Chielozona Eze on Kony 2012 and the African Victimhood Complex

“I saw the first white people in my life in 1969. That was in a refugee camp, during the Nigerian civil war. Two Catholic priests and a middle aged lady in a bluish gown. They brought us food, clothes and medicine. It took my little body time to recover from the ravages of hunger and malnutrition, from kwashiorkor. But I made it, thanks to the enormous responses from the peoples of the world.
Fast forward to 2012. I am alive; I teach at an American university. I, too, watched the video, Kony 2012. I’m aware of the many celebrity endorsements of the video and the backlash it has unleashed especially from some African intellectuals and some liberal groups. Teju Cole’s “The White Savior Industrial Complex,” stands out not only for its highly crafted, nuanced arguments, but also for putting together decades of hurt, oppression and paternalisms from the West on Africa. It is difficult to challenge the core arguments of the essay without appearing to be against Africa. The success of the essay lies in the fact that it is rooted in the time-tested model of African write-back ideology, the ideology that has Africa’s victimhood as its first, inevitable premise. But isn’t Africa a victim? Isn’t Africa easily taken advantage of by those who lack all diligence”
 
– Professor Chielozona Eze on The KONY 2012 video and the resulting brouhahaBrilliant and coolly eclectic, Eze breaks down the issues regarding giving and victimhood in Africa into practical lessons. It is so refreshing to see that African intellectuals are showing the world that there is not a monotony of opinions on the Africa project.

Please read Eze here and salute a fine writer and warrior.

 
 

4 thoughts on “Chielozona Eze on Kony 2012 and the African Victimhood Complex”

  1. I respect Chielozona’s opinions on this matter. But I think casting aspersions on Teju Cole, another concerned individual who is simply expressing his own thought on it, is a misplaced shot. I was unable to comment on Chielozona’s blog that time, but this is what I wished to say:

    “Well, as perspectives go, we don’t all view the sky from one narrowed perspective, unless it is true that we still live in the “allegorical cave”. But thankfully, some have left the cave, so this is not true, that we all live in the cave, and must necessarily see the sky from one narrowed perspective. So, Teju to his view, and ChieloZona to his view. ”

    I think Chielozona missed the basic point of Teju Cole’s angst (if we may call it that) is encapsulated in his postulate about the White Saviour Industrial Complex that :

    “All he sees is need, and he sees no need to reason out the need for the need.”

    I have seen this argument, and I see the ways the never tread, even sofri sofri.

    Thank you Pa, for sharing the links.

  2. Writetoliberty: “cast aspersions on Teju Cole”? That’s a very strange conclusion, one far removed from the article itself.
    I think, you have read Prof Eze wrong. He praises the “highly crafted, nuanced arguments…” but you see aspersions? He has merely done what you have said should be done- state his opinion on the matter. And this, without any ‘aspersion’ of any kind.
    I suggest you read the piece again.

  3. Writetoliberty: “cast aspersions on Teju Cole”? That’s a very strange conclusion, one far removed from the article itself.
    I think, you have read Prof Eze wrong. He praises the “highly crafted, nuanced arguments…” but you are seeing aspersions? He has merely done what you have said should be done- state his opinion on the matter. And this, without any ‘aspersion’ of any kind.
    I suggest you read the piece again.

  4. Hi! This is my 1st comment here so I just

    wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading your blog

    posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same

    topics? Thank

    you!

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