I have got questions agitating my mind.
I have just finished watching on a Kenyan Tv, a programme dedicated to ‘Weddings’, and saw a gorgeously dressed bride being driven in an exotic “state of the art” Mercedes Benz to be wedded in a church. Being a car enthusiast / aficionado, the car caught my attention and admiration. It resembled a dolphin in its curvature.
However, what caught my attention even more was the state of the road through which the car was being ridden. Riddled with potholes, with stagnant water from an apparent downpour / ineffective drainage system, this eyesore-of-a- road was in stark contrast to the lush opulence of the car and the debonair mien of the occupants.
There are no technological wonders that you wouldn’t find in Nigeria shortly after it is released, but almost everywhere you look, you see basic things being unattended to.
The other day, a friend went somewhere in Victoria Garden City (VGC), a high brow area in Lagos. He was so disgusted with the state of one of the major roads that he took a picture and posted this on Facebook.
I asked him if this is anything new.
Another picture surfaced on the internet of a major road in Ajegunle in Lagos that looked like a refuse dump after a downpour. This is in the same state that earns one of the highest income (IGR) and would spend money lavishly on things that have little directly impact on the lives of the ordinary man in the street.
How can such stark contrasts exist?
Even in the FCT, Abuja, we have similar situations. A documentary on ChannelsTV showed an opulent neighbourhood (with palatial architectural marvels and “wonders on wheels”) flanked by slums, inhabited by church ratty paupers eking out a survival in the rustic environment.
The same situation (or similar) of terrible roads being plied with “state of the art” vehicles can be seen in very many major cities here in Nigeria You see hospitals with the latest medical diagnostic equipment but things as ordinary as cotton-wool and bandages may have to be procured by the patients from outside the hospital environment.
A lot of highbrow neighbourhoods (like Victoria Island) are places that used to be afflicted with unending / persistent powercuts (that is changing thankfully), and one wonders what is wrong with Africans, their Leaders and the Citizens.
Our airports would have the latest equipment, but things as basic as clean toilets, running water and working air conditioning would be a missing
While people would wastefully Spend Millions On Weddings / burials, those same people won’t lift a finger to assist that fresh graduate who has been wandering about, unemployed, for years, with entrepreneurial ideas swimming in his head.
There was the report of a billionaire in Abia State Using A Hummer Jeep Instead Of A Casket To Bury His Mum.
Of course, it is his money to spend as he deems fit, but surely, there would be several people in his immediate community whose life would be changed positively, forever, instead of this wantom and pointless extravagance?.
Africa is truly a story of paradoxes!
You would see places of worship where the Leader cruises about in exotic automobiles, adorned in ultra expensive apparel. All paid for from the congregants’ tithe. In that same congregation, several would be wondering where their next meal would come from, while some congregants would afford to celebrate a child’s birthday, with amounts some people can’t earn in a year. In connection with that is the trend of churches setting up universities that most of their worshippers can not afford to patronize. However, these same educational institutions are constructed and funded from money made from that same church, from the same members.
Each time you turn on your television, you see the pace of technology in different climes, you see the father of all paradoxes. Societies that run well, and societies that are not even crawling yet. One society automating everything including having self_driving vehicles, and another still battling to provide basic amenities like good roads and electricity.
When will Africans THINK, and wake up from their slumber?