Discuss the effects of selfishness among the leaders in developing countries
Using two poems that you have studied in this section, discuss the effects of selfishness among the leaders in developing countries. Give three points from each poem.
Selfishness is the act of one thinking of him or herself. The selfishness of the leaders brought various effects to the people in developing countries and due to that people faced with many problems. By using two poems BUILDING THE NATION and DEVELOPMENT the selfishness of the leaders has shown by the poets and their effects as follows.
Starting with BUILDING THE NATION by Henry Burlow the poet has tried to show selfishness has brought effects to the developing country as follows.
Misuse of public resources. This is the situation at which the leaders tend to use government facilities for their own gain. The persona has shown that the PS uses the state properties like cars for his own interests.
The PS goes to feast/dinner using the government car, and after the feast he is driven back home. So he wastes not only the public resources but also the working hours.
Exploitation. This is the act of making someone work without concerning his or her wellbeing. In the poem, the poet has tried to reveal this as the effect brought by selfishness of PS as he is very busy wasting the public funds and eat lavishly and left the driver work on empty stomachs. The persona knows about this exploitation done by African leaders and informs his fellow countrymen what is actually happening.
“So the PS had ulcers too!
My ulcers I think are equally painful Only they are caused by hunger,
No sumptuous lunches!”
Lies and hypocrisy. This is the act of pretending to what he or she is not doing. The poet has shown this as the effect of selfishness of the leaders as the PS lies to the driver that he did not have any meal just as did the driver yet you and I know that he had a very heavy and sumptuous lunch.
“Then to keep awake, he suddenly asked, Did you have any lunch friend?
I replied looking straight ahead
And secretly smiling at his belated concern That I had not, but was sliming”
This has been a vital tool for most politicians when they want to win more votes from the ignorant masses. They make heaps of lies on the hopeful crowds but eventually everything turns out only a nightmare
Turning to the poem DEVELOPMENT by Kundi Faraja the poet has shown the effects of selfishness of the leaders in the developing countries as the following:
Selfishness (egoism). Most post-colonial African leaders are thinking in terms of themselves, although the resources of the country ought to benefit both classes. The poet criticises the hypocritical behaviour of most African leaders who think of themselves (being the minority) while the majority whose efforts are wasted are disregarded. Their selfish tendencies are expressed by the poet in these terms.
“I reckon the minority More sensitive to egoism
Than to national development”
Corruption, The poet has shown the sad mood that it’s not the common people who are at the forefront in giving and receiving corruption but the leaders. Because of leader’s selfishness, the issue of development is even more complicated when we come to think of the fact that those to whom we have entrusted power are the same who are corrupt.
Thus the poet comes to a point when he shows there is no way a country whose leaders have invested in corruption can develop. No way! He says:
“How is development To be brought brother
When the people to whom We have entrusted power Are corrupt?”
Exploitation, The poet has shown that most leaders who climb up the leadership tree, begin while they are as poor as flies but in no time they become distinguished petty bourgeoisies. This is because of their selfishness that make them to exploit the masses. In the poem, the poet continues to point a finger at the leaders who exploit the masses by saying:
“The majority plead Exploited”.
Conclusively, it is true that, the selfishness of the leaders bring various effects to the people in developing countries and due to that people faced with many problems. Therefore, the poets have used their poems to expose those problems in order for people to take care of them.