The price of a T-shirt

I just got back from a recent trip to Cape Verde, a country which is supposed to be more prosperous than any other African countries due to its flourishing tourism and political stability. The country is built on ten remote islands hundred kilometers away from mainland Africa and most of the locals are descendants of the slaves that were brought up by the Portuguese a few hundred years ago (few mulattoes due to Portuguese sailors’ lecherous nature). Except for a few glamorous touristic spots deluged by Europeans (mostly British), most places in this country are still very much impoverished and would have no substantial difference to the livelihood of mainland sub-Saharan Africa.

Among all those funny things I encountered during my stay in Cape Verde, one comment about the arrival of the Chinese caught my special interest. I tried to ask a local if there is any strong presence of the Chinese in this remote archipelago, as I could hardly see any sign myself when I was touring around the local towns. To my surprise, the local told me there is indeed a strong presence of the Chinese in Cape Verde. He gave an interesting comment on the arrival of the Chinese in Sal, Cape Verde:

“Before the Chinese came we could hardly afford the T-shirt, as it was very expensive for us. The Chinese came and then lowered the price for T-shirts. Now everyone in the island could afford a T-shirt easily.”

What a singular comment. I told this to a friend of mine and he accused the Chinese of encouraging the locals to have more babies as “we” lowered their living expense. I replied by addressing that the Chinese are simply businessmen in Africa, as we do not provide food, drugs and hospitals for free like the Westerners. And ultimately by making their local livelihood bearable, we are doing a favor to the Europeans as this would decrease their desire of infiltrating in the crumbling Europe. Either way, my impression for the people in Cape Verde is that (let’s put it in a nice way of saying) they are very simple-minded. and a society made of simple-minded people could only perform in a simple way. The Chinese will be always welcomed on the island to sell cheap T-shirts, as every local “businessman” is offering unanimously the same thing: souvenirs made of sand, shells, woods, and shark bones.

They do have great weather and beach, though.


The ugly truth about African food crisis

Remember the famous song by Michael Jackson “We are the world, we are the children…”?

Such a lovely song, simply classic. But this is more than just a great song. This song was created under the massive US sympathy and political reaction to the big famine in Ethiopia in 1984/85. The point of making this song is to raise money to buy food to feed those starving marvins on the sub-Sahara African continent. In fact, there has been so much similar humanitarian aiding sent to the Black Africans every year with pure compassion from US and Europe. Great job! But what happens to that piece of land nowadays?

Well, the topic once gain hit the headline today: Eastern Africa might face severe famine again because of drought. Nowadays of course there are a lot of leftists pointing finger to the Climate Change. Sure, then why it happens so frequently only in this part rather than other places, all the time?

However, I am not bashing climate change theory in this article. I am just saying the frequency of African famine do not appear to be affected by the frequency of humanitarian aids from the West.

In my view, those so-called humanitarian aids just make white people who are sitting their big ass in the sofa and drinking cold juice feel better for themselves, for they have done something charitable and compassionate. Well, good for them, but starving marvin still starves. Clearly Africans need something way more profound and systematic to sustain their ever-growing population. And self-salvation is the only way out. That’s why African countries now more look up to China. Humanitarian aids in Africa do not alleviate poverty and starvation at all; in fact in my view their presence worsens the already-shitty situation in those countries by making their people completely incompetent in feeding themselves because they are so used to be fed like a baby.

That said, I have dim hope for sub-Sahara Africa. I really don’t think their level of civilization and understanding is ready for the modern civilization yet, especially when most of the smart fellas (more scarce resource than gems and gold in Africa) tend to move out somewhere in US and Europe (though more low-skilled, dumb people immigrated at the same time as well). I just simply don’t think they are ready for it yet (their exponentially-growing population has to do a lot with Western’s aid for hospitals and medication btw). In some sense I am glad that my ancestors moved out of Africa (more known as the land of lions, zebra, giraffes, and chimps).