My politics align with those of

Border abolitionists. And I agree with the argument as put down by Achille Mbembe that if we want to conclude the work of decolonisation, we have to bring down colonial boundaries in our continent and turn Africa into a vast space of circulation for itself, for its descendants and for everyone who wants to tie his or her fate with our continent.

thoughts out of season

it’s almost two years now since covid 19 left China to spread across the world and in its wake, it has left dead bodies spread across the world, battered economies, lockdowns and more lockdowns and of course vaccines. It is interesting how vaccines have become a hot political debate but that’s not the thought out of season.

Imagine for a second that covid arose first in Africa and given the abandon with which countries close their borders for travel just at the sneeze of a new variant, would we have a vaccine by now? Or would Africa have been left to fend for itself- which is not a bad thing in itself- with borders closed until such a time WHO would declare the threat addressed?

While on this line of thought, would such an action result in a change in the way African governments deal with their universities and research institutions? Would there be an increase in funding to these institutions to build and develop home grown solutions to emergencies and disease? Would Africa and Africans learn to ease border travel between them or would we have had a replica of the same where Kenya closes its border with Uganda and Tanzania. South Africa closes its borders for all Africans except if you are rich. And North Africa closes its border for anyone whose skin is not pale?

Or maybe I am wrong. The world would have been open to Africa. Big pharmaceutical companies would have worked on the overdrive to produce vaccines and make their patents open source to ensure rapid development of vaccines and cures for the poor Africans. African governments would realise the futility of silly border rules across Africa and work to ease travel to save their economies and maybe only a few people would have died and the world would be a much better place.

How Europe underdeveloped Africa

The last time I wrote about this, I referred to the work of Walter Rodney.

Albert Schweitzer, in his autobiography, writes and I am compelled to agree

Thus it becomes very difficult to pursue a program of colonization that would lead toward a real civilization. These people could achieve true wealth if they could develop their agriculture and trade to meet their own needs. Instead they are only interested in producing what the world market requires, and for which it pays well. With the money thus obtained they procure from it manufactured goods and processed food, thereby making home industry unnecessary, and often even endangering the stability of their own agriculture. This is the condition in which all primitive and semiprimitive peoples who can offer to world trade rice, cotton, coffee, cocoa, minerals, timber, and other products find themselves

and when he writes this

We should never force the African to work by demanding ever-increasing taxes. He will, of course, have to work in order to pay taxes, but hidden forced labor will no more change him from an idle into an industrious man than open demands. Injustice cannot produce a moral result.
In every colony in the world today the taxes are already so high that they can be paid by the population only with difficulty. Without much thought, colonies everywhere have been burdened with loans the interest on which can hardly be raised.

the hut tax, poll tax and many such taxes that were introduced here come to mind. These taxes were introduced not because the colonial government badly needed the revenue but it was to force Africans to work on white owned farms.

Their existence is threatened by alcohol, which commerce provides, by diseases we have taken to them, and by diseases that had already existed among them but which, like sleeping sickness, were first spread by the traffic that colonization brought with it. Today that disease is a peril to millions

which reminds me of this time some fellow came pontificating on this blog that the problem of Africa is too much disease forgetting that while some of the diseases that burden us have their origin in Europe and the Americas.

Some of the issues stated above, unfortunately haven’t changed much. We still grow tea, cotton and many others for export while our industries are either dead, dying or non existent. It will be many years before Africa is industrialized and with globalization, even much longer.


In unrelated news, Albert S felt we had lost reverence for life. And i think writing sometime before, during and after the war, he must have felt this so deeply. He writes in his autobiography that our material progress has not been matched by moral progress. Hermann Hesse echoes the same thought when he writes

the neuroses of the poets today may be a form of health, the only possible response of soulful people to an age which recognizes only money and numbers and has lost its soul

Hermann Hesse, The seasons of the soul

Thoughts out of season

But are they really?

I try to not comment on the black lives matter protests around the world not because they don’t concern me but the simply because the African American is far removed from my immediate environment and while I have read a bit on the matter, I wouldn’t claim to know enough to speak authoritatively on it. But I can comment on my fellow countrymen and women staging a BLM protest.

Now, if you are a visitor to this blog, just know I live somewhere in Africa and for those whose education isn’t good enough, africa can as well be a country but that is not important. What bothers me about these protests done in solidarity with AAs is that we need them daily in almost all African countries. Most governments treat us like dirt. And I can mention the many ways this happens but I don’t want to bore you.

So then to what I keep asking myself, what do my brothers intend to achieve? Could we first protest our governments failure to treat us with dignity? I mean given that we are all black and all plus we are not trying to drown ourselves in the Mediterranean? I think it is only when our governments treat us do we have some space to demonstrate with dignity about the case of the AAs or any other oppressed group like NAs.

Or maybe i miss the whole point?

Racism in the times of Covid19

There are reports coming out of China that there is xenophobia against Africans in many of its cities. The Chinese ambassador to Kenya claims those who were discriminated against were not observing social distancing rules & no Kenyan was involved. I am wondering if these racist officials were walking around determining who were Kenyans so they could treat them differently.

It’s not like the virus originated from our shores! With so many Chinese nationals everywhere in Africa, I think it is really stupid for states or provinces to allow racial profiling to go on, especially now.

The AU must demand that the Chinese government addresses this matter. African nations should also evacuate their nationals from China.

Such a strange world we live in!

In more interesting news, I have seen an article about a zonkey being birthed somewhere in Kenya. I think a zebra and a donkey decided to try it out.

I am an African and I am deeply insulted by this.

While reading the Unbelievable? by Justin, there was a reference to an article by Matthew Parris that appeared in the London Times of 27th December, 2008 titled as As_an_atheist_I_truly_believe_Africa_needs_God–Matthew_Parris(pdf). The colonisers when they first came to Africa felt the African needed to be civilized. They called it the white man’s burden. The first anthropologists wrote back home to say the African has no religion. Reason was made to belong to the whites and the African was a creature of emotion and it is this same source that this piece by Matthew grows.

He tells us

Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.

yeah. Africa does not need fair trade. It needs more religion. The same Christianity that smoothed the way for colonialism. If you needed the goodies, you became a Christian. In many African countries, the children of the chiefs were the first to join the missionaries. These became, with independence, the rulers. That Africa is where it is can be traced to these leaders who were first taught only basic education, again because the African was not a person of reason.

In Europe, the state is being pushed to provide healthcare because people are paying taxes. In Africa, we pay taxes and instead we should welcome more missionaries. So to Matthew, government action should not be demanded because the missionaries are already healing people. I am reminded that every time I see a place with more churches per capita than schools, there you will find dysfunction.

He says of his friends and missionaries he met

It would suit me to believe that their honesty, diligence and optimism in their work were unconnected with personal faith. Their work was secular, but surely affected by what they were. What they were was, in turn, influenced by a conception of man’s place in the Universe that Christianity had taught.

which would imply that had they not been Christian, they would be dishonest, lazy and pessimistic. What does this say of him? Or of other secularists and Muslims and Hindoos, heck and voo dooists?

To him, the African is tribal. He writes

I observe that tribal belief is no more peaceable than ours; and that it suppresses individuality. People think collectively; first in terms of the community, extended family and tribe.

but the European is just a member of the white race or a tribeless individual. The white man is just that. White! But the African he is tribal.

He tells us

Anxiety – fear of evil spirits, of ancestors, of nature and the wild, of a tribal hierarchy, of quite everyday things – strikes deep into the whole structure of rural African thought.

because the Christian does not have hell anxieties? Or temptation by the devil and evil spirit. Only the rural African is daunted by such thoughts. I am amazed at how many disciples Hegel has even without knowing it. To Matthew, the rural African lacks initiative. He just exists. He is not curious. And only the Christian missionary can arouse this curiosity. How novel!

He wrote

Christianity, post-Reformation and post-Luther, with its teaching of a direct, personal, two-way link between the individual and God, unmediated by the collective, and insubordinate to any other human being, smashes straight through the philosophical/spiritual framework I’ve just described. It offers something to hold on to those anxious to cast off a crushing tribal groupthink. That is why and how it liberates.

In short, the rural African without Christianity is enslaved. He is only subject to group-think. There is no individuality. This, according to Matthew, is only possible for the white man and his Christian religion.

He concludes

Those who want Africa to walk tall amid 21st-century global competition must not kid themselves that providing the material means or even the know how that accompanies what we call development will make the change. A whole belief system must first be supplanted.

and adds

And I’m afraid it has to be supplanted by another. Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.

Which implies that Africa does not fair trade, fair intellectual property agreements, technology transfer. Nothing. Just good old Christianity.

First, I wonder, with Okot p’Bitek

How could a religion that has little practical value and also seems in some ways to encourage asceticism provide a philosophy of life for living in the African world?

And secondly, Christianity & Islam already violently supplanted traditional African systems of belief and practice that had served the continent for hundreds of years before the christian missionary dreamed of African travel leaving the African confused and lost; not white, not black. He has a Sunday religion but nothing else. To Matthew, he needs no religion but with a condescending attitude things this what Africa needs. I am tired of these Hegelian disciples who can always find news ways to show their racism.

I am African and I am pissed off!

In Africa

I mean traditional African societies, a good man/ woman knows no rest even in death. The dead person’s spirit is expected to watch over the community and protect it from calamity.

And the bad man dies completely. Children don’t get their names. They don’t get invoked in times of calamity or joy. They die to the community.

In short, if you want to live long, be good. A good person is one who is useful to the community.

The climate of fear

By Wole Soyinka

Is such book that leaves one with tears, even those hard hearted fellows. I have read the first essay only to discover the French detonated an A bomb in Algeria in 1960!

And of UTA flight 772 bombing that was treated as a footnote compared to the Lockerbie bombing a year earlier.

If you add to this, the almost nuclear war during the Angolan self liberation struggle. There is really nothing to say. And that is a scary place. It is fear untold.

One should read this book. It’s a collection of five essays by the renown author on fear, human dignity- search for it- and all.

Do African countries like Nigeria have YouTube or internet?

I hope the person who asked this on Quora was joking.

In Africa we don’t have YouTube (what’s that even?) and internet? No. We use smoke signals and drums for faster communication. Where we need to send someone, we use horses at relay posts to deliver messages written on cow hides or frog skins because we still don’t know how to make paper.

As for music, we have market days where people come to perform and there is a person to select which songs will be played on each market day. A musician who gets selected to play frequently receives many likes, I mean thumbs up and is given kola nuts in appreciation. Those who get to play only a few times get sent to the dustbin of the clan history and may not be remembered unless someone does a cover for their songs.

Just to cover all other bases, we don’t have computers in Africa. The most advanced technology we have is Casio electronic calculators. I wanted to say we have only seen computers in movies bit figured this will lead to other questions like do we have movie theatres? or Cinemas. No and No. But we have those old projectors where a movie is screened on a white background and usually at night because we don’t have any buildings where such an event could take place.

The largest house here is like the one captioned below and only the chief and spiritual leader has such a house. The rest of us make do with tree canopies in inclement weather otherwise the sky is a good enough cover for us.

The largest house in Africa belonging to the chief and spiritual leader

Don’t be tempted to ask about whether we have aeroplanes, cars and trains. No. We don’t. We don’t need them. Our transport needs are very limited. The average African lives their entire lives within 3 miles of their birthplace and you don’t need any motorized transport for that, do you?

I hope you find this helpful. Should you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us in the feedback page or in the comments section.