The departed icon is NELSON MANDELA of South Africa, 1918-2013. A village boy who rose to become the father of a nation. He had risen from mini to maxi, unknown to known, prison to Presidential palace and from being hurt to most forgiving. The Yoruba ethnic group of South-West Nigeria has this truism: “Ewe nla ko ni pada ru wewe”. By transliteration, it means big leaves will never grow small leaves. What the saying really means is that royal blood of greatness will always be shown in the life of anyone who truly carries the traits of royalty. Greatness was in Nelson’s gene, thanks to science and not superstitious belief. We learnt that he was born into a royal family, and he showed the sterling quality of royalty in all his life endeavor to his very end.
This is a moment of sober reflection for us from all walks of life, believers and non-believers alike. Encomium continued to be showered on him because of what he represented to South Africa and humanity in general. Fear of the Lord will always empower us against all odds in life.
In the realm of spirituality or faith in God, one would like to stand him with uncompromising believers in the awesomeness of God who will always deliver those who trust in HIM in any form or level of danger. Amidst apartheid, killing, maiming and jailing, he stood firmly in the belief that one day South Africa would be free from oppression and discrimination. After his twenty-seven years in jail, the freedom fighters got independence especially equality for all South Africans. Apartheid policy died like the Wall of Jericho fell without the Israelites using human mundane weaponry. By divine intervention, the struggle won the sympathy of all nations especially the United States, Western Europe, communist countries, and African countries that were just emerging into political independence. These destiny helpers fought the battle for South Africans with excruciating weapon of economic sanction that forced reason, sympathy and indeed empathy on the colonial masters to abandon God damned apartheid policy, to the warm embrace of democracy. Thanks goodness. Nelson Mandela stood like David against Goliath nature of apartheid regime and won. Black South Africans were craving for freedom. All of a sudden the freedom came literally overnight. The joyfull difference was in Frederick de Klerk’s unconditional acceptance of dismantling apartheid policy and joining hand with all South Africans to nurture democracy. Good for him otherwise, he could have been swept off his feet by wind of change that rapidly blew across South Africa. Nelson was a man driven by destiny like Joseph in Egypt until he achieved his dream of freedom for all in South Africa.
On the mundane or physical realm, he was a freedom fighter who did not fear to die for what he believed. To show his seriousness, he trained as a boxer, not that he wanted to be a prize-fighter. It was meant to symbolize his rugged determination to win the crown of freedom through series of jabs and pummeling into championship. A champion boxer must undergo rigorous training and relentless sparing partnership to build stamina and resilience. In addition, it involves a lot of self-denial and unyielding visualizing the glorious dawn which was manifest in his life before passing on to glory. To God be the glory for the life of PAPA Nelson Mandela.
Every year, there is a day within a week and extending to a month-long period designated for glad tidings meant to be extended to friends and relations and especially the less privileged members of the society. Indeed, the Thanksgiving period opens the joyousness of the season from late November and extending through the Yule-tide to the end of outgoing year into the New Year Day. There is no gainsaying that the happy landing in America of the first pilgrims in 1621 gave birth to heartfelt thanksgiving.
The annual thanksgiving as it is to this day was by proclamation of the revered President Abraham Lincoln. He established the thanksgiving holiday to take place on fourth Thursday of every year since 1863. As a devout christian, he appreciated the awesome grace of God that kept the United States together as one and indivisible country. President Abraham Lincoln described the day as “A national day of thanksgiving and praise to beneficient Father who dwells in the Heavens”.
We have to develop a frame of mind that resonates with the founding Fathers. In other words we need to count much on the spiritual significance of Thanksgiving and not just wining and dining.
- It is an honest question which is food for thought for all concerned as to its being germane. Will it not be reasonably surmised that there existed evil collaboration between hosts and guests socio-economically in the oil industry there? It is an ill wind that blows no one any good in the long run.
- American entrepreneurs should demonstrate unequivocal social responsibility to any community in which they do business. It is not supposed to be a type of doling crumbs to servants from the master’s table. Respect the local leaders without losing site of the need of the so called silent majority. This partnership should be unquestionable. This will help to prevent continual socio-economically motivated armed uprising from the people as seen in the South-south Niger delta area of the country. Social injustice is a curse that will always retard economic growth or relationship.
- The private sector that would be in the partnership should learn to give reasonable allowance concerning the non-economic but cultural norms of the host countries or communities without jeopardizing economic interest of both parties.
- American War of Independence brought losses to Britain and the US, but as of today the two countries remain inseparable in world affairs to their mutual benefits. This observation is however futuristic in United States socio-economic partnership with African countries. The time is now!
- I love America for its open door policy which has kept her alive and would continue to keep her buoyant. United Kingdom (Britain) and United States both put behind them the brutal experience they went through by the wars they fought. There is no person or nation that cannot rise from grass to grace in the context of a progressive mind set.
- Africa is of age to eat solid food without seeing her as an entity that needed be given more of baby milk. It is time for business with existing survival kits as reference point to guide in business ethics, rules and regulations that must be applied pragmatically.
Be your brother’s keeper to honor God
It is hoped that the partnership will be mutually beneficial more than the U.S. could ever imagine, for I know that huge success is awaiting the planned economic cooperation. Let us ponder on this question: Will the partnership be in “LCM” Least Common Factor” or in “HCF” Highest Common Factor? Will there be highest common concern for all or for partial or selfish interest? The mutual benefit must be exponential to make the relationship worth the while. Any endeavor that keeps to the truth in the words of God is bound to have good success. Love your neighbor as yourself. (This completes the series.)
Cooperation based on positive LOVE tends to be very beneficial
Business world in America will not forget the shrewd business mogul from Nigeria in person of Late M K O Abiola who fell prey to Khaki men in political gab fueled by ethnicity, religion as well as the oligarchic unwritten constitution of his country. His victory in the general election described as the freest ever in the country had immediate salutary effect on the economy before the result of the election was annulled. If he had not ventured into politics his business success would have possibly remained a model for Africa and the world to see. Asian Tigers would have remained in business as Asian industrial cats, if the US had not partnered with them. By the same token, look at how Vietnam bounced up industrially after the devastating effect of the Vietnam War of 1968.
In Africa, there is a preponderance of political ideology that promoted enlightened self interest rather than seeking the greatest good of the greatest number.
Objective Partnership: One needs to suggest some guiding principles, even though, before America speaks out through the mouth of the President the blue print must have been prepared and revised from time to time. Such would have ensured that America does not stand to lose in the partnership.
- There has to be objective partnership within a framework of balanced equation.
- The partnership must respect the sovereignty of the host country with a view to not causing political upheaval that can become counter productive to both parties.
- There should be rigorous straining the host country’s eligible entrepreneurs if the partnership is to worth the while.
- Business should be business. No ethnic bias or sympathy or religious bigotry can ever make any company run efficiently and effectively.
- The Chinese have been unsuspectingly penetrating African countries even to the level of rural areas in each country. China has a shorter socio-economic history with Africa than the United States. It is needed to be mutually satisfied concerning the bigger brother and the junior in the field of democratic governance. Why should the US allow others to out do her in spite of her open door policy? Let us get it straight that the young shall grow, come what may.
- Unscrupulous entrepreneurs must be exposed and possibly ostracized so as to guard against explosion of time bomb swept under the carpet when it ought to have been detonated before any damage could be done.
- It is no news that Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population of 175,000,000 millions. It had long been estimated that for every five Africans, one would be a Nigerian. The country has become a new haven for Chinese businesses. Say what anyone will, coming up with strong economic ties with African countries will heal past wounds in African mind as it did in the erstwhile foes of America that are now enjoying best relationship with her. Oh! US wake up before it is too late.
- Let the print and electronic media start beaming positive pictures of situation of things in Africa to the unsuspecting news hungry Americans and not over playing the effect of wars and droughts. These tend to scare the citizenry and more so the potential investors from investing in Africa for mutual benefit.
Oil business in Nigeria has yielded unscrupulous multi-millionaires and billionaires. Most of this category of rich Nigerians can never have any business acumen to show for their wealth like DuPont in the paint industry or Ford in automobile industry. (This is a continuation to be concluded in next post)
President Obama’s mission on the three-nation tour of Africa was very clear. The media made us know that he did not go to assess how much aid was to be doled out to the so-called ailing African nations. It was virtually a trade mission. America needs economically viable Africa as much as Africa is also in dire need of America. The partnership has to be understood in terms of a farmer should not afford to go on cruise to any leisure land during planting season, nurturing the farm products and more so, the harvest season. Bet it, the bi-partisan benefit to Africa and America would be so tremendous that America would have to regret having treated Africa as a place where nothing good can ever come out from. The old economic order has been changing and it willsurely continue to change hence the more developed economies should no longer assume the economic stance of winners take all. A popular saying in Africa and particularly in Nigeria puts it that the young shall grow. Obviously, the elders that give kiddies kindly but disciplined upbringing will keep remaining golden in their hearts in years to come.The President affirmed that from this time henceforth, it is partnership in business and not paternalistic relationship. America has to be on the spot to protect her own investment. Surely, African entreprenuers and government corporations will not sit on the fence watching their valuable economy going the forbidden ruinous route.
There is no doubt as to who has greater economic clout than the other in the partnership. Obviously American entrepreneurs without doubt qualify for such. Elementary economics tells us that greater investment tends to yield greater returns, all things being equal. It is incontrovertible that America has more DOLLAR millionaires, billionaires and trillion owning investors than any country in Africa. Reason is not difficult to figure out because most of the sophisticated equipments will be sourced from the USA. It is obvious that American investors who want to succeed will adopt shrewd economic rationality in sourcing them from their home front, from US manufacturers and not from elsewhere.
Let us not forget that there are myriads of Africans who have gotten European and American education. They have worked in both public and private sectors and had worked in America and Europe up to managerial levels. They have gotten rich business experience as well as knowledge about financial imperatives needed for success in business. Africa would have developed faster if political and military powers that be were equally saturated with tremendous knowledge of how to win economic war. A lot of educated elites had to return to the US and Europe when they were never allowed to use the expert knowledge they acquired. Such had contributed to under rating their worth as knowledge workers all over their land of sojourn. Of course, they did well in class in higher institutions; BUT, there existed a covert reflection on them concerning where they came from. Do not ask me for data to prove this. It is an obvious empirical observation. Besides, those affected would not happily participate in any such survey, unless they have been able to re-brave the odds to return to the attested level they were before returning to their country. (This is first in a 3-part series)