Apart from our aversion for reading which we gave last time as the number one reason that has contributed a great deal in hindering the progress of the Black race, another reason for our failure is, surely, our reluctance to save and invest. Whether he is found on the continental homeland or his abode is in the Diaspora, the Black man pays more attention to consumption and care-free living than to saving and investment. The most imprudent or non-frugal race on earth is unarguably the Black race. While other races are very thrifty and frugal and are wise in the use of their resources for regenerative investment, ours is so profligate and thoughtless in spending whatever he gets.
Many members of our community consume more than they invest. Many of us Blacks appear completely ignorant of the law of seed time and harvest time; the law of sowing and reaping and the law of gathering and scattering. It is obvious that millions of Africans do not have a culture of investing for a better tomorrow.
And that is why it is important for me to state here that there is one important law or principle which God has laid down for all his children here on earth whether they are White, Black, Yellow, Brown or whether they are Christians, Muslims, Sikh, Hindis, Shintoists or atheists or whether they live in the north or south of the Equator. And that law is that whatever it pleases God to give, that gift consists of bread to eat for sustenance today and seed to sow for continued survival tomorrow. In other words, there is a portion for you to eat now and another portion to preserve as seed and invest so that God will again multiply it for you beyond what you have invested. If you do not know that you must invest in order to have multiplication, how can you become rich and prosperous?
This law explains why some people are rich and others are poor. If you are wise enough to know that you are not supposed to eat everything that you get from God but to invest some of it so that you can harvest handsomely at a future date, you will definitely become rich without much prayers. But if on the other hand you choose to eat at once everything of what God has given you without a thought about saving for the rainy day, you will surely become poor sooner or later no matter how long and fervent you pray to be rich
While other races seem to understand and apply this principle, we the Blacks due perhaps, to our aversion for acquiring knowledge through reading, do not seem to recognise this law and apply it for our own progress. And this explains why we remain poor, pitiable and miserable. There has been in existence for several years now a best seller called the The Richest Man in Babylon by a man called George Carson. How many of our Black brothers and sisters have read this book and how many of them have taken the simple step to do what the book recommends, namely that we should save in order to become rich? Can we now see why reading or the acquisition of useful ideas is so essential for our liberation from economic slavery? Last week I mentioned the ideas espoused by great financial educators like Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump which can show us the way to prosperity, if only we can read their books.
But what is our story? We do not read and we do not have a culture of investment. Rather, like children, we believe in now and today. We scarcely think about tomorrow or the future. We do not believe in delayed gratification. We live our life as if there will be no tomorrow. Like the locust and the raven, we have an avaricious appetite for consuming anything in sight or at hand. We like to wear the most costly apparels, stage the most lavish parties in which we play our music to the highest decibel. We drive the most expensive cars and carry the most costly of consorts. We build the most outlandish of houses that are so difficult to maintain and carry the most expensive of mobile phones on earth. We seem to relish doing things to impress others that we are rich when in reality we suffer from both poverty of the mind and the real material poverty that is not difficult to hide.
While other races invest in the Bank of the North (the heart, the mind and the brain or the planning and thinking faculty) most of our people invest in what we Nigerians will call Bank of the Mid-West Region (the stomach). Some others put their money in the Bank of the Lower Mid-West Region (the crotches!) Many of us eat amazing quantities of starchy foods, assorted meat and an enormous variety of alcoholic beverages. . I know some men in our community here who can deal with a whole mighty chicken and only leave bones as evidence of their gluttony. We must discipline our mouth.
In the USA, the African American community is the greatest consumers of poor and greasy food, especially pork meat. There is a woman near my neighbourhood who eats so much and has grown so big and overpopulated that even to carry her bulk about is a problem for her. She is the type that mischievous kids call One women because she is so extra large in every department of her body that God can conveniently make up to two or more women out of her and her by-products would be aesthetically and physiologically well functioning human beings!
When the new National Assembly is inaugurated, I may come up with a private member bill asking that a law be made requiring that the Man Mountains and women mountains we have in Nigeria be asked to pay tax for three instead of one because of the disproportionate amount of food and utilities they consume!
If I have my way, every Black man anywhere on the surface of the earth will be required to save compulsorily and have their saving passbooks and investment portfolios to show as evidence.
The Black intelligentsia must sit up because it has a responsibility to educate the rest of us to drop our consumption mentality and embrace a culture of saving investment and production of goods and services. It is a big shame that wherever the Black man is found, other races use their thinking faculty to design, manufacture or produce goods and services for him to consume.