Who knows the history of how some families became rulers in a community, region or country? Due to historical events of the last few centuries, some royal families have bigger global profiles than others. This doesn’t change the fact that the less known ones were brought into being for specific reasons.
In a conversation with siblings, I considered what would happen if I was invited to become a traditional ruler. It is unlikely to ever happen, since several families take it in turns to produce the Oba of the land of my paternal forbears, but it was interesting to speculate about what it could entail.
If I had been asked the same question a decade ago, I would have been clear in my mind that I have no interest in having to reside in a place that meant a lot more to my father than it will ever mean to me. At my current stage in life, I see things from a more nuanced perspective.
On a personal level, I don’t think I would derive much pleasure or fulfilment from making such a lifestyle choice, but I can see that African communities need to move with the times, developing features and amenities that might be accessible to many and feasible to put in place. If leaders with urbane mindsets and vision are willing to serve their people, it is possible that more folks might be attracted to settle and invest in cities, towns and villages that many of us regard as backwaters.
The internet and globalisation has connected communities in ways that my forbears probably never imagined. Is the future development of rural Africa partially a responsibility of citizens who live in big cities or the Diaspora?