a few years back but never heard anything about it till you mentioned it.
      Still don’t understand fully why the Government would frustrate that sort of effort. I cαη only guess that there are some higher powers that they listen to.
      Sir. You & Walter speak the Truth.
      What i’ve learnt from you both is to keep fighting until Africa is Noticed & Heard.
      It may take a while, but it’ll payoff in the long run.
      I sincerely hope this gets African thinking of Positive Changes.

  179. medrine

    How true! And sadly the same goes for all Africans

  180. rerodan

    Cry the beloved continent

  181. Joseph Nkemontoh

    Interesting and thought provoking dialogue; Not that the substance of it is new. Albeit, a reminder that the strong feed on the week, unless the week band together for self protection. The African continent and its resources are at the mercy of the so called first world, to pillage/rape at will, till owners learn how to stand up and hold back while learning to use the means of the “west” to improve and advance rather than help loot and store or circulate their resources, be they intellectual or financial in Western countries. In Chiek Hamidu Khan’s “L’aventure Ambigue” the wise elder advises his village people to allow their kids to go to the “white man’s school” so they may learn how so small a number of them were able to defeat us and take our land; Then someday, the kids would be able to use those same methods to regain our lands. Other colonized peoples have arrived at this point. (Heard of Chinese/Asian pirating, smuggling files or Iranian, korean attempts to go nuclear?.) Who do you think this is a problem for?. Unfortunately, for one reason or other most Africans have learned but not yet able to transfer and innovate the learning for to improved and free Africa as quickly as others. Good reminder to keep working together rather than being hanged separately with our great learning.

  182. aisha

    This is so true. Africans r only good @ consuming, not @ inventing. I hope all that would change soon.

  183. babatunde

    This is a very powerful piece. Very touching…it is indeed a challenge and clarion call to African intellectuals to find means and ways of lifting this continent from the abyss of underdevelopment.

  184. victor

    This is so true,as Africans we travel & occupy foreign lands,we study & work in industries oversee with most of us having d opportunities of studying d blue-prints of production or manufacturing such end products in those industries but we never think about returning home to introduce our skills or educate & share our knowledge with our people.
    I won’t completely blame d govt of our various countries;we share most of d blames,because we can start by implementing d little we can in our environments;we can try make a move by drawing up master plans &tenders as a demonstration of our commitments;d problem with us Africans in general is that only a few are willing to take calculated risk & simply put;without Venture,No success.
    Pls I would appreciate it if u can email me this piece to d above email address.

  185. Kwame Simpeh Junior

    I believe this is a positive article yet again reminding us of what stares us in the face. I say enough of the commentary and acknowledging what we all know is the problem and start pragmatic steps to solve them. Infact just as you finish reading, I would admonish to start right away in your little corner you find yourself and put to use the intellect you have acquired and not to like or post a comment admission and go surfing other irrelevant sites.The action time is now,yes this very second of the minute!

  186. Kwame Simpeh Junior

    I believe this is a positive article, yet again reminding us of what stares us in the face. I say enough of the commentary and acknowledment of what we all know is the problem and start pragmatic steps to solve them. Infact just as you finish reading, I would admonish you, to start right away in your little corner you find yourself and put to use the intellect you have acquired and not to like or post a comment in admission and go surfing other irrelevant sites.The action time is now,yes this very second of the minute!

  187. Eugene Nzeribe

    The origin of the story (below) does not matter to me. It tells it as it is. The statements that has been attributed to the real or fictitious Walter, is addressed to all Africans but more particularly those of us in Diaspora. I have always believed that Africa can never gain the respect of the white man until one African country can compete squarely economically, with a white developed country. As long as our sub-Sahara African leaders continue to answer “yes Sir” to white Presidents and Prime-Ministers, we will continue to be of no consequence and all of our people, including YOU in Diaspora, will continue to be 2nd class human being, despite what our DNA says. I have said several times before that I have no doubt that the collective intelligence of Africans in Diaspora is fully capable, to within a short period of time, lift African science, technology and manufacturing up to par with the developed world. Walter has just pointed it out to us so vividly. Those of us overseas have unique opportunities to build Africa up with intelligence that already exist world-wide. My small NGO (ICAfrica) gives refundable micro-loans to hardworking but impoverished women entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya, resulting in huge improvements in the living conditions of their families. This is not rocket science and many of us could put our heads together to expand such ideas to empower the other 700 million Africans living on less than $1 a day.
    We must stop blaming our government leaders in Africa and find smart methods (as educated people) to defeat the poor performers and overcome this “cancer” that has been eating away Africa since independence in the 60’s. There should be no excuses. I can’t understand why a few of us in Diaspora cannot sit down together and plan on how to put a good government in Nigeria or in Zambia. What are we afraid of?. Our children and future generations will continue to be “slaves” unless we wake up NOW.
    Eugene Nzeribe
    Development Consultant, Ottawa

  188. ajibike

    I think you allowed that white man “brainwash” into thinking that all africans are lazy.
    Personally speaking, I have never felt inferior to anyone based on just on their race alone, and I think by letting that white man talk to you the way he did you must have felt inferior to him.
    I mean let’s say he did have a point ( which I don’t think he did) he could have been more diplomatic about the way he said it.
    And also about him going to “scam” the president of Zambia (or whatever country) I don’t believe he said it so proudly, and every where people talk about scammers they are quick to call out Nigerian scammers. BAER!

  189. ayodeji onaeko

    leaders who are not proactive,who cannot turn a nation into a manufacturing economy, who is not innovative is not fit for governance. we must resst most western economy formulars. they are killers. africa youth and pple arise ARISE ARISE YOU SLEEPING GIANT.

  190. Iphy Okonkwo

    Hmmmm. This truth comes hard and stirs me up. The elitist Africans must begin to think of the way forward because our development has rather been very slow. The reason is both the masses and the leaders are selfish since each person thinks on how to enrich himself and his family. When I read from ‘Third world to first world’ by Lee Kuan Yew and know that African leaders can transform their countries if they really want.

  191. Chacha

    We live in a place where creativity is seen to be unnecessary. Creativity isn’t just in the arts. Even an accountant can be creative. We survive on the creativity of others and that’s why we are poor. We are not creators. Just implementers. Change of attitude is required!

  192. James

    Africa’s problems are rooted in the spiritual. There is so much evil in the land. The evil powers inherent and practised amongst most African groups are the primary cause of their backwardness. This evil tendencies are synonymous with a scale on the eyes. It covers or blinds and prevents or keeps that which is good from the land. This is a factor I hardly hear about in any discuss concerning Africa.

    There are many Africans who could get things done who because they fear for their lives, and rightly so, keep very far away from Africa. Africa is a land that kills the good ones among them. Any one who is not part of the evil institutions in Africa will not live long enough to accomplish anything. If he must achieve, he must do so in a foreign land. If he must help Africa, he must do so from a distance. He cannot afford to do otherwise. Because within Africa are forces of darkness that hinder progress and development.

    There is so much wickedness among Africans particularly towards each other. It is for this reason that Africans cannot organise themselves for a good cause. There are so many places of worship; but even in these places of worship so much evil is going on. Having experienced this first hand, I have come to the conclusion that the only hope for Africa is God. I say this because I know with Him (God) nothing is impossible.

  193. Wambui

    The truth hurts, ha?

  194. dorothie

    Wow I remain speechless as to thinking av always said we zambians are lazy but I refered my statement to work now I see more indepth to our laziness. Total shame. Hope we change for the better. Thanks for sharing this article with us.

  195. Martin

    The Great Tragedy of Africa: We Don’t consume our produce & We don’t Produce what we Consume.
    Sadly am one of those with a decent 8-5 and a wall full of degrees..(*shaking my head)..i believe true change is internal…challenge accepted.

  196. Malilisho

    Why do Zambian engineers have to get the stick? What about Zambian Journalists who have perpetuated mediocre leaders and governments by writing so many untruths. The last election in Zambia showed what irrresponsible journalism can do to perpetuate bad leadership. I graduated in 1997 and promptly returned to Zambia. I struggled to change the mindset of my colleagues in the civil service and showed them that we could be the change by demanding better working environments, tools and by being innovative. The trend was to copy what had been done previuosly rather than draft a new document. I said to them that the people who came before us had innovated and we could do the same. When I left after 8 years, I was glad to see that some of my ideas where implemented as a way of retaining and attracting young graduates. Sadly I was the last to be trained abroad. In those 8 years on a Civil Servants salary was truly a vow of poverty and when I got my first private sector job my salary went up 9 x overnight. I bought my own car and gave up the family van I was borrowing. What also pains me, is the levels of corruption. Intellectuals have presided over the worst plunder of public money and resources. Trucks are bought for ferrying building materials to private properties at weekends. Land is hoarded and resold by Local Authority workers. Prices are inflated by corrupt public (and/ or procurement) officers and the difference between profit + bribe shared with these same officers. We are no longer selfless. Corruption is stealing from futire generations.When Engineers where busy telling politicians that roads could be patched, they were ignored. Instead the politicans bought themselves off road vehicles to drive on the potholed roads. Now the road which could have been repaired at a fraction of the cost is being rebuilt at exhorbitant prices, with huge bribes going back to the myopic politicians. Is it really the intellectuals lack of capacity to become politicans? All those british prime ministers except for a few like John Major are Ox-bridge graduates. Its time education was used for its intended purpose and that is to liberate our thinking and to train us that with enough training, we can change the world we live in.

  197. Pingback: You Lazy Intellectual African Scum! | Mind of Malaka « anyeteijen

  198. Gilbert Asare Osei Bonsu

    Pew!…wen a flower sprouts,its beauty,elegance,fragrance spreads thru where it stnds,so is this story…Africa Must Wake Up…it IS as WALTER said,TRUE we act still as SLAVES in the WHITEMANS country cos some BISCUITS,so much efforts to please HIM..the RAINS r hittin hard on us buhh i BELIEVE my GENERATION thru GOD will UNVEIL the SUN so we feel the SHADE…LORD,luvs the WHITE n BLACK all..its NEVER too LATE for us..remove the WEEDS so the HARVEST can be BUMPER…LORD,be our sheperd n lead us as we CHANGE our CONTINENT for the BETTER.

  199. chimba

    I just hope many Africans see this am one of them with a degree at 21 and a diploma in computer science but just sitting at home blamin society for not employing me when I can be my own employer

  200. Kriscalf

    Spot on!
    “… Evenings are spent brainstorming…”
    This just new energy!!!

  201. IamVW

    Hits the nail on the head. Great post…Africa as a whole is failing on many fronts, not just the political…education systems and delivery…and the greatest of all, corruption. Corruption corrodes.

  202. abdullah abdul

    What a statement of fact! This has actually struck a sensitive nerve in me. Where are we really channeling our intelligence to? The sooner we wake up from our slumber the better for the whole continent and the world at large

  203. Dennis

    Consider reading the book The Confessions Of An Economic Hitman. Similar to this.

  204. Wamango

    We need to wake up…….

  205. mmnjug

    The day we shall stop being afraid of thinking, that is the day that we shall make a turning point, till then, our goose is and shall remain cooked.

  206. Bobo

    Walter (the white guy) sees a problem with Africa, and he himself is also a problem, taking pride in taking advantage of Africans

  207. raysattic

    Scaringly true! Thanx for your insights!

  208. chinwe

    This is definitely an eye opener,we Africans have to stop having myopic view of ourselve.we look up to d westerners but ironically this people survive by what is inbeded in our own land.I think its time we start acting and behavin like d champions we are.

  209. esquire facta

    true n true

  210. Abmalik (@abmalik49)

    This is halluncinatingly true, believe it or not, that is what we are LAZY, lacking innovation, ideas, wallowing away in the bars and arguing away knowledges earned with our nations resources.

    However, hard Walter may had been on Field, the truth from those conversations cannot be concealed under the toughest cloak, because, the IMF and World Bank had deceived us time without number in Africa because of the GREED of office holders. If Malaysia could forego the loan offered from World Bank in the heat of the Asia Recession to emerge a regional power and eventually a world player to be reckoned with, I bet you with our intellectuals and Eggheads, we’ll do better.

    I’m reblogging this at http://abmalik49-wecanbebetter.blogspot.com/

    Thank you for this interesting but truthful piece. The time to wake up and reclaim our collective will and destiny is now. Nigeria can and would be a better place for my Children and grand-children if I start now.

  211. Yomi Olubola

    I wish someone at the realm of power read this , just one leader and hopefully he can make a change!

    • Kola

      Nothing to do with leaders, read history, it’s only when people come out as a collective to fight for a better life that they will get it. Most Africans are so brainwashed by religion that they refuse to face their issues directly instead clinging on some “miracle” hapening for them

  212. Leke

    This is really sad but extremely true. Y don’t we dream big? ThosE of us in Africa that even dare to do So are cast aside ãήϑ thought of as strange. But this is a clarion call. Stand up Africans, stand up Nigerians ãήϑ let’s make our lives better.

  213. Ronke

    Hmmmmm,very pathetic and very touchy. My prayer is that we d youths,d acclaimed leaders of tomorrow will rise up 2 our responsibilities.

  214. peter

    who is this guy? Your problem was revealed to you and immediately you blame it on someone else. When will we begin to take responsibility as individuals knowing we are solely responsible. Thats when d change will come, a change of government without changing d people (intellectuals and elites esp.) will never give us d change we want.

  215. Bankole Allibay BPM

    I have been in Zambia, I look strainght into the streets and locations mentions and balls of tears roll down my cheeks! I was stabbed in the head for my mobile phone in Kalingalinga along Alick Nkata! A strong sign of poverty and self condemnation leading to resignation and crime!
    I am Nigerian, a Development Consultant based in the UK. All the ideas I generate for development in Africa are kept in the shelves and due to non-implementation, they die in the shelves, time past!
    I weep for Africa! Travelling around the world, the same question hangs on my chest: what can you do to improve home? But at every attempt, I have been proven wrong by the idiotic leadership and extremely narrow minded, mentally impoverished leadership that rules accross Africa!!! What a shame! I think we need a United Thinking Front for Africa, to think a way out of this doldrum! If we tarry, I see a total crashland.

    • Malilisho

      on behalf of Zambians and residents of Kalingalinga, I apologise for your attack. Some one should have warned you on which areas you could walk at night. The night life in Kalingalinga can be alluring for thos who like that sort of thing, but you are best guided through there by a resident. I even avoid driving through there if i can.

    • Eugene Nzeribe

      I suggest a small “thinktank” to begin brainstorming immediately from our various places of abode. I hereby invite you to let me know by email to: eugene_nzeribe@icafrica.com, if you would like to be part of this pioneering initiative. Thanks. -Eugene Nzeribe, Canada

  216. chima chamberline anyaoha

    Is only a fool that will debate about what can be right in his wrong before he admits that he is wrong overall….Let us all good people from a great nation Nigerian, no matter your religion or ethnicity pray to God, to guide, protect & lead our country & our leaders thru Christ our Lord, Amen!

  217. kagonya

    Harsh but true words. However, I appreciate the effect of this article. Very rarely do I come across a blogpost that gets Africans from all over in conversation. If we let the impact of these words inspire us, YOU and I can do good in our own countries. Go Africa!

  218. Charlo-Nairobi

    This is great creativity by the Zambian media practioner..good to know there are other african minds who think likewise..its high time Africa found solutions to its economic and developement problems..that Kenya n S.Korea were at the same economic level in the 60s n now S.Korea is striding towards 1st World while Kenya is still 3rd despite its economic and human resources endowment is beyond me..on the contrary there are many african minds which “Dream big“ but are undermined by political impunity..perhaps our biggest tragedy was having small minded incompöops get into political office in our formative years or that our great great grandfathers were born in land of plenty with rich fertile climates thus were rather too comfortable..if only there was a way this words in this article could trickle to every african mind especialy those in positions of power..

    • Agal-Wanga

      Please as a kenyan let us get OVER that comparison of Kenya being at par with S,Korea them days. It has past its sell-by-date. Reality is that, the middleclass have decided they are too good to mix with the plebeian who make up the majority of the voters. They are so busy scrambling for a piece of the “Nairobi Dream” read Rav 4/SUV (the larger the better), House in the right surburb and all that, that they could hardly care whats going on in the rest of the country, let alone to the mama mboga (veggie seller) they buy their greens from. If the middle class intellectuals would actually get off their high horse and spend less time pontificating whilst getting drunk in the local country clubs, ESPECIALLY the Nairobi club, United Kenya club and you can name all the rest, Kenya would be a much better place. Remember, the welfare states came into being BECAUSE of, NOT inspite of the coalition of classes. We have to get the BASICS right before we can power on considering we are a capitalist country. That Mzungu was spot on when he said that the poor African is damn hard working. We can all agree with that. But what do the intellectuals spend their time doing? The mzungu has said it all. You should hear them in the clubs. NKT!(loud click of tongue). Despite being middleclass myself, doing penance by living with my grandma in a mud hut after having being expelled from a high cost school taught me what matters in society. One needs to be inclusive in ones policies as well as arguments.

  219. Mbobua

    Kenyans are you listening!! Great piece….I’m challenged

  220. Afrikan Eye

    Fundamentally disagree with this piece of yet more Africa bashing!It is as though no African so called ‘intelligentsia’ are working hard to figure out solutions for Africa! Typical over-simplification of a complex situation. And yet we Africans will accept when yet another person tells us we’re shit…self-hatred much?

  221. Afrikan Eye

    This isn’t even insightful…Ngugi Wa’Thiongo was on this ages ago…I’m done with the Africa bashing…We’re not even critiquing this piece…everyone seems to jumping on the bandwagon of approving what are basically ideas we’ve heard for eons.

  222. Justin Ede

    This is extremely correct and unfortunately, it applies to all African countries and citizens of Africa.. It’s time to rise up to the challenge. The white man has just one head & so do we, it’s time for us to think and create the future the world will envy… I refuse to be lazy, I am not inferior to anybody, I am Black, I am strong & I am Proud…

  223. Tionge Simbeye

    Its truly an article every zambian chid should as they growth to higher institutions of learning. I believe the indoctrination of ideologies and revolution of change in our perceptions and our commitment for development “done by us,for us” should be done starting now!!! Our future generation needs this. I need this! Am impressed the many comments from my fellow africans, most I believe are in a young vibrant age group. Let us arrise to this soul piercing challange today!!

  224. Simon Kagotho

    I feel like he is talking about me and my fellow Kenyan intellects. SHAME ON US

  225. Mauri Yambo

    An archaeo-/neuro-Fanonist slant on Africa that misses, by a wide margin, the big, big picture — of a continent newly emergent and newly self-confident. Still, worth a patient, thick-skinned read.

    Don’t miss the boat. Come back soon.

  226. iliyasu

    this is a hard but most conspicouos truth which should bother us all. no one is willing to innovate, creativity is never welcomed and to worsen matters, leadership has been hijacked by a cabal of dictators who never dream of giving back to the people and society that made them – its a pity (Africa)

  227. sAnmi O

    Walter was absolutely correct, africa is so structured that intellectuals are forced to take the bAck seAt, and I know its not out of choice. Our callibre of leaders are people who do not grasp the dynAmics of an ever changing world. But I believe a dAy will come when the ‘Walters’ of this world would eat their words.

  228. nena

    Walter spoke the truth even if it seemed harsh. We really do need to “WAKE UP”.
    That’s what this is. A WAKE UP CALL!!
    Africa is Blessed.
    She needs to produce human exports
    (in music, science & technology, fashion) to the world at large.
    An opportunity that ωoη’т pass me by that’s for sure.

  229. poluyi

    I shall not be a mediocre…

  230. amwiru

    this is truth but it still puts mzungu on a superior position, again giving them exactly what they want.its until when we start looking into ourselves and trusting each other,no matter how bad the circumstances in all levels are,shall we build the unity desparately needed for the take off off poverty. most of the times the problem does not from the african elites but rather from the old rigid minded generation in leadership positions be it entertainmanet or political.its until when we stop trusting in mzungu and believe in each other and our own strengths!!

  231. Steven Angao

    I am dreaming big. This is a strong and profound encourgement

  232. Adeto

    Africa simply needs an independent mentality that has the strength to pay the price and carry the burden of freedom. We need to be able to embrace development and its travail. This means we must be ready to offend many international benefactors, we must be ready to suffer the lack of the bait they send to us as aids, we must deprive ourselves of those luxuries that tie us to our slave masters we must be ready to go thru the labor pain of birthing our own home grown technology. We must make our education and scholastic curriculum agree and relevant to our needs in every area of life. Our governments must create the enambling environment to scientists and not just business men in execution of developmental projects. By all means corruption must be fought and send out of the shores of Africa which has been fertilized by that poverty mentality that is fed by greed beyond a modest living. This poverty mentality makes an average African thinks he would need all the money in the world to feel secure financially and be respected in the society and so whatever he earns no matter what that can buy is never enough except he deeps his filthy hands into the commonwealth to satisfy his poverty mentality. and so multiply poverty and increase the gorge between the rich and the poor. This dichotomy has militated against Africa bringing wars and unrest; the rich doesnt want to become poor and the poor hates the rich for it ready to so anything to join the other group. This dichotomy is strengthened by governments inability to provide a framework that will foster public utility and social security that can provide a sort of leverage for the poor. So the rich has those utilities which should have been for all and that is one of those things that separates the rich meanwhile these utilities are things that every human being should have.
    Africa needs to review things to accommodate her continued existence!

  233. Yumbsy Bear (@MbizzlyBear)

    Hi everyone. I read this article and felt little beyond what Walter felt. I am a young Zambian living abroad. I too have felt Walter’s same sentiments but never knew what to do about them. My only hope (the only solution I could think of) was to study abroad, work abroad and then come back to Zambia and do something great. Whatever that great thing would be.

    It’s a pity that we hoodwink each other at every turn. We’re all a little corrupt within ourselves. We do not know what working together even means. The saddest part of my realisation is that we feel that if we get a little, we can make it last. Always chasing the quick buck with no real forecast or foresight paid towards the future and what it may bring or afford us.

    These very same beliefs we are all discussing here of: camaraderie, cooperation, innovation, creativity, positiveness etc, are all ideas that Mr Elias Chipimo Jnr. addresses in his book “Unequal To The Task”. Overlook his ambitions towards politics and read the book.

    It is quite frightening to me that we only acknowledge these notions when a “white person” (I only say this to drive the point home, not to be racist or anything unfavourable in any way) points them out but won’t listen to our own people? What on earth is wrong with us?

    The point is, we cannot wait for others to come up with a solution for us. let us start with ourselves, TODAY!!!

    Lazy intellectual (Guilty as charged)

  234. Gemngash

    This calls for self REFLECTION….change only occurs if “I” take the initiative and not wait for my comrade…collegue…friend…neighbour….leader…politician…government to transform the world or society for me!!!!If we ALL engaged ourselves in enhancing social change and justice….and got involved in technological innovations…for sure Africa would for sure be a better place to live in!!!We got ALL it takes to CHANGE AFRICA!!!!!

    This piece of writing is a CHALLENGE!!!

  235. bamwebaze

    Africa is more developed than America and the western world- depending on how you look at it. one in two Americans suffers from a diagonizable psychiatric illness. Mental illness in Africa is no where near that! So, who is the fool?

  236. Sheila A

    As a non African visiting your beautiful continent, I have seen God has endowed you with much. I also believe the others need to share the blame for plundering this continent and taking out its wealth and riches using unethical means. We will all stand before God to answer for things we have done and the rest of the world has to answer for what it has done to Africa.
    Advancement or education should never be used to plunder the poor or out smart them. There is a day of reckoning for all, and that is a sobering thought.

  237. Laz Ude Eze

    Reblogged this on donlaz and commented:
    This piece is a challenge us, as African people. Truth hurts but it must be told. This piece is about the reality not just in Zambia but the African continent.

  238. Lydia rwendeire

    This leaves m speechless!strange bt true!ts un eye opener we must wakeup!

  239. Cherry

    Hmmm…thought provocking, only, the bwanas need to remember they only enjoy those lavish lifestyles because of Africa and Africans. The minerals they stole, the interlectual property rights they keep stealing, the shoddy deals they make with our presidents. They essentially take what belongs to those poor Africans they (Walter) feels sorry for. If it were not for the under priced iron ore, the aluminum and copper from Africa, Walter wouldnt have a plane to gloat over. If her feels that sorry for Africans, why cant he stay away from Africa, and every one of them bwanas, and see how far they go? Yeah, just as i thought, they cant because Africa is where they eat from!! And if Africans fight back for thier property and rights, them bwanas then brand it as terrorism. Walter is classicly cynical.

  240. Adeosun Sheriff Temitope Great

    This is the begining of greatness, the time has come for us to have our own scientist. As from now on, i’ll pass this wonderful note to as many Nigerian as i can I talk to. The time has come for us to create a youthfulness economy. Thanks to the writer.

  241. @trafels

    I’m glad a friend recommended this write-up to me,its really an eye-opener but I won’t deny that I have not thought about it before.
    As Africans,most of us were brought up to believe education is a key to survival and future independence (which is true) but what we were not told/taught is how to channel this education towards making life better in our countries and how to impact our knowledge towards making this great continent take its rightful place as the world’s foremost continent.
    Most Africans are egocentric and they believe the more titles you have in front of your name,the better you are than your fellow countryman.I agree with Walter’s statement about intellectual laziness in Africa,I’m also learning for the first that the average African who scuttles around doing backbreaking jobs to place food on the table for his/her family is one of the most hardworking people in the world.
    Its time to change our outlook on life and realize that we are “PARTIALLY’ (I dont support Walter here because the white-men are the major cause of our woes in Africa) responsible for the deplorable state of this continent,we have blamed the colonialists for too long.
    Its so ironic that things can change for the better just by doing the little you can,you dont have to be a billionaire or a head of state to change the environment around you,learn to teach and educate people on easier ways of doing things,set up meetings in your communities and learn about the numerous talents hidden amongst you,take the reins and people will follow but remember that its a collective effort.
    I will like to continue this discussion,follow me on twitter @trafels so we can share ideas,its a good start.
    P.S- Laying blames will never solve anything,lets move forward.

  242. nda okpanachi

    That is exactly what we are in africa, most especially nigerians.

    • joba

      This is a great thought provoking piiece..not sure if it is fictitious,but it sure spells out afRiCa. Yet, do d Arabs produce anything?? If they do how much?? Yet they are very rich and their countries are properly developed..I’m talking about Qatar, saudi Arabia, Dubai…they import brains from africa, americas and europe to run all their things.but always with gain for their country in mind..thesame things that led us into being enslaved by the colonialists have persisted..GReed..they gave our chiefs mirrors and took their palm oil as well as slaves..they brought their old guns, and took even more slaves..Now, they have found oiL..Libya became a concern, Nigeria toO..how is it that a wealthy nation is starving?? economists propound theories to be tested on African waters..I’m tired of playing the blame game..let’s show how it can be done. Our leaders still haven’t changed..greedy, and empty..perhaps its because we have not changed. Here is my suggestion”ets not put the cart b4 d horse, no need for a formal union when we haven’t started anything, informal fora , social media..should suffice..we do not want to seem like a force, that we are not..at least not yet..we must start work individually..b4 flying into uncharted waters..let’s start with light, water, shelter, education..some of us are rich one way or the other..per communitity..start something..say for example in Nigeria were light is luxury, in a village windmills and solar panels should be bought to and put in place by someone who can afford it…a doctor can take his street and help in d awareness anevention of preventable diseases.

    • joba

      This is a great thought provoking piiece..not sure if it is fictitious,but it sure spells out afRiCa. Yet, do d Arabs produce anything?? If they do how much?? Yet they are very rich and their countries are properly developed..I’m talking about Qatar, saudi Arabia, Dubai…they import brains from africa, americas and europe to run all their things.but always with gain for their country in mind..thesame things that led us into being enslaved by the colonialists have persisted..GReed..they gave our chiefs mirrors and took their palm oil as well as slaves..they brought their old guns, and took even more slaves..Now, they have found oiL..Libya became a concern, Nigeria toO..how is it that a wealthy nation is starving?? economists propound theories to be tested on African waters..I’m tired of playing the blame game..let’s show how it can be done. Our leaders still haven’t changed..greedy, and empty..perhaps its because we have not changed. Here is my suggestion”ets not put the cart b4 d horse, no need for a formal union when we haven’t started anything, informal fora , social media..should suffice..we do not want to seem like a force, that we are not..at least not yet..we must start work individually..b4 flying into uncharted waters..let’s start with light, water, shelter, education..some of us are rich one way or the other..per communitity..start something..say for example in Nigeria were light is luxury, in a village windmills and solar panels should be bought and put in place by someone who can afford it…a doctor can take his street and help in d awareness a prevention of preventable diseases..actively participate in politics and don’t leave it to d ne’er do wells..u may wonder, y is evryone spilling over with ideas..its because were in the jet age..its d destiny of the times..everyone should be relevant..and I’m sure if we learn to meet basic needs properly, Freedom is in sight

  243. Dr Akpowaye Akpomiemie

    I weep 4 myself cos I know its true .For instance We rather keep importin fuel than encourage local refineries, we pass thru skools copying project and a host of others

  244. Aaron Paul Shija.

    Ruwe!! Can you p’se get this sent to all African presidents and leaders?
    It’s absolutelly amazing truth!!!

  245. Chabvondoka.

    This is the truth and nothing hurts like being told the truth. Almost stopped reading the article but because Walter was telling the truth, I was forced to finish reading this article.
    What he was saying is happening in my country Zimbabwe “Cry Zimbabwe Cry”. The politicians back there only think of themselves and their cronies. I am forced to toil here in South Africa where i am not appreciated and abused. Walter is talking about me and I feel so infuriated by my weakness. But then what can I do? I cant go back home where there is 90% unemployment. My kids need bread on the table and I wouldnt survive in such an environment.

  246. owen

    history will show that Africa has been treated as a foot stool by the so called developed world. they did partition of Africa and destabilized its systems, colonize and exploit its resources. manipulated its leaders after independence and its now china’s time to exploit mother land. in their battle of world economy domination with the west, they are comming to africa as investment partners but all they are doing is exploiting africa resources.

  247. Pingback: The Needful Revisited… « Coral & Caramel Drapings's Blog

  248. Waridi Rose Rashid

    How very humbling. We consume luxury items and our leaders seek medical care abroad where the elite’s children also get their education. We are busy expanding universities so we shall have one in every village without worrying about the quality. Yet there are hordes of young ‘present day missionaries and colonists’ coming to save us from hunger, disease and poverty. I thought of linking to something I had written in my blog, although I seem to really fit in as ‘lazy’ blogger http://wwwinretrospect.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-do-we-want-to-be-as-kenya-lets.html?spref=tw

  249. jdaniow

    Reblogged this on whatyoumightbemissing and commented:
    In common theme of sharing links to other peoples perspectives: here’s a bold one that has often entered my thoughts while being here…

  250. Naomi Mutua

    Let’s all take a breather and think twice… we’re doing exactly what ‘William’ said… and we’re sitting here discussing whether he is right or wrong, whether he insulted us or he didn’t. Instead, we should take the lesson, and move on to bigger dreams… get of our asses, and ACT!
    To rephrase the words of Wangari Maathai, “Stop talking, start [planting] acting!”

  251. Faith

    Yes we need to wake up, The time has come, It begins with us, blah blah blah. Raise that tightly folded fist in anger and strike the air. No wonder we are called lazy. No one’s going to do nothing about. Wish we acted what we said.

  252. edwardohenebeng

    The more I read this article, the more I agree with every single point that was made. We can only make something positive happen in Africa if we all put our heads together but the question is; is this feasible? Every black person wants to feel superior over the other and there’s always a sheer competition to prove who’s best. Black ideology is utterly in tatters. We can change Africa and we can’t change ourselves. Every intellectual candidate in Africa is a master of bribery and corruption, self-care/selfish. Take our leaders for example; people who we elect to improve the economy of he country uses state funds to finance their children’s and grandchildren’s education in abroad. Is our schools not as worthy as the school in abroad?

    The earlier we start to recognise how good Africa is and to save Africa the better.

  253. browninkling

    Reblogged this on browninkling and commented:
    This Makes So Much Sense..

  254. browninkling

    I Had To Reblog This.. It Makes So Much Sense And It Is Indeed A Wake Up Call To Every Africa Out There To Make Use Of His/Her Brain And Make Our Continent Great!! Together, We Can Develop It Beyond Belief!

  255. nifty

    Just because we don’t sell souls, I think we should start believing our african juju and stuff may be we’ll come up with something better than being in the train that sucks and we don’t even know where is heading!

  256. irenei kiria

    Frantz Fanon said it all in the early 60s, various other African authors after him

  257. Frank Kejuo

    When the truth is spoken it relief some arteries and veins crowded with certificate n degrees. We all know the truth to a large degree..Its sad this is where we fall and we are still facing down and not trying to get up and do what the Chinese or indian did to airborne.
    Africa my home my hope my despair…running way and coming back from the West doesn’t make you an elite or a conqueror ….what have you achieved in your country with tons of knowledge and degrees? A day will come when we shall get up like a fallen and dusty child…we’ll stagger and leap and we’ll keep walking until our infirmity heals..the will the sun rise in his horizon and the rain of knowledge will fall on good soil and the blades of inventions will spring forth from this dark continent when each and every one of us have join our torch together to kindle the flame that will illuminate Africa and the cosmic world will shout accolades that we have taken back our position as the cradle of civilization ..

  258. Lani

    I have to disagree with this article.

    I don’t think the intellectuals are to blame for the lack of development in Africa. Africans are a force to be reckoned with abroad when it comes to research and development.

    How far can an intellectual go without the support of his or her government? If I go to the Ministry of Power with a proposal for using part of the vast sahel in the northern part of my country as a solar panel field to generate clean electricity, the proposal will be discarded before it is read. Same goes for proposals for potable water, for education, for anything that will make life easier for the common man. The powers that be do not encourage ideas, nor do they entertain them when they come.

    The sad truth is that the people in charge at home that will allow these ideas to work are making too much money from everything not working. There is really nothing anyone, intellectual or not, can do about that.

  259. Mucaris

    To me that white guy, William, is a friend of africa. Beyond Zambia, all african countries especially sub saharan can relate to his dissection. This ‘kick’ ought to change the dynamics of the black man’s lifestyle. It should start from those of us that have read this. I will surely profit from it.

  260. itsdelta

    Reblogged this on Itsdelta's Blog and commented:
    This article hit home! And it hit hard…

  261. jerimaa

    You still ended up blaming someone else for the mess?

  262. Walter

    Typical Africans. Still just talking!

    Facta non verba!

  263. Ibrahim

    Much as I want to say this is not true, it’s unfortunately very true of us Africans. I thought this applies only to Nigeria, but now I can see, that it is the cross that we Africans have bear. However, why? Why can’t we do things like the other societies do? Why are we so lazy, corrupt, inept and uncaring what happens to our people. It is very unfortunate indeed.

  264. Quiet Observer

    And the blame continues:

    “…But the intelligentsia is not solely, or even mainly, to blame. The larger failure is due to political circumstances over which they have had little control. The past governments failed to create an environment….”

    Blame, blame, and blame more. Just what the white man was talking about on the plane. I am a Nigerian, and I feel inundated with all the blame games we play—first against the British, then against the ruling class..and all the while, we do nothing, or close to nothing.

  265. The Black Man Cometh

    This is an incredible article. Absolutely accurate. What a riveting read. You are absolutely correct on all of the issues that you raised. Well done.

    There is another authour I know, a young firecracker from Cape Town who wrote an article with the same themes. Have a look at the link below.


    Keep well and keep writing.

  266. thinkovation

    I think the change is already happening.

    I’ve done a ton of work helping Tech co’s create viable, sustainable, strategies for Sub Saharan Africa.. and every where I go, whether it’s the Universities, Entrepreneurs or just the Twitterverse, I’m bowled over by the confidence, go-get-it attitude and the work ethic of young Africans.

    Maybe it’s a generational thing?

  267. Edobor Ozakpolor

    Lord Lugard Thought On Nigeria In 1926 – At Times I Wonder If He Was Right
    « on: August 18, 2011, 11:02 AM »
    “In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person.
    Lacking in self control, discipline, and foresight.
    Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity, fond of music and loving weapons as an oriental loves jewellery.
    His thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment, and he suffers little from the apprehension for the future, or grief for the past.
    “He lacks the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business.
    He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility ”

    Lord Frederick John Dealty Lugard, The Dual Mandate, pg.70 (1926

  268. Emana

    Article is reasonably fair having been derived from our lived experiences as Africans and reflective of the socio-political challenges of the continent but appears a bit skewed in terms of not questioning or unpacking the structural political challenges in Africa and how this has affected the practice and application of technocracy in the development of the African society.
    But how can we have a society impacted positively by Ph.D holders when the enabling environment, supportive policies, adequately-resourced research institutions and functional infrastructure to put these new knowledge to use are absent?
    A creative Ph.D sector can only thrive in economies where science and technology is pursued with every sense of purpose. Our science and technology policies are documented in reports and neatly stacked away in shelves of many Africa’s multilateral institutions.
    Secondly, how can that happen when the engine of political and economic policies of Africa, the African GOVERNMENT is grossly embedded in corruption, self-styled autocratic rule laced with ineptitude, offensive penchant for foreign aid and unwillingness to change. (Recently, I read about China’s questionable gesture to the AU, a multi-million dollars edifice to be used as the new AU headqtrs. Isn’t that crazy? And nobody is thinking about the political and economic freedom that we are mortgaging into the hands of rapidly progressive economies?)
    Speaking on the seeming incapacitation of African scholars to contribute to development, one will quickly see the corruption-driven synchronization of technocracy and political governance that has damaged the creative industry of the technocrat world. You want to doubt me, take a trip to the AU, NEPAD and UNECA and other bilateral/multilateral institutions in Africa; where the romance between the political elites and technocrats are getting deeper as a result of greed.
    This is a destructive trend!

  269. Ken

    Field, no one could have said it any better, Africa is tired of recycled politician who can’t think out side the box.I salute Walter, sometimes let the truth be told……….I cry for mother Zambia.

  270. Chidi Nwankpa

    what a wonderful article. It will make you cry inside and really think how truly lazy most of US are. God help us but we should also help ourselves first. Im guilty too

  271. PanAfricanist

    That Walter dude is a twat. As an IMF employee he knows how the world goes around and he should therefore stop being lazy with the over simplification of our problems. And the direct comparisons to China .. is just another lazy way again to analyze our problems and seek solutions. I am certain he did not spend enough time understanding the forces (internal and external) that make it difficult especially at this current stage for our intellects to invent and push a product to the market locally. Its just outright laziness to attribute that failure to “lazy”. But only a MZUNGU in a African stage can get away with this. My people are doomed!!!

  272. balotelli

    this is so true,our fore fathers sold Africa for peanuts lets hope our generation can make a difference.

  273. Kola

    fair point,I think Africa deserves where it is and in till we are ready to pay the price for wholesale change, we will continue to be the white and Chinese man’s bitch

  274. martins

    As nigerians, all we do is brag with our degrees and make no good productive use of them instead we depend on the so called bwana technology without trying little effort to create ours, this is d best write up I’v seen in years

  275. Abdalla

    All need saying have been said, all that remain to be seen is how much change and action from us including ME.

  276. David

    So true, we africans use school as a place to be awarded papers that can get you the 9-5 job for some company, we use our education more as a status symbol so as to look down upon our ‘uneducated’ counterparts. They are doing more than their part as it has been said they are the most hardworking in the world. We should emulate them, step up and do our part.
    Finally, we should focus more on doing the work as opposed to these politics we love so much. How long will it take us to realize these ‘leaders’ we keep recycling are doing nothing for us?

  277. Femi Soetan

    Crap! No one who follows history can agree with this unless they are deluded. This is a classic case of ignoring the trigger and dodging the bullets. Can you not see that there is an inherent contradiction in what he is saying? ‘We’re fundamentally not different but something is wrong with you’. I would ask the question why and what? Walter’s (if he really exists) arguments are full of sophistry and lazy stereotyping about the ‘general nature of the African intellectual’. It’s very simplistic to generalise behaviours and attitudes and, even if you could you would still have to look for a root cause. The guy was so quick to dismiss slavery and colonialism as if they didn’t happen? I’ll dub that the fallacy of pre-emption. The fact that he mentioned those words in his argument before his interlocutor doesn’t invalidate them at all. What we are doing when we say ‘Lets come together and solve our problems’ is foolishly trying to attack the symptoms of an issue without examining the root cause. The world is a complex and chaotic non-linear system in which (yes I am going to use a cliché) a butterfly flaps its wings etc. Now in Nigeria’s case before we can even begin to think of solving any problems in the present, we need to take a long, hard look at our past. (even that is not a guarantee of anything, but at least it’s a start) Please let’s stop allowing the people who put us in this situation tell us what our problems are!

    NB. Someone quoted something written by Lord Lugard in his/her comment. That has to rank among the most ridiculous pieces of bullshit that I have ever seen written! Do you not understand the rancid racism that the colonialists used to justify their actions? That he (Lugard) could seek to describe the characteristics of a whole race in a few sentences (mind far nearer to the animals than the Asiatic or European type) just goes to show how deep his prejudice was. Only someone with a deep-seated sense of insecurity could concede that Lugard’s words described even at that time anything other than the contorted fantasies of a very sick mind. To suggest that his words ring true today – I have no words with which to respond. I intend to spend some time researching on how attitudes to colonialism vary among various African nations, because it seems to me that from the comments here many people are far more in awe of the ‘bwana’ than anything I have ever seen where I am from.

  278. Zach Ngalo

    Lady, write that book and publish it! The Holy Spirit Must Come Down and Africa Will Be Saved…….

  279. Shubi Mukolera

    Everything that has been said is neither rocket science nor new to we Africans, only difference is that the white guy actually exposed the true arrogance hidden behind the friendly faces they display whenever on our turf. Hope he does not expect a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts….

  280. biodun adeyanju

    This article is a must for all to read. it is quite touching. Africans must shift from the paradigm of church going, spirituality and empty faith without action into d realms of critical and productive thinking. The era of reading and acquiring degrees like the Eunuch of Ethiopia without having the understanding of its application should be discarded. This is the best “gospel” I have read iin the last couple of days. Thanks for posting this. It is quite touching!

  281. Abdullahi

    In any african country this phenomenum is the same,with some possibly worst like nigeria were degrees,msc/ma, phd,and even professorships are just like national honours,not of any relevance to national dev.but titles to admit for high pay offices.

  282. Wale Idris

    We at African Views are not surprised that many people find this interesting and even laudable. Field Ruwe is a great writer and he has managed to find a good window of opportunity to state the obvious in creative ways. The fact that Walter is delusional and fails to see that he himself is part of the problem is not as astonishing as the gullible herds who are already willing to follow the leader tells you that we are in fact still in deep waters and far from the shores. Why would it take Walter’s rude opinion and Field’s assumption for you to know and do what is necessary.

    The summary of Walter’s discussion with Field is this: You are from a generation of people who are still struggling repression that we have placed upon you because we can. We laugh at you in many ways because you fall for our tricks. We control your presidents with promises of good rewards and he deliver’s the good of your country at our feet. We have even educated some of the best people who think themselves as intellectuals, but are trained to serve western development in various capacity. They still do the jobs that none of us would do. We have our people running your various institutions, which serve us abundantly. These arrangements is good for us so why should we change. The fact of the matter is you cannot do anything about it.

    To me this is a little child’s boastful rant mistaken for sympathy due to the deep desire of empathy from the gegen-pole. Based on series of comments here It is clear that many of us are instantly mesmerized by Field’s eloquence and failed to rebuff Walter’s attack on African conscientiousness. Walter is a typical capitalist who has no sense of value depth other than instantaneous gratification. Yes he was able to highlight the problem but and even admitted that he is an agent of the knightly order, but he has not offered a single solution other than making known his generic overview of the situation and how confident he is that things won’t change.

    What happened here is could either be the incident of a bully and a poor timid fellow or wise listener who says this is a good tickle and I’ll have my shot against these lulling so called African intellects. It was a good shot and I am hoping it works. Only because they are so entrenched in the vicious intellectual arm wresting cycle with each other. There by making things worse by truly being unproductive.

    But in all fairness, education is a very important step toward progress. Any amount of it is good but incomplete without hard work on value based collaborative development.

    If Walter could only see beyond one generation on the human development timeline, he would have a sense of the African experience. African development is not only lagging in Africa. African communities worldwide have similar or same social and governance problems. I am personally appalled by many sympathizers on this thread applauding Walter’s insults on a generation of people and continent. He does not know more than you do and certainly not qualified to lead you! So why follow him based on an opinion on things that you are well aware of. I agree that Field’s writing is seductive, and makes for a good script too. And, if that is what it takes to motivate African to see, to state or to act on the obvious – let it be.

    An ambitious man will naturally, through hard work, climb the social ladder, whereas the unmotivated man will not improve his position: “the man who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down” (p557). Applying this theory to the situation of the African-Americans, Douglass remarks: “Give the Africans fair play and let him alone. If he lives, well. If he dies, equally well. If he cannot stand up, let him fall down.” (p557)

    Are we there yet?

    Frederic Douglass and others human development proponents never underestimated or failed to recognize the power and industry of the self affirmed opponents of African progress. They acknowledged it and pleaded for peace. African leaders who defied it – neutralized. It is no news that good African leadership are easily decapitated. Read your history books.

    Douglass’es theory of self-made men then is the similar or applicable to the concept of societal development today. Individually, Africans are as perfect as any individual from any culture. We work hard, educated or not, especially when we want. A made person is one who works hard when he wants, or the other hand a modern slave is one who works hard when motivated by others. The crowd here are guilty of the latter. There several Africans people working on consensus bridging and fully committed to human and societal development. We just don’t see it because they offer no carrot sticks. What do Africans want? To answer this question let us explore what they do not have:

    Freedom of thoughts and consensus
    Freedom of speech
    Freedom from need
    Freedom from fear
    Freedom of worship
    Freedom to love and be loved in return
    Freedom to garner its cultural asset (self representation/ self determination)
    Freedom of movement in the world

    So whether or not an African country such as Zambia has acquired moral virtue, integrity, intellectual excellence, honesty, faith in its subject, material sustainability steadily and persistently pursued, and all summation of essential component for improving qualities of life that makes it desirable for dwelling, admiration, and growth is the best, if not the only, explanation of its success.

    According to Douglass, “the principles of honor, integrity and affection” (p561) are the essential prerequisites for enduring success: Africans must have a sustained vision to rule and feed themselves. it is the borne duty that embodies what makes you African. Therefore and our intellectuals should really stop playing and start participating in capacity building and supporting as well as guiding grass-root organization with well meaning and honest people to help them not only to develop, or achieve but sustain their goals.

    All human experience proves over and over again, that any success which comes through meanness, trickery, fraud and dishonor, is but emptiness and will only be a torment to its possessor.

    We at AV (African Views) care and we are determined. We see nothing but opportunities for African development and we are everywhere. We ask you to believe in yourself and to join or efforts today. See what we are doing at: http:www.africanviews.org

    • airmanchairman

      @Wale: Well observed!

      You noted that Walter and Field waxed lyrical on the “Carrot” aspect of the “Carrot and Stick” rope-trick, but said nothing of the fearsome Malleus Maleficarum, the garrotte, the guillotine, the poisoned stiletto, the mailed fist within the velvet glove that has accounted for pretty much any enlightened LEADERSHIP that dared to raise its head above the parapet in the Third World.

      How bitter a pill that must be for the departed shades of the Patrice Lumumbas, the Shankaras, the Ghandis, the Marcus Garveys, Steve Bikos, Amilcar Cabrals, Herbert Macaulays and countless other unsung victims of the “kill-it-before-it-grows” policy of “Sheriff John Brown”, that this single most important factor in the cause of the malaise of the Third World, is almost completely dismissed as an irrelevance, that their sacrifice was in vain.

      Forgive us, fallen Ones…

  283. Professor Scary

    Hmmm… Thought provoking.. Leaves room for sober reflection(s) …

  284. Sammie Kedirah

    This thing is soo true.

  285. the skribbler

    article agréable. le livre mentionné est vraiment un agréable lu : nous avons vraiment besoin de nous réveiller…

  286. Blessings chilombo

    Its the panful truth that every patriotic african shud be ashamed of educated or illiterate,enough of the brain drain and it time to wake up from attaining great heights of education just for the satisfaction of personal egos,”book knowledge”(knowledge on paper only) is embarrasing Africa as a continent……

  287. Terii

    I only wish that this conversation had been recorded and available as a podcast download. The raw emotions expressed by Walters points would echo so much more if they were heard…

    Great blogpost… A must read… I look forward to even more engaging articles in future…

  288. Jemimah.

    A real food for thought.

  289. Olufemi

    Have you all heard of Zambikes. That’s something good coming out of Zambia and i am very proud of that.

  290. State Thenji

    There couldn’t have been a better way to bring out the irony of Walter’s false conscientious awakening rant as the invocation of Graham Hancock’s “Lords of Poverty”? And as Hancock says of the powers that Walter represent– You people are like the old King. Anything you touch turns into gold.

    We will not forget slavery or colonialism. We will not forget the greedy ruling class. We will not forget the lazy intellectuals and hardworking intelligentsia, farmers, fisherwomen and men. We will not forget the generation of young innovative African minds and the brains-in-the-drain that dots the diaspora. We will not forget our responsibility and dreams, met or unmet. We will not forget the right to rise above materialism and capitalism. We will not forget that life can be lived in simplicity and that diseases and hunger doesn’t killeth the heart.

    We will not forge the Pythons like Walter that will always prey.

    We will just be. And be…..

  291. Tayo

    All well and good, the “Bwana” in question had some good points. But excuse me, he hasn’t said anything new. We already know these things. Why do we travel out of Africa to school abroad? Because our education system is crap. Why don’t we have African inventors? Because the government and leadership have not put in place a system that would nurture and incubate ideas. The same Chinese citizens were in China during their years of communism, what single economic breakthrough did they have? Until the Chinese government put in place systems and structure that encouraged innovation, nothing happened. The South and North Korean people are one and the same people. However, South Korea is one of the most technologically advanced countries, while North Korea remains in oblivion. Why? No system or structure to support economic development.
    I wish I was the one sitting next to him on that plane. If he had such access to the leadership of Zambia and other African countries, why didn’t he bring up these points with them who can actually make a difference if he was so concerned? How does bringing up these issues with a powerless Ph.D candidate – who is studying abroad because his government cannot provide a good education system – solve any of the problem?
    As I type this, I can recollect many Nigerians who have created different things to alleviate poverty given their limited resources – Waste recycling system, solar power generator and I know organizations that provide food, education and accommodation for youths from the streets. Someone has even created a car from scratch. However, they can only solve a very little part of the problem. Heck, the designer of the present Nigerian flag lives in abject poverty. People who invent things don’t get resources to continue their invention. Do our governments even have an R and D budget? Go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_research_and_development_spending
    and see that China spends the largest on R&D after the US. South Korea is No. 5. India, No. 8. South Africa is No. 30 and Botswana, No. 71 – the only 2 African countries to appear on the list. Where is Nigeria? The largest African country with the 2nd largest economy? Even Romania, one of the poorest white countries is at No. 42. That, my friends is what drives innovation, invention and ultimately development. Until our governments grow a conscience and start thinking for the long run of the African people, nothing will change. Until then, any Bwana (or Oyinbo as they are called in Nigeria) who cannot suggest a way for that to happen, can keep their thoughts to themselves

    • Esen

      I completely agree. If he really cares so much and hates the poverty he sees, why doesn’t he stop working in these organizations that he knows are raping the ‘poor people?’ Why doesn’t he talk to the leaders he has access to? It actually feels like his is a case of spewing his self hatred – for he knows he is rich from the rape of the land – on the black man in the plane. As in the more he criticizes the better he will feel, maybe for a while, as he convinces himself he has done a little to alleviate his guilt, shame and participation.

      Yet these same westerners who spite the black man’s laziness will never allow a strong president to put his natural resources to his country’s use. That will be an affront to them and the result? A manipulation of tribal sentiments and a support of a puppet president who will sell his people and do their bidding.

      Yet I blame us. We sell ourselves. We are indeed divided and still overwhelmed by white skin and the thought that they are better. Hopefully when we read this we will wake up. Maybe there is a future African president reading this who will remember when he or she is in power that no matter how much money they have, how often they travel to western countries, they are still seen as part of the black race that is at the bottom of the totem pole. Maybe they will remember and help their people.

      As for me, responsible for my person that i can control, at night i do not party. I brain storm and i am working on my dreams. By God’s grace they will succeed and if my success inspires one more black person to go do it, then i am happy. Whether here or in the land of Africa.

      • Tayo

        Thank you. The most annoying part is he had the audacity to say Africans are lazy. What the f**k???!!! I shared this with my Indian friend yesterday and she told me if it was an Indian with him on the plane, he would have slapped his bald-headed face. I can’t believe a Ph.D student and a journalist allowed himself to be lectured to by this guy. I personally would have told him some truths that would have shut him up quick and in a hurry

  292. lbpoeticsubmit

    Reblogged this on lbpoeticsubmission and commented:
    Excellent piece!

  293. Karue

    Are this the Authors thoughts told in a story or was this a true experience with the guy. If an experience I wanna meet this guy he A.W.E.S.O.M.E !! If it the Authors thoughts, contacts please. I may disagree with a few parts but tis useless to bring em up here. three thumps up, I loved the article.


    Africa ! We should fine tune our Intellects ,Redefine our path and Hope for the Best.

  295. Jahnoch

    The Original People the Blacks or the Africans are not suppose to be succesful in this white man Reality !!
    This is his world !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    His education – His Religions – His Medications – His Interpretations !!!!
    Don`t forget where All of you came from !!!!
    Lemuria Mu – Atlantis – Kemet (egypt)

    All the Ancient Black Civilizations were Highly Conscious of their Higher Self , they didn`t need all these Material Illusions !!
    They knew the Black Mother Principal , Black Mother Universe , Black Mother Earth , Black Mother Nature !!
    They knew the science of Breath to Self Healing ,
    Also they knew the function of the PINEAL GLAND,
    They were in Balance !!!!

    The more Technology the less Spiritually – The more Spiritually the less Technology !!

    • airmanchairman

      @Jahnoch: In short, the Mental (read Spiritual) technology of the Ancients served the Higher Self, the Ka, rather than the Gross Material, lower being, which is not really human. This is why today we are so confused and argue so much about how they achieved the Wonders of the(ir) World.

      Spirituality and Technology are not mutually exclusive – one exists to serve the other, or put another way, one is a coarser reflection of the other.

      We have 10 commandments, they had 42 – the (42) Confessions to Maat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maat) make for very interesting reading in that unlike the 10 commandments, they are so instantly relatable to modern conundrums like Animal Testing, Environmental Sustainability, Terrorism and Fiscal Accountability etc.

      @Jahnoch, you sound like a crackpot, but within your words lie the ONLY Key to our desired higher Good, the only way through the Eye of the Needle…