Ok fine!!!! Afrikans were literate before colonialism, were highly educated, Afrikans even educated and trained people from other continents in astrology, engineering, science, medicine, architecture, hygiene, government, manufacturing and basically civilized other peoples from various parts of the world. This is something I do not belittle, having been told all my life how backwards and uncivilized and paganistic Afrikans were, having to be saved by the white man who came to rescue us out of our ‘state of ignorance and desperation’. It was a great and a terrible lie that was pushed on us and that they still try to perpetuate to this day. Ok, the so-called great Ancient Greek civilization may have stolen from us and built up their own name and brand based on information and knowledge gleaned from our shores and our lands. Ok, Europe, the US, the Middle East and the Far East grew rich and fat off the spoils of our land and still do, while wiping their bum-bums on our heads. Alright. So what?????? Yes, we built a very big wall in the Kingdom of Benin many years ago, taught the white man how to perform cesarean sections when they came to Uganda and we even fought their wars. As we say, “Ehe?” Meaning, in this context, “And so now?” (Pronounced Eh-heh?)
I sincerely, and with all my heart applaud the efforts of every single man, woman and child who has labored faithfully to resuscitate Afrika’s history and to share it with as many as they can. Painstakingly reconstructing details from the past that the colonizers were doing everything that they could to conceal in order to maintain a deception about the people of Afrika. Though this has resulted in versions of events that often seem bent on creating a whole new religion around the Afrikan reality that has the same flaws and challenges as any other religion that has existed. In that, these ‘divine melanated or carbonated beings’ are seemingly still unable to resolve most of the basic issues that the world is dealing with, including just the basics of loving one another as a people. Alternatively, we end up with a situation where every single Afrikan, or person of Afrikan descent is said to either be a king or queen or the descendant of one, while no one seems to remember that there were those who cooked the meals for the royal families or looked after their cattle. These claims are sometimes based on a longing for a great identity; a longing that comes from too many years of being told that one is unworthy, unable and descended from filth. It is a tool that has been used for dealing with an unfortunate low self-esteem, but often not helpful in actually facing the realities of the world around us today. And because it is a tool for hiding behind the tree of past glory, and not an instrument for constructing a new reality going forward, it has become a burden on the necks of every Afrikan, rather than an inspiration that spurs creativity and growth.
Before you get (too) angry with me, please understand where I am coming from. I reiterate that I am grateful to the scholars who would not believe that they were inferior to anyone on the basis of skin color; to those who defied the Darwinians’ claims that we were lacking in intellect or humanity (so that they could come and rob and kill us); and to those who dared to tell their children that they are here because they belong, and they can have a positive impact on society. All of these things are helpful in the liberation of the Afrikan mind that is so desperately needed so that we can look to the past with renewed understanding, to the present with confidence and hope, and – using wisdom, build a future from these fresh perspectives.
But that is where we seem to keep getting stuck. The building of the new thing that must be built in order for Afrika to take her place and shine. That is why I am asking, “so what?” So what if we had ancient calendars created in Afrika, so what if we were the cradle of humankind, so what if we had ancient cave art, so what if we had all these trans-continental trade routes and relationships and kings and queens and gold? So what? If the truth of our true identity does not birth new life and new reality for us, but leaves us stuck in the realm of complaints, claims of and aspirations to royalty, hatred for other races who perpetrated genocides and atrocities against us, a spirituality with tenets that many like to elevate and speak of, but not actually live out, and has many still attacking one another over issues that have no value in the long run… what difference does all of this supposedly important history of ours make? Tell me. Of what use really is the Afrikan history if it only serves as the ashes that remind us that one upon a time a fire burnt in our hearts for achieving great things? Of what use is the Afrikan history if all we have created out of it is some wayward pride and insensitivity to true issues, while making excuses to blame others for how badly they have treated the Afrikan people, and how their treatment is what is keeping Afrika down. The narrative should have moved past that by now. For, if truly every Afrikan is a descendant of kings, queens and great emperors as we like to claim, then the DNA of greatness and royalty must be in the blood of every Afrikan. Meaning, that the ability to build, create and sustain meaningful development should be in every Afrikan, just as it was with the ancient ones. But why are we not using these mighty gifts passed down to us?
Ohhhh but we built the pyramids and did such detailed artwork on the sarcophagi and we have a great connection to nature! I say again… Ehe? You want to turn the clock back and live in the days of the Pharaohs, or you want to deal with the realities that we are facing on the ground using the understanding and confidence of knowing that we are a people who have answers and solutions that can be applied here and now to liberate Afrika from a place of confusion, doubt and dual-natured reasoning? Confusion that leads to the combining of the desires of the former and neo-colonialists with the aspirations of our own hearts as a people, resulting in a weird culture that leaves Afrikans in limbo, waiting for someone to save them but never wanting to be the ones to step out. Or just killing the messenger when he comes. It is like we like engaging our vehicles in reverse gear while expecting to move forward. It is foolishness at best. How long shall we sit and stare at the scrolls of ancient Egypt? How long shall we tell ourselves about how intelligent the Dogons are and how skillful they were with the study of the stars? How long shall we sit under the moonlight wishing that one day an ancient one will suddenly appear from thin air like in Black Panther and show us magical ways to deal with the issues in Afrika?
Wisdom demands that we learn from what was, to apply it to what is and build what is to come. However, based on my observations, it seems there is both a romanticizing of what Afrika was and what Afrika will become, and no accurate vision of what must Afrika manifest now. It is tiring. Some of that has to do with stirrings of the imagination that were created by the realm that Marvel created with the kingdom of Wakanda in the Black Panther. Stirring up the imaginations of the Afrikan people with the possibility that there is a realm from which we draw our powers that makes us stronger and better than the rest of the world, and that we shall arise from the place where the world has disregarded us to show them what we are made of. Then we shall get a seat at the table at last!
While it is true that Afrika is made for greater than she has so far ever brought forth from her womb, I also know that this greater has to be brought forth in the middle of all of the madness and insanity that is unfolding in the world around us. I also know that it is not a romantic, idealistic snapping of the fingers that will cause the reality to manifest, but a work of mindset shifts, heart-level commitments and a rolling up of sleeves to push forth what must come forth. Giving birth to something new is a sweaty, slimy, messy, and bloody experience, but it is definitely worth it. But I am concerned that many of my Afrikan brothers and sisters are allowing themselves to wallow for too long in the memories of the past, and the longings for a future that cannot be, unless they actually participate in it. Even if it is the golden crowns and the titles that they are looking for.
So, we end up with too many spectators for activities that require more participants than they do observers. You tell me how we will transform the areas of agriculture, medicine, business, technology, finance, government, sports, culture, music, the arts, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, international relations, with everyone opting to sit and observe and critique from the sidelines? The thought came to me earlier, which prompted this article, that nothing gets done by people merely standing by and looking. I can tell you that the majority of people are so caught up in trying to get by each day that they have been relegated to the realm of observation. This stuckness is happening simply because they choose to remain in tune with the rhythm of the world, instead of breaking away from it. And so, they remain swaying to the rhythm, observing those who dare step out, maybe even desiring to participate, but resort to critiquing, and never acting. There is a very genuine fear in choosing to come out of the thinking patterns and habits of the world – but the rewards of this are endless. For one, you become an active participant. That alone is huge!
That Afrika’s landmass is as huge as we have understood it to be in recent years, encompassing the physical landmasses of many of the world’s largest economies should tell you just how much needs to be done in order for us to make headway against some of the things that are working against us. The time for talk is over, and the propensity for it must be cast off, if we are ever to move forward from the wallowing to the doing of things.
In very practical terms, in order for people to be aware that modern cancer treatments are destructive to the human body and that there are alternatives that do not have the nasty side effects that many of these medications do, someone has to invest in educating the people. Someone also has to invest in researching and developing the herbal cures that are beneficial to the treatment of cancer without turning people into shells of themselves.
In order for UPOV to be overturned in Afrikan countries and for legislation to be reversed in those countries that had signed up to the treaty, thereby condemning their own people to prison terms simply for selling seed that someone else claims title to yet did not create – someone has to step forward and let people know of the existence of this legislation. Someone has to advocate for this legislation to change. Someone has to sponsor a bill; someone has to speak up! Someone has to do their job in parliament to push for policies that really work to bring such bills that are beneficial to our people. We simply have too much of idealistic people wishing for things to magically happen, while we lack realists who are willing to get their hands dirty to change Afrika.
In order for people to stop poisoning food with toxic chemicals that lead to cases of cancer, someone has to educate the farmers and let them know that they were tricked into becoming murderers of their own brothers and sisters. Someone has to let the government know what the side effects are, and someone has to advocate for those chemicals to be de-licensed and rejected from use in those specific countries. And someone has to be ready to help empower a generation of farmers to return to simpler, cleaner, healthier ways. And that someone can be you reading this article.
The same is true for dangerous food production, which results in products that are causing more harm than good, the same for toxic factories which are polluting our air and water, the same for toxic construction practices, which are endangering river and sea life, the same for toxic education curricula which are rotting the minds of the next generation… and on and on.
This is the rolling up of the sleeves, this is the unromantic side of change. This is where the work is. And it is work that is going to be carried out in an environment where some do not want the status quo to change, because changing it means that they are out of money from bribes, they are out of money from sale of toxic goods, that they have to invest more in safe production measures, that they have to change their own mindsets and to face the fact that they have been profiteering off of evil. In some cases, it means that those who do not want change have to face off against evil globalists and globalist organizations that are threatening their lives, those of their family members or even their livelihoods because they could not deliver their country to the table of corruption.
So, while it is useful to remember that Mekatilili wa Menza faced off against the evil British colonial oppressor and even slapped one of them, shocking his socks off, it is more helpful to remember that her act of courage empowered her people with the courage to resist. That she faced consequences for her choices and was imprisoned for her decisions to act; and that she never backed down. To understand that this mindset is what is required now for our own liberty, for it is the mindset that refuses to comply with the rhythm of slavery and oppression and chooses, instead, a very different drumbeat of life. Otherwise, even though she did her part in her day, her life and example are worthless to our present-day realities if we do not examine them from the lens of today’s need. We cannot continue to disappoint those whose lives created the very Afrikan greatness and history we are so obsessed with now.
And so it is with the story of every single Afrikan hero that we like to revere, Sankara, Lumumba, Nyerere, you name them. If we do not learn what is useful for us today, for our lives and realities now – then it is a waste of time to admire them, for you might as well be looking at a photograph in a museum, as opposed to a life and an example of courage and daring as a source of inspiration for living.
That is why I ask, so what? Because even if the Dogon spotted a star that the Europeans had not spotted, or Mansa Musa was richer than Bill Gates or Elon Musk, or Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt or the oldest universities are located in Afrika – all that is useless noise and worthless information if it does not spur us to action. They might as well be actors and props in a piece of fiction that Marvel created for all the value that we are failing to extract from their great examples – or from the knowledge that we too are capable of great things.
Away with the romantic notion that great men and women of the past never broke into a sweat or never labored or toiled in order to attain and maintain what achievements they acquired. There is no snapping of fingers here. Their greatness is celebrated and to be celebrated because they fought back against injustice at great risk to their own personal safety, not so that they could be crowned heroes, but so that they could liberate their people and set them free from harm. They are honored because of their wisdom, their savvy, their courage, not their permanent observer status in a world where people like to watch, and judge, and critique.
I say this because 2022 is upon us and there is much work to be done by every single Afrikan, wherever you may be, whatever challenge you may be facing. I know that we are more than our oppressors and their puppets and that in each and every single area of need, if we work together, we can actually make the difference that we need to see… but we have to do the work, not stand around and daydream about the possibilities.
It is very clear to us here at Msingi that most of the population of the world are living their lives not conscious of the fact that, most of the choices and decisions they make daily are what the globalist actually programmed them to make through their various avenues of manipulation. And that is why we have been deliberate about the content we share here in this magazine and in our videos. We cannot be those people who put their heads below their pillows, doing nothing contrary to the globalist system, just so they can keep themselves safe, while the entire Afrikan way of life is been eroded by the corruption and waywardness of the West.
Now is the time for us to put muscle to lever, and push as hard as we can to regain ground lost, to rebuild what is broken, and to build what new things are needed for the next generation to come and add on to.
Let us build the future. Together.
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Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine and the host of Msingi Afrika Television. Her hope is to see the Truth shared, with all who will listen, for the transformation of the people and the continent of Afrika - and the world. She believes passionately in the critical role that Afrika and Afrikans have to play on earth right now and hopes to ignite the spark that will cause them to see and believe who they are, so that they can live out their Truest lives for the remainder of their days.