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After much hate, debate and self-loathing , how can this remarkably decadent moment in the history of developmentalist discourse, generated by Invisible Children’s KONY 2012 campaign, be turned on it’s head to benefit the people of Africa ?

On their KONY 2012 website, Invisible Children highlighted 12 political leaders and 20 cultural influencers, including Mark Zuckerburg, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Bono, Oprah and Bill Gates.

This would truly constitute a paradigm shift and an end to the “White Savior Complex” there appears to be much whining about in development field.

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“Development Aid” – should not imply a job for life, or some sort of nepotistic network of nebulous activities one hands down to the kids. On the contrary, development has had ample - its time for an EXIT STRATEGY.

With the unprecedented cacophony of noise, that formed the response to the KONY 2012 viral video, few seemed to consult African voices, which includes a formidable cheetah generation, of economist, writers, global activist and community leaders, who have long since the current onslaught of righteous indignation against the Invisible Children campaign, sounded the trumpet, concerning the darker side of the aid industrial complex.

I must hastily add, that this is not the state of play with INGOs and Charities, quietly providing what Dambisa Moyo describes as “band aid” solutions, in their attempts to address poverty in the ‘developing world’, something quite distinct from sustainable growth – the desire , and not the ones iconized in the minds of the peddlars and poverty pimps.

I am particularly struck, by the racist narratives at work in these dominant [re]presentations of poverty, by those in the global north, of those in the global south, and how they elide the critical scrutiny, those engaged in development assistance might ascribe to, say, Islamophobic, Xenophobic or homophobic injustices.

With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.” ― Martin Luther King Jr I want to revisit some of the reactions, as a consequence of Teju Cole’s tweets, that triggered a visceral wave of resentment and highlighted the intersectionality of perspectives (in terms of race, gender, class and religion), and the different ways in which ‘whites’ / non-whites, development professionals and African people, talked about the Kony 2012 episode, and how they perceived development aid. However, the point, I wish to make here, is, that, perhaps Cole, spoke into the souls of many a black folk — distant African Diaspora sons and daughters, about those on the receiving end of the benevolent “These sentences of mine, written without much premeditation, had touched a nerve.

I heard back from many people who were grateful to have read them.

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