Changing My African Identity

Few days ago I saw the movie Coco with my professor and other members of my lab. We did a vote for the movie selection because we had quite a number of options. Though the choice of  seeing a movie was to celebrate my birthday (you may as well wish me happy birthday in the comment box below and share what you enjoy most in my style of writing). Before settling for Coco, the first movie of choice was Black Panther, but at the time, Black Panther premiere was a week after my birthday. Basically, this piece of writing is not centred on my birthday, or the movie Coco, rather it is centred on the current media fuss on Black Panther.
There is so much to be said about this movie, not just about the genuineness and the all cast black actors, rather the true cultural identity and strength of Africans. Basically, the Marvel Studio has created and opened up a new line of discuss contrary to the hogwash on the mainstream western media about the true identity and representation of the African people.

Long before the Black Panther was premiered, I had a conversation with an undergraduate project student of what she thinks about Africa and Africans. Her answer was indicative of the popular narrative of a continent impoverished and sicken with deadly diseases. Keep saying a lie or a thing about a people, and keep on saying it over and over again and that is what they become. In the end I said to her, are there poor people in Nigeria and in Africa? yes there are poor people in Africa like any part of Europe, Asia or America. More importantly I said, the next time you are asked to give two pounds fifty with a picture of an African child looking beggarly and sicken think twice, because a few white folks in the name of charity are reaping you off. I went on to explained the enormous wealth on the continent. I said, how can a continent with such enormous resources with both the richest black man and woman on the planet be so painted as terribly impoverished with no element of good? Furthermore, how possible is it that this 'black poor children' from Africa can effectively pay off their tuition fees and living expenses worth over £25,000 yearly without students loans and the UK/EU students are in debt for life? Just recently she said to me, you rich kids from Nigeria and Africa deserve no penny from me. No one will tell our story correctly if we leave the job to outsiders! Experience is what makes history, and history is us and no one can explain or write our history from the lens of their shallow minds.  

But again at the point of publishing this timely article, I got engaged again with a dearest friend on the same subject of Africa development and underdevelopment and the Nigeria story. I had a privy of reading the email exchange between Adah• and her lecturer on the same subject. The later was of the view that Africa made more stride before, and yet after colonialism citing relevant instances. He argued that colonialism hampered the speed of Africa development. Equally, he cited the recent backlash of Africans in the diaspora about the continent as nothing, but a seemingly effort of playing into the gallery of white-supremacy. I was particularly intrigued with his remark that Africans in the diaspora - Nigerians in particular think they left with more superior-brains, how then can the 'inferior-brains' left behind fix the continent he questioned!

Adah's reply took a different spin as she asked thought provoking questions that got me thinking for awhile. Apparently, she hinged on Africa and Africans taking responsibility and basically doing away with the 'blame game of slavery' as the reason for the continent's underdevelopment. I ask here and now, will South Africans ever forget about apartheid?  But how can a people forget such horrific dehumanisation? Back to Adah, she further expressed tiredness for a continent whose past glory is no match to modern day realities. A place where only a handful are making exceptional impact and a huge chunk of the population gasping for existence at the bottom below.
        
The above sets of views are unequivocally balanced and well articulated but not holistic. The big question is, what is it about Africa and her people that the world (white supremacist) is desperately fighting to repress and suppress so badly? Is the sting of colonialism empirical in our governance and development? Is the continent deliberately distorted just so her rich natural resources are syphoned? Why are the stolen funds by most African leaders having safe haven in the West? Why is it that when a revolutionary leader speaks up he is either assassinated (Thomas Sankara) or brand for war crimes? Who then will judge the genocide in South Africa committed by the British or the king of Belgium (Leopold) for chopping off the hands of Africans (Congolese)? We may have our challenges as a people or a pocket of leadership deficit, but to criminalised a people is nothing but a deliberate attempt to suppress a race. Some of these challenges are not peculiar to Africa or Africans alone, rather to humanity in general. It is much easy to poorly appraise a system you are well knowledgeable about and sing praises of a system that chose to selectively project itself in good light.

Basically, we are not in a contest with any race or a group of people. I dare to say we do not see any race, neither do we try to outdo a people. We are self sufficient and more importantly, we just want to be left alone. I may not live long to witness this, but I guess the part of Africa the world is so scared of right now is the domineering force when she finally take on the centre stage. No doubt we have all it takes to take the world on. It is time we become Africans for Africa and unapologetic about our heritage, culture and beliefs.  

We are such a people and a continent with enormous talents and untaped resources, whether these talents and resources are maximised to the fullest is a question for another day. Unlike other nations of the world reaching their full peak and potentials with boundaries of limitations of nothing else to stretch; our boundaries as a people are limitless with endless possibilities. Africans and Africa are the next big thing the world is waiting to happen and this is why the world is frightened of the true African story. I dare to say you can only suppress a people for long, but you can't keep them down forever.

The unstoppable mind is one whose idea is come. The moment we've all being waiting for is now, now is the time to change the one sectional narrative of the true representation of Africa. No doubt South Africans are taking their country back through the bill of land ownership. The table is turned and it is time for the Africa invaders to feel what we felt as a people. Let no one cry a fowl when Africa and Africans start biting back, tough and hard on those that took our forefathers and ancestors in chains. There is always a pay day and be ready for the wages ahead! 

No comments:

Post a comment

Share Your Opinion with Me in The Comment Box