The Cycle of Good Education and Strong Institutions

Formal education is one of the most overrated things in human development people on the African continent can gain, maybe elsewhere too. Education in the formal sense is an “institutional thing,” i.e. the stuff of institutions. It is not just the stuff of classrooms and ivory towers. Institutions rely on education and education has to be meet institutional and societal requirements through governance for it to serve any useful purpose in society. The symbiosis of institutions and education is both valuable and undeniable. In a nation where institutions are unenforceable, we must expect the education curriculum to be inadequate in many senses. Education is not just the acquisition skills but also the awareness of the requirements of civil participation in a just or improving society.

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Okpan Arhibo: A Traditional Kind of Disco Music

 

When Manu Dibango invented disco music with his phenomenal hit “Soul Makossa“, it was staggering. Besides the breakbeats, jazz and soul influences it was complete with saxophone, trumpet, drum kits, bass and lead guitars, piano/keyboards et al. that made it the big success it was within the New York music scene and later worldwide. Its central sensibility as was developed and perfected came from somewhere. Africa. Subsequently, Fela, Osibisa, Mariam Makeba, Hugh Masekela also working within the breakbeat, soul, funk, and jazz found instant fame and recognition as innovators in the world music scene. And “Afrobeat” credited to Fela soon became an international art form with a strong legitimacy of its own.

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Africa’s Leader-Manias and the Take-Over by the Chinese

What has happened, Africa? This is the question a bright youth leader on a private forum asked when he learnt the Chinese have set up the 13th Chinese Police Station in South Africa. The answer is Nothing. Whether we base the question on fact, fiction or exaggeration is immaterial. Chinamen are coming and coming big to Africa. Continental tragedy was visible in African people who should have known better in advance, notably the intellectual/educated class, who were unwitting. “Bright lights” keenly supported the decadent misgovernance many of the post-colonial leaders foisted upon their citizens on the continent up to this day. Africans are now living with the harsher realities of such thoughtlessness and misfortune. The Chinese are now exploiting Africa’s naivete. Who will not?

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How to Measure the Performance of a Nigerian President

There are many able Nigerian analysts, commentators, pundits, academics and journalists who have rightfully earned a say in the Nigerian political arena. Most are insincere, some swing and a few are truthful in their evaluations of the state of political realities and performances of governments and their principals. All performances of governance do need to have standardised or unique benchmarks for their measurements to be valid.  Continue reading

“Coconut Head” Corruption

 

“There is no good name for a terrible disease” – Urhobo proverb.
The solution to Africa’s problems lie solely in Africa” – George Ayittey.
Coconut Head Corruption (CHC) is a term derived from the vocabulary of George Ayittey. He is a distinguished U.S. based Ghanaian economist and is used to describe the observed hollow-headedness and thoughtlessness exhibited by corrupt African leaders and their clients. These Big Men Ayittey is critical of have engaged in corruption since the beginning of the post-colonial era. Ayittey consistently and emphatically in his works and on social media uses words like “Coconut Leader”, “Coconut combat” or “Coconut solutions” to address misgovernance and lousy leadership in African. Coconut-prefixed words as Ayittey uses them is just one aspect of the sincere, blunt and uncompromising zeal with which he is opposed to corruption and deliberate under-development in Africa. Solving Africa’s problems is not a ‘popularity contest’; it is about consistent successful approaches and outcomes; political correctness has not done anything for Africa (Ayittey 1992).

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Fraternities are Viruses in Nigeria: Part 10 – Poor Imitators

Whether university campus grown fraternities (UCGF) have done either good or evil to the societies in their countries of origin (e.g. the USA) is debatable. In the American-formation, without any idealisation, their “honour codes” are both formidable and strictly adhere. Honour” among brothers is a precious matter for American fraternities. Interestingly, their Nigerian imitators as ‘free-for-all fraternities’ are observably oblivious to the very meaning of honour and devoid of working honour codes. It may be the reason UCGFs in Nigeria are more like “street gangs” than collectives of educated men.

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#FreeEse: A Tragedy or Hot Air?

pedophile victim

It will be interesting to hear what pundits have to say about the “sexual relationship” between the adult male, Yinusa, and Ese Oruru a 13-year-old girl said to have been abducted by the former since 2012. There is much talk about endemic injustice, an ineffectual police force and legal system, unconcerned politicians and unscrupulous predatory males within the borders of Nigeria. What is not being said is that poverty has reduced females in Nigeria even seriously underaged ones into “purchasable” sex objects either as goods or services. Ese’s case was just a solitary cause celebre case out of millions of abused underaged girls in the country. Continue reading

“Women’s Rights” as Theme of African Union Summit: Really?

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The leaders of the Africa Union when in congress to discuss the problems of the continent, the outcomes are predictable. The stuff put on the table for discussion is often “impossible to achieve but good for utterance only”. These discussions are regularly superficial rhetoric, used to give respectability and fame to those self-appointed African champions who promote them. There will be no concrete and effective instrumental or institutional changes implemented to offer the solutions to the problems at hand. The problems thus persist without foreign intervention. The 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, with the theme “Women’s Rights in Africa”, is no different.

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Response: Culture is Not Costume: Why Non-Africans Should Not Wear African Clothing

Response: Culture is Not Costume: Why Non-Africans Should Not Wear African Clothing http://www.mycoloures.com/2014/10/culture-is-not-costume-why-non-africans.html?m=1

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Nneka Okona’s piece on the “wrongful appropriation” of female African dress is an interesting, challenging and well-written read but has a misplaced tone to it.  The piece pleads for the Nigerian dress / attire for women to be worn exclusively by Nigerian females because non-Nigerian ladies merely fetishise something dear, central and cultural to Nigerians and the authenticity of their lifestyles. Continue reading

The Ontology of the African VII: Play and Wound

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If a leader or intellectual is not articulating the values and necessities of robust human pride to his people, he or she is a dangerous traitor unworthy of the position – Guynes
The ontology of the African unfortunately involves ‘senseless play’ to perpetuate it as derisory, and it is becoming more visible due to social media; it has always been that way. The upliftment of the African people is what is necessary for our ontology not play. The instrumental aspects of the social organisation of things get works done while ceremonial aspects embellish what is available. For a society to work well, the instrumental aspects should supersede the ceremonial ones. When the reverse is the case conspicuous ceremony become a prime societal goal in itself. The ceremonial can be solemn, but it is mostly dominated by play.

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