The Real African|| Reuben Sitali, Zambia
Strive Masiyiwa shares Brian’s story as Brian writes: Have started it, my brother. I once told my little boy that if he gets an electrical engineering degree yet his village is in the dark and he does nothing. Better he approaches the awarding varsity and duly returns the certificate.
My reply, When I returned to Zimbabwe for the first time, I went to see my grandmother who I had not seen for more than 20 years. I will never forget one of the first questions she asked me: “I hear you have mastered electricity; does this mean I will now live with lights?”
It was the greatest challenge anyone had ever posed to me. If I did not give her that electricity I felt like a fraud, and yet I did not even work for the power company.” “Grandmother you shall have electricity and a house without thatch because that is why I traveled across the seas.”
I made sure I fulfilled those promises, even before I ever built myself a house in the city for myself. And long before I made any money. This is a challenge for anyone who has acquired a qualification of any kind, however, modern and sophisticated: Can you do something with it to improve the lives of the rural folk? If you put your mind to it, I know you can do something. It is not all about governments. It is my (uncomfortable) challenge for all of us, this week. (End of story).
I feel very guilty right now because my Human Resources qualifications have not imparted much on my local village apart from a few talks with handfuls of results.
If people blame our economy saying it is not performing well and yet we have hundreds of economists in this country, then we have a bigger problem that goes beyond education and spirituality.
It’s either there is no value/substance in the education offered or there’s something wrong with our educated generation. Can we then blame our leaders for bad policies in the economy, agriculture, mining, governance, education sectors, etc; when we have graduates in every street who have studied policy making, mining, agriculture, politics, etc?
Where is the problem – the people who receive the education or benefit from the education system itself? If the knowledge acquired cannot yield good policies, economics or politics, it’s better then that the certificates are returned. Africa needs a fresh breed of leaders who use their qualifications/knowledge to better African States.
If the engineering qualifications or any other qualification fails to uplift the standard of living or improve the way things are done, then those qualifications are irrelevant and of no use to Africa and the African people. There is an urgent need for total overhaul of the African education system or the people who hold such qualifications need a revival of true Africanism.
Now more than ever we must begin to see our qualifications help improve our communities in Africa or we do away with the kind of education that makes the people of Africa inactive. The cureent education and knowledge system must be decolonised.
The meaningful fruits of the education we acquire need to make marks on our African Continent. I am a Real African Writer and I will continue with my colleagues to sound the bells of revival in Africa until leaders understand and embrace Robert Mugabe’s strong stance on African Indigenisation.
This indigenisation must start to take shape in every African State. Zimbabwe (mining & farming land), Ghana (mining and policies) and Uganda (education system) have taken a lead in their respective areas to improve the lives of their states. It’s time and every African man and woman must participate actively or return the qualification certificates because it’s fraud to possess a paper without knowing how to pro-actively use it in bettering Africa.