Why Africa is Poor & The mystery of the pyramid

The wise men of ancient Africa often insisted on going to their grave with their gold, wives, servants and anything else they could lay claim to; including medicinal recipes, charms and idiots guide to building pyramids. The richest places in Africa are not the huge deposits of gold and oil. No, it is the cemeteries. The learned still die with their wisdom, hardly ever imparting them to younger folk. There’s an ancient African proverb that says: “When an old man dies, it is like setting a whole library ablaze”.  
Any race, country or continent that doesn’t invest properly in its young has no future. Recently, whilst on assignment in the Northern Region of Ghana, we met this young boy, Mohammed Osman, who builds cars out of used tins and powers them with a small motor and a mobile phone battery. He reminded me of Malawian, William Kamkwamba, who created his own windmill from scratch. With just a little support, these kids will be the next pyramid builders and hopefully, when they are old, they won’t die with their secrets.
After years of pondering on the secret of the pyramid, I have come to one conclusion:
Africa is not poor because it is actually poor. Africa is poor because it believes it is poor. The people who built the pyramids believed they were smart enough, powerful enough, endowed enough to build something that pokes God in the chin or at least tickles the armpit of the sun and they did it. The only problem is, they kept their knowledge to themselves, and anytime an old woman / man dies in Africa, we have to start from scratch but that must change.
The African today must go back to that original place of Faith in God and self. We have to stop looking to Europe, America or China. Isn’t it obvious those guys haven’t got it all figured out themselves? 
We have to stop cladding ourselves with opulence at the slightest taste of money. That won’t cover our nakedness. We have to go back to investing ideas. To educating one another. To challenging one another. To empowering the young. To investing in Tomorrow. We have to move from being just happy consumers to creating stuff the world would be addicted to. 

Anytime I see a pyramid, I know it is possible.


The Vhypa said…
Well penned, only Africans can save Africa.... Awake from selfishness and share .
Caroline said…
Nana, I enjoy your photos immensely. Having recently been to Ghana for the first time since my 3rd birthday, I can honestly say that your photos capture the very essence of all that is beautiful about our country.

Thank you
DiDi said…
NaNa You Make Sense..We have to support our very own inventors.
Andrea said…
You are an inspiring photographer and your wisdom is delightful :)
Everything you have said is true, and couldn't be truer. I also believe the poverty of Africa is held in chains by our mindset. And I firmly support education and sharing our wealth. Privileged young people, especially, need to realize how important they are in bringing EVERYone up, not just themselves.
You are my photography role model, and I say keep writing! God bless you.
Ems said…
Hi Nana,

Please let me know if you can trace the boy in ur picture, also do you know if he is in full-time education?
Daniel Mumuni said…
Nana, this is a great article and you make total sense. Could you find a way of sharing these articles to the wider Ghanaian/African readers? I am thinking more of getting a space in one of the dailies. I feel more people (especially our political leadership) should bebefit from these thoughts you share.
Żaneta said…
A beautiful blog! I am impressed, and I bow my forehead!

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