The Youth of The Nation

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The Youth of The Nation Empty The Youth of The Nation

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:12 am

As a Young Seychellois I have been guilty of enjoying a gently hedonistic and perpetually relaxed mentality.
Two traits which are amply manifested on a daily basis in the home country and unequivocally define a true Seychellois!

However, in recent months, I have become curious of the true definition of a Seychellois.
That is to ask, ‘What and why is the Republic of Seychelles as it is today?’

My curiosity led me through a long, but always entertaining, read of our history from the speculative snippets of the 18th century up to modern day Seychelles.

The voyage was riddled with myriad emotional reactions on my part.

• Intrigue from the tales of piracy and treasure,
• Comedic splendor from Queau de Quinssis’ stylish diplomacy,
• Pride at our resistance to the British authority which attempted to mould our identity to their liking and ideals,
• Contempt for the said authority,
• Insulted at the fact that foreign African states meddled in our struggle for independence.

One striking observation made was the constant praise and wonderment of various authors through the years, at the Spirit of the Seychellois people.
Ever resourceful, always smiling and eternally ready to sate their carnal desires!

Having said this; what has happened?
I look around and I can only assume that the Seychellois’ heart has hardened…

Resourcefulness has been replaced by dole hand-outs such as ‘means-testing’.
A smile is rare.
The carnal desires are now sated under Independence House for a price.

It is interesting to note that these historical accounts stop after 1976. Still, I realized that a massive gap in my own history existed in my mind, for the period shortly after WWI to 1976.
From 1977 onward, any young Seychellois can regurgitate the events of the Coup d’Etat, mercenaries, mutiny and Mancham’s return along with multi-party elections.

A more sinister question now poses itself;
“Vae Victis?”

Why is it that we are not taught about the bombing of Seychelles Club? Or the bombings preceding the arrival of the Queen?

Why are we not told of the role played by the OAU, whilst SDP and SPUP were still fledgling parties?

Why are we not told of the actions of politicians of the time and their role in our history? Why do we not learn about the works of Mr. David Joubert and obviously, Mr. James Mancham?

It seems that most of our history is whatever the present politicians claim on television, during their relatively well publicized retirement!

Make no mistake, I am not in support or disapproval of any political party, past or present. I am simply a citizen with a message to his fellow citizens;

“Let us lift the dark pall of ignorance off our eyes. Let us find out what really happened in our modern history. Let us learn from it; more importantly let us fix our Nation.

One need not read history books to see the situation is dire. In fact, one need not even be in the Seychelles to realize this since international media agencies have been releasing grim reports in print and audio-visual format.

Much noise is made about missing funds, misappropriated funds, victimization, explosively increasing costs of living, the scourge of hard drugs to mention a few.

Yet, it seems these are all symptoms and not the actual ‘pathogen’.

The fact is;

• Seychelles has no food security. With rising international demand for food, this is frightening at the very least.

• Reckless and ill-conceived government control on the market and industry has caused a Black Market to flourish. At the very least this represents money which could have been taxed and re-circulated through the system.

• A lack of education, in general, about the value of work, industry and entrepreneurship. Also, the lack of support for small business in terms of commercial, economic and financial expertise. This is crucial for a nation which has essentially not yet reached its ‘Industrial Revolution’.

• A crippling trade deficit which has always existed since the time of the French colonists still exists today! Why has our ‘modern’ government of the past 40 odd years still not solved this issue?

As I pen these few words, I cannot but feel that Seychelles has, for the better part of the past 40 years, stagnated; somehow ‘arrested in development’.

Hardy as ever, the Seychellois simply adapted.

Perhaps this ability to quietly make-do has been mistaken as political apathy of the electorate, by the leaders of Seychelles.
I think not. I believe that Seychelles has been severely disappointed and let down by her leaders, both in power and in opposition.
The power wielders go about their business with little or no regard on poor, sub-par, outdated policies and the widespread personal poverty which is clearly emerging among the people.

The opposition first appeared with childish, angry rhetoric for change. It seems that 18 years down the line, no-one is bothered to even question the government anymore or even present a willing, alternate Presidential Candidate.

Shame and disappointment, I say.

But Man can often shine the best of Humanity when the night is darkest.
This is why I implore you, my brethren, look at each other in the eye and discuss amongst yourselves; ‘What do WE want?’

More empty government promises?
The only thing we can count on there is cheap beer every five years!

More of these weak, fickle politicians who contradict themselves in useless, irrelevant rhetoric, in government and the opposition?

Rest assured Seychellois, the 21st Century has knocked on our door and our leaders have failed to open.
Instead, they slap band-aid solutions on obsolete systems and policies which should by all rights be discarded and re-worked to better suit our situation today.

At least give us Hope!
Donn nou en lespwar!

A Nation without hope for a future is in fact a Failed State.
In modern times we have seen this in Somalia and Afghanistan.

Is that hat we want for Our Nation? To become a hotbed and breeding ground for obscenely wealthy rogues, criminals, pirates and terrorists?

As ludicrous as it may sound, the regions of the world today which play host to these undesirable elements initially collapsed economically, socially and at least partially, administratively.

The vacuum created by unsatisfied needs and wants quickly attract these ‘malfaiteurs’ to a People who have no choice but to passively submit, if for nothing more than a meager sustenance.

This cannot be allowed in the Seychelles. As I have previously said, the 21st Century has arrived. The Winds of Change are galing!
There is no more Cold War.
Communism and Capitalism are hollow labels of a by-gone era. Globalisation has arrived. The various countries of the World wish to unite in peace and properity.

Even in Iran where the government takes a hard-line stand which is unreflective of its own People’s opinion, the Voice of the People can be heard thanks to technology and modern facilities; internationally at that!

Let us take an example from these valiant people, my friends!
Our leaders no longer reflect us. Truth be told, they are only there since there appears to be no-one else to replace them.

Earlier on, I had mentioned the famous ‘happy-go-lucky’ attitudes of the Seychellois. Unfortunately, today seems to be the day where we must break this pattern. We need to start assimilating our younger, fresher generation into politics as a People, give them the support they need to make the right choices for the future.
It is time for the youth which has not known the old vitriol of the 1977 events and thereafter, to start standing up and up pave the way for Seychelles.

If nothing else they will at least be saving themselves…

So I implore you, let us seek to know ourselves, let us seek to educate ourselves, seek solutions to the problems we notice around us.

For it is clear, no-one else will.

A Nation is like a machine which is made up of many parts working in unison. The State Authority is like the mechanic-in-charge, carrying the charge of maintaining this wonderful machine.

It seems that the Chief has gone for a rather long tea-break!
The other potential chiefs are too scared to mention the poor performance of the suffering contraption.
Thus it is time for the parts to say; ‘Enough!’, and cease to function in protest.

If change will not be given to us then we must take it…

Maybe then the Chief will awaken from his siesta. When the machine is on the verge of exploding!

A friend recently explained the benefits of a liberalized platform for commerce using the example of taxis operating as companies as well as sole traders.
The benefits would be for everyone.

• Large scale competition helps lower prices and competes with the Black Market.

• Current sole-traders can open large to medium scale operations to generate personal wealth.

• Consumers have a real choice.

• Employment created since it is no longer one-car, one-employee.

• Finally, large scale business relationships can be forged within the private sector which would boost the cash flowing through our economy.

I have come to conclusion that surely someone must have realized this by now. Yet, nothing is done regardless of the obvious benefits to taxi operators and the general public. None of the political flock has truly pursued this idea.

Well then; we must.

Further on the topic of the transportation industry, the government has allowed a ‘micro-boom’ in the car hire business. The growth in it surged as cars became expensive to own ‘full-time’.
The market for it rapidly super-saturated and today, many who invested now see their precious savings vaporize.
Clearly, the Seychellois wants to do business. Help him then, our Fearless Leaders!

The problems do not stop at mere mismanagement. Lack of opportune stimuli from the State is a deafening silence.

Why does the government not propose projects, invite tender from local business and foster support for the best tenders?
Fostering support does not necessarily mean throwing money at the projects thus placing them in the debt of the Public sector.
Support can be given in terms of favorable loan conditions to would-be entrepreneurs, who tangibly demonstrate the ability or the will to procure the ability, to effectively and successfully run a commercial enterprise.

This not only stimulates interest for the Public to engage in economic activity, but also increases the likelihood of success of the ventures. Hence, good and productive debt is created rather than economic poison.
Any banker will tell you; “Protect your investment.”

Our People are our investment. Their best protection is education, young or old.

It is a matter of realizing that lump sum aid injections do nothing but push the problems down the line and they will soon resurface.
That is, our children will also suffer.

I listened to a young economist from Zaire, as she lamented the ‘curse’ of foreign aid money to Africa, on the BBC World News.
The idea seemed absurd!

The bright lady explained that the aid was mostly misappropriated upon receipt and whatever was left was just enough to keep things going, no matter what the conditions.
The corruption hoards power whilst everyone has to remain quiet and no real opportunities ever emerge.

I was incredulous! Aid in the form of cash injections actually exacerbated poverty, in a vicious cycle.
I researched the young lady online. She held several degrees including a PhD and had worked in the upper echelons of the World Bank.
My heart sank as I thought of Seychelles.

This idea of trying to obtain money or value in one fell swoop is not new to Seychelles.
In the 1970s the Aldabra atoll along with certain Amirantes islands were supposed to be ceded to the BIOT (British Indian Ocean Territory) in return for the airport to be built.
The leadership of the time had to, somewhat comically, remind the ‘forgetful’ British of their promise.
Nevertheless, the airport was built and we remained with the question;
“How many more times could we possibly do this?”

Rest assured! These ‘get rich quick’ schemes are hollow mirages at best. For us to earn our wealth, we must produce, we must export we must toil! Therein is our future.

Yet, we look around today and persistent echoes linger.
These echoes hint at the fact that no real changes were brought about in the past 5 decades.

It is all fine and good to say that the Economy needs to be fixed, but we must also consider the fact that the Society needs to support it as well as reap its benefits.
That is to say, we must be industrious and take a serious look at our work ethic.
The mentalities of the past have landed us here; let’s change them!
Let us mature as a Nation and seize our time.
Carpe Diem!

Seychellois must realize that they are masters of their own destinies, no matter what anybody says or promises.
It is our own Responsibility to ensure our prosperity and growth.

Integration with and the intelligent exchange of information with the International Community are essential for this. As I have said, we are a young Nation and must learn from the precedents in Global History.

We have a chance to learn from our own and others’ mistakes. Many Nations of the World do not have such an Opportunity.

The ones that have seized the Opportunity are demanding a re-think of their status quo.
Good examples are Iran and Zimbabwe.
Although the Change varies wildly in pace and ferocity, it is common to all cases of true Change, that it came from the masses. The People themselves demanded it even if it meant some form of reprisal.

We must face the fact that we too must enact our cry for help clearly, loudly and above all, peacefully.

We are not thugs after all!

A Young Seychellois
Source: 8-20-09


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Join date : 2008-06-02

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