Did you hear the cry of African children saying they would rather volunteer to die fighting in Ukraine than die of hunger at home? Call them what you want, they come from the same country and Continent as you do. The difference is, they cannot take it anymore. When Youths get desperate, become disoriented, they do not care about the consequences of misadventures. Africans have never in history been so impoverished, eager to escape abject poverty or make money by any illegal means possible.
The way Africans and Africans in Diaspora are treated reflect how we treat ourselves at home in the hands of greedy leaders and their cronies looking outside for comfort and hospitality they fail to provide in Africa. Our Youths are so desperate to escape, they are being charged to become mercenaries in Ukraine. Africans went through this during the Libyan Civil War where they became militia targets on both sides.
This time they are asked to pay to go and fight to death! It is not the first time African children have insanely given their lives to civil wars: did in Libya, Middle East between Arabs and Israelis. There was a time they flooded the American Army because of the signing bonus. Tell them to fight at home, they run because they know their families will not be compensated. Since their money and gratuities would be embezzled before it gets to their families.
So these Youths are saying they will rather take the insults and ignominy from foreigners outside than suffer the same fate at home. Others see that as lame excuse of cowards that cannot resist their oppressors at home. When they are backed up to the wall, instead of fighting back, they melt into the wall. The reason crimes have exploded far greater than the increase in population can account for.
These crimes are getting more dangerous, repulsive, some gory details are fueled by mythical beliefs at the direction of Babalawo, Pastors and Imams. Many of these were respectable men of conscience that have fallen into the hands of the devil because of poverty ravaging the country. They discovered that Youths are willing to pay them good money if they are promised the realization of their fantasies.
We can find the root cause of these nightmares in the unprecedented Poverty in the era of the highest foreign incomes earned by oil producing countries and laundered by unscrupulous politicians, never used for needs to alleviate devastating circumstances they subject African communities to. Nevertheless, they wish they could fight for Ukraine against the mighty Russia.
When the South Americans were sending their children alone to cross the border into the United States, we wondered if they were crazy until the Haitians and Africans children were joining them. Of course, Haitians and Africans were treated worse at the American borders. How do we now explain Ukrainians children crossing their country’s borders into Poland and Hungary unaccompanied like South Americans and Africans?
However, if Ukraine thinks NATO and the European Union would risk War War III or give their lives like the African Youths that Ukraine asked to pay to become mercenaries, they could have miscalculated Western sympathy. It will be more effective if the Western world helps prolong the resistance by fortifying Ukraine without Americans getting deeply involved. It will cost Russia more and push Putin to save face before the situation becomes more unbearable to the world.
Rather than African Youths paying to become mercenaries, there are roles respectable African leaders could have played if they had the old prestige of Nkrumah of Ghana and Nigeria’s old Peacekeeping Mission before they were destroyed by corruption. Outright confrontation into World War III would kill more Ukrainians than they can imagine because of their proximity to Russia. Ukraine will get nuked more than the rest of the world. Yet, we must understand Ukrainians asking for a highly risky “No Fly Zone” to fend off the Russians.
Though Africans lead the fight for Civil Rights in the Diaspora, since they get discriminated against most (even in Ukraine); every new Comer from Europe and Asia climb on their backs to a higher level. Imagine recent immigrants from Europe and Asia asking African Americans that have been there before Columbus, where they come from. This is why Ukranians and other Eastern Europeans or Asians do better in the United States and United Kingdom than Africans.
It is very frustrating for those who took their skills, businesses and savings to Africa, only to find out that the more they contribute and move Africa forward in steps, there are those taking twice or thrice as many steps moving Africa backwards. Knowing that no matter what they achieved outside Africa, they are ridiculed and disrespected; told to save their achievements for Africa. Some of these Africans are forced to run back to countries they swear never to return to.
The world forgets that Africans have always been very generous, to a fault. Others are taking advantage of our accommodation. Indeed, from the days of Queen of Sheba and Mansa Kanka Musa adventures to those of El Selassie and Nigerian billionaires laundering African fortune. Africa welcomed strangers and treated foreigners better than themselves in the hope that they would pass it on.
Fast forward, only those that are naive today believe in old African generosity. Even worse, African looters are willing to forgo millions or billions when they are caught laundering money abroad. Some of our businessmen and politicians have forfeited large sums of money rather than go to jail in the green pasture they had intended to live and die in luxury.
It does not matter how many bodyguards you have or how high you build the fence, where you hide or run to. Those who squandered African wealth on their families and cronies will not sleep at night while the poor are hungry at home or disrespected outside Africa. But when African Youths lack purpose, direction and discipline; even good law abiding people use their creativity for any means to survive.
Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa