Not Laziness Not Sleep But Loss Of A Spirit


One can trap air. This can be done creatively. But air could escape too. A pierce causing this escape can do incalculable damage. Loss of pressure is weakening. Loss of air (oxygen) could be fatal.

Those used to bicycle ride in villages understand the import and pain of deflated tyre. Before the era of tubeless types not prone to easy piercing, punctured tyre of a bicycle is a burden.

Since such journeys are not usually inside the town, the rider has to roll the bicycle to the next village where perhaps a bicycle repairer lives. Rolling a bicycle often instigates a dissonance causing a fall on the side of the bicycle. This is very common among young riders.

Students who ride bicycles from their villages in the interior to ‘town’ secondary schools can relate to this awful experience. It is more painful if the student is late to school and trying to catch up.

Deflated tyre implies its inflation at a point. Deflation takes place owing to a reason or more. Whatever is the case, it is a snag. A kind of disruption and irritation.

What went wrong? Is it the quality of the tube or tyre? Are portholes – ‘gallop’ responsible for the set back? Is it the work of so called enemies that are thought to be myriads in African setting? As queries juggle with reality of rolling a deflated bicycle, decision is imperative. It is either run and roll or roll to run.

If one runs one could fall and white uniform gets dirty. Worse, one may end up with scratches or bruises on ones body. Movement slows down as a consequence. A catastrophe caused by loss of air. This looks simple but complicated because of impact. Loss of air is like loss of spirit.

Air is like spirit. Air is invisible to naked eyes. But its out workings are visible. Like air, spirit enhances moments. Air in a bicycle tyre is given little thought but it is central in the working of the bicycle.

The spirit is not just motivation but actuating force. It is foundational, a philosophical- psychological mix giving aggregate feeling, sentiments that build nations, fight wars, create industrial complexes, legally challenge oppressive authorities, unify people, stand against persecution, face canons and shells and muster a new creation. It is seen as a will – ennobling type. When this spirit is absent, you are merely rolling a flat tyre bicycle. You must inflate to move by creating a new spirit. Many African nations have lost the spirit and simply rolling their flat tyre bicycles like a school boy.

Millennial may not easily relate to this experience. But they all know there are some parts of the world that is somewhat orderly, industrially developed and somehow there is rule of law. Without living in the wilds or using statistical equations, they know what happens in a jungle where wild animals live. The law of the jungle reigns. Great fights, and slaughtering of the innocent and weak is routine. The wicked has no pity for the ‘weak’ – children, the old, the sick and women.

You may perhaps been exposed to a concept we describe as attractive nation concept. Attractive nation concept we see in globalization era migratory pull of Africans to the north. It is not simply to acquire education, but to stay at all cost after education because African countries are not really supporting ‘progress’. Some of these countries are in the bottom of human living index with unlivable cities. These ’emigres/diasporans’ decision to remain in other countries and make it a home is not because they do not like their country populated by vibrant and lazy youths( a contradiction). Their love for country is moderated by reason and new reality.They observe and see clearly the loss of air, absence of a spirit in the ongoing of their peoples.

It is not only loss of air or spirit like a deflated bicycle tyre. There is as well a destructive virus in the air. Millennials are mostly breathing it. It is causing incalculable damage to the brain. The educated ones have also inhaled so much of it that they breath out the same. Go to the Internet and be hit. This dangerous air is spreading.

The bad air is subtle and dangerous undermining the very fabric of society. It is like poison administered on a troop being deployed to confront an enemy.

When you are told that “your people/country are not developing because they are lazy”, what do think? When it is topped by another statement that “wealthy persons/ nations do not sleep for 7/8 hours”. Do you agree? If you do, you have bought a lie.

As noted elsewhere human psychology is great. You can see its hands on noble prize in economics in recent years. Both in politics, international relations, war and diplomacy, psychology is always deployed to achieve goals that pecuniary dressings cannot easily achieve. It is necessary therefore to deal with this inebriating ruse they call “laziness and too much sleep”.

In tow are questions likely to spin a thought.

Where is the spirit that enabled your ancestors do great things in the past?

Was the Atlantic slavery successful because your people were weak and sleep all year round?

Why slave raids and deceptive means used in taking people away as slaves instead of open markets sales of human as in America and the Caribbeans?

Why slave revolts on land and sea?

Were slaves bought because of their laziness or would be usefulness?

Are there history of conquered people in Europe and Asia who rose from ashes of conquest to a new high?

What kind of spirit made our people to engage in resistant movements for over two decades before subjugation. Were they conquered because they were lazy and sleeping all year round?

A German, Max Weber wrote Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Is there any relationship between the spirit to achieve and wealth of nations.

If the spirit is deflated like a tyre, can there be a boost and rush to development?

What can revive a lost spirit – deflated tyre and bring a new threshold of development?

What political and environmental factors are responsible for seeming placid condition or lack of creativity of a people?

What has killed the competitive entrepreneurial spirit of young people that is now misconstrued as “long hours of sleep and laziness”?

Is sleeping responsible for ‘ resource curse’ – a situation a nation is blessed with natural resources but its managers cannot use it to develop their country? What about state capture as ultimate goal without development? Is it caused by sleeping/lazy theory?

Can these questions interrogate your mind?

Can impressionable minds be reset from a new ‘ laziness, sleeping and eating’ theory. It is a lie ballooned by lack of rigorous historical perspective. This lie is not new in history. It is sometimes used as oppressive tool of conquest. Carry out research and resolve not to swallow this falsehood. Recently we encountered some young Africans confused by this lie. They are unwitting accessories, pawns and purveyors of this lie.

Sliding African development at this time is caused by many factors. Actuating spirit of development evident in the past is lost in some countries. Galvanizing spirit that is forward moving is missing. African environment is not sustaining the air- the spirit of development. Many of their leaders seems to be rolling a flat tyre bicycle. They should deal with loss of air or search for competent young bicycle repairers to inflate tyre. It may help them than imbibing ahistorical virus – lazy-sleep-eating theory confusing millennials.