The concept of ‘Africa time’ is not to commend Africa as some people assume it to be. Instead, it is coined to ridicule us. I am happy that some Africans know this and have attempted to speak against it. Prominent among the voices against ‘Africa time’ include that of Ivorians. In 2007, they launched a campaign tagged, “Africa time is killing Africa – let’s fight it”. This campaign won the massive support of the then Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo.
Reading about the campaign, I knew how productivity becomes crippled in our region because languid tardiness is the norm. I was convinced beyond reasonable that I should be among the flag bearers of the war against ‘Africa time’. Since then, I have been short feeding my desire to be punctually default. I tried as much as I could to punctual.
In my estimated opinion, I have done pretty well in official engagement and religious gathering. However, I have a serious challenge when it comes to attending social functions. How? Most organizers of functions erroneously assume that everyone in Africa is plague with ‘Punctuality Deficiency Syndromes’. They schedule there functions by adding percentage error credited to ‘Africa time’ to their time
Take for illustration: Mr. Africa invited me to a birthday party. On the invitation letter, the time of the programme is 12PM prompt. In an attempt to stay loyal to me commitment, I left many ‘can’t wait tasks’ and rush down to the venue of the event. I got there around 11:55AM and was consequently disappointed when I met the well-arranged empty hall. I waited for about 45minutes and no show yet. I left in anger. I complained bitterly and became more disappointed by peoples’ response.
Here is the most annoying response, “When you are in Rome, behave like the Romans. You are in Africa so you have to behave like an African.”
Now the big questions are: what is your take on ‘Africa time’? Does it have any effect on our ways of life? How do you personal handle it?