A father said to his daughter, who had asked him what her inheritance from him would be, “Oh! For you? Maybe we can find some chickens,” trying to make light of a very serious position he was declaring to her. For this man, a daughter did not belong in her family of birth, she was already gone, given in marriage, even if she was as yet unmarried. Hers was not to remain to claim any portion of the land she was born into. Her husband, and the land she would marry into, were to take care of her. The father’s land was, therefore, for his sons.
Not every Afrikan father thinks this way. I know of one who has chosen for his sons-in-law to receive gifts of land from his hand, alongside his sons, where they can settle with his daughters, and another who moved every obstacle out of the way, in order to ensure that his daughter inherited land from him. I have, however, seen the attitude of the first father in the hearts of government officials, who deal harshly with women from their lands who dare dream of settling there with their husbands.
However, this article is about more than land inheritance for women or men in Afrika. It is about the place and the position of every Afrikan citizen in their own continent – or rather, the spiritual, cultural and physical internal displacement of every Afrikan citizen from their true birthright in the land of Afrika. For, in today’s Afrika, governments have taken a position towards their citizens that seems to state, “If you can afford to buy land, you can own it, and hand it down to your generations; but it largely remains ours, and, if we choose to, we will reclaim the land, dispossess you and your families, and ‘compensate’ you at a value of our choosing.” In short, you have no physical inheritance in your land. You serve at the pleasure of the government.
This was not always the case. Historically, land in Afrika was a communal asset that was used for the benefit of the people, and not this lower version of privately-owned property. These words, attributed to a Nigerian chief, help to clarify the philosophical, social and cultural mindset of the real Afrikan, “I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn.”
This communicates the clear understanding that, when one was born, one found the land here, and, when one departed, one would leave the land here, and even become a part of it. Therefore, while they lived, they held it as a temporary custodian, preserving and protecting the past, present and future on behalf of others. How then could one claim ownership of something that one had no part in creating, and which, at the end of time, would eventually end up reclaiming one’s physical shell? As was discovered by the British colonialists, and as was expressed to Hailey’s Land Tenure Advisory Panel circa 1945-1951, “Land to the African is not what it is to the European: a possession, a source of wealth, an economic asset or an object of investment . . . land to the African is the very source and basis of the life and existence of his family or tribe, and is something more personal and fundamental to him, and of almost literally mystical significance.”
This is the reality that the greedy and selfish colonizer found on the ground when they first came to Afrika, and they, being of different mind, as illustrated in the quote, inserted themselves and their perspectives into the continent, and imposed their ways upon the people of Afrika, as well as our lands. Giving no regard to context, because, obviously, their intentions were domination and overthrow, for the long haul, and not integration and cohesion. Their intention was to do to Afrika what the British did to America and Australia. A complete and total takeover of the ‘new lands’ they had ‘discovered’, and a total encroachment of these lands for all time to come. And their intentions have never changed. They still see it as a right for them to finish what they started. That is why they have not backed off from interference with the continent of Afrika, and that is why they continue to work to undermine anything that is Afrikan and good, to prevent a true Afrika from really taking root again.
A 1454 Papal bull titled Romanus Pontifex sanctified “the seizure of non-Christian lands in parts of Africa” and restated “the legitimacy of enslaving non-Christian people.” This bull, and several others, gave justification to the Europeans to travel to distant lands across the world, and to dispossess ‘non-Christians’ of their wealth. The bulls led to the creation of what is called The Doctrine of Discovery. According to Wikipedia, “The discovery doctrine, also called doctrine of discovery, is a concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, most notably Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. Chief Justice John Marshall explained and applied the way that colonial powers laid claim to lands belonging to foreign sovereign nations during the Age of Discovery. Under it, European Christian governments could lay title to non-European Christian territory on the basis that the colonizers traveled and discovered said territory, as long as other Christians had not yet laid claim to them. The doctrine has been primarily used to support decisions invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in favor of modern governments, such as in the 2005 case of Sherrill v. Oneida Nation.” This is the brutal adult equivalent of that childhood game we used to call “Mine.” In this game, children would be seated, or walking by a road, or shops, and would shout the word, “Mine!” to claim the items that pleased their eyes: the best car driving past, the best garment in a shop, the best gadget on display. They had to do it faster than their peers in order for the ‘claim’ to be valid and duly ‘assigned’ to them. That claim would then afford them points, and some kind of approval and ranking, eventually allowing them to ‘win’ the game. That is what the Vatican and the European governments gave their assent to, using science (evil evolutionary theories), religious ‘authority’ via the various Papal bulls, and legal say-so via the Doctrine of Discovery as justification to dehumanize and dispossess indigenous peoples, the world over. These bulls have not been formally revoked by the Vatican, only claimed to have been abrogated by subsequent bulls.
It is in this vein that the colonizer descended on Afrika, and it is this same poison with which they infected some Afrikans, so that, at faux-independence, instead of the Afrikan rulers of the ‘new nations’ finally restoring order to the land issue, which original order they would have been aware of at that time, and which Afrikan liberation movements had as one of their goals, they, rather, betrayed all their people. At this pretend independence, many a heart of an independence fighter was broken when, instead of gaining back what had been lost, they instead were faced with a real life ‘Animal Farm’ effect… where their new ‘leaders’ turned into the very form of the colonizers, using the very same system that had been created by the Europeans to imprison and oppress the Afrikans, to continue to imprison them. At the same time, the ‘new’ Afrikan governments gave authorization for European settlers to remain, holding huge tracts of land in their ‘former’ colonies, while Afrikan ‘leaders’ claimed for themselves, and their cronies, massive pieces of land all across their countries. By so-doing the hopes of the nations were dashed, as they were subjected to new land laws and regulations that snatched the very victory they thought they had won out of their grasp, and placed it so far out of reach that the only way to access their inheritances was to pay for them – even going into debt to pay the former colonizers for property that was rightfully theirs.
And so, death spread across the land. A death to a rich history, culture and way of life, a death to valuing people over land, a death to a liberty and simplicity of spirit that underpinned the values of Ubuntu, family, love and brotherhood. A death to community, and the inter-generational preservation of one another. And land became a personal possession – and, it seemed, Afrika became demonically possessed by it: Brother fighting brother or sister to claim a piece of the earth that no one can every truly claim ownership of, because they found it here, they leave it here, and they are returned to it – even if they try to hide behind fancy coffins and graves; Politicians using land for personal benefit and gain, rich and advantaged people trading in it and with it in order to claim more for themselves; People murdering each other or committing fraud in order to acquire it… And soon, the devilish European ‘game’ of “Mine!” was firmly entrenched in the continent, and laws were created to preserve the demonic possession of people by the land, and land by some of the people. And, as more and more Afrikans were forced into urban areas, and as nations continue to date to embrace the idea of urban high rise residential and office buildings in order to ‘save’ space, the land is left to speculators to trade with, or commercial farmers to poison using their agrochemicals and culturally disconnected capitalistic farming practices that – again – benefit just a few. And the many are cast aside from the land yet again. To the point where there are those who cannot even fathom what an interaction with the land looks like.
So, in a continent that is well able to provide access to land to all of its people, abundantly, and to restore a direct connection to the earth itself, a terrible mindset has been infused, for generations, in the people of Afrika. A mindset that convinces each individual that they must have property for THEMSELVES, and that what is available IS NOT ENOUGH to go around, and that they must serve THEIR OWN INTERESTS NOW or else LOSE OUT. This evil and greedy spirit from the Europeans, and even the Arabs who dominated the East Coast of Afrika, sank its claws and fangs into the governing systems of nations across the continent and is still sucking the life out of her. Now, there are descendants of colonialists holding up to 100,000 acres in former colonies, which they use to continue to extract economic benefit from, while the indigenes continue on as their servants and slaves. Worse yet, there are individuals calling themselves Afrikan, holding up to 500,000 acres of land, while their brothers and sisters are homeless and landless. And these individuals will give no thought to the homeless and landless, nor to the fact that not only did they illegally and selfishly acquire this land, but that they acquired it directly against the objectives of the struggle for independence. Not only that but there is no way they will truly be able to put full use to these vast tracts of land, while others, if given free access to it, could, at the very minimum, eke out a dignified living on this same land, and from that balance in the community could once more be restored.
But, if a government has decided that its people must pay in order to access land, and then pay in order to retain it via rates, rents and taxes, as opposed to taking a completely different view, culturally and philosophically, then you end up with the chaos and confusion that you see around the world. Where, as an example, Bill Gates is now the largest farmland owner in America, with 242,000 acres of land. I leave it to you to find out why a tech mogul is buying up so much farmland… but you can be sure it is not for the welfare of the community. This kind of confusion is of the making of the Capitalist system, and is so far removed from humanity, compassion, love and brotherhood that ne’er the twain shall meet. Land transactions in Afrika provide governments with an opportunity to make money from the transacting parties, at various levels, especially those that go on under the table. Because a title deed has become such a sought-after prize that individuals are willing to do literally anything to get their hands on land. No matter the consequences.
But, if instead, a government chooses that its people must have dignity, and a reliable and safe livelihood, over everything else, then its approach to the land issue, and indeed, to all other issues, will be completely different from what is currently seen on the ground in Afrika, and anywhere else in the world. Governments act as if compassion, love, kindness and brotherhood ought to be kept completely separate from their work as administrators, often treating the citizens of their countries as though they are subject to their every whim and dictate. These governments act egoistically, believing (to their own destruction) and portraying the lie that the government knows best, and, therefore, whatever they say goes. No matter the consequence on the society as a whole. They have turned their employers (the citizens) into numbers in a system, who they claim to view impartially. By so-doing, they are effectively dehumanizing both the citizenry and themselves. Because, in truth, a citizen will never be just a number in a system. They are people, and people are beautifully interwoven lives, which contain complex series of stories, experiences, networks, cultures, histories, memories, interactions and relationships – even with those who work in government. They are the very fabric upon which the government rests, and from which it gains its power to make decisions, legitimacy to even exist, and its purpose for existence.
But governments have chosen to disenfranchise millions, or even tens of millions of people, opting to control them like pigs in pens, and to disinherit them from their multifaceted histories and historical connections. It is immoral, indecent, and an illegitimate use of power; and it is also a culmination of the work that was started by the hands of the European colonizers, and continued by the hands of the European neo-colonizers, working through their Afrikan puppets. It is a plan that plays straight into the hands of the globalists, who now seek to establish stakeholder capitalism and disenfranchise the whole world, for the sake of a few. And, if Afrikans continue to play their game, instead of choosing a brave new path, it is a plan that will take hold with ease, and the entire prison system that they have sought to put in place, will be fully established.
I say ‘if Afrikans continue to play their game’ – not Afrikan governments – because the responsibility for pushback against government overreach rests in the hands of the individuals who are the end objective of government and globalist attempts to control them.
The concept of refugees, internally displaced persons, homeless people is absolutely contrary to the real identity of Afrika, or Alkebulan, which both make reference to her role of motherhood as the womb of life and spirit. Wombs are designed for nurture, protection and incubation of life – not its rejection or destruction. The continent of Afrika has abundant supply for her children, and, with wisdom well applied, has abundant supply for those who need Afrika’s help. This is no lie. The great robbery that the Europeans (Americans included), Arabs and Chinese committed and commit against Afrika was never needful. What was, and is, needful was, and is, engagement with the continent of Afrika, as brothers indeed, for support and cooperation to take place between Afrika and the peoples across the oceans. Not murder, genocide, robbery, trickery, rape, slavery and oppression.
The decision to conveniently label Afrikans as monkeys, and therefore uncivilized non-people, or to call them pagans and unbelievers, and to use these lies as a justification to kill, steal and destroy was a devious as it was foolish.
Which means any effort by Afrikans to keep in place the murderous agendas of the Eurasians will continue to keep us in a maelstrom of futility and death. A condition utterly contrary to the life that we represent as a continent.
Again, this is more than an article about land inheritance for the peoples of Afrika. And, even while each child of Afrika should have access to the land for its productive use for the benefit of all… more than anything, each child of Afrika must have access to their true inheritance of life and spirit that will enable them to understand who Afrika is, and what she represents to her children and the rest of the world. That way, we can raise and sustain generations of those who know their true purpose and destiny and who create communities that thrive based on this, and who raise generations with the same heart and mindset.
This level of access means that a total and complete stripping away of the destructive ways that were introduced, and their replacement with life-giving norms and cultures that resonate with love, brotherhood and Ubuntu must be our new fight for true independence. Meaning that until we deal with the corruption that was introduced by Europeans when they came to our continent, real independence will never really be achieved. We remain, currently, imprisoned by chains and bars of futility that are fixated on the acquisition of wealth and things and status, as opposed to being consumed with strengthening each other, supporting those in need and pushing together towards a future that is filled with light, hope and peace. We must change ourselves first if really we want change in our continent. There is no other way to do it.
Greed is a killer
The heart that says “it’s me, myself and I alone” is nothing but evil and should be done away with. For greed, like every of its evil cousins, will lead to the death of those who are caught up by it. It is unfortunate that, while it was the Europeans that brought this evil of greed for land and material possessions, right now, Afrikans themselves seem to be those who are now deeply sucked into this dark hole. But we definitely cannot continue like this. It benefits us not to persist in the ways of the ones who seek nothing but death. We must source the true wellspring of life if Afrika is to thrive again.
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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.