In Rescue Thyself… Ayeni interrogates Africa’s challenges

Dr. Sylvanus Adetokunboh Ayeni

Title: Rescue Thyself: Change In Sub-Saharan Africa…
Publisher: Hamilton Books
Publication : 2017

It is not everytime you get to read a book that dissect the continent’s challenges from an ‘insider’ perspective.

Most of the narrative on Africa are from the outside, especially those gleaned from the Western media.

Rescue Thyself – Change in Sub-Saharan Africa Must Come From Within by Dr. Sylvanus Adetokunboh Ayeni is one of those books that confront the reader with reality.

It is a thought provocating, fascinating examination of the poorest region on earth, Sub Saharan Africa.

The author is not an ‘outsider’ providing socially and culturally illiterate commentary, but a sub-Saharan African speaking about the world he knows on a firsthand basis. He was born and raised in Nigeria.

The retired neurosurgeon in the United States of America is president and founder of Pan Africa Children Advocacy Watch, (PACAW) Inc., a non-profit organisation involved in education of children in Africa.

He has been involved in development issues in Sub-Saharan Africa in the education and healthcare sectors for many years, which have given him first hand experience on the continent.

In 10 chapter, 201 pages, the book, which is segmented into three parts, takes the reader into the Sub-Saharan African mindset, and reveals both extreme opulence and poverty, where greed has replaced need, and corruption has so putrefied politics, instead of governments serving the public, they feed off it.

The beauty of this book is not just about the content, but the structuring of the work into a harmonious whole. However, the entire book is not devoted to just lamentation, there are spaces for index, bibliography, notes, preface and acknowledgement.

The author takes an in-depth and bold dialogue with several constituencies about the necessity of finding alternative pathways to solve the monumental problems facing Sub-Saharan Africa and providing answers to questions such as why Africa is so cursed.

He observed that in the past 50 to 60 years, more than $1 trillion in foreign aid has gone to Africa.

Despite this largesse and the multitude of foreign experts in many disciplines made available to these nations, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the world’s poorest region.

The first part which consists of three chapters takes a look at Sub-Saharan Africans and Detrimental Misconceptions, part two takes a look at the fundamental requirements for change while the last part takes an inward look at issues in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The reader is provided contextual background and social contrasts to help understand the quiet desperation being experienced on a scale that is simply stunning.

African leaders are reminded that life anchored on the pursuit of money, material wealth and power by any means, is hollow, empty and meaningless.

The future leaders of sub-Saharan Africa are reminded that the Creator has endowed them and the citizens of their nations with the talents they need to develop themselves and their societies.

Furthermore, nature has been so kind to their nations, endowing them with more than sufficient natural resources.

Thus, they need not continue the culture of dependency on the rest of the human race.

The book also highlights some of the challenges facing the continent and asserts that the most formidable barriers to progress in Sub-Saharan Africa are Sub-Saharan Africans, particularly the leaders.

Thus, for these nations to escape from destitution, change must originate from within.

In fact, a critical look at the state of African nation after many years of independence, with abundant resources and series of aid from abroad, would elicit questions as, Why are we the way we are?

Why has Sub Saharan Africa failed to alleviate poverty and promote development and economic growth?

Answers to these are and many more are what engage Ayeni from the opening chapter to the end.

This good piece of literature interrogates developmental issues.

It is a well researched, informative and educative document that have all that it takes for Africa to rescue itself from poverty.

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