Part 1: A Viable Development Model for the Black World and Diaspora
By Dennis Matanda
It is most frustrating to be cut off from the soil. Those of us who live in this cyberspace of the Diaspora spend countless hours dreaming up schemes that will, first, allow us to return home in a cloud of ‘enlightened from abroad’ glory. Secondly, most of us wake up each day and have another ‘bright’ idea that we believe will suddenly improve the living standards of those we left at home and, again, allow us to achieve that glory cloud when we return home.
The truth, unfortunately, is that much as we might try or be enlightened, our colleagues, counterparts, age mates and bedfellows on the ground in either Africa or the Caribbean make incremental steps that are, exponentially, greater than the ones we make on either this side of the Atlantic or that side of the Indian Ocean. Simply, even if we sent money home or built all these ideas, nothing beats being on the ground at home. Thus, if we really want to develop our respective countries, we should just return home.
Yes … A good chunk of those living in the West, East or anywhere else away from their homes could actually bring more than positive change if they went back home today.
An Archbishop Sentamu is the second most powerful man in the Anglican Church around the world. If he were home in Uganda, he’d be a kingmaker, a saint, a savior and the kind of figure that pulls many out of the doldrums that have been created by a regime that’s been in power for too long.
In the Caribbean, a person like Wyclef Jean – an international music sensation – was a major factor in Haiti’s last presidential elections. On the other hand, one could argue that Jamaica’s various superstars have not necessarily amounted to much. However, the response is that if Bob Marley [RIP] run for office on a platform of reform with a solid intellectual platform, there is a chance that a groundswell would follow him.
Just ask the guy who beat Wyclef Jean.
Also, a country like Kenya could benefit from having people like John Githongo – a former ombudsman of sorts – and Dr. Mwangi Kimenyi of the Brookings Institution back in that country. Penultimately, whereas they are adding value in their current Western domiciles, their own profiles could lead to some kind of veneration or redemption for their own people.