MASERU - A good friend of mine and founder of Urglobal, Luleka Mkhuzo, said last week that imperialism in this new age recalls the analogy of a dog that has been tied to a tree. Even when the chain has been broken, the dog will remain on the same spot, not moving and barking, the way it has been trained. At the risk of offending people in the legal fraternity, I will reveal that this came up during a discussion about the white wigs that Supreme Court judges wear on their heads. The joke was not to take away the hard work and experience it takes to earn oneself the wig.
The question was: Why in 2018 do Africans still feel the need to look like white people with a wig that looks like the wool of a sheep from Thaba-Tseka brought down to the lowlands for a Christmas sacrifice, eating rocks on the side of the road at Ha Matala before sale and subsequent slaughter?
The persistent wearing of these wigs is part of what Grahamstown-based Education Reformer Mbulelo Nguta calls “self-colonisation”. The question being, who do we still blame for following through with policies that do not serve black people? Colonialism is over, and we hold the power. So, who is to blame? I was quite glad to find that this “self-colonisation” thought was carried by many people as pertains to many actions of black people in Africa. I also learned that other nationalities that have experienced Basotho dealing with white people have the opinion that we worship white people.
Yes, worship!From the way we treat the English language as a mark of intelligence to earing Peruvian wigs and bleaching our black skin. I think however, skin bleaching is a smaller problem. This proper English accent is such an enemy of progress, we stop listening to people who have content and information to disseminate because their accents are rounded off to their nearest African mother tongue.
Ms Matlakala, an educator at a college in Leribe went on to comment about our current Minister of Public Service who delicately annunciates his ‘r’ sound, asking what has the gentleman really been saying which is of substance? I remember too a Facebook post that went viral where a popular political activist Mr Bokang Kheekhe was asking him about the government’s plans for this country. I read his response to the post in his accent, and it sounded magnificent, but not much of a solid answer was provided.
We are a society of people who can hardly stand up to white bosses of multinationals that operate in the country and let lower level employees earn peanuts. Now because the black bosses cannot fight for lower level employees to earn better, they cannot justify their big salaries. Instead, we have a breed of marketing managers who ask suppliers to overcharge and cut them in on the payout. Or legal departments that ask for exorbitant amounts for legal opinions from lawyers who are friends so they can have them give them a slice of the ridiculously big pay cheque. Yes, we would much rather resort to corruption than stand as one for the benefit of everyone.
A friend of mine working for a finance department of a large NGO told me not so long ago that after preparing a presentation and agreeing with everyone that it is in good shape, it was presented to the white boss. The minute a few questions were raised, a whole team of black people started questioning their intelligence instead of standing their ground and providing explanations.
Just imagine! If our parliament’s Public Accounts Committee is anything to go by, the allegations made would point to the fact that Basotho haters of other Basotho have turned the mining industry in this country into a free-for-all arena for white miners. Work permits in the mining industry for jobs which Basotho have skills to do are sold for pennies to white people.
Ordinary Basotho do not benefit from the minerals in our country and I dare say it is because we simply do not have the right skin tone. If M1,600.00 is the cost of a work permit at the Ministry of Labour, I too have M1,600.00 to buy a job. But why should I? My nationality and qualifications should suffice.
In the Public Accounts Committee, it was further alleged that undeclared diamonds are picked up by a helicopter every Monday from one of the mines and taken to God knows where. Every Monday. I don’t know what you perhaps know, but Monday comes without fail after Sunday. That means once every week. And who benefits? Even if it is one diamond the size of a lentil, I would still like to know what happens to it.
The corruption that is fuelled by white people works off the assumption by Basotho that they are inferior to them. It is engrained in our minds from the lowest to the highest level. That is why people still believe Jesus will save them and prepare mansions for them in heaven after their longsuffering on earth while he cannot help with M750 rent in the meantime! And the Basotho’s worship of white people extends to such depth of the tourism industry. A few years ago, while on an excursion to Semonkong with the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation, we ended up at a lodge. It was in the dead of winter. While warming our black bodies at the fireplace we requested they put in more firewood.
The black waitress told us to our faces that the white people had arrived, and we should back away from the fire and only then will she put more fire wood. I never obliged! Being stubborn, I only created space for the two polite Dutch ladies who were shocked at the privilege their skin afforded them in a black independent African country. Our hosts who took us to the lodge in the first place did nothing about what the waitress had said when I told them.
And they keep punting that we should visit and tour our country first when such behaviours go uncorrected. I will visit that place again on my own budget after I bleach my skin! I’m tired. And while we are at it, they should make sure that those white people tip enough for both of us.Default Basic Success warning Info Danger Primary