By Abayomi Ibitomi
It is unfortunate to hear some “educated” folks calling for the return of the colonial “massas” to come back and rule them again simply because the black colonialists they parade as their rulers have taken the plundering of their resources to an abysmal level. Who has bewitched yee Africans? Isn’t this like a rape victim praying for the return of a less vicious rapist instead of saying an emphatic NO to any form of rape? When are we going to get it in Africa that the current rapists are only acting out the script written for them by the foreign rapists with their loots in foreign accounts as payment for a job well executed?
After balkanizing once prosperous African nations and kingdoms into artificial boundaries and contraptions without the input of a single African at the infamous Berlin conference, and sharing African ethnic nationalities amongst themselves like commodities, why won’t we continue to produce puppetic rulers who will keep working against the interest of their own people in Africa?Are these not the same white colonialists who strategically planted political configurations which makes it difficult for each ethnic nationality to connect with its cultural roots and heritage like the wise Asians have done?
Isn’t culture the greatest unifying, bonding, and rallying point of a race? Apart from the bonding angle, it has also been established that culture is the greatest source of creativity, innovation, and ideas-generating inspiration of a race. The Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Malaysians et al have demonstrated to the world how tapping into the cultural cosmos could bring out the creativity of a race. The role of cultural assimilation in the advancement of a race can never be overemphasized. It is only a simpleton who will fail to see the effect of cultural assimilation in the success of Asian brands like Toyota, Honda, LG, Samsung, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kia et al, while Africa has continued to export brands like starvation,HIV,poverty,crime,corruption,malaria,fraud,miracle,prayers,signs and wonders ati bee bee lo to the rest of the world.
Using Japan as a case study, in a recent study, a notable Japanese Professor, Prof. Kinichiro Toba of the Waseda University stated that they had to replace ALL their school lessons which were in English with Japanese at the beginning of the 20th century because they found out that the English language was having a demoralizing effects on their children. In fact speaking English in a place like Japan is like speaking any other ethnic language in the world, with no special respect or prestige accorded to the speaker. They only learn English or any other foreign language for the sake of transacting business with people from other parts of the world. This is a great example of an ethnic nationality that has carved a niche for itself in the world by taking pride in its ancestral cultural roots and heritage.
What do we have in Africa? We have ethnic nationalities trying to outdo themselves on the nation that can bastardize its rich cultural heritage the most. We have Africans trying to be Europeans more than the Europeans, or Arabs more than the Arabs. We now have a generation of Africans who view their own languages as nothing but primitive incoherent sounds spoken by monkeys. The situation is even more pathetic among the African teenagers on the cyberspace who see anything African as “untoosh,” unrefined, fetish and barbaric, no thanks to the negative influence of the media and nollywood. These misguided African “yoots” have even taken their inferiority complex , self-hate, and barbaric acts to another level by bastardizing their beautiful African names on the cyberspace to make them sound western or “oyinboish.” I can’t just describe the kind of nauseating feeling I usually get these days when I see these 3rd class citizens destroying their beautiful African names. You will see “Abayomi” being spelt as “Harbayhurmmy,” “Oluwabamiji “ as “Orlhuwhabhamhiji”, “Akinwande” as “Harkinwhandee”. It is even more unfortunate that the Yoruba youths are the guiltiest set of people when it comes to this madness. If aping EVERY form of western culture, mannerism, concept and precepts like conquered slaves were to be the visa to development, Africa would be the most developed continent on earth.
We have Africans who mistake the adoption of Western lifestyle without the corresponding development, advancement, or prosperity that should come with it as civilization. Civilization my foot! What kind of civilization always encourages putting on an Italian designer leather shoe or carrying an Italian bag when OUR OWN cobblers cannot develop better products with the right branding that will give the Italian products a run for their money despite the fact that the Northern Nigeria boasts of the best quality of raw leathers in the world?
I say, what kind of civilization keeps producing mechanical engineers, computer engineers, agricultural engineers e.t.c who should be busy in our engineering workshops, putting heads together, and brainstorming on how to come up with OUR OWN cars, trains, computers, tractors, and various other device, depending on their respective fields that will make life easier for our people, but due to lack of enabling environment, or the inability to see the bigger picture on the part of our puppetic African rulers, end up in banking halls working as tellers , or as customer care representatives in telecommunication outfits?
I ask, what kind of civilization is having our scientists, biochemists, and pharmacists who should be neck deep in fully-equipped laboratories working round the clock, conducting researches and formulating vaccines and drugs that will put ailments like HIV, Cancer and Malaria to shame in Africa, but instead are trooping en masse to the seminaries and bible schools after receiving the “call” to be the next set of prayer merchants and gospel proselytizers, while preventable diseases continue to kill thousands of Africans every day?
Please do tell, what kind of civilization encourages sitting on one’s butts and praying, while the white man who brought this “praying without ceasing” opium is busy in the laboratory working round the clock to produce the next powerful drug or electronic gadget, which our prayer warriors will still end up spending their hard earned cash upon? What kind of civilization encourages only the consumption, and marketing the products of other races, but never producing?
If the above scenarios are the definition of the civilization and advantages of colonialism brought by the white colonialists before handing over to the black colonialists, often cited by the apologists of colonialism and slavery, then I’m not interested in knowing the meaning of barbarism.
Unlike the wise and THINKING Asians, Africans have not been able to differentiate between WESTERNIZATION and MODERNISATION. A people can be westernized in every facet of their lives, and still be living like barbarians in the hobbesian state where life is short, nasty, and brutish, while a people can refuse to be westernized in their thinking, culture, and outlook towards life and still be setting the pace in modernization and technological advancement like the Asians. The former sums up the present situation of Africans.
The funniest thing is when you ask an average African in the Niger Area(abbreviated to Nigeria by Miss Flora Shaw, the girlfriend of Mr. Lugard) what the problem of Nigeria is, even a 5-yr old boy will mention corruption and bad leadership as the greatest problems besetting that contraption. But what the average “Nigerian” does not understand is that these are mere symptoms of Africa’s problem, and not the root cause. The answer(s) to the following salient questions will provide a deep insight into the root cause of Africa’s problem:
Why are our so-called rulers so corrupt? Somebody might say greed, the question is, why are they so greedy?
Why has corruption become a national pride in Nigeria with no hope of redemption in sight, despite boasting of the highest numbers of churches and mosques in the world? Why is the average African suffering from a deep sense of self-hate, and inferiority complex that makes him idolize everything European and Arabic, and spit on anything African?
Why is it so difficult for African rulers to owe allegiance to their own people and land, but are always doing everything within their power to contribute to the development of the West, consciously and unconsciously?
Why is it so easy for Africans to devote so much energy and resources to ventures and activities that add absolutely no value to their lives, but find it extremely difficult to commit 2% of these resources and energy to ventures that will turn around their lives for better? We keep bleating bad leadership, the question is, why do we keep voting or selecting bad rulers in Africa?
Why is it so difficult to get upright and visionary men into leadership positions in Africa? Or is it possible for upright men to keep voting for dishonest men? Is it possible for wise men to keep voting for idiots?
Why are African rulers so susceptible to outside influence and control unlike their Asian counterparts?
Why are there so many fifth columnists readily available for a penny to take out independent-minded African rulers who might want to chart their own paths on behalf of their foreign masters?
Why is there so much disconnect between the rulers and the led in Africa? Why is it so difficult for us to act and speak with one voice when it comes to protecting our collective interests? Until we find the right answers to the above questions, we will continue to treat the symptoms of our problems in Africa.
In the same vein, I’ve also come to discover that Africans have come to see ethnicity or cultural pride as something to be ashamed of, no thanks to the present European artificial borders repressing the cultural values and heritage of African ethnic nationalities. It is so bad that some people can’t even differentiate between an ethnic nationalist and an ethnic bigot. An ethnic nationalist is somebody who wants the best for his race, and is always striving to make his race one of the most advanced race in the world. As we can see, the Japanese are the best example of ethnic nationalists in the world. In fact, it has been established that the average Japanese would rather work longer hours for a fellow Japanese at a lesser pay, than work for a foreigner offering a higher pay. They believe strongly that the sense of duty of an individual to his family, community, and nation supercedes his right as an individual. It is all in their Samurai cultural spirit which cherishes brotherhood more than money.
This is grossly in contrast to the ethnic bigotry that has come to be associated with ethnicity in Nigeria. We have ethnic champions whose definition of ethnic nationalism is supporting and defending any action of their kinsmen who are busy plundering their resources, and impoverishing their own people in exchange for a few crumbs.
Why is it that an average Nigerian always remember that he/she is Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, Ijaw et al only when it comes to voting for a criminal within their ethnic nationality? Why are the same ethnic bigots are not channeling the same energy towards educating every Hausa/Fulani child irrespective of his/her background, speaking out against every form external and internal exploitation going on in the Ijaw land, fighting corruption and poverty to a standstill in the Yorubaland, or stamping out youth unemployment in Igboland. I’m yet to see a higher degree of self-hate more than the one exhibited by ethnic bigots who defend their own rapists because of ethnic affiliation. A true ethnic nationalist will speak out against any form of evil being perpetrated by his own kinsmen against his race, and not rationalize or defend them.
To cut a long story short, when you deculturalize a race, and put a knife on the things that make them think and act like one, AFRICA is the archetypal representation of what it means to be “civilized,” yet so backward and barbaric;”educated,” yet so ignorant and mentally-conditioned;rich, yet so poor and wretched, and religious, yet so morally-bankrupt, corrupt, wicked and filled with self- hate.
In Japan, they have the Samurai cultural enterprising spirit shaping the thinking and actions of the Japanese child; in China, they have the Confucian enterprising cultural spirit shaping the paradigm of the Chinese; when one thinks about the Germans, the never-say-die spirit of the German machines comes to mind; where is the Omoluabi cultural spirit of the Yorubas that once made TRUST, INTEGRITY, HONESTY, HARDWORK, and the UNTIRING PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, AND UNDERSTANDING the most cherished traits in the Yoruba land before the invasion of the Europeans and the Arabs? Where is the Ndi-Igbo cultural enterprising and innovative spirit? Where are the various cultural ethics and moral codes shaping the thinking of our various African ethnic nationalities?
As Chinweizu rightly observed, “Having lost a clear and detailed sense of our identity, we have naturally lost our ability to create a point of view of the world strictly OUR OWN. With our scrambled sense of reality, we have forgotten how to see things in terms of our separate and concrete interests. Worse still, we behave as if it were some sort of betrayal to discover and insist on OUR OWN point of view.”
In conclusion,until we begin to look beyond the superficial reasons we often attribute African’s problems to, and begin to take a deeper and critical look at all these European artificial borders which were designed to kill the natural infusion of our individual cultural ethics, values, and heritage into every facet of our lives, especially in the area of governance and carve out structures and unions that will enable African ethnic nationalities to connect with their cultural roots and heritage, either through self-determination or a partnership arrangement on the terms and agreement of each unit unlike the charade organized by some greedy scavengers at the Berlin Conference, I say bring on the tales of woes.
About Abayomi Ibitomi
Abayomi Ibitomi is a young, dynamic and passionate Nigerian. A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, he is an inspiration to the young generation who clamour for change within the black man's homeland. He lives in Nigeria.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
BRING ON THE AFRICAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION!!
By Abayomi Ibitomi