Africa and the African

By Yahya Barrow*

Its beautiful scenery and fine beaches are wonders, and appealing to vision. Its coasts, wild lives and domestic animals are a joy to watch by all people, not leaving behind the sunshine and ambient climatic conditions.

This is a continent with space larger than Europe, China and the United States of America combined. Furthermore, it is home for 60% of the world’s arable land, 90% raw material reserve, 40% gold reserve, 33% diamond reserve; and 95% platinum reserve, according to Dr. Israel Nonyeren Davidson. Are you wondering as to where this place is?

My dear, I present to you “Mother Africa”. By the way, isn’t Africa the treasury house of the world? I heard someone saying, “Who controls Africa controls the world.” I won’t disclose my position on this proposition yet. But what is certain here is that you are wondering as to why our condition is in this state until now.

Due to its endowment with both human and natural resources, Africa and the African become the prey in a hunt for wealth and prestige. The continent is raped of its resources; her sons and daughters forced into slavery – the most horrendous and heinous crime humanity has ever witnessed. Yet, it is the most heard and emphasized bit of our history. Is slavery and colonialism the only history we have?

NO, it only interrupts our true history. Then French President Jack Chirac said, “We bled Africa for four and half centuries. We looted their raw materials, then we told lies that the African are good for nothing. In the name of religion we destroyed their culture. And after been made rich at their expense, we now steal their brains through miseducation and propaganda to prevent them from enacting black retribution against us.

This is how bad it was. It wouldn’t have been necessary for us to invest our energy and time to reconstruct our history if fair play was the case all along. As the situation demands, it is imperative on us to de-colonize the narrative and debunk the equation black equal to inferior humanity. As Dr. Diop put it beautifully, “Our investigations have convinced us that the West has not been calm enough and objective enough to teach us our history correctly, without crude falsification”. 

In this quest, very many African personalities that may not be alive today buy deserved commemoration, commendation and celebration. This includes Edward Francis Small and Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara of The Gambia; Cheikh Anta Diop of Senegal; Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana; Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso; Muammar Ghadaffi of Libya, and Nelson Mandela of South Africa, among others. These galaxies of distinguished Africans have fought for a course and left indelible imprints in the annals of our history. Their aspiration and vision are still with us, and we will push them forward for our betterment as people. It is said that, “Few will have the greatest to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation (Robert F Kennedy).

Nowadays, there seems to be a common problem sweeping Africa and the African. An average African has no confidence in him/herself neither his/her compatriots. Give him a material item, he would ask: Where is this product manufactured? If it’s in Africa, that product is perceived bad or of low quality. Give him an ideology, it’s immediately rejected without any check, but the mere fact that it’s from an African, it is unworthy. This is the legacy of colonialism. Africans value nothing except if it’s foreign; usually American or European own.

I ask you to unlearn and relearn; decolonize your thinking and rewire your subconsciousness and even the consciousness. When we realize that only being ourselves and doing things in a context-appropriate fashion compatible to our realities, that’s the departure point to our development and regeneration. I leave you with a wise saying, “Whoever is subject to mimicry will not be able to produce and develop according to the models of their own world-view and their relation with others. They shall not be able to find the way to freedom. 

*Taken by https://standard.gm/opinion/view-point/africa-and-the-african/