THE PATHETIC STATE OF AFFAIRS
This article is still being edited
Today the world we see is the world we created; it is a world very different from the world of our recent ancestors . They lived in a world where they were next to powerless to control any of the events in their lives. Unlike us, they could not decide to go and read African books and gain information; they could not create beautiful historical museums, or celebrate Kwanzaa without permission.
But today we are the fortunate generation because we have choice. So the world we see, or do not see, is the world created exclusively by our choices. I always wanted to be able to buy quality African clothes online, but very few existed. I would love to find an African owned baby story with only African products for sale, targeted at African children– to my knowledge none exist. I would love to buy a DVD called Mansa Musa which matched the best that Hollywood can make-unfortunately it has never been made, and even if made would probably be owned by Europeans. The reason for that is because of the accumulation of Black choices has not been enough to bring it into existence–nothing more and nothing less. Some try to sugarcoat it, but it really is only the work of Black choice. No, not White supremacy, or the World Bank, but the collective pan-African choices we make. And no one is putting a gun to our heads when we support everything but our own.
It is almost the more beneficial a product and service is for African people the more likely it is for them not to support. When it comes to support for skin bleaching, lace weave — we do not have a problem.
And this is all beyond debate because you just need to look across the world and ask the question– why do we own so little? And there are only a few possible answers. Either we just do not have the skills, like others, to run business. Or we are held back by external forces. While all of these are true the issue of lack of support tied with poor business skills and poor opportunities create the perfect storm. And this storm is getting worse, for today what we owned is diminishing–not increasing.
Depending on the venue, general seating and standing tickets range in price from $80-200 and beyond to see Rihanna in concert. When one of here concerts was being promoted on Facebook people (Black people) were climbing over themselves to get the as many tickets as possible. Some booked for the whole family dropping $800 US to see this saucy Barbadian beauty sing “Baby this is what you came for..“. Now Beyonce visited Ethiopia, John Legend visited South Africa now in both Ethiopia and South Africa the tickets were say about $80, yeah it is a lot considering the GDP of places like Ethiopia. Yet our people have no problem finding the money for 2 hrs of “Please don’t stop the music“. When the New Marvel owned Black Panther film hits worldwide they will make millions from African people (poor and rich alike): No complaints.
Now some people complained about the price of Negash shoes, and Ocacia Designer Clothing and conscious films like Motherland and 500 Years Later. One “black” guy on social media who just raised price as a barrier to wearing beautiful handmade African clothes had no problem forking out $400 US for concert tickets to see Rihanna for 2 hrs, and $200 to take family to see 12 Years a Slave. In South Africa, regardless of people’s economic status they seem to always find money for their hair and brand name clothes. So never think that as a people we actually have a price problem; just a priority problem. Our value system is set by the White world. So if Puma has Pumps for $800 the poorest of the poor will still support, while they would not support a beautiful dashiki hand made for $80.
HOW THE WORLD WORKS
Not everyone knows this so let us explain it for those who can read all of this message. Many would say “where is the Black Facebook?” it makes sense for us to have it since we all seem to spend so much time on Mark’s Facebook. We think it is free but there is nothing free about it; because on Facebook you are either their client, or their product (up for sale). Anyway, Why don’t we have an African YouTube, or a designer company like Hugo Boss doing African clothing? Truth is all of these things we either have or had. Many Africans get the idea and go and try to create our own stuff in the world we live in. But the problem beyond lack of support is that Mark did not get successful with Facebook on his own. Neither did Hugo Boss, or Calvin.
What happened was there was Mr Hugo, and around them 1000 other White owned businesses to support. So a historical Hollywood film comes like 300, you have marketing companies sharing the studio’s vision, you have CNN sharing the producers vision, you have writers, you have Wikipedia all working together to make their stuff successful. You then have the Greek government behind them and White investors, historians and scholars. Not so the case with 500 Years Later Which got no mention by 99.999% of the black press–the first major review came from White socialist not Kam Williams.
Now when it comes to Africans, Ocacia Designer Clothing can design the best clothes until Star Trek returns to prime time but what extended networks are they connected to? Will the so-called Black Fashion magazines back them? The “Black” banks (if any exist) back them? The “African” TV networks share their vision? Where in most cases none exist. But in cases where they do exist they exist to support Hugo Boss and the White world. The “Black” film critics are not interested in 500 Years Later but in Dunkirk. The Black scholars are not interested in Sankofa, but What bad things National Geographic said about slavery. Or some tangent issue.
You must understand this to understand why our world is a desert when it comes to ownership and power. Yes people try, but like a seed in a desert, it has nothing to help it grow. No rain, no proper soil, nothing. And then on top of this is the African majority who only support what Whites verify. So it would take CNN to come and say; “Motherland (2010) is the best doc ever made on Africa for Africans globally to go and support.”
LOW QUALITY ISSUE
Low quality ties into our inability to run a business, and it is valid when people use it as an excuse to avoid African owned products and services. How many times have many of us tried to support African business only to be totally disappointed? Good people have lost $1000’s because they picked a terrible African businesses. So this issue of non-support would be incomplete if we did not also discuss the poor performance and low standards of many African run businesses. This dyadic relationship needs two hands to clap to truly fix the issue of non-support.
Two areas therefore need work. People must support, and businesses must produce the best of the best. Because at the end of the day, if someone needs to buy a phone that works and helps them in their life, they need to buy Samsung from Korea until Nairobi gets a competitive product going.
But we need to be very realistic. There is no point expecting someone in Africa to make a phone today to beat Samsung. We must, like everyone else, crawl before we can walk. We cannot produce films like 300 and Lord of the Rings, if people cannot even support a documentary fick on slavery. We cannot discuss “Where are the African fabric manufacturers”, when we barely have African clothing labels and online outlets. It is asinine and ignorant to think any group can come with world class goods without taking many baby steps.
Having been in business for over 20 years and tried almost everything from films, to clothes, to online services you see a pattern. Unless you target a broad demographic your returns from targeting products for Africans is almost a good way to ruin your business– unless those products are harmful– like fake hair.
A Nigerian friend came to me for business advice and I had to tell him if you want to feed your family, you will make more money doing fake hair, than healthy organic products. Between selling conscious films and Black Soaps you will go out of business doing conscious historical films. And while these problems are 100% true for all groups, White and everyone else is able to successfully own a greater market share of diverse businesses, may that be historical books, historical films, health products, whatever.
If you are a filmmaker unless you are planning to make that stereotypical garbage you could just forget about feeding your family from conscious films, or any conscious products.
We need to understand the enslaved mind the mind that at any opportunity wants to tear down as opposed to support. You say here is a company in Africa, owned by Africans doing conscious products– what does the Negro mind ask “But who owns it” for the first time in their life WHO owns something becomes central as they turn from memes, jokes, and no interest in African anything to Pan-African economist with a fine tooth comb. In their house and on their backs is everything made by Whites and Chinese– ownership for 99.999% of the time bothers them none. On their DVD shelf is Iron Man 5, Lord of the Rings : The desolation of Smaug, Sex in the City, The Blackest thing they ever watched was 12 Years Still a Slave. The White ownership or Asian ownership of things does not bother. The only time they need to know how pitch black and Afro your hair is is when it is owned by Africans and is something of economic benefit to our community. And the same for people active in liberation, they want to review you with a fine-tooth comb as opposed to support and Thank God someone is doing the work.
- Only if they had a store in my area I would support
- Do not trust them because they do not have a New York Times review
- “I am going to buy it now” when you ask “did you buy it” oh my wife said we have an event at Xmas so wait to then.
- Too expensive or I would support. “I really wish the prices were more reasonable because I want to support”
- I love it, I am going to check it out– but they never make it to the checkout. Just hollow compliments and empty promises to attract attention.
- But do black people really own it? And where is the money really going? Never asked Walmart this.
- I wonder if they have my size? The question they ask on Facebook not to the company selling the clothes
- But is the fabric from Africa and do they own the cotton fields– impossible criteria. Versace does not only use Italian fabric.
- Red herring let us talk about something else on a space that requires support. Let me discuss How the White man stole our history, as opposed to support the real work which redresses that issue.
- Can you make me an African spacesuit, then I would support. This is how they get out of supporting what exist right now.
You know there are people out there that really have no plans of supporting, but they get put on the spot, like how do you justify NOT supporting? So what they do is go to a business and look for excuses not to support:
I was going to support but they did not have a store in my area (I don’t use credit cards online)
I was going to support but the price was too high
I was going to support but I didn’t like their attitude
I was going to support but the website was slow
I was going to support but was not sure if they were really black owned, would need a DNA from ancestry.org before I support (need to be sure it is not Whites exploiting our culture).
And what is interesting is some are so mentally gone we will question and interrogate African owned and designed clothes with a microscope– these same people have no such urges when they go to the local mall to waste all their money on Chinese and European clothes. So wearing European clothes made in Bangladesh is ok, but when it comes to African clothes they need proof of ethnicity of ownership before they buy (and then they do not Buy). On Juporn Asapra Garner like Linda Randolph-Ragin page (see comment in image above) he curses everything White an Arab and any African who he sees as a traitor. He goes on to post about 5 signs of mental slavery yet is on social media voicing non-support on the suspicion that a 100% African owned conscious business empowering Africans in Africa is run by Whites. This is the fruit of so-called Afrocentrism decades after titans like Amos Wilson. This is what has become of their minds.
Linda Randolph-Ragin Really???!!! Made in Africa via slave wages no doubt, so some rich white man’s company can haul them back here and make millions??? while the ppl in Africa, who made them, remain dirt poor. …Thanx but NO THANX, I’m gon pass. (rationale “Doesnt the post say Made in Africa”)
I have never seen so many negative comments about a Black owned company. Like y’all not wearing clothes that looks like another designer. Geesh, Looking forward to seeing this company skyrocket. God bless you!– Disgusted Facebook User
ECONOMICS OF NON SUPPORT
NO SUPPORT= NO HOPE
Do Africans own it, and secondly are they are conscious Africans?. If you are unclear about what/who an African is, then you are in a bad space. If you are unclear about what conscious means then you are probably beyond help. It has to be like this because we are not at the start of the modern era, we are in the era of globalization where cultures vie for dominance and if most of us want to still be asleep in a world wide awake then let the sleepers continue to sleep in their confusion. Because no one is waiting for Africans to figure out identity and ownership. And we really do not need to waste time talking about this too much. With your own eyes you see the quality, you see the consciousness–then buy.