What is Africa to An African? -By Issa Babatunde Ahmed

Filed under: Forgotten Dairies |

African migrants being sold in open market in Libya


Slavery is almost as old as the human race, the act which regards humans as property is an insanity and scrupulous activity of trading human beings for personal goals.

Africa has an unfair and unfortunate history of slave trade, a travail which started with the emergence of the mechanist era, an experience of being abducted from your country and their family. Only to be shackled like criminals, herded like beasts, tormented by inhumane cruelties and to live and die as another’s property in a land far away from home. Slavery was especially devastating because it did not just only decimated the continent’s population and man power, it also exposed Africa to abject poverty which till this moment has not been alleviated.

The black race as the continent has been tagged can’t keep dwelling on this negativity of experience and blaming the strangers for intruding the continent, it will only reinforce devastating images of Africans among ourselves and other races who do not understand how difficult survival was and is for a continent that almost paralyzed, thus it has far been the strength for Africans today.

As the world express disdain for the practice of slavery and racial injustice towards Africans coupled with the admiration of love for those who fought against the horrific act, it should be noted regarding the contrasting view that slavery was introduced to Africa by westerners.

Though the Western world played a major role in slavery but it is suffice to say that slavery has been existence in Africa before the arrival of the westerners on African lands, War prisoners and captives were usually taken as slaves by highly placed members of the society.

Some prominent members of the society also got slaves as gifts and later became a lucrative business during the ‘Transatlantic’ slave trade era, it was Africans who sold Africans to the Westerners as the later rarely go inlands to search for slaves, this has mostly been the case of slavery in Africa, the worst man’s act on the continent has always been engineered by its owns who trade fellow ones for peanuts.

Many thought this is an ancient act which has been outlawed through numerous human rights accords and labor rights agreements though most counties adopted these laws globally but the irony part is that the most affected victims who are Africans haven’t actually enforce them. no doubt, once again, it is corruption that preserves such negligence which is why it is still concomitant in our daily lives with our maids who are brought from other parts of the country or the continent, they work tirelessly for us and don’t get paid to, instead pay their earnings to agents who only God knows where and how they get this innocents souls.

They are sometimes too young to work which can be regarded as child labor, they take care of our day to day activities in our homes, offices, shops, markets and to mention just a few. Even if it comes with the consent of their parents sometimes it is still slave trade, because parents who gets paid for child’s labor has also enslave the child and doesn’t make much of a different to the current Libyan situation which has raised eyebrows, some female ones are taken to foreign lands as sex machines who needed to work to regain their freedom.

The slave trade that is going on in Libya is definitely one of the biggest if not the biggest atrocity of this century and serves as a major setback for Africa’s growth, it is also an eye opener to many of its kind that is presently operating within and beyond the terrain of the continent, recently, 26 teenage Nigeria migrant girls were found dead in the Mediterranean in early November.

Everything still goes down to the point that our system has failed us and some feel they already slaves in a system they don’t trust but will rather be a slave in a system they trust, so they turn to migration as life safer though it can sometimes be undesirable but the government leave them with no choice, history has it, the most exploited are the poor, with improper government scheme in this part of the world to support the majority who are destitute, a search for greener pasture elsewhere is not a bad option regardless of the unknown.

However ignorance is never an excuse, regardless of the situation we find ourselves Africans need to value a fellow African, trust each other to make life better for one another, our leaders need to make life better with our wealth of resources, we Africans need to speak for each other, also come up with realistic dreams not that of plucking money on trees in the western world and importantly  there’s is only one race which is the human race.