Afrobeat Culture Federator

France WORLD CUP Victory – Important Lessons!

Sunday 22 July 2018 by Mabinuori Idowu (aka ID)

Pardon me to bring-up the much discussed French football team’s victory in the recent World Cup tournament in Russia. A re-visit such as this has as objective, for us all to draw the lessons necessary from this world event. Football world cup events; can be considered as one of the few occasions, where we witness a long and joyous communion with the fans, hence the need to use events such as this, to remind humanity of our shared common origin.

Another reason for this re-visit is former United States President Barrack Obama’s speech in Johannesburg to mark 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth. In the speech, Obama singled-out the African heritage of many players in France’s World Cup winning football team, and said that embracing diversity “delivers practical benefits since it ensures that a society can draw upon the energy and skills of all people". A message that reminds one of Femi Kuti’s ‘One People One world’!

Nationalist and anti-immigrant attitudes in Europe have been an issue in a number of recent national elections around the region, particularly after the influx in the past few years of refugees from predominantly North and Sub-Sahara Africa. However what we fail to bear in mind in all these debates, is that ‘Man’ (that is) Homo-sapiens sapiens that we are, has always immigrated and thanks to this human nature the world became populated.

We know that immigration; has always been man’s main channel in the population of the world, thanks to the methodological renewal taking place today world-wide in the social sciences, by the use of historical materialism and structuralism. Now it is clear that any member of the human community born south of the equator could not have survived without the pigmentation of skin.

Scientifically speaking, it is known with all certainty that nature doesn’t create anything by chance, it is for that reason that human born in a sub-equatorial region was given melanin to protect his or her skin - hence the first humans had to be BLACK. In view of the above; we can conveniently affirm that if the first humans had remained in the sub-equatorial region, without immigrating to Asia and later Europe every human on earth would be BLACK!

Unfortunately with the rise of nationalist movements, world-wide humans are distancing themselves from this communion and human heritage. Looking at the composition of most West European teams to the 2018 World Cup, it confirms that in all domains, without African human and natural resources, France like most Western European nations cannot exist! Remember that many of these immigrants and citizens are connected, to France and the larger European Union’s colonial past.

There is the opinion; that France does not refer to its citizens based on their race, religion, or origin, unlike the United States of America. However this presumable colour-blind approach has not stopped discrimination against African migrants in the hexagon territory known as France. When someone commits a crime, or when they are unemployed, considered unsavoury - it is the African immigrants. But when the children of these immigrants go on to win World Cup for France, majority of the French population look-up to and refer to them as French.

A resent example is the Malian migrant; who saved a four-year-old child hanging from a fourth-floor Paris balcony, after scaling the building with his bare hands he was honoured by French President Emmanuel Macron and offered citizenship. Also amid backlash against migration in Italy, a Nigerian undocumented migrant begging for change outside a supermarket in a Rome neighbourhood endeared himself to the Italian nation for tackling a thief wielding a cleaver.

Thanks to the children of immigrants, as we can observe, France has won for the second time in her history, the world cup final. As underlined in an earlier post; of the 23 players in the French squad, around two-thirds are of African or Arab descent, drawing comparisons with the mythological "Black-Blanc-Beur" (Black-White-Arab) team of 1998 that won the world cup for the first time. This time around, the French team’s success is particularly noteworthy because of the way in which anti-immigrant sentiment, especially against migrants with African roots, has embroiled French society over the past two decades.

In 2005, racial and urban unrest gripped suburban housing projects outside of Paris in the wake of the death of two teenagers who were electrocuted in a substation (where they took refuge) after being chased by police. While French President Macron parties at Femi Kuti’s New Afrika Shrine in Lagos, living-up to his reputation as President of the rich with his deals with Nigerian corrupt leaders, France’s city of Nantes witnessed a third night of violence, after a young Guinean immigrant was shot and killed after being stopped by the police.

In resent years; clashes over police brutality, racial injustice and economic opportunity shape debates across Europe and the United States. We have an expression in Yoruba language: “Ti egun ilé eni baan’jo ré, ara aya atokun re” – meaning: “when your masquerade is dancing well, it is a source of pride for his guide”. We need to relate to one another as equals, we should not wait for the children of immigrants to win the world cup, before accepting every human as equals. We cannot wait for events like the world-cup win for France, before celebrating our human communion.

The most important lesson for the continent from this World Cup is AFRICA UNITE! Whatever way we look at the success of African immigrants and their children in Europe and America, we need to bear in mind that, if Nigerians and indeed Africans prefer to serve and give their expert knowledge outside the continent, it is because the necessary conditions are not in place in their respective states. Their competences are not exploited, because they are considered inferior to their Western counterparts and due to the necessity to survive, our experts move to other countries in search of greener-pastures. This is no question of being patriotic or not, it is a question of survival. If the conditions are right, our competent professionals would stay in Africa, win many World Cups and work for change on the continent.

From reports, Nigerians make up the majority of undocumented migrants trying to make the treacherous crossing via the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. We know that the Federal Government of Nigeria like other African nation is doing nothing to stop this migratory trend? As often reiterated in my posts, we have enough human and natural resources, which could be used to float a Pan-African Bank and force all these institutions to level the economic playing field. Equally; it is necessary to ask the question: Where are Nigeria and other African nations, in this geopolitics?

Those in power make us believe that Africa is on the move, Africa is progressing, etc. What progress? We have AIDS, Ebola, and all sorts of deceases directly or indirectly spreading on the continent. Africa is poor, she is heavily indebted, and they continue to say Africa is moving in the right direction – things are working, etc. Making fun of our people, if I may ask what is working in Africa? They pollute the Gulf of Guinea, oil tankers navigating Africa’s waters and pollute everything from Cape Town to Cairo. One important fact we have to be cautious of is that, be it military, economic, sportive, or scientific, Africa is not in any scenario of tomorrow.

If we want to make our continent powerful, we can refuse to sell our natural resources in their crude forms, and insist on selling them only to countries ready to exchange the technological know-how for refining the crude resources. This way, we can provide a future for our youths. As often reiterated, how are we going to develop Africa’s nuclear power, submarines, space, economy, and struggle to make our continent great, if we allow all these foreign nations and companies take our human and natural resources for free? If we say all these resources belongs to the Federal States of Africa, it’s up to us to decide what we do with our uranium, oil, gold, we do not accept the old ways anymore of doing business.

This way the West will feel the African power, we will no longer be exploited to make their strength. We make our own strength. They no longer have free labour and free raw materials. After so many years of domination and imposition on our people, it will be hard for them to change. But that’s the only way; it is the only way as you can see we’ve tried everything. It is the only way left. Another example is uranium; Areva is the first in nuclear energy in the world, there is not a grain of uranium in France, but Areva is the world’s first. They take it for free or almost for free in Niger. In a continent that has lakes, rivers, streams, where we can do extraordinary things.

Time come for a radical change! Like Fela Anikulapo-Kuti sang in C.B.B (Confusion Break Bone): “How can a country have money, and the people of the country don’t see the money?” PDP, APC, or is it Alabukun Powder, are piece of the same coin (SOLDIER GO! SOLDIER COME!) Today; everyone agrees that corruption has led Nigeria into a fantastic anarchy be it at the Federal, State, or local government level. For us to get to where we are today, it is clear that the path laid-down by the “Founding Fathers” of our nation is no doubt a bad way forward. This pattern of governance must be abandoned; it is painful, but it must be abandoned. The paths already taken by our elders did not work, and we will not repeat the same mistakes.

With the coming election in Nigeria, we have a chance to make the necessary change, let us start with Nigeria and do the same all over the continent. “Chase those crazy bald-heads out of town” - Bob Marley sang! We say time come to CHASE THEM ASSHOLES OUT OF TOWN!
Viva Nigeria!
Viva Africa!

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