Contra Larry

There is the popular phrase

“Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

which when applied in this case means Africa must tell her stories. As long as our stories are told by others, here the western media but this could be the case also with the media in the Arab world, we will always come out badly- which has been the case for ages- but then telling a different story when there are glaring dysfunction is not helping our case. It is in this view of the hunt that my country man attempted to tell the story of Africa.

The article has generated quite a bit of heat since its publication. There are quite a number of people who agree with him. There have also been those voices that opine the piece lacked nuance and there are those who think the reporting is flawed. For those disagreeing with the post, the main issue is that it is not supported by facts, paints a glossy picture while ignoring the glaring structural problems in Africa.

There is a tradition in the west, exemplified by Hegel when he wrote

Africa must be divided into three parts: one is that which lies south of the desert of Sahara–Africa proper–the Upland almost entirely unknown to us, with narrow coast-tracts along the sea; the second is that to the north of the desert–European Africa (if we may so call it)–a coastland; the third is the river region of the Nile, the only valley-land of Africa, and which is in connection with Asia.

and continues to say, the negro

“exhibits the natural man in his completely wild and untamed state and has no knowledge of an absolute Being, an Other and a Higher than his individual Self.

To him therefore, the African proper, to use his phraseology, is not a subject of history.

We spend so much time responding to the descendants of Hegel instead of challenging the systems at home that oppress us with support from the western governments and their mouthpieces- journalists and media houses with bases in Africa.

It does seem to me that Larry’s article is no different from Mbiti’s African Religion and Philosophy where he attempted to to assimilate African thought to western categories, not for consumption by Africans, like this article, but for consumption of those who had removed Africans from the stage of history. I don’t think we have to justify ourselves to anyone.

Well, we have banned the use of plastic but done shit on the part of solid waste management. In many urban centres in Africa, close to 50% of all generated solid waste is not disposed of properly. There is a lot to do at home instead of wasting time telling our stories, flawed as they might be to an audience that may really not give a rat ass about what we do. Or how we do it.

Europe or the Americas are not trying to defend themselves to anyone. We know most of it is racist and some of them wear their racism on their sleeves. We know there is a homelessness problem in NYC and other cities across the US. But it seems their elite take these for granted. It is, for lack of a better way, taken for granted that to be white is to be.

Africa must work for us first. The western press, for all I care, can say all the shit they want. Our governments must do all the must to make the African proud of his place in the world. No amount of story telling will do this if we still die from preventable ailments, have no access to sanitation, weak financial markets and all.

But for those who want to tell stories, or as they set the record straight, it’s a free world.

Advertisements

on why we need social infrastructure (parks and recreational facilities) in Nairobi

Public parks and recreation facilities are any and all buildings, lands and waters, including roadways, recreation equipment, structures and the flora and fauna therein, owned, leased or operated under the jurisdiction of a county or public institution as a park or recreation area and open to the general public for park or recreation purposes.

In Nairobi and other towns, majority of the residents live in slums and informal settlements where there are no parks or recreational spaces which harms the residents and creates substantial costs for the nation as a whole.

The benefits of parks and recreational spaces include but are not limited to

  1. public health benefits
  2. quality of life
  3. environmental benefits
  4. economic benefits
  5. social benefits etc.

If you are wondering why I am writing about open spaces, wonder no more. On Sunday I happened to find myself in a space an entrepreneur has created as a children play area and was astonished at how many parents (thank goodness there were as many fathers as there were mothers) had taken their children to play and I realized how much our planners, developers and counties have failed us in provision of places for rest and recreation.

While I laud this particular business (wo)man, I noticed also that they have opened themselves to a million and one lawsuits. And the county as a licensing agency would also be liable in the event there were any accidents. There is not one equipment on that site that could pass as safe for children’s use but I think the parents would rather a place for their kids to play than nothing

a mama pushing her baby on a pushcart

the only safe equipment was this inflatable whatever

even this one was not safe

the less said the better

parents and children having a good Sunday

And in other related news, yours truly had a great Friday evening with friends where we did a demonstration of how hell fire would be and other interesting things. All the furniture is made by my friend who played host.

demonstration of how some of you will burn in hell

if you rotate this photo, I asure you, you will see your gracious host

we had a sermon by candle light just before we tossed those who were to burn into the furnace

the miniature version of hell

And in very interesting news, my other friend has a farm in Nairobi and we visited.

from here, we got very fresh vegetables. watu wa nairobi you can all eat all the sewage mbogas you want, as for me and my family, we will eat organic

the yoghurt from these cows was delicious

i have not seen healthier hens in a long time

Of God and other manenos

Most of us would agree that the objectivity of good was a thing we had settled and dismissed with the existence of God. Theology and absolute ethics are two famous subjects which we have realized have no real objects.

Ramsay 1925

If the prospect of integrating faith and contemporary experiences is to be ultimately successful it must be sufficiently radical. And to be sufficiently radical it must get to the root concept of God. And to be sufficiently radical respecting the concept of God it must radically depart from the philosophical world-view which has given the traditional faith in God a cultural form which no longer serves well that faith.

Leslie Dewart, Catholic theologian

It is possible that in their time the Five Ways (Aquinas Proofs) were an exciting expression of the whole movement from the actual world to the reality of God… But there can be no doubt that they no longer express anything of the sort.

Howard Root.