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Not so long ago, the social media was flooded with pictures tagged #10YearsChallenge. You must have come across one or two, if not directly participated in the challenge. It was very interesting to see the difference a decade can make. From skinny to ‘fatty’, and even black to yellow (or is it brown?) and all there was to note. Times are changing, and we are changing too, so fast.

“It has always been there. It will always be there. No one can end it.” Says a Kenyan citizen, in reference to corruption.

Well, corruption is all around us. That’s a matter of fact that cannot be denied. We see it daily and are involved (directly or indirectly). To say however that it will always be there is to insinuate that we will remain the same, which is disputable. To say that no one can end it is to say that we are personally not ready to end it. These are my thoughts.

The root of corruption
A meme was going round, trying to explain how corruption started in Africa. It said;
Beat up an African child, make them cry, then give them biscuits/sweets. Ask them who beat them, they will point at any other nearest person. Sounds familiar? It is therefore no surprise that an adult can be bribed to be oppressed. A citizen can be bribed into electing a politician that is not deserving. A police man can be bribed to allow an unworthy vehicle operate on the roads. The list is endless, and this is all corruption.

Corruption therefore is not a thief that has come to steal from us, no. Corruption is a child we have given birth to and are willing to pay the price to keep it alive. We are feeding our child (corruption) a very healthy diet and that is why we are certain it can’t and won’t die any time soon. We have accepted it as our very own, and it is painful for us to disown what belongs to us. What is ours is ours. How absurd!

The Possibilities
It is indeed possible that corruption will never end. Why? Because we are not yet ready to end it. Because we still want to reap where we have not sown. Because we are not yet ready to do what is right. Because we have not looted enough yet.

If we can change, why not corruption? It is also possible that it can end, and this is what we should focus on now. How? It must start with you and me. When? Now is the time.
When the topic of fighting corruption comes up, we love generalizing it. We say no one is going to do it. This however should be personalized. I am ready to fight this. I am giving no bribe. I am taking no bribe. I am doing what is right. This is me, this is my stand. Imagine you joining me, then the other person, and the next….soon we’ll all be in for it!

What if I don’t bribe and miss an opportunity? Miss it. Your bribing for an opportunity is the reason others are missing it for lack of that bribe. But every other person is doing it! Again, it must start with you, it must start with me. Let them do it, we are not doing it. We can succeed without necessarily bribing our way up. I can do it. You can do it, we can all do it.

The Resolve
Fighting corruption is not rocket science. Not at all. It begins in our mind. It begins at home. It begins with me. It begins with you.
Each individual must resolve to join hands in the war against this ill that is causing the society more harm and no good at all.
Forget about the people and what they do. Forget about the system and how it works. Focus on you and how you will contribute to this.

Do what is right. Say the truth. Take no bribe. Give no bribe. Impossible is nothing.

By Liz Ekakoro: Diaspora Messenger contributor

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