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We continue to be anglicised bastards

26 May 2019 at 13:36hrs | Views
There is a hauntingly true African proverb that claims that unless the lion learns how to write, every story will always glorify the hunter.

here is a hauntingly true African proverb that claims that unless the lion learns how to write, every story will always glorify the hunter.

Simply put, it means that those who can read, write and effectively communicate their viewpoints can peremptorily shape and own the narrative.

It is their story that is most likely to be believed.

By default, their viewpoints essentially become the worldview.

Impliedly, this also means those who do not read cannot be different from those who can't read; those who do not write cannot be distinguished from those who can't write; and people who do not communicate cannot be different from those who can't communicate.

Bishop Lazi would like to think that although we commemorated 56 years since founding the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – now the African Union (AU) – yesterday, the story of Africa has not been told as yet. In fact, it has not begun to be told.

 Curse of the Blackman

One of the questions the Bishop always faces time and again from his congregants – and which he almost always grapples with – is whether Africa and Africans are a cursed lot.

Or, as Kenyan professor Patrick Lumumba often asks, if Africans are children of a lesser God.

Those who have conveniently appropriated the narrative, particularly the white man, have been telling us over the centuries that this is so.

They even quote Genesis 9:25, which has come to the known as the Curse of Ham.

For the uninitiated, they would have to read Genesis 9:20-27 to better understand the story.

Well, it is a simple story about a drunken Noah – yes, that chap that built the Ark and saved humanity from God's wrath, which manifested through a deluge.

One day, after partaking the brew, the worse for wear Noah stumbled into his tent and passed out while undressed.

When one of his sons, Ham, peeped into the tent, he saw his undressed father.

Ham subsequently tells his brothers Shem and Japheth to cover his modesty, but without gazing at him, and they duly complied.

However, when the drunken elder came to and learnt what had happened, he inexplicably cursed Ham's son, Canaan.

Genesis 9 verse 25 reads thus: "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall be unto his brethren."

And for centuries, the black man has been told that he is a descendent of the cursed Canaan, and his diabolic circumstances are as fate would have it.

Indeed, it might sound, feel and look true, considering that begriming poverty emblazons the continent from Cape to Cairo.

Everywhere and anywhere across the world, the African is a poster boy of dirt-poor poverty.

Yes, you throw a stone anywhere in Africa, you are likely to hit a broke-ass lad.

The Curse of Ham, they would call.

However, the less religious often tell the black man that he is an inferior species and, therefore, inherently incapable of managing his own affairs, which is the major reason for the failure of the African nation-state.

Bishop Lazi thinks that if you are one of those imbeciles who cant or doesn't read, you are likely to swallow this claptrap hook, line and sinker.

Crime Scene

Well, folks, this continent is a gigantic crime scene of the most egregious heist ever to be visited on humanity.

Research from various scholars tells us that ever since some Portuguese criminals kidnapped two African chaps taking a stroll down the West African coast in 1441 to sell them as property in far away lands, the continent has never been the same again.

It heralded the beginning of 500 years of unremitting theft by the white man.

They stole everything and anything: silver, gold and – most absurdly – people.

Extensive research by Professor Nathan Nunn, a Canadian economist and Professor of economics at Harvard – who examined data from 34 584 slave ships – indicates that more than 12 million Africans were sold off to the Caribbean, Americas and the Middle East to supply labour that built Western capital.

Yes, dear reader, the figure also includes 1 089 Zimbabweans – 554 who were lost through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and 536 who were frogmarched through the Indian Ocean.

The White House, from where Trump continues to happily sign off an oppressive regime of sanctions, was even built by slave labour.

However, the figures don't include our kinsmen who were tossed off slave ships like rotten tomatoes into the oceans purportedly because they could not make it through their ill-fated journey; most often through ill-health.

But so frenetic was this criminal enterprise that Dr Patrick Manning, an American scholar and specialist in world history, observed that by 1850 Africa's population was only half of what it would have been had the slave trade not taken place.

But what really is Bishop Lazi driving at?

Well, Prof Nunn's research pointedly concludes that the poorest countries on the continent today are coincidentally those that were affected by the slave trade the most.

Another American scholar on international politics, Jeffrey Herbst, also observed the same trend.

"Poor economic performance is as a result of post-colonial state failure, the roots of which lie in the underdevelopment and instability of pre-colonial polities," he said.

No sooner had the slave trade ended in 1838 than another form of slavery was re-invented on the already weakened continent through colonisation, which wrecked Africa in the 109 years from 1885 through to the independence of South Africa in 1994 – barely 25 years ago.

You see, colonialism was slave trade that had gone to private school, and this time it mutated into "forced labour" in mines, farms and households.

So brazen was the looting that in 1894 we even had a company called Matabeleland Loot Rights on the then Salisbury Stock Exchange.


Bishop Lazarus feels that as we celebrate the continent, we still have much to do.

With each new generation the grim history of 600 years of industrial-scale theft perpetrated on Africa continue to fade away because we don't read it, write it and communicate it in our schools.

Talk of reparations has sadly died and is now considered idealistic.

Our inherited educational and academic institutions continue to produce anglicised blackman, as author Tsitsi Dangarembga would call it in her book Nervous Conditions.

So, unsurprisingly, we have an intelligentsia whose only claim to lofty scholarship is either the ability to speak the Queen's language through the nose like Chamisa's spokesperson Dr Nkululeko Sibanda or string a few rhyming idioms like his boss.

They appallingly fall short of solving the greatest innovative, industrial or scientific questions of the day.

Equally sad, the stories, sacrifices and histories of our luminaries like Kwame Nkurumah, Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda and Agostinho Neto continue to fade with each new generation.

And the stories of Dumiso Dabengwa – may his soul rest in peace – remain untold.

This is simply because the African lions are not reading, writing and telling their stories as they should be.

We need to collectively declare an all-out war on poverty through industrialisation, innovation and modernisation.

Africa has to rise!

Bishop out.

Source - sundaynews
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