Is Africa A Shithole?
Before we answer that question we must first understand what a Shithole really is. Reader’s discretion is advised. There are so many definitions and I will try explain where Africa and Nigeria sit on the shit table. One. A Shithole is a hole into which one shits or drops something nasty and unwanted. It is filthy and its content filled with fecal wastes that are harmful to the human being. Two. A Shithole is the anal cavity through which one disposes off wastes the body doesn’t need. It is a part of the human being that is called upon to serve as dispose truck for all the unused and unnecessary materials consumed by that human. It is vital and its functions help in creating a balance in the human anatomy and physiology.
Three. A Shithole is any dirty and unpleasant place where habitation is a problem. It is home to all curable diseases, all avoidable forms of hunger, all forms of wickedness and corruption thrives in not just mild but gigantic proportions. Hell on earth, it is a place of perpetual weeping, gnashing of teeth and the word ‘hope’, which keeps the people alive, does not live there. Pain, Violence, Death, Worries, Suffering, Bad Governance, Flatulent Leadership and Wickedness are its trademark. It is not a partial exercise but a permanent state of properties there. No portion of a Shithole is free of this. No part is better than the other. No region is tolerable. No body of shit is better than the other. You can’t live in it as there is no air there. There is no life there. The liquid makes cholera look good.
The whole place is under a permanent retrogression and destruction that weakens and shatters the nucleus of its members. You will find despots there but not just any despot. You will find tyrants there but not just any tyrant. You will find work going on there but it is the type of work going on in the lives of the people of Central African Republic (CAR). Demons dressed in human gowns are found there. Limbless mindless people reeking and smelling of death are found there. People so broke even poverty looks down on them are found there. It is not partial but complete, remember. If it is a Shithole every portion of it must be full of shit. Everything in the shithole is full of shit. Everything. If it is not a Shithole, it could have people with shitty souls, who work hard in projecting their country in the negative light.
Is Africa Or Nigeria A Shithole?
Considering the definition above, let’s be honest here, Africa is not. We have bad leaders who mess up the place, yes, we have people who still think their skin colour play a role in their Intelligence Quotient, IQ, and position in the world and China often dump their low quality products on this fine continent but a Shithole? That’s a dangerous exercise of ignorance and overreach. Africa IS NOT ONE COUNTRY and whoever still makes that assertion got it from a single picture and story of Africa. There are 54 recognized and two unrecognized countries in Africa and all are run by people of different values. Judging the entire Africa with a single story of South Sudan is both mischievous and myopic.
Education was free in Libya before Gaddafi was killed in a NATO backed attack. The people had access to privileges but the system wasn’t perfect. It will not be fair to say that because Gaddafi was a dictator, Libya was a Shithole. It won’t be fair to say that because Paul Biya is a dictator, Cameroon is a Shithole. It won’t be fair to call Rwanda a Shithole because Paul Kagame has been there since 2000. It won’t be fair to call Egypt a Shithole because President Sisi is hard on foreign journalists who he thinks are against his government and Egypt. Lekki Phase 1, Lagos State, Nigeria, have open gutters that pollute the entire place but it is not enough to say the entire Lagos State stinks. A single story is the origin of this support for the poorly thought words of Donald Trump.
Many of us have admitted that this country is a Shithole even without considering what a Shithole is. Yes, Nigeria is imperfect and right now we have a President who doesn’t seem to understand people or willing to, but if this was a Shithole, the platform to talk about this wouldn’t exist. I’d be so engulfed in it that topics like this wouldn’t even cross my little mind. Being shitty is not just about how badly looked the structures are but how badly shaped the minds are. Yes, we have people with poor mentality but they don’t speak for everyone. We have poor leadership but it is not the only story. Our music industry wouldn’t exist in a Shithole. Nollywood wouldn’t have existed if this was purely a Shithole. This is not to say that Nigeria is perfect or close to perfection. This is just to show that ‘Shithole’ is not a fair word to describe the situation in Africa and Nigeria.
When a continent or country is insulted you should be smart enough to know the insult was directed at her people and we are not all Shithole people. You think Trump was talking about your leaders alone when he used the word? To be honest, some of us are, just like some persons in the United States, Europe and America are, but it is not enough to label the entire people. This shouldn’t be confused for a poverty mentality. This position is not because I’ve been starved of good governance to the point that I don’t feel it even when I’m suffering. No. This is not a position taken from a mind that has suffered so much bad governance that he doesn’t know what his situation looks like. This position arose from understanding. I know the meaning of the word ‘Shithole’ in this context and I know Africa. Trump knows the word but he doesn’t know the people or the place.
Was It A Racist Comment?
Donald Trump have insulted women, he has insulted latinos and black people. Some months back, he was caught on camera carelessly throwing paper towels to hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico. He has spoken of the giant nuclear button on his desk, a response to North Korean leader, Kim. He has threatened the United Nations, he has done many shitty things but we cannot call Americans shitty people just because one man displays some attributes unexpected of a leader. Prior to the elections, he was caught on tape talking about the power of money on women. How you can do whatever you want once you have money. He has done many shitty things and he no longer surprises many anymore. With such records, how do you call anyone a Shithole?
But was that a racist comment? The man, Donald Trump, is a racist. He tries to fight it but it’s evident for any keen observer. Calling Africa a Shithole could have been inspired by racism but it is not a racist comment. It is like the Arab guy who says ‘F*ck Americans’ whenever he is pissed or instructed to show America hate. The only thing you can prove with the statement is that both of them have poor opinion of Africa(ns) and America(ns) respectively and hate them. You can’t prove they are racists because the material you are working with does not capture a lot. It doesn’t prove anything either. You can’t prove their hate is inspired by racism either. It doesn’t mean they are not racists or it wasn’t inspired by it. Because Trump have annoyed many we are quick to call everything he says racism.
It could be a result of ignorance or a false sense of knowledge. It could be from an experience that beats any logic that says otherwise. It could be a result of underlying hate for Africans and black people. It is a poor comment from a leader. It could be anything but the statement shouldn’t be called racist to get the impact. It doesn’t have to be a racist word to be treated with the disdain it deserves. Some have questioned the basis of the anger shown at Donald Trump’s ‘truthful’ words. They have argued that Nigeria and Africa is a Shithole and we should simply work on ourselves and correct the mistakes than argue blindly. They fail to understand what the words means. They fail to see that the existence of a mind is impossible in any Shithole and our existence proved so. They fail to grasp what the word means. I hope my introduction will help solve that problem.
They fail to see that Trump insulted them, their families, their fathers, their mothers and every other person they know working hard to make Africa and Nigeria work. They think an insult to Africa or Nigeria is just an insult to Africa’s leadership or any ailing structure. Like Trump doesn’t know the difference between a continent with Bad Leaders and a Shithole continent. So many leaders have spoken about the poor African leadership and other specific things Africans need to correct and they never used the word ‘Shithole’ because they know what it means. They know such comments wouldn’t be about Africa’s leadership, economy, growth, etc., but pure disdain and hatred for the African people. It is an insult to everything and everyone in Africa. Everyone. Not one is spared. So are you a Shithole? I am sure I am not.
What Role Should Africans Play Here?
The African Union, AU, have asked Donald Trump to apologize for his Shithole comments and I will be shocked to see the man heed. There are Americans who support this notion and are quietly having great fun. There are also Americans who fake anger at his words but have said and have worse outlook of Africa(ns). Some American liberals and conservatives share this deep seated hatred for people of the African continent. Not because their governments ail but because they are Africans. Trump speaks, in the open, what others secretly chant in their rooms. He is the mouthpiece of closet racists who need a place to lean on.
First. Dear Africans, Donald Trump is not your hero. He thinks you are a Shithole people but you spend days and hours online and offline defending the racist. The worst disservice you can do to yourself in any relationship is to hang around, even if mentally, with that person who despise you so much. You don’t need a racist around telling you your skin colour is too dark to see the future. No human is better than you just because they have a different skin colour. Intelligence and commonsense have nothing to do with your skin colour. The AU should also use some introspection. The Nigerian government, which summoned the America Ambassador, for an explanation need some soul searching.
In 2015, after Muhammadu Buhari was elected President, he told journalists in London that Nigerians’ reputation for crime is largely responsible for the treatment foreigners met on them. He didn’t apologize for that speech or even saw it like Trump’s but today he’s asking for an apology. He disrespected his people on the world stage but today he is asking for some explanation and respect. He never fails to de-market Nigeria in any International gathering of world leaders and the AU never bothered to call him to order.
Self disrespect is worse than any disrespect from outsiders. If you disrespect yourself it is because you have a poor opinion of yourself and if you have a poor opinion of yourself you can be destroyed by anyone. If outsiders disrespect you and you have a strong opinion of yourself you will not be moved. So, as we demand respect from the foul mouthed American President, Donald Trump, we should show respect to ourselves.