Antwerp Under The Administration of Mayor Bart De Wever

Could Bart De Wever be the best mayor of Antwerp?

The major of Antwerp, Bart De Wever and writer Joel Savage

The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever and the writer, Joel Savage. Photo:@Kouablan Dominique.

Not quite long in Belgium, but fifteen years in Antwerp is enough to write a narrative essay, whenever I meet this challenge at an examination hall. Even though Antwerp is a famous city, known for its rich diamond collection and flourishing seaport, in the early 2000’s, the city was very rough and unsafe for both tourists and citizens.

It was this period Leona Detiége, a Belgian politician and member of the Flemish social-democratic party, then mayor of Antwerp, did her best to tackle the problems destroying the reputation of the city of Antwerp, as a tourist attraction center.

She swung into action, focusing on the notorious places, such as De Conincksplein, a neighbourhood that harboured all criminal activities, including drug peddling, prostitution, bag snatching, pickpockets, pimps etc, and De Falconplein, another notorious neighbourhood, serving as a red light district for prostitutes, pimps, and drug couriers.

Her undertakings weren’t just a bluff, it did really paralyzed the prostitution industry. Many prostitutes were arrested and deported to their countries of origin and the pimp industry collapsed. The Antwerp police received a letter from a group calling themselves ‘The Nigerian Mafia,’ threatening and ready to fight the police to death, for taking their prostitutes off the streets.

Leona stationed a mobile police van at the center of Conincksplein 24 hours daily, and all the nefarious activities and crimes subsided. Apart from that Leona made it uneasy for landlords that stole money from tenants. It was a period, criminal-landlords was known as ‘huismelkers’ were making a lot of money from tenants. Like a farmer milking his cow, they steal the three months guarantee paid by tenants. Her actions worked and totally reduced this menace which had taken over Antwerp.

Unfortunately, all the hard efforts of Leona came to a fruitless end, when she left office and Patrick Janssens, a member of the SP.a, succeeded her, as the next mayor of Antwerp. Patrick Janssens probably thought the best way to serve Antwerp, is be friendly with everyone. It was his time drug peddling, which Leona had fought to subdue, increased significantly.

There was time, Moroccans in Antwerp, believe or thought the city is for them. They drive, stop on the street, talk to friends, with a long queue of traffic behind them. Who dares to talk? You will be surrounded and if the police are not around, you will be beaten mercilessly.

At Schijnpoort, a neighbourhood in Antwerp, a Belgium driving, stops and asks a Moroccan for help, as he couldn’t find a street he was looking for. As soon as his window came down, right in front of me, the Moroccan accumulated a thick saliva in his mouth and spits onto the face of the driver. He picks up a tissue paper, wipes the saliva from his face and drove away. My heart ached when I witnessed this scene.

Under the administration of Patrick Janssens,   the situation in Antwerp grew from bad to worse. More drug trafficking at coffee shops run by foreigners. By the time he decides to take drastic action, it was too late. The people in Antwerp are fed up and really want a change.

I will always remember Patrick Janssens for saving the citizens of Antwerp from dog’s waste explosion. It was a period one always comes home with a dog’s waste because they are everywhere. He did well to impose a fine against dog owners that leave dogs’ waste in the city after excretion.

The coming in of  Bart De Wever, the leader of N-VA party, as the mayor of Antwerp, took many by surprise. As a politician who has dreams including the creation of an independent state for the province of Antwerp, many don’t like him much, but that didn’t prevent him from winning the seat as mayor of Antwerp.

The man knows that coming into office as a mayor is not all that is important but one’s achievement. De Wever is destined to carve his name as one of the best or probably the best mayor in the political history of Belgium. Since he assumed office, De Wever has done a lot within the shortest period many past mayors couldn’t achieve.

In regard to security and safety, Antwerp is now a safe city any time of the day, including night. Conincksplein, which used to be a dangerous place in Antwerp, is now a safe community for citizens.

The newly completed library adds glamour to the beauty of the area. Antwerp also remains clean since the administration introduced fine for litterers. Alcohol forbidden zones are now in force within the city.

Despite all his achievements, many still don’t agree with him. Some say he is a good man or bad man, others think he is wicked, but whatever name they call him, there is no doubt that Bart De Wever is the best mayor Antwerp has ever got or probably the best in the political history of Belgium.


The Killing Indulgence: Don’t Be A Slave To Drug Abuse

Drug is something if you go into it, you can't get out of it.

The use of hard drug like cocaine has increased rapidly destroying the lives of many people

Crime and illegal activities, like drug peddling, are destroying our community and putting the health of individuals in danger. The disastrous effect of drugs on mankind is a global phenomenon that governments are yet to find a common solution. Consumption of dangerous drugs is tearing Europe and America apart, just like how AIDS has completely ruined Africa. On almost every street in Europe, junkies are commonly seen, especially in Spain, Germany and Holland. Hard drug has transformed able-bodied men into some fearful creatures like actors set for a horror movie.

Some are gaunt at the edge of death. Others have lost their families and properties. Some are insane leading them to permanent confinement in mental institutions. Similar to fight against terrorism worldwide, governments are fighting against drug abuse to ensure good health for its citizens. The drug menace, destruction and its drastic effect on people have dented and inflated the medical cost of many countries which citizens have been plagued by illegal usage of harmful drugs.

Every continent including America and Europe is at war over drug trafficking for almost a century. Surveillance and security at airports and border posts have increased but still hard drugs find its way into the hands of Americans and Europeans, taking its toll on citizens. Mexican drug barons and Italian mafias through different illegal sources bring drugs to the shores of Europe and America. Even though thousands of drug traffickers have been arrested, yet deadly drugs are still flooded in America and Europe.

Once hooked on drugs, they can’t do without them. The more they take it, the more they want it. In order to satisfy their demand, junkies resort to stealing anything they could lay their hands on. This has caused a sharp increase in crime. The question is: Are the authorities winning the war on drugs? The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. Despite previous and recent progress in arresting drug dealers and seizing tons of illegal drugs, the trade still goes on unabated.


Is the  “The global war on drugs is it yielding positive results or failing? From every angle, one could clearly see that the war on drugs is totally futile. New research has revealed more dangerous illegal drugs have become cheaper while their potency increased, indicating that efforts to control the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing.

War on drugs has totally failed that governments wish to consider decriminalizing drugs in a bid to cut consumption and weaken the power of organized crime gangs. Until the war on drugs is successful, many will continue to live in the abyss, taking them into their untimely grave. Harmful drugs had spread to the extent that it is tried by many people including children and pregnant women, putting the babies’ lives in danger.

Children are now using cocaine in large quantities like adults. It’s very hard to see one you loved consumed by drugs. In fact, the war on drugs is the responsibility of everyone. Parents have a role to play as well, by letting your child know that you have concerns about his well-being, educating the child on how dangerous drugs can be. When the child is already deep into drugs the only solution is to enter the child into rehab.

I Am An African Writer, Thus; My Writings Reflect On My Culture


 An African painting

Once a journalist asked Chinua Achebe, one of Africa’s greatest and international known writers, the reason he hasn’t written any book about Europe or America. Achebe responded by saying that a lot has already been written about those two continents. Yes, there are thousands of European and American writers but only a few write about Africa, and what they write is disgusting, just like how the colonial masters underdeveloped the continent.

The Western and America media promote Africa as a continent of poverty, war, disease and ethnic conflicts, than a place where tons of raw materials are imported to feed, employ and develop the Advanced Countries. Even though poverty has prevented many African children  out of schools, social problems in Advanced Countries exceed what is in Africa. It is often said that one of the reasons of teenage pregnancy is illiteracy, yet Britain leads with teenage pregnancy followed by America.


Social problems

Teenage pregnancy, a common problem in Britain and America than Africa.

We need to find out the reasons educated Britain and America are facing teenage pregnancy explosion, despite their best educational facilities, while such problems are less in underestimated Africa. So who is learning? I am an African writer, therefore my writing reflects on my culture, Africa can be set on top of the mountain by the Western and American media, as number one problem continent in the world, yet Europe and America have no solutions to their innumerable social problems, including teenage smoking, drug abuse, child abuse, immorality, drug trafficking and suicide.

The face of Africa is physically and medically disfigured and tainted. Many of Africa’s hardships were caused by external factors, but how many times adults and teenagers in Africa commit suicide like Europeans and Americans?  A British or American says it’s not important to study or learn anything about Africa. Many will scratch their heads when you ask them of the capital city of an African country, yet an African child can tell you everything including the geographical positions about America and Europe. Who is the clever one?

Being an African writer residing in Europe, for a very long time doesn’t make me European. I am still an African and therefore writes like an African. The more the foreign media excavates the earth to throw dust on Africa, the more I also dig the weaknesses, immorality and every disease plaguing the European and American societies, for others, especially those in the Third World Countries, to know that not everything that glitters is gold. In fact, I don’t even think there is anything in America called ‘The American Dream’ because many are poor and roofless.

Frankly speaking, despite everything Africans have passed through, including the Aids and Ebola crimes, it’s one of the happiest continents in the world, happier than Europe and America, because they don’t commit suicide. I will repeat, they don’t commit suicide, thus; instead of the media keep underestimating Africa, they should rather write about how they survive in that harsh continent, to save the mass Europeans and Americans killing themselves.

Teenagers snog at a party

Social drinking problems are commonly seen in Europe.What are they doing?

I am very happy to be one of the African immigrants to force my way to Europe to study and learn about Europeans and Americans. There are problems everywhere but since journalism has lost its credibility, it’s no more shamefulness for journalists to write any nonsense, since, at the end of the month, they will be paid to feed their families.

I eat, drink and write like an African, without competing with anyone.  Since I have readers interested in what I write,  it makes me feel I’m writing something they like. You may put down your pen as quick as possible if you step into the writing world, with money in mind. Let your passion propel you to write without ceasing and later you will make money as a writer.

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