WHEREVER an African ruler goes, there are three things, namely, a red carpet, bodyguards and traditional dancers. I have always wondered: What is their significance?
Are they not colonial carry overs and a wastage of time and public money?
I am of the firm belief that our colonisers pretended that they revered our traditional dances, while they actually disliked them and wanted us to concentrate on them instead of liberating ourselves.
Traditionally, Africans do not have the red-carpet culture. The red carpet is a sign of colonial and Western superiority.
One would have thought that former colonies would detest and eschew such colonial instruments because they hardly demonstrate decolonisation, freedom or mellowness.
Again, how can our rulers rebuff such colonial dregs while they act exactly like our former colonisers, not to mention that the State houses they greedily and owlishly occupy and protect were built by the erstwhile settlers?
The splendour and trimmings the State houses shamelessly display and enjoy are but typical replicas of colonial comportment and mentality?
For Western leaders and monarchs to display such penchant makes sense because it is a sign of their perfidy that conceived colonialism and neocolonialism.
Nonetheless, for the victims, taking pride in colonial lees, is nothing, but self-degradation if not the display of rank ignorance and greenness, not to mention burdening their poor people whose taxes they burn.
Many still ask where the problem lies. Is it because they are not leaders but rulers who lack self-confidence?
Is it a monkey see monkey do malady?
I shudder to note that some of those displaying and regurgitating such colonial vestiges are PhD holders who cannot discern such simple things.
I shudder to painfully see a ruler of a poor and begging country driven in a bigger motorcade than that of the late Queen of England whose major sources of income were slavery and colonialism.
Considering how many corrupt and callous African washouts behave and misbehave, methinks they deserve to be received on dirty, torn and not red carpets.
Why? Simple. They rule and live like nawabs on the sweat and taxes of pauperised people and countries.
How and where do they get the money they squander?
Is it by means of begging and borrowing?
Nay, they make a killing by collecting taxes from paupers without offering any services.
Also, they make money by vending our resources without any fear since we fear to confront them for fear of being purged.
Another reason why African rulers deserve dirty carpets is the fact that they intimidate and mug their nationals, while Western leaders fleece other countries to feed their people who appreciate and applaud it.
Considering how inept our rulers are, methinks they don’t deserve red, but a dirty carpet.
Before giving more nuggets of wisdom, let me allude to the short history of the red or crimson carpet and its infidelity and death trap.
According to Amy Henderson, history emeritus at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, the history of the red carpet started in Greece during the times of Agamemnon, King of Mycenae in the year 458 BC.
Agamemnon left his wife Clytemnestra at home and went to fight Trojan wars.
On his return, Agamemnon brought a concubine with him, which infuriated Clytemnestra who hatched a plot to punish him for infidelity.
She rolled out a crimson or red carpet to walk him to his death.
The short of the long story is that the red carpet is historically a symbol of betrayal even though “it denotes stratospheric status, style and opulence” (BBC, February 22, 2016).
Do our corrupt and inept rulers love the red carpet because of their political infidelity or fake opulence?
If you combine the two, you find that they are right to love the red carpet since they are politically infidel and heartlessly opulent.
In Greek mythoi, red carpets were for gods only.
Again, when it comes to our mortal rulers who play God, and are but self-appointed demigods, they think the red carpet is their birthright.
Again, if you consider how corrupt and gunge our rulers are, they deserve a dirty carpet, and not a red one, otherwise it would befit them if they are walking to their deaths for their political infidelity.
In sum, provided that the monies thrown away on colonial red carpets were siphoned from taxes, we need to question their rationale.
It maddens to find that those who love to walk on red carpets, most of them, if not all, are the children of paupers who slept on goatskins before conspiring against their people.
Again, based on their failure, do our rulers deserve to plod on red carpets or on dirty ones?
Again, if our countries were free, maybe, we would have chosen leaders and discarded rulers.