One of my favorite books of academia is Dambisa Moyo’s Dead Aid. It addresses the rather complex aid model and goes on conclude the woes of the African people have been as a result of the infinite Aid dollars that have flown to the continent from Western countries.
Dambisa dedicated the book to 2 gentlemen; I had no prior knowledge of them, but the subsequent commentary got me googling their names. 2 fine gentlemen – Yaguine Koïta and Fode Tounkara
Yaguine Koïta (born September 25, 1984) and Fodé Tounkara (born April 6, 1985) were stowaways who froze to death on a Sabena Airlines Airbus A330 (Flight 520) flying from Conakry, Guinea, to Brussels, Belgium, on July 28, 1999. Their bodies were discovered on 2nd August in the airplane’s rear right-hand wheel bay at Brussels International Airport, after having made at least three return trips between Conakry and Brussels. The boys were carrying plastic bags with birth certificates, school report cards, family photographs and a letter. This letter, written in imperfect French, was widely published in the world media.
“Excellencies, Messrs. Members and officials of Europe,
We have the honorable pleasure and the great confidence in you to write this letter to speak to you about the objective of our journey and the suffering of us, the children and young people of Africa.
But first of all, we present to you life’s most delicious, charming and respected greetings. To this effect, be our support and our assistance. You are for us, in Africa, those to whom it is necessary to request relief. We implore you, for the love of your continent, for the feeling that you have towards your people and especially for the affinity and love that you have for your children whom you love for a lifetime. Furthermore, for the love and meekness of our creator God the omnipotent one who gave you all the good experiences, wealth and ability to well construct and well organize your continent to become the most beautiful one and most admirable among the others.
Messrs. Members and officials of Europe, we call out for your solidarity and your kindness for the relief of Africa. Do help us, we suffer enormously in Africa, we have problems and some shortcomings regarding the rights of the child.
In terms of problems, we have war, disease, malnutrition, etc. As for the rights of the child in Africa, and especially in Guinea, we have too many schools but a great lack of education and training. Only in the private schools can one have a good education and good training, but it takes a great sum of money. Now, our parents are poor and it is necessary for them to feed us. Furthermore, we have no sports schools where we could practice soccer, basketball or tennis.
This is the reason, we, African children and youth, ask you to create a big efficient organization for Africa to allow us to progress.
Therefore, if you see that we have sacrificed ourselves and risked our lives, this is because we suffer too much in Africa and that we need you to fight against poverty and to put an end to the war in Africa. Nevertheless, we want to learn, and we ask you to help us in Africa learn to be like you.
Finally, we appeal to you to excuse us very, very much for daring to write this letter to you, the great personages to whom we owe much respect. And do not forget it is to you whom we must lament about the weakness of our abilities in Africa.”
It has been a decade and some years and many of us have moved on with our lives. Things have gotten better and we seem to forget the dark tunnels from which we have come out as a people and as a continent. But pausing briefly to pay homage to this act of selflessness and empathy for fellow humanity and children of the continent – I celebrate these “HEROES”. Forever in our hearts and minds!
Rest In Perfect Peace! D A M I R I F A -DUE!