Africa and the New Slave Trade: The Slave Continent Where Everyone Gets A Turn

Sierra Leone Chinese steel firm to invest in $700m iron ore processing plant

Welcome to the dawn of the new slave trade. The Arabs started it, America has had their turn and now China is turning the screws as it is announced that a Chinese steel firm is to invest in a $700m iron ore processing plant in Sierra Leone.

It has always been my belief that no lessons have been learnt even after the slave trade ended. We cry and gnash our teeth over the injustice of it all; the sheer violence and terrorism that was meted out to us and our kind for centuries. But I also know many Nigerians who swear that Nigeria only started going downhill since we gained independence. Many people who would happily be back under colonial rule. Nigerians who believe that we cannot rule ourselves; that it is not possible for a Black man to rule his own people in a just and fair manner.

The investment, which was discussed by Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma during a visit to China last week, would represent the biggest industrial investment in the country’s history and provide a long-term boost to the national economy. It was unclear whether the workers required would come from China or sourced locally.


But this is the New Slave Trade. Wypipo will not need chains and restraints to rape, pillage and enslave us once more. They merely need to be a shade or two lighter, and we ourselves will tell them they are superior. I have seen Lebanese people talk to my Nigerian brothers – kings of Oodua and Chukwu – as though they were something he scraped off the bottom of his shoe. Lebanese! I mean…Lebanon! But I digress.

The reason I know that restraints will not be needed is because the New Slave Trade is upon us already. We sell our birthrights for a chance to come abroad and sweep streets. Indeed, we mortgage everything we own and hold dear for a chance to live “in the foreign” – without any future thought as to what said life might hold.

We give them stakes, shares, bonds and boons on our soil. They get special treatment while our kind wilt in the sun. Their demons tread where our angels fear to breathe. They own the best hotels, mineral resources, schools and hospitals in Mother Africa – resources that the average African has no access to.

We pray to their gods and kill our fellow man over which of our slave owners’ gods they should follow. We have never lifted a finger in Sango’s defence (not that any god worth his salt should need defending), but we routinely decimate communities over Christ or Allah. Because slave is as slave does.

And by Jove, let these pale skinned gods come down to our level – oh, the unadulterated joy! You have not seen a Nigerian more in love with his culture than when a White person tries it. What??? That oyinbo ate jollof rice?? What glory! Wait, that white bride danced shoki at her wedding reception to a Yoruba man? I guess I can die now; I’ve seen all the wonders the earth has to offer.

The orgasms that raged relentlessly following Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Nigeria is proof of our nauseating grovelling servitude. “Look at him! So rich and he only wears a t-shirt! So rich and jogging on our bridge, just mixing with us!” It is a wonder they did not fall to their knees, bowing “We’re not worthy! we’re not worthy!”

Mark Zuckerberg in Nigeria: ain’t he humble and stuff?


So, what do you think are the odds of Zucky-Boy putting out a memo saying he needs 50,000 slaves IT-staff to help run his plantation company and Nigerians turning him down? Or you think he read about Nigeria on TripAdisor and thought it would be a nice spot for a break? You think he hasn’t taken the agile young minds we are brewing into consideration? Us and Kenya?

What are the chances of the Chinese sticking to whatever laws Sierra Leone might have in place for foreign labour? The same way MTN sticks so steadfastly to our rules in Nigeria?

The Americans have handed over the baton to the Chinese. While doing it, they said “Yeah, we gave them freedom a few decades ago. The whole thing has been a mess. Perhaps try another method?”  So the Chinese have exchanged shiny mirrors for investment in our own iron ore.

And we said “Thank you.”

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  1. Its called economic sabotage and control. The new Climate change agreements punishes African countries for the Climate they had nothing to do with or change negatively. They have these ”blinded by Aid and threatened with sanctions” African countries sign agreements that makes it impossible for them to develop their steel complexes/industry except they use new expensive technology or change to new power sources made by the West. Where does this leave us? Even banning used clothes will elicit a sanction by America. Its a 3 billion US business BTW. Basically Africa will not be able to develop its own Precision tools, Bulldozers, Kettles, Coffee Makers, Airplanes, etc. The Chinese have come with their Money but Africans are not leveraging their resources in a mutually beneficial manner. Where African Governments see immediate gratification. The Chinese see long term strangulation, control and Monopoly. The Chinese look at Africa like one ”Dumb” country. By the time they have Iron Ore in Sierra leone, Tantalite and Rare Earth in Congo, Bauxite etc. Africa will wonder what hit them…. We have very weak negotiators. Negotiating as individual countries without a unified working template is future suicide. Owners negotiating like beggars!!! Aint that some Bullshit!!!?

  2. Rachel, I almost always read you and you bring a freshness to each topic you delve into. Kudos. And on this, I can’t agree with you more. Meanwhile, I am one of those who have given up on the ability of the black man to redeem himself. Everywhere you look, it’s gloom! The resources which the different colonizers/slavers exploited and employed to develop their countries are still in abundance all over Africa, yet we are all still grappling with the most basic provisions.

    • True. But the fact is that it is us that go to invite the ñ€œoyinbo helpñ€ for our pot of porridge. One can cite an Okotie-Eboh enabling laws that favoured his cornering of the rubber trade in Nigeria, a betrayal of Lumumba and rise of Mobutu in Congo, multi-million dollar oil deals in Nigeria (Etete, Haliburton, Diezani et al). Examples abound! And with the likes of Jammeh, we are ages from imploding.

  3. Hmm, have you seen what’s going on in East Africa. The governments are signing over the mineral-rich land to the Chinese for as little as $20 million, then they come in with their own people and equipment start making that amount in a little over ONE MONTH while treating the locals as slaves. Absolutely disgusting.

    The Koreans (Daewoo) also bought vast swathes of arable land in Malawi and Zambia for peanuts solely for the purpose of cultivating food for their own people (never to be sold locally)

    It’s really the new colonisation and it’s desperately sad.

  4. The Scramble for and Partition of Africa since the C16th and beyond. I’ve heard it said many a time ‘history is boring, it’s about the past, let’s move on’… really move on to where? when the essential lessons have not been learnt

  5. This will always happen to a people that don’t use the power of love for their people well enough. Whether it’s Africa or middle east or Mexico. Anybody that does not enter the quest for full personal emancipation will always be a slave to the other person who does.

  6. I’d like to liken Nigerians and their plight to women in America now, under a new Trump government. Abortion bans, and the religious morality of it as against the constitutional right of women to protect their health and bodies. In the case of Nigeria, the masses are caught in between a sanguine patriotism, and a struggle to survive at all cost in a corruption eroded economy. Personally, I think I’m inclined towards the choice of the least likely option; colonialism and or slavery again. My reason being that when one looks at the amounts of time and money our woefully failed attempts at self governance has produced, it leaves one no option than to take a ‘dangerous plunge’ into the sea of slavery.

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