According to reports, most organizations and successful firms are owned by “whites” who employ only their own kind into management but keep “blacks” on the lower rungs of the ladder. But it’s not always the case, we have “blacks” as well in certain organizations doing well in the management level making an impact. So what is the problem again?
At the heart of the racial disparity is an entitlement mindset that is debilitating and ruining the South African nation.
“Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it”. Criss Jami. Abraham Lincoln puts it succinctly that, “You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was..”
Professor André Roux of the University of Stellenbosch Business School opined that, “Entitlement is becoming an epidemic in South Africa and as much as we might not agree, no-one – including the world – owes anybody anything”. A South African businesswoman Wendy Luhabe, states that, “I grew up and started my career under apartheid and we had a much better work ethic, we were responsible for our lives understandably… these attributes have been replaced by a culture of entitlement and dependency since we became a democracy”. This was also echoed by Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba and he states that, “This New Culture of Entitlement was deliberately promoted by the ANC to have Control of Society. When Society believes Government is an answer in their lives, they are most likely to relax their own individual responsibilities”.
So if we have a society that is entrenched on entitlement with the active connivance of the government, what would you have? A dysfunctional society that breeds laziness, apathy and supports violence against hardworking individuals and organisations as aptly put by the Deputy Minister of Police for South Africa, Bongani Michael Mkongi. He was recorded as saying that. “You can’t find South Africans in other countries dominating a city up to 80%… we cannot surrender South Africa to foreign nationals.”
NIGERIA AND OTHER NATIONS
Expectedly, reactions to the xenophobic attacks have sprung up. Condemnation, strong lecturing on history by the Ghanaian President and outright condemnation by African Leaders all over. While I expect President Buhari to be more assertive and firm in his condemnation and call for South Africa to take full responsibility. However, what has been done so far must be commended. Perhaps if he had been very firm, the rash reactions of the people, looting and burgling supposedly South African “owned” businesses would not have occurred. Maybe? So it begs a question, why the looting in Nigeria?
The truth is the Nigerian Society is operating on a ticking time bomb primed with the Hourglass. There is a continuing widening gulf between the Political Class, Working Class and the Unemployed Class. The Political Class has being gradually inured from the day to day realities of the average Nigerian. And the government has never placed a premium on the life of the average Nigerian. And unfortunately, we as citizens have failed to place a premium as well on ourselves and also hold the government and elected officials accountable for every action and inaction.
Little wonder there is a mad rush to Eldorado outside the shores of Nigeria, with several taking torturous routes through the desert, some living under false identity in different nations, doing menial jobs shunting away on sighting authorities. And its really a sad story for the Nigerian citizen and every other African caught in this web. It means, we have a whole lot to do as individuals in our nation Nigeria to make it an wholesome haven to stay in. And the reactions that has taken place so far, is an indication that things are gradually reaching the tipping point in our nation. Let’s put it into perspective, all the supposedly owned South African Businesses that was looted and burgled are franchises given by South Africans to Nigerian businessmen and women! These same people employ Nigerians, provide service for Nigerians and contribute to the GDP and social welfare of the Country in no small measure. In other words, these businesses allows the wheel of commerce to keep rolling. Now that they have been burgled, a Nigerian is out of business (if it has insurance, better by a slight margin), a Nigerian would be unemployed, and a Nigerian Family would have no food on the table and School Fees season is just upon us. Can you see the vicious wheel that has been set in motion by Nigerians under the guise of protesting against South Africa’s xenophobic attacks? What makes us different from them in this wise with our ignobly, knee jerk, rash reactions?
As I stated earlier, Nigeria is sitting on a ticking time bomb that would go off any moment if the government does not take drastic firm steps to right the apparent wrongs in the system and close the ever yawning gap between the Political-Working Class and drastically reducing the unemployment class and also the subtle entitlement mindset we possess as a nation. So what are the steps the Nation needs to take amongst others:
- Diversification of the economy from Oil to non-oil sectors as a matter of urgency. This opens up more sectors for employment in the economy.
- A review of the interest rate to make it more favorable to SMEs to access funds.
- Deliberate policy to reduce inflation to single digit.
- A review and reappraisal of banking operations to be more business friendly and oriented.
- An overhaul of our educational system to shift focus from certificate to value driven.
- Passing a legislation that reduces the cost of governance drastically at the Executive and Legislative levels.
- Bilateral relationship on cross border strengthening, protection and security.
- Enforcing a merit based system in our public sectors, nullifying the quota system.
- Encouragement of regional development with a reevaluated Federal structure.
- Guaranteed protection and safety of all Nigerians within and outside the Country.
- Placing a premium on the life of every Nigerian
Be it as it may, the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) may has well go up in smoke if this issue of xenophobia is not thoroughly addressed and all the guilty parties held responsible and accountable for this misdeeds in both countries.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves” We have to work out our deliverance deliberately and consciously with the future in mind. We cannot continue to forge ahead mindlessly without a clear plan in mind of what to expect and what to anticipate in the future. The truth is, North or South, East or West, there is no place like home.
“Home is a shelter from storms-all sorts of storms.”-William J. Bennett