by Farouk Martins Aresa
If you wonder why the poor and young folks that make up the 60 percent of African population do not love or vote for one another, it is because they do not believe that those that are poor like themselves can make good politicians. Prove everybody wrong regardless of ethnic groups, age and gender as the majority in African countries, vote youths that can make a difference.
Do not let wealth by toil, sweat, celebrities or looting divide or distract you. Love unites, hate divides. Poor young men and ladies are wrong to disparage one another based on poverty they didn’t create from their sorry circumstances, despite their best effort, qualification and working really hard. If prodigal sons flaunt riches to the poor, especially where most people live on less than 3 euro a day, it is them not you that deserves the outrage, stop hatred for one another.
Ladies and young men, do not start a battle you cannot win. Men, either way you lose. However, calling well-trained and struggling men broke ass does not help poverty in a country sucked to death by vampires. In such countries, even those that make their money legitimately through hard work must learn to be graceful and less ostentatious in their excessive celebration in the midst of poverty. It invites jealousy, discourages humility and encourages armed robbers and desperadoes to make money the crooked way like Oyenusi, Aninih, Evans or Nana Kwame.
Shaming and name calling between young men and ladies because of their unfortunate status generate resentment and create adverse or evoke past failed relationships. It drives youths to the extreme like suicide, crossing the desert and sea at the risk of precious lives that we need as voters or radical protests against our oppressors at home. Young men should treat female cohorts the way they would want their sisters to be treated unless they disrespect themselves.
Blame poor men and call them out all you want to wake them up and find solutions to their problems but never in front of ladies. Some years ago, Louis Farrakhan on African tour, decided on local tour to Boston, Massachusetts. He decided to talk to men only. He got sued in court for discrimination. He shot back, that those behind black women suing him did not do so when Teddy Pendergrass and others sang and dance for women only.
The point here is that when it comes to poverty, drug, hard work, violence and tough talk, give it straight to men in front of men. We react differently in front of women. Ladies are men’s motivators, nurturers and the ones encouraging men to reach high ground by their acts and deeds, on one to one. This is why it hurts more when anyone humiliates men in front of ladies than when ladies chide their men privately. Words may not brake bones but only your hearts.
Just as it is wrong for men to call an innocent lady or one you do not know names and give them labels, so it is to call men struggling hard that you hardly know, names. When you disrespect even your own man after struggling so hard, or go on offence instead of remorse when caught pants down, you have dishonored him. When men’s honors are at stake, they react differently from the men we know. The same way women would react if insulted unjustly.
When young educated men and ladies go for one another’s throat just as different ethnic groups do as e-warriors, we already know who are grabbing “guguru”, taking a comfortable seat in front of their computers and laughing their heads off. The same rich folks that party and celebrate the sumptuous weddings of their children; love to divide you along ethnic lines and gender. Learn to respect poor people in no fault they created. (Abeg painment dey kill bad bad)
It is difficult for some people to have money and not flaunt it conspicuously, especially in a country like Nigeria, known worldwide for flagrant ostentatious and reckless display of wealth at ceremonies and to impress others. However, majority of Nigerians not known to outsiders are humble, hardworking, invoke and preach their parents’ values to train their own children. Of course, it is the minority of loud mouths people that are famous.
There has to be some genetic predisposition that command poor people to worship their oppressors and despise those that are unfortunate. It could be the original basis of serf’s oppression by lords, chiefs and kings, not only as rulers to organize communities but to exploit the masses before separation of powers. This is why some people still operate a caste hierarchy system in different parts of the world including some vestiges in Africa.
If you are baffled by the reason poor people vote against their own interest, it is because they believe their oppressors’ promises that they are going make them rich. They hope that one day, if they persevere or obey their oppressors, their wish would come true; even when in bondage until they drop. Even then, some expect reward in heaven as preached faithfully them.
If you think because both poor young men and women would love to marry one another, think again. Many despise and disrespect one another for being poor. Since the rich are looking for the rich to marry and the poor are looking for the rich to marry, there are not enough rich people to marry in poverty stricken countries, leaving more poor folks to themselves that blame, doubt and hate one another’s’ guts.
When politicians display ill-gotten wealth, the poor wish they could marry into these families. While the rich protect themselves by making laws and regulations that favor one another, the poor work too hard on two or three jobs to think on how to overcome the only few rich folks protected by police. They redistribute and buy goods only on a retail level from the rich, fight and kill one another over deadly drugs manufactured and distributed by the rich and powerful.
Whatever the rich and powerful tell them to do, like voting against the union to negotiate livable wage or a raise on their pay; deny services like roads, schools and hospitals so that the rich can have more money for outrageous salary, benefits and pay no or little taxes. The poor could not wait for election to vote as instructed by the looters parading stomach infrastructure.
There is that saying that if you are so smart and educated, why are you not rich? The youth must answer them: that if they are so rich, why are they not smart and educated? If they were smart, educated or well informed, they would be spending their loot wisely and tangibly. Not on only imported perishable goods that could be manufactured as finished goods at home.
If you already know all these, why are you cursing, labelling your cohorts instead of facing and solving your political and economic void together?