By Yahya Barrow
For far too long, oppression and repression have been a sad reality in the planet we live in today. Oftentimes, Africa and the African become the victim of such ills. In the name of pacification, we have been looted, lynched and brutalized. This was a hoax and only meant for humiliation. Invasions and intrusions have become second to normal, for the African has experienced these times without number. What did we do to deserve this?
Well, maybe an economist got it right by putting forth “the law of scarcity”. Africa being endowed and blessed with much of the Earth resources, it attracts a lot of predators, many a times, who give no consideration for anything but their greed to gather everything for their satisfaction. This phenomena cause the African immensely and perhaps eternally.
After all this induced predicament on Africa and the African, it is accompanied by crude falsification and fabrication of historical facts, in an endeavour for the invaders and intruders to be glorified and the African to remain downtrodden. Our ways have been stigmatized; and our culture demonized, while their ways are glorified and thoughts dogmatized. Guess what? I refused to be sensitized by their propaganda. They seek to extinguish our curious and inquisitive energy burning in us through indoctrination. No wonder, an African child suffers badly from too much illusion and deception. Our historical contemplation and authentication have taken us far and wide into the wilderness of history, its pieces and traces of historical evidences, thus we refuse to succumb.
My dear, what if I tell you that all you have been told is not the whole truth? Well, I expect cognitive dissonance, yet it’s never too late to unlearn and relearn. We have become of age, hence we don’t condemn a narrative just because we feel uncomfortable with it, but also we don’t condone a narrative just because it is said by certain personality. It has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt. If I give you a blue litmus paper and present to you a colourless, odourless liquid and you dip the blue litmus paper into it but it doesn’t turn red, yet you believe the liquid is an acid, my dear you need a chemistry teacher.
Take nothing for granted, but keep questioning everything and anything before accepting it. Usually, government and governance have been a yardstick to measure how organized or civilized people are. Yet, Africans have always been perceived and painted as people who cannot govern themselves, but instead those at war with their selves constantly. But hang on, a sociologist said that “when people reach the peak of their intelligence that’s when they can form Empires”.
Forget not, this is not my statement.
It was in the fourteenth century when an empire was to be founded in West Africa by Africans in the name of “Mali Empire”. This Africans came together to draft and approve a constitution calling it “Kouruganfokang” (an assembly of people or voice of the people). Hence, democracy and constitutionalism seem not new to the African. Am sure you are quite familiar with the history of Songhai and Ghana Empire. Am not even mentioning Benin Empire and other great ones in Africa. Now tell me, is this a manifestation of civilization or barbarism?
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is an American politician who is the 46th and current President of the United States. In the ancient Egyptian civilization, the number of Pharaohs who ruled is in hundreds. But how would we know this when we only read French civilization at school but not Egyptology? African seems to be indifferent in their own affairs and embraces that which is foreign. Structures still exist in our society that tell how we govern ourselves, even though they call it Local Government.
In every compound, there is a head who is responsible for administration within the compound. Similarly, every community or village has an Alkalo (Alkango Yeh Beng) whose primary duty is to settle disputes within the community members. And also, every district has a chief locally called “Seyfo” (to sit and dialogue) who also solves disputes through dialogue or uses Customary Law. Furthermore, we have the Governor or “Kummadango” (where the word ends) meaning at this stage, everything should be resolved. With all these, how could anyone suggest that we are less of human and good for nothing people? If you have the word in your language, you can claim ownership to its meaning and implication, that’s my theory though.
If you believe that your ancestors were trading their sons and daughters for tobacco or mirror or iron, you are insinuating that a chicken is more humane than your forefathers because even a chicken would protect the chick from enemies. They may belittle you, but belittling yourself is an abomination. In my Momodou Sabally voice “Mbang Wulengkeh” we wouldn’t fall for their cheap tricks. “Kana Song”.
Are you an Afro pessimist who only thinks that things will remain like they are? That Africa and the African will continue to wallow in oppression? Well, you may think in that trajectory. For us, we are Afro optimists who think that things will one day be on our side. We just need to apply our African formula, not anything foreign. The downfall of a man is not the end of his life; there will be light at the end of the tunnel. The glorious days would come soon once again. Rejoice dear African, for you haven’t been an oppressor nor a perpetrator.