Africa’s Indignity Shall End! Belayneh Abate
America recovered its citizen from the molars of Taliban just this weekend again. We have witnessed similar actions from France and United Kingdom before. Responsible governments do not forget their citizens. Similarly, conscientious people do not sleep like bears when one of their own is subjected to inhuman condition. They raise their voices together until justice prevails. The Indian government and people confronted even America for the dignity of their citizens this past year. These countries’ pride is a mirror that reflects Africa’s indignity.
When African citizens are exposed to fatal hazards, their rulers rarely save them. In fact, the ruthless dictators are the primary abusers of Africans. Who else respects people who are habitually treated like beasts by their own governments? More than two hundred Nigerian girls have vanished for months. No African nation, including Nigeria, has taken significant action to save these young lives. We still wait for the western messiah to save the girls. Shame on Africa! Just last month, many Kenyans died at the Kenyan port by the time the British government effectively saved its citizens from the same terror act. As we speak, thousands of African immigrants have inundated European prisons. Many hundreds are tortured and killed on the streets of Middle East. Hundreds die in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to escape brutal African tyrants. The African horror is pervasive and endless.
As a child, I was educated by my family, community and schools that Ethiopians never sell their pride for anything. In fact, until I observed our humiliation in Middle East, Europe, and even in our own African, I never thought as strongly proud people as Ethiopians exist on this planet. I know our forefathers have lived with their pride; but I am afraid our self-esteem is threatened.
Many argue that poor people should not or cannot be proud. We have to remember, though, self-confidence and pride, not technology or wealth, protected Ethiopia from repeated attacks of invaders and colonialism. Unfortunately, the country has now dishonorable rulers who sell the nation’s pride for donation. Many Ethiopians have been enslaved, imprisoned, tortured, raped, and killed in Middle East. Although thousands of Ethiopians protest these barbaric actions, the disgraceful Ethiopian rulers sided with the inhumane abusers. You can imagine what could have happen if these unfortunate victims were westerners. Africa is the origin of mankind. Unfortunately, however, we still learn about citizenship and humanity from the young nations such as America. Is it not shame when a ten years old grandson teaches his grandfather about human dignity?
Many may ridicule and laugh at the story of the poor Ethiopian man who preferred hunger to losing his dignity. A well- fed and well dressed visitor asked this poor man (in a demeaning manner) to deliver his luggage to a hotel. The unpleased poor man said to the impolite visitor “your broad shoulder is better to carry a bag.” I believe in hard work, and I value any kind of work. However, I do not believe this penniless Ethiopian citizen was trying to be arrogant or avoid work as many think. This man grew up in a very courteous Ethiopian tradition that dictates even to wash respected guests’ feet (let alone carry their belongings) out of humility. What this poor but proud Ethiopian tried was to preserve his self- confidence and pride at any cost. In other words, he chose to remain a poor man rather than turn into a well-fed donkey that carries everything even when they strip off his natural dignity.
Africa’s existence as independent continent depends on citizens’ self-confidence and dignity, not on the baloney donation that comes from computing East and West. No nation thrives on welfare and charity. In fact, welfare and charity completely erases self-confidence and dignity. As no child stands and walks without functioning neurons, no country stands and walks without pristine dignity and self-confidence. Self-confidence starts from respecting and protecting your citizens; not from shaking Obama’s or Xi Chinpig’s hands. Dignity is the soul of a nation. As nobody is borne without soul; no nation is created without dignity. Africa is losing its natural dignity again; this time because of disgraceful rulers who will never stop begging. Africa shall remove dishonorable tyrants and retrieve its lost dignity. Africa’s indignity shall end.
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org