Africans, and black people in general, tend to be impressed when a black person gets, for instance, a high level position in a multinational company. As a result, we write superlatives such as: the first black American to be nominated in the Board of Directors of XYZ Company, the first black female to be appointed General Manager of XYZ Company, the first African to be in charge of XYZ Company for Africa and the Middle East, etc.
Such achievements owe to be celebrated because these people do become role models for younger generations. And we all need inspiring role models to move forward. Nonetheless, we should keep in mind that these role models are appointed because they have talent and can do the job. Said differently, they are not appointed because of their skin color. Investors and shareholders do not care much about feelings or sentiments in business; they mostly care about weird indicators like ROI (return on investment), EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization), NPV (net present value), P&L (profit & loss), EPS (earnings per share), etc. And as long as the owners of these multinationals believe that the appointed person can give them the numbers that they want, they’ll trust her/him (be s/he black, yellow, white or red).
Africans (blacks in general) have talent, just like other people from other continents and of different skin colors. However, black people have been conditioned to believe that they are inferior beings. Under slavery and colonization it was said that Black people are inferior to White people, which was mere Racism and Discrimination. And this feeling is still anchored within black people because their references and standards were set violently by the dominant civilizations a long time ago. The result is that this lie became “truth”, not only in the minds of the Blacks, but in that of the Whites as well. And it has led to mental conditioning and opened the doors to stereotypes such as: blacks are apes, they don’t have a soul, they are buffoonish, cannibals, stupid, they have no history, etc. And it generated Procrastination – Underestimation – Inferiority complex.
From what precedes one can understand why Africans, and black people in general, are in awe when one of them is appointed General Manager of XYZ multinational company or else. Indeed, in the majority of cases, black people tend to believe that it is still an exception that a black person be able to lead, manage or make discoveries in science, among others. It is quite shocking, in the twenty first century, that we still have black people who, because they don’t know their true history, are still believing (It has become a belief) that they cannot manage efficiently or invent because their ancestors allegedly never achieved great things. Thinking like this, for a black person, means that his/her imaginary is still shadowed with clichés induced by the mental conditioning of black people. And it is true that Africa, due to most of her rulers, is not currently really contradicting those stereotypes.
This attitude by Africans and Blacks proves at least one thing: they contribute in feeding the matrix of their inferiority complex. Indeed, being impressed because a Black person is appointed CEO of a company that was created by White people, for instance, means that a black person automatically admits being inferior to a white person. In other words, the black CEO or the black scientist is an exception. And the message that the black community sends unconsciously to the rest of the world, when they point out to the skin color of their CEO or scientist, is that he is an exception. In other words, and without knowing, they concur with the thoughts of racist people who think that blacks are inferior to all other races on planet earth.
It takes philosophical and political courage, as well as determination, to change a state of mind such as the one discussed here. And this is why education should play an important role in this regard. Unfortunately, the educational system in Africa does not seem to have decolonized the psyche of most African people, including leaders and high ranking officials. This is because the educational system, even after the independence of most African countries, is still subtly influenced by that of the former colonizing countries. What is even worse is the fact that Africans who have studied and worked in developed countries barely contextualize their knowledge and professional experiences. They tend to think that what works in the Western World, for instance, can simply be copied and implemented in Africa. Such an influence proves another thing: the western educational system is superior to the African one as the former has succeeded in controlling the psyche/mentality of Africans.
It is, therefore, vital that Africans decide to develop a robust educational system whose mission will be to actually solve their own problems through the many African talents that flourish on the continent. Only open-minded and visionary leaders can reform the educational system in Africa so that, among others, it offers to decolonize their psyche. Africa’s true history needs to be taught at an early age, African languages valued, African culture put at the forefront of the educational system, African inventors and innovators not only celebrated, but valued in order to get the most out of them, etc.. And when more and more Africans realize that they are just as competent as Americans, Asians, Europeans, etc., it is likely that they no longer keep on saying the “First black to have achieved ABC or XYZ” because they will no longer feed their inferiority complex with such sentences. The main objective being to stop having such complexes!