The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that:
“When you discover that you are riding a dead horse,
The best strategy is to dismount”.
In African systems – modern business, social governance, education and health policies, religious arms – however, a whole range of far off more advanced strategies are employed, such as:
- Buying a stronger whip.
- Changing the rider.
- Threatening the horse with termination of contract.
- Appointing a committee to study the horse.
- Arranging a bench-marking tour to other countries to see how others ride dead horses.
- Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
- Re-classifying the dead horse as ‘Living Impaired’.
- Declaring the horse’s death is an Act of God – and God’s will cannot be queried.
- Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
- Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.
- Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performances.
- Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.
- Declaring that as the dead horse doesn’t have to be fed, it is less costly, carries less over-heads, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
- Re-writing the expected performance requirements for all horses.
- Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position of hiring another horse.
This is the bane of African problems. The continent needs an immediate paradigm shift in formulation and implementation of policies.
How dead is your horse? Is it an act of God?
A classic example is the famous line by Kenyan head of state, showing despair in the fight against graft in the government:
Sasa, mngetaka nifanye nini, jameni?