I am not a fan of former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, but that is not the point. I do not agree with his method but the truth of the matter is that ordinary South Africans are still living under the shadows of the shackles of apartheid. There is basically no upward mobility for the ordinary rural black South African. So I wanted to dissect the world through the eyes of a Malema follower:
The people who make the comparison between Zimbabwe and South Africa clearly do not know what they are talking about. While the statistics from IMF and the World Bank may prove otherwise what ordinary people can see in Zimbabwe is the success of the black empowerment movement. So in the West people can fool themselves into thinking that Zimbabwe is a failure but the reality on the ground is otherwise. While life is still difficult for the ordinary Zimbabwean there is of course that echelon that is set to become billionaires in the next 20 years or less. That may be insignificant to many westerners but it is a big deal in Southern Africa. There is the faith and hope of upward mobility and in a global economy with no gold standard isn’t faith and hope the basis of the economy?
|Nigerian Billionaire Aliko Dangote
Zimbabweans now have developed an ownership mentality and everyone believes that they too can start a business and become wealthy and the emergence of a new social class ‘gweje and gwejelina’ is proof that Africans are moving up. Gweje and Gwejelina are examples of people who were working class, rural farm laborers etc who were transformed into homeowners and drive BMWs and Mercedes through Marange diamonds. All you have to do is to visit Mutare; seeing is believing. This is what ordinary South Africans are seeing and of course they want it too. How can South Africa be a mining giant in the world but the children of the soil do not share in the benefits?
Steve Jobs the American technology icon at his death was worth 7BN the richest man in Nigeria and the continent of Africa Aliko Dangote is worth 13.8BN (According to Forbes.com) you do the math. Let me connect the dots for those not familiar with African history, Nigeria went through black empowerment in the 1960s and is today is reaping those benefits. In the words of British Prime Minister
Tell me this: which part of the world has seen its number of democracies increase nearly eight-fold in just two decades? Eastern Europe? No, it’s Africa. Which continent has six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world? Asia? No, it’s Africa. Which country is predicted by some to have the highest average GDP growth in the world over the next 40 years?…
Today there are unprecedented opportunities to trade and grow, raise living standards and lift billions from poverty. So I urge you: seize these opportunities, grab them, shape them.”
Article by Ana Mosi-Oa-Tunya 2011
I rest my case.