Gap year Louise Linton

I spent a couple of days thinking about the Louise Linton debacle and I published a piece on Medium for The Development Set.

Louise Linton happened because we allowed her to happen. We let gap year kids run amok on the continent to start orphanages and teach in our schools and even play Doctor Without License with our children because we haven’t woken up from generations of conditioning that have trapped our minds in a slave mentality. We let untrained 16-year olds build wells without a single piece of engineering certification while our universities churn out inexperienced graduates. Western passports have more privilege and freedom of movement on our own continent than we do. It’s easier for Linton to travel to Zambia and 53 other countries in Africa than for citizens of 54 African countries to get into Scotland. We normalize whiteness as an automatic license to operate in our countries, on our bodies.

I thought hard about an angle we as Africans need to discuss whenever these issues crop up. We are almost always universal in our condemnation whenever a misguided Louise Linton-type crops out of the woodwork, but downright lethargic when the issues are about what we are doing for ourselves. Africa is ours to develop or let lay in ruins.

We can’t complain when others are using us for their gain when we aren’t. So hopefully this sparks a conversation on what we can do to prevent any more Lintons from cropping up.