When you ride the western star until you hit its heavenly glass ceiling, are unable to break through it, and then console yourself with the thought that, at least, you have done better for yourself than those who once started off with you back home in the deep global south… the question is: has Progress really been made?
You rise in the West
But Africa stays the worst.
If you shine moderately in the glow of the eastern star, but your own land of the rising sun is still struggling with twilight…
If like a lost moon you reflect dazzlingly the northern lights and it blinds you to your own northern people’s plight and they desert-roam in darkness and have no light…
If you drown power-drunk in the global financial waters, but your own lagoons are not overflowing with milk and honey, and your people thirst out of lack…
Has Progress really been made?
West, east, north, global are not necessarily far away places. They are the System and the way of life that rule and school you also at home, and force you to make a choice.
It’s easy to rise as a stranger.
It’s hard to rise as yourself.
As a stranger you just have to pretend and act the part and they’ll let you through and put you in a place that’s safe for them.
But as yourself you have to persevere; and refuse to compromise if it won’t help your People; and be content to inch your way forward, little by little, you and your world.
It might be slow, it might be painful, but that is true Progress.
– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.