Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Criticism

I was sorting through a pile of papers earlier, and came accross a quote that I had printed out. I don't remember what I printed it for, what I was working on at the time, or even who the quote was written by. But I think it has a lot of relevance to Africa's present situation, because in the light of the African Union, and the Pan African African Parliament, it seems to me, to point out one of the greatest failings of the leaders of the African continent.

"Soyinka taught me many things, far too many to detail here. But what most struck me about him was his dictum that a fundamental aspect of commitment to a field, indeed to one's people, however broadly that may be defined, was the willingness both to praise and to criticise, whenever the occasion called for one to do so. "Criticism like charity," Wole would repeat again and again like a mantra, "starts at home."

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