PRAISE SINGING IS AN AFRICAN DISEASE!
Africa did not invent sycophancy, but it is an endemic disease all over Africa. Its practitioners have elevated it to a Zen art. While sycophancy has negative connotations in other parts of the world, in Africa it is taken as genuine praise. When bad leaders are being praised and extolled to high heavens for nonperformance, there is no incentive for good governance. This type of undeserved praise singing extends from the top of the country (the President), down to the village head. Organizations and associations are not spared. Any email group or chat group of any organization becomes a platform for praise singing. These leaders are labeled as indispensable and irreplaceable. We are yet to see any country cease to exist or any publicly traded company dissolve when their indispensable leaders die. Private organizations and churches do not disappear when their God-anointed leaders are called to Heaven or is it Hell?
I belong to African organizations where leaders are being extolled for their utter nonperformance. I often wonder whether these sycophants have been sleeping through our meetings, or if they are playing the game of “praise the leader and the leader will promote you as a replacement.” Any dissenting view is labeled as “jealousy.” A leader who steals 500 million dollars is the best leader ever because his predecessor stole one billion dollars. What an improvement! What about stealing zero dollars. Praise singing even extends to the dead when hired mourners will cry for your dead relative until their tears turn into blood. Paid Prayer Warriors are available for a fee to fast and pray to God to grant favors desired by the payor. We are even too lazy to pray for ourselves. Election triumphs, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and christenings, of our leaders or their relatives will unleash a flurry of radio, newspaper, and Internet congratulatory messages that will make a V Day New York Ticker Tape Parade pale in comparison.
Every African leader is God-sent. One may ask why God sends only bad leaders to Africa. It is about time that God sends some of these misanthropic leaders to Asia, Australia, Europe, South and North America. Imagine a situation where the Devil slips in a bad leader because God took a brief nap. Instead of the led praying to God to remove this bad leader, they are praising the leader as God-sent. It is not only insulting to God but is also like Devil worshiping. God will then sit back and let Africans wallow in Devil worshiping and ignorance.
As long as we continue to celebrate incompetent, fraudulent, lazy, and shamelessly greedy leadership in Africa, no amount of praying, fasting, Alleluias, and Amens will bring us good leadership in Africa. Only constructive criticism and rejection of bad leadership through the ballot box will cure this endemic disease.