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I see hope.

20/05/2003, makinde adeniran, lagos
  despite all the pitfalls in the ways of African Nations, I SEE HOPE.

Many Africans does not know that the then slavery market had thrown the African continent back a great deal. They never do themselves the honour of realising that the blacks, the people of Africa in particular had wasted almost a century wasting, slaving to build the Western nations. And when finally we were left off the hook, our hope dwindles, not knowing where to start from. And yet, many African scholars still condemn their country and continent today simply because it is nothing near the Western world. Now let me ask you this question; How possible is that, are we going to enslave them and bring them to build our country under forced labour like the did to us during the slaving days? NO! We have to keep trying to make it worth our while. Let us drop all these no sense talk of "Africa is lacking...", get up and do something to build Africa positively. Lagos falls under this sets of pain. the hussling and burstling of Lagos has gotten into me that I feel atimes if I am not there, Lagos probably would not move. My sojourn through the world has taught me how not to condemn my own but rather work at it until it gets better. And that is exactly what we are doing to Nigeria. Despite our lacking in economical indices, I see hope. Despite the emerging pitfalls in democratizing, I see hope. Despite all that has been said and done, I sincerely see hope for this giant of Africa. That a day will come and it will never end in the advancement of the African Nations.

comments [2]


Hope and Despair - 20/05/2003, harry kollatz, richmond

Greetings Makinde and Toni from Richmond, Viriginia, where the morning sun of Monday, May 26, 2003, is now shining after a night of heavy rains.

I venture to make some kind of reflection or comment about your two narratives though it is a subject of which I know nearlly nothing; that is, African nations striving to achieve selfhood and independence after years of colonialist oppression, corporate interference and internal internecine wars. But in the spirit of this international experiment in conversation, I press on.

In the U.S. we truly have little to compare to the current Nigerian situation. We are first woefully ignorant of Africa and African politics. I can honestly tell you most U.S. citizens couldn't name you probably fewer than five African countries, and that is being optimistic.The horrendous wars, the colossal toll of disease, the mess left behind by Western powers, it is all too much reality for our generally short attention spans.
But, I will say this and hope that I don't run the risk of sounding naive. No, I don't live in Lagos and have to contend with the daily struggle of just what is to live and endure there. Obviously, there is pride of nation, pride of city and pride of self. In the end, if a people can still hope, then that is a starting place. It really is the only place to begin. All else follows after hope as it is one of the greatest of all human emotions; for hope's cousin is faith, and faith--and I am not speaking of religious fervor--but the belief that somehow, someway, things will improve--if people work and work hard to do so--that is key. It is not for light reasons that in the Catholic Church on the great sins is Despair. That means an individual has given up--their faith is lost, and they are forsaken.
If you dropped me into the middle of Lagos I suspect that I initially would be overwhelmed by its size, its clamor. But if I became aware of individuals, got to know them, my suspicion is that I would come away thinking: If this is responsibly enouraged, the quality of life will greatly improve here.
But so much of it comes back to politics. And Toni's observation about the swearing-in of the next leader. How destablizing political pursuits can be--but what is the alternative? I don't know myself. Anarchy isn't the best way to feed people but political processes that don't have the faith of the people are lousy, too. We at least know that much in this country.
So, I too must hope things will get better though I frankly don't know how, when, or by whose energy that matters will improve.--HEK

hope,? despair? - 20/05/2003, toni_kan@hotmail.com
this is my first time.
no, not as in losing my virginity.
i mean posting a piece in this virtual space.
its a cool monday morning in lagos. my car sits in the car park steaming and stinking. on my way to work this morning i had to wade through heavy flood on akin adesola street in Victoria island.
early morning rains in lagos mean you've got to be late and God help you if your car is in a bad shape, that means you get stranded and become a cause of the heavy traffic.
this morning was no different and when i opened the door to let off one of the ladies i drop off on the island every morning, a passing car had sent a wave of water into my car.
now as i write this, i am contemplating the stink i will have to deal with for the next few days.
life in nigeria is like that: nothing is ever sure. hope may have a seductive appeal but like a mirage it is seldom ever real.
thursday, may 29, the incumbent president will be sworn in for a 2nd term.
disgruntled losers are threatening hell and brimestone.
today, i could drive to work and contribute to my economy.
by thursday, the story could be very different.
there might be violence and things could go terribly wrong.
with such auguries just beyond the horizon despair can so easily eclipse hope.
hey, who knows how to stop a wet
car cabin from stinking?
toni kan


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