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Not blind but will not see

I sang and danced and embraced but something was wrong with my glorious homecoming. At the end of my first day in Ubulu, the only thing I had written in my notebook was, “Why is the road still not tarred?”

As I moved through the village over the next few days, I was delighted and dismayed by how little had changed. Ubulu was still as beautiful as it had been in my childhood. The squalid, grey urbanisation that certain types of “development” bring to Africa had not touched my village. There were still wild places to run in, tracts of free vegetation, acres of sky filled at night with stars you could see. I bit into mangoes seconds after they had fallen from trees. I breathed in clean air, fresher than the smog we inhaled in Lagos.

But yet, after a decade, Ubulu still had no electricity, no local industry, no municipal authority to collect the heaps of rubbish around the village, and no computers in the village school. The villagers were still the same wiry, hardened people who were quick to smile a greeting – but poor. Very poor.

Because squalid, grey, urbanisation is the process of a place becoming rich you fucking fool.

12 thoughts on “Not blind but will not see”

  1. “no municipal authority to collect the heaps of rubbish around the village” Then why don’t they effing do it themselves?

  2. I second dearieme’s comment. Christ, you’d think it would be glaringly obvious, wouldn’t you?

    “When I was a child, we never went home with armed guards. It would have been unthinkable: such measures were for politicians and other dangerous people, not the doctors, lawyers and engineers that make up my family. Now, with kidnappings and armed robberies common in south-eastern Nigeria, you grit your teeth and pay the cost of the extra security.”

    No money to tar the roads, but plenty to fend off the venal, grasping predators of your country? No wonder Africa’s fucked.

  3. I thought diversity was a good thing? It’s simply a different type of wealth isn’t it? Being able to see stars but not grey buildings? Would Ubulu welcome western migrants seeking the type of wealth it has to offer, I wonder?

  4. BiG – You are fined one credit for a violation of the Verbal Morality Statute.

    Diversity is our Greatest Strength, so long as everybody has the same standard of living regardless of where they choose to live, their talents, or their behaviour.

  5. It’s a type of wilful ideological blindness. He’s actually to be pitied really. A cure is on the way though. It’s only a matter of time before we have something like a robotic ideological guide dog. When you are completely clueless and blinded by SJW groupthink it will say something like “for fucks sake, you can’t have a welfare state and open borders, or every miserable bastard in the world will get on a boat and head over here” etc. The beta testing failed unfortunately because it would have been useful for this guy. Maybe the Mark II will be available to help him.

  6. Even the Guardian eventually realized how stupid the article was and closed comments after only 89.

    Has anyone else noticed the Guardian comment section seems troubled? Slow loading, comes non-threaded when the slow loading link is clicked and now comes paged? I think the Guardian is having financial trouble and trying to reduce bandwidth.

  7. Reminds me of several young metro corbyn types who have returned from Far Eastern holidays in Vietnam etc to complain that the locals are embracing capitalism and spoiling it as a holiday destination.

    The bastards!

  8. Reading Philippe Legrain’s ‘Open World’ a few years back, I was struck about his remark about ‘human zoos’.

    Cuba, sub-Saharan Africa, the more remote parts of South-East Asia and Latin America. They all have a purpose. They’re there to be ‘exotic’ and ‘unspoiled’ for virtue-signalling little darlings to enthuse over in their holidays, before they fuck off back to First World cities for the remaining fifty weeks of the year.

    Legrain quoted some Social Justice fuckwit who was whinging about turning up in a village in rural Cambodia during the 1990s, and seeing that (horror of horrors) the locals were having a film evening, clustered around a TV and VCR watching (oh the horror!) a Hollywood thriller.

    Fuckwit obviously thought that they should have a more ‘indigenous’ form of entertainment that she could enthuse over. I also suspect that she didn’t acknowledge the fact that back in the late 1970s Cambodians were governed by a regime which banned TVs, and indeed anything associated with the corrupt, decadent capitalist West. But hey, what’s 2m dead in an autogenocide in the long-term scheme of things.

    Perish the thought that all these wonderful little unspoilt places you can brag about over your Hampstead dinner table will actually develop themselves, and acquire the standards of living that you enjoy.

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