I am Vanguard Midweek Personality. They select about 40 people yearly for that in Nigeria. Get a copy tomorrow.
Few hours ago, I finished a long interview with the Vanguard. Get a copy on Wednesday (July 3rd). It is a very detailed interview that would take a full page. You will read about the beautiful Ovim, my village in Abia State, which does not leave any child behind. Our legendary farm road (Agbongele Ugwunta) where any person can visit, harvest anything and enjoy, but never take any home. I planted a pear there while in the village to ensure the tradition continues. It is the community’s last strategy to ensure no one sleeps hungry! Then the typical – sharing the kinsmen kola nuts with former governors, making success very common. Then, more – Pick a copy.
Like I always tell people, I am yet to see any sensible World Bank policy that a village in Africa has not enacted. In U.S., they have this policy of sending food or money for food to poor people. I read in newspapers where Nigerian experts are proposing that we need to do same in Nigeria.
I always laugh because if you go today in Agbongele Ugwunta, Ovim, of Abia State (Nigeria), villagers understand that anyone can harvest anything there, eat right there, but never take any home. By making sure you do not take home, they prevent people from reselling the produce.
As you grow up in the village, elderly ones will take you on a tour to explain the family that planted this fruit and nurtured it. You want to ensure you have something there. The boys in the village have the responsibilities to clean the area, and then twice yearly all males would visit to check the trees making sure they are in good shapes.
As they work on that, they have designated some strategic fruits as community plants irrespective of the land where they are: no person can own udara, ukwukwa , etc. By designating them village assets, it means anyone can have access to them even when in your land. At the end, the goal is to give buffers to everyone.
Sure, it is not advanced but the model can be expanded: “let us process the produce and make sure anyone that needs food comes to the factory to pick free food”. My point is that the concepts are there. Africa’s problem is that we have abandoned our traditions instead of finding ways to improve and scale the good ones.
These are contexts in my conversation with Vanguard. Get a copy tomorrow.
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