Progressive, We Afrikans argue that tribalism is one of the most disruptive influences confronting independent sub-Saharan Afrikan states. Tribalism, We argue, is the basis for hatred between peoples within a country as well as between countries. If we Afrikan states are to take Our rightful place in the world, progressive We Afrikans believe, tribalism must be destroyed. There is little evidence, however, that tribal identity is on the wane, even among the most progressive elements within the newly created states. Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that post-independence efforts to eliminate tribal identities may have contributed significantly to Afrika’s catastrophic problems.

Tribalism to us, is a curse. Here’s why.

A. Your ethnic group becomes your identity

The social divisions in our society prevent people from seeing beyond your surname. For instance, in Somalia, if you introduce yourself as Jebril, it is not uncommon to find people asking ‘Jebril who?’ If you decline to answer then the question becomes ‘Jebril from where?’. Tribalism makes people judge you by the language you speak rather than by your personality. The absurdity of it all makes you wonder when the hell you made an application to God personally, requesting to be born into a particular tribe.

B.Afrika stays behind even if it wouldn’t have to.

Afrika has always been rich in human and natural resources. However, we haven’t reached our full-potential. Unity is what we lack. So obviously, tribalism and ethnic conflict isn’t the best strategy. People starve, get sick, die, lose loved ones. When you’re famished, sick, let down or dead you hardly ever think of getting an education, fighting for Afrika or finding the solution to your country’s social or economic issues.

C. Democratic processes get hijacked

It’s well-known that elections in tribal nations aren’t these countries’ pride. Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and many others suffered from post-election violence due to tribal tension. Votes aren’t based on ideological affiliations or preferences, but on tribal identities. It is deemed as a social duty to be loyal to one’s tribe. The voters do not care whether you are a drug dealer, a murderer, a saint, a corrupt narcissist, a peacemaker, or even the devil himself. If you belong to the right tribe, the post is yours.

D. Missed opportunities

Tribalism determines whether deals go through or burn to the ground. Sometimes people prefer hiring from their own tribe and doing business with people from their own region. They do this not because they are evil, but because they are more comfortable sticking with the familiar. This however locks out better suited and more experienced individuals who could have been a better fit for a company. Tribalism is therefore a hindrance to development.

E. It chooses who you love

You know the saying ‘You can’t choose who you love?’ Well you can. You should. You will. And you must. You simply cannot fall in love with someone who is not from your tribe, that is an abomination. Don’t even toy with the idea. Unless you are begging to be cast out by your family. Tribalism prohibits you from freely exploring and experiencing a culture different from yours.

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