Mr. Richburg has written a true story
... but the truth hurts!!Kofi Ellison
We may be disturbed and disappointed by his interpretation of events, but that ought to awaken us to the greed, corruption, injustice, abuse, and other wicked acts that have been perpetrated against us -Africans- by our own leaders since 1957. That examples of Africa's self-inflicted problems cited by the author can be found elsewhere in the world, does not nullify the
Keith Richburg's only shortcoming is that he was so romantic about Africa as are many African-Americans. We may take our roots from noble blood, but we have been despised and despoiled by our post-independence leaders. No dependency theory can erase the harm we have done to ourselves! Africa is indeed a land of beauty, but it has also become a land of misery and depravity largely due to our inhumane leaders.
In Africa education is getting worse, health care is getting worse, the infrastructure is getting worse, but our corrupt leaders turn a blind eye to these problems because they and their families can afford to enjoy these facilities in Europe and the United States. Of course 99% of Africans cannot afford such luxuries. Guess where the leaders and their families get the money from!!! One of the first things Charles Taylor did upon becoming president was to go to South Africa for medical check-up.
I hope Charles will help to develop Liberia so that Mbeki may seek medical help in Monrovia should the need arise. Don't bet on it. So what if Bosnia is in flames, or that there is corruption also in the United States. Their infrastructure, schools, and hospitals are excellent. That is Richburg's point. Corruption in Africa means you get paid for a bridge that you never build! "Scratch my back", "Grease my throat", "Hand go hand come" are euphemisms describing corrupt behavior in Africa. In the U.S. the businessman who pays a $100,000 to drink tea with Clinton may get the contract to buld the bridge but, by George, the bridge will be built to satisfaction.
I believe it was Mwalimu Nyerere (or Kenyatta) who wrote that if the rest of the world walks, Africa must run because we are so far behind. Let us not take solace in the fact that our problems can be replicated elsewhere. As our African proverb advises: when your neighbor's house catches fire, keep adequate water around your's just in case.... "Out of America' cannot add to the underdevelopment of Africa, nor will it curtail the flow of tourists and investors to Africa. However, if the problems that the book raises so starkly are not addressed and redressed, there will be a continuing flow of educated and patriotic-hardworking Africans to greener pastures, thereby leading to further deepening problems for Africa.
Indeed for every Keith Richburg, there are at least three African-Americans who come out of Africa with less frustration amd better hope for the future of Africa. But, unless we face our present problems with honesty and aplomb, and devise methods to tackle them, we will forever "hope" for a better future!
At least Richburg has awakened some passions, let's not attack him. It shoud be of little consequence that he seems troubled by his ancestry. It is not the first time someone has done that, and it will not be the last time either. He is a messenger and his message is grim. He has pointed to our fathers village with his left hand, to quote an Asante (Ghana) proverb. But he can do so because we let our father's village overgrow with bush!
Let's clean up our act. At least for all their transgressions -and there were many- the Afrikaners used the resourcecs of South Africa to develop South Africa. They bequeathed to Mandela, a better country than they (Afrikaners) found it!
The original review is available here.
Previous Visitor Comments
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|rod||Anonymous||why the racism|
|Ok some saying that "white" or "afrikaanrs" caused all the hatred and strife that we have in africa now. But in all honesty im a White South african born and raised there and i lived on the farm with the natives or "black" people. Now tell me one thing,,, if you cut yourself and your black friend cuts himself what is the colour of the blood? We are both human and no matter what the colour i get tired of people judging others of their "color" its not a crime to be born a different color its WHO YOU ARE!. Be proud of who you are whether black, white, or any other nationality. What good is it fighting over racism at the end of the day when the blame has gone around what does it accomplish? Nothing.|
|Thulani||mmbatha_at_hotmail.com||What a shame that the Afrikaners built the country for South Afr|
|The black South Africans just like anywhere in the world, have used their blood and sweat to build the country. What brain did the Afrikaners used? Yes, they used the resources from South Africa, only with self-serving and exploitation of our mothers and fathers... Perhaps they should have left South Africa the way they found it. Afterall Richburg's memoir is nothing but a commercial vehicle for the capitalistic nation such as the US. I hope he writes a book about Katrina and the black suffering of our black brothers and sisters here in the best country in the world.|
|how can we dispute what richburg saw with his very own eyes? who did the slaughtering in rwanda? who's doing the killing today in the sudan, and in the DRC? Having lived in Africa for years, I can say that Richburg's words are very true, African governments are corrupt, and the truth does hurt.|
|Lmrlv||lmrlv_at_aol.com||Myths About African's Selling other Africans|
|Although this occured to some capacity it was very rare. It is just another inflated lie made up by the master manipulator(the white man). He always says and does things like this just to make his actions seem less wrong than they are. Regardless to whether one actually robs the bank or drives the get away car, it's still the same. It's also like buying merchandise that you know is stolen. The real truth is that they are liars and fools who believe that it was Africans fault are fools who easily bite bait without thinking.|
|c paver||cpaver1_at_hotmail.com||keith richard|
|Keith is telling the truth about that horrible, miserable place. the real beauty of africa is the natural landscape. other than that, it is mired--and i do mean mired--in extreme poverty, violence, and most especially, corruption. colonialism had a huge part to do with this. and i would definitely start a reparations movement, from england and france, in the sum of 100 million pounds/euros. And it would only go up from there. the reason that place is a dump has a lot to do with their history. africa was much more advanced than european societies until their natural wealth was viciously taken from them. now it is a hell hole.|
|M Jackson||Anonymous||keith richburg|
|no white south african is african and never will be, i british of caribean parentage and proud of it. But i'm sure even though I'm caribean, africans will see me as s sister more than they wiii see any white south African|
|n boisson||naomi.boisson_at_businessprint.co.za||on keith richburg|
|Brilliant! So painfully realistic. As white afrikaner with open mind and a good lot of Zulu friends it was as if somebody finally put in such simple words what I have been trying to explain to my black friend about colour not making you wrong but different. Interesting wonderfully different. Mr Richburg I salute you and can only dream of having a great African fireside discussion with you. With thankful respect Ms N Boisson|
|Henri Le Richefirstname.lastname@example.org||Keith Richburg|
|It's like my African-American friend says....'African-Americans in America don't know how good they really have it...' Before coming to Africa and think you are just going to fit in think again. Keith Richburg has been there. If you don't believe him then there's only one way to find out.If you think Africa will accept you just because you share the same colour skin,then you got a big surprise coming. We welcome African-Americans that want to become South Africans.Not African-Americans wanting us to accept them as American. Read the following article by: Wafula Okumu. http://www.theperspective.org/diaspora.html|
|jeff mack||grimmies@2ooo||keith richburg|
|I am an american of african,native and english decent.I agree with richburg.When the africans sold us off for a mirror,pint of liquire,a pat on the back etc... .At that moment we were no longer related to you.I like are not ignorant.for 4oo years we had no help for our stuggles .Yet now we the decendence of the slaves you sold are the wealthiest blacks,browns,light in the world.You need our help.Do you know that we delight in your suffering famine,aids,mass murder,courruption etc...Make no mistake none of us are low grade black,brown,light.the low grades are you poor,deceased,begging trash running and swiming like hell to get to what we have built over hundreds of years.so critticize him all you want.thats all we americans have to do is to point to africa|
|Jaco Straussemail@example.com||on keith richburg|
|I haven't come across a white American calling themselves "European Americans". Yet you call yourself an "African-Caribbean"! Who is the one aligning with ancestry regardless of its legacy? Nothing wrong with recognising one's ancestry I suppose, except that the pot shouldn't be calling the kettle black. Especially if the kettle isn't!|
Furthermore, you call Mr Richburg an "idiot", without countering any of his arguments.
Maybe you just don't like the fact that he came to Africa as an "African American" and returned as an "American"!I suppose he rejected the African prefix, because of the continent's "notorious legacy of slavery, fascism, genocide and racism"...
|joseph firstname.lastname@example.org||on keith richburg|
|I am waiting on the day when a white american would reject his european ancestry because of the notorious legacy of slavery,fascism,colonialism and racism. Richburg is an idiot.I am an African-caribbean.|
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