One of the most challenging experiences a Nigerian [or other African nationals] in Diaspora will ever face is encountered within the paradox of deciding either remaining in a foreign land permanently or going back home for good. Continue reading
Response: Culture is Not Costume: Why Non-Africans Should Not Wear African Clothing http://www.mycoloures.com/2014/10/culture-is-not-costume-why-non-africans.html?m=1
Nneka Okona’s piece on the “wrongful appropriation” of female African dress is an interesting, challenging and well-written read but has a misplaced tone to it. The piece pleads for the Nigerian dress / attire for women to be worn exclusively by Nigerian females because non-Nigerian ladies merely fetishise something dear, central and cultural to Nigerians and the authenticity of their lifestyles. Continue reading
If a leader or intellectual is not articulating the values and necessities of robust human pride to his people, he or she is a dangerous traitor unworthy of the position – Guynes
The ontology of the African unfortunately involves ‘senseless play’ to perpetuate it as derisory, and it is becoming more visible due to social media; it has always been that way. The upliftment of the African people is what is necessary for our ontology not play. The instrumental aspects of the social organisation of things get works done while ceremonial aspects embellish what is available. For a society to work well, the instrumental aspects should supersede the ceremonial ones. When the reverse is the case conspicuous ceremony become a prime societal goal in itself. The ceremonial can be solemn, but it is mostly dominated by play.
‘Mandelaland’, the land of Nelson Mandela, a Xhosa, is the Republic of South Africa. Mandeland is very far from being Mandela-like in any conception whatsoever. The experience of non-South African Africans in Mandelaland since the fall of Apartheid has been economically rewarding for most but also dangerous for most. The recent violence by South African Blacks against foreign Blacks is a gaping chink in Mandela’s overly “canonised” image. Continue reading
There are four ontologies / epistemologies by which research in the academy is undertaken and also put into practice in the real world. There is a lot of rhetoric about them but I tend to see methodology and practice through the lens of a person whose most loved one (a parent, sibling, cousin, spouse, sweetheart, friend or business partner) is suddenly rushed to hospital in a critical medical emergency condition and has to make important decisions based on the findings or assessments of a surgeon or physician. Continue reading
‘Patriotism of the stomach’ is much more pitiable than it sounds. Patriotism, even in moderate forms, is a thoroughly virtuous state of being to adopt underpinned by loyalty, commitment, support and above all selflessness in support and defence of one’s country. In Africa, it is the reverse, with rare exceptions. Patriotism is the adherence to national interests, not personal or crony interests. Unfortunately, the most’ patriotic African’ (as is locally regarded) is the one who intends to or actually (a) steals the most, (b) profits the most or (c) defends the banditry and profiteering of others the most, from and the at the expense of his or her country. The ‘patriotic African’ is vicious, not virtuous. How can a positive ontology of the African come out of such a bifurcated internal conflict? An ontology of patriotism based on ‘the sharp’ dispossessing of the state and citizens of their wealth has too many horrendous implications.
The ontology of the African is an emergent creature of exploitation, historical and contemporary. It started with slavery and colonisation. The late Dr Abdul Rahim Tajudeen, former head of the Pan-African Movement, was a fierce opponent of do-gooding foreign aid and charity. To him, when the African adopts the attitudes of the non-African towards the exploitation of Africa and its peoples, it necessarily creates serious concern. What disturbed Dr Tajudeen most was the contemptuous and cynical “image of Africa” exploited by non-African NGOs to raise money in non-African societies. These images of Africa were also used by African governments to secure odious loans by way of “begging bowl politics.” One thing that disgusted him was the regular incidences of immunisation aid projects used as “human experiment labs” on African peoples. How about the fictitious characterisations of Africa with terms like “mineral curse” and “neo-patrimonial state”? Imagine “poverty tourism” which is on the rise today whereby non-Africans visit African slums to “enjoy the observable pleasures of the African in suffering”; sheer Schadenfreude! With such an ontology, should it be shocking if the is asked, “Are Africans also human beings?” Dr Tajudeen was justifiably angry.
Can Africans in power ever get it right? They can but choose not to for reasons of venality and mediocrity and sometimes sheer stupidity.
I concur with the fact that resorting to insulting a President or anyone for that matter via social media, especially cheaply is an incorrigible practice. But what happens when a president brings untold shame and embarrassment on his people? Insults are still inappropriate but proper critique necessary. The #BringBackJonathan2015 hashtags is an exercise in the most extreme of follies. It is a classic if not memorable contribution to the derisory ontology of the African. Continue reading
The claim to being knowledgeable and intelligent as well as acting in denial of knowledge and intelligence, simultaneously, is as Antinomy of an unusual kind. Knowledge is power only when it is usefully and unarguably applied. Is knowledge power to the African? The mental dynamic of the derisory ontology of the African is a perhaps fortuitous acceptance or nefarious imposition of an irrepressible “Antinomy”. Simply put, it is the acceptance of the African that the non-African has done better in and for the world and can only bring about more good. Such is twinned with the recognition that Africans have done very well in and for the world and can only do worse or nothing. It is a self-defeating belief that some gifted Africans “transcend” by way denial and demonstrating their exceptionality and ‘non-Africanness’. The contemporaneity of this Antinomy is neither extreme nor false. Africa’s past glories and excellence are as relevant as the one-time vivacious Mongol Empire is to the present-day Ulan Bator. Let us stick with today.
The African leader like the African he rules has a derisory ontology. With billions of dollars stashed away in foreign accounts, endless terms in office and the excessive paraphernalia of power, these have become the identifiers of the African leader. The one destined lead African nations seem unable to escape it, either by choice or curse. From a people do their leaders emerge; they are no different from their compatriots except by rank and vocation. At least they look African, which is part of their ontology. No one cares where an African leader got his education, his tenures in office, her family background or his religion except for a few. No one cares about his ideology or philosophy. That is how derisory the ontology of the African leader is. He is nothing to anyone, but those he represents and whose stomach he fills. For most of these leaders, their citizens are utterly ashamed of them.
The derisory ontology of the African has not gone unchallenged. At the forefront, intellectuals, civil society leaders, freedom fighters, artists, activists, missionaries and politicians of African descent have chosen innumerable paths and approaches to reverse or negate the derisory ontology of the African to produce a more if not thoroughly positive one. Students, synonymous with youth, appear to be the engaging group of Africans most willing, able, qualified and equipped to challenge the African ontology in the mainstream. How are these young students and scholars faring?
Looking at the African, Afro-Caribbean and African-American experience, the historic protesters against derisory African otology in its political, economic and social forms were mostly under-40s (or peaked before 40). These men and women embraced the dreadful state of the ontology of the African with hope, intelligence, intellectualism, faith, dynamism, courage, martyrdom, idealism and realism. They were all willing to pay the price for challenging White Supremacy, White Colonialism and White exploitation which was often violent and painful death.