In this new series I want to return to one of my favourite subjects, which we haven’t discussed for a while: CORRUPTION.
Nothing does more to damage Africa than CORRUPTION. Africa will not reach its full potential unless we deal with CORRUPTION. The majority of Africans will not be prosperous unless we deal with CORRUPTION.
Now, before I get into this topic, let me make it absolutely clear that corruption is not an African phenomenon. It is found everywhere. I have dealt with instances of corruption in America, Europe, India, China, Papua New Guinea, and in the Middle East. Just about everywhere I’ve ever been, I’ve seen corruption.
Some of the most corrupt people I have ever met in my life were not Africans.
Corruption has no colour, no religion, no gender, no age. Corruption is corruption. And make no mistake – both giver and receiver are corrupt.
Some of the most corrupt people I’ve met were very poor, while others were very rich. CORRUPTION IS CORRUPTION!
Corruption comes in many forms and guises. The truth is – many people are engaged in forms of corruption without even knowing it is corruption.
Corruption has many names, including fraud, theft, kickbacks, bribery, stealing, bid-rigging, vote-buying, nepotism, patronage, tribalism, racism, graft, embezzlement, price fixing, protection rackets — these are ALL names for forms of human depravity we call corruption.
Corruption does not just occur in government. It happens also in the private sector, and even in not-for-profit organisations. A policeman who demands a tip at a roadblock is as corrupt as a Minister who demands a multibillion dollar bribe. I’m yet to find a verse in the bible which says there are different Hells…just one! And they will both end up there.
As a new generation of entrepreneurs, we must pledge ourselves to play by a different set of rules. If we want to change the cycle of poverty in our beloved continent, we have to say “No!” to corruption.
Your fight against corruption will cost you something: it will cost you friends; it will cost you projects; it might cost you your business.
It may even end up costing you your very life.
Corruption will not end until there is a generation prepared to pay the price to END it.
What did Martin Luther King, Jr. say? “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
The word “corruption” comes from the Latin word corrumpere, which can mean to bribe, but also to mar, destroy, rot, seduce, tempt, contaminate or infect.
What does corruption mean to you? Winston Churchill said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Let’s talk about it.
To be continued….
By: Strive Masiyiwa