In case you were wondering what kind of academic upgrade this is, kindly stop because it isn’t. Whiles others are sacrificing years of their lives to study various phenomena so they can do their bid to contribute their quota to make the world a better place, some others are equipping themselves in doing just the opposite.
This is what I call the Pull Him Down Syndrome; a phenomenon very common among Africans. In other parts of the world where people are encouraged to help others to become the best version of themselves so they can help society; others take the pains to taint the reputation of their colleagues so they would take their place.
Character assassination seems to be one natural talent of the average African. We tend to feel noble when we are helping someone up the ladder. But I don’t know if it’s a sense of self-preservation because although people love to help others go up, they can only tolerate the climb up to an (acceptable) extent; where they can boast to others about the impact they have had on your success but not above their influence so they don’t have to compete with you.
Up and coming is what people like to hear about you; tagged successful is just repulsive to the ear. Graduating to become a household name is treading on dangerous grounds. It is said that the devil finds work for the idle hands. Some people with serious personal issues of their own, find the time to concoct horrendous stories about successful people in their families, neighborhoods and the larger society as a whole. No ‘big’ person in African has a sparkling clean record; almost each one of them is the main character of a dark story entailing corruption or even ritual stuff.
It is also said that there’s no smoke without fire. Perhaps some ‘big’ people in our societies act or talk in a way which make others perceive them that way. But it is disheartening to work hard to get to the top of your game only to find the people around you pulling you down with accusations and defamation. This unfortunate trend is keeping Africa from shining as bright as she is supposed to.
Africans hide behind the perceived thought that the continent is stagnant because the Western world through its various schemes has made us so. But we do ourselves a bigger disservice by using all our productive effort to pull each other down so at the end of the day, no one gets to the top.
It would be better for us all if we threw this retrogressive attitude somewhere and did something worthwhile with our energy. Let’s help each other become the best that he can be; after all we all stand to gain. This PhD is a silent killer; let’s eradicate it before it does us.