Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds (Marcus Garvey*)
In line with the theme “Afreeka is the wealthiest, Afreekans are the poorest,” I think that the problems that the African people have is mental slavery, just as Garvey put it many years ago. This has been brought about by years of condemnation and deliberate lies, that have affected our self respect and self confidence. Our history has been deliberately changed, so that it may be seen as if the African knew nothing, before the white man came. Once we change our mode of thought, then everything else is bound to change.
Unfortunately, our education system does nothing to change this, it in fact entrenches it in to the minds of young Africans, and hence making the process of mental emancipation very very difficult.
Some of the things that I have over time come to be aware of over time, and have really captured my attention and interest have been:
Hunger is synonymous with Africa. Every year, hundreds of Africans die of hunger, and thousands suffer from malnutrition. But what is interesting is that Africa can more than sufficiently feed itself. Numerous studies have shown that Zaire(DRC,) Zambia and Zimbabwe can comfortably, safely and strategically feed the whole of Africa and beyond. By comfortably I mean that the Zambians will continue mining copper, exporting cash crops and doing all the other things that they are doing today. By safely I mean, the farmers will continue using the normal seeds and natural manure, without involving GMOs and heavy fertilizer. By strategically I mean, the cost of transporting the food to the whole of Africa will be low, since these countries are positioned somewhere in the middle of the continent.
But the question is, what is it that prevents us from making use of the 3Zs? And the simple answers are the artificial boundaries that were erected by the colonialists over a hundred years ago. The other factor is the imperialist involvement in these three countries.
Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, Africa can feed itself, only if we unite, and after we kick the imperialists out.
The Congo River
The Congo river is a massive river, deep in the DRC, that towards the end pours into the Atlantic, and interestingly divides two capital cities of two different countries, Kinshasa and Brazaville.
Africa is known to have a big big energy problem. There are constant electricity shortages from Jo’burg to Nairobi, from Addis to Dakar and all over Africa.
Again, numerous studies have shown that the Congo River alone can generate electricity for every household in Africa and beyond. This can be done cheaply, strategically and with almost absolute environmental safety.
Unfortunately, this cannot be done, because of the imperialist interests, who have managed to destabilize DRC since 1962, and are currently harvesting timber, mining the rare minerals from that rich country. And that is why we must honor those who over the years have tried to liberate DRC, from the days of Che Guevara and the Cubans and Nyerere, to the days of Mugabe.
Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, and save the Congo before they milk it off completely.
The size of Africa
We all know the USA, the superpower of the world, let us picture it in our minds, let’s picture China, that big, populous and emerging economic superpower. Let’s take India, with a population of over one billion people and finally take Europe (without Russia, of course.)
What most people do not know is that Africa is bigger than USA, Europe, China and India combined.(you can even include more countries of you remove the territorial waters.)
But the world map is intentionally drawn to make Africa appear small, so that Africans will not have a “big continent mentality.” In earlier maps, the error was genuine, but since the discovery of the error many years ago, the maps have never been changed.
Given that kids learn maps at a relatively early age, these diagrams stick to their heads, and denies them the confidence that comes with “bigness.” The effects are so deep, that even an adult who is hearing this for the first time will dismiss it as a big lie.
I would also like to relate this to population.
Africans are always told that they are too many, and the must bring control their population growth. That is not true, Africa is the most under populated continent in the world, vis a vis its size. According to the recent census result, USA, whose size is 9.6 million sqkms, has a population that is approaching half-a-billion, while Africa, which is more than three times the size of USA (and with a bigger percentage of habitable land), has a population of just under a billion. Yet we never hear of population control in America.
Some people will argue that the African governments cannot handle the ever increasing population, so we must control our productivity. This is a very dangerous way of reasoning, what needs to change are our incompetent governments, not our sex lives. (It is like the police telling us not to use a certain street, because it has many thieves,,,,,,,,,,,,,it is the thieves who should be removed from that street and not vice versa!)
But could there be a hidden agenda? Especially given that Africa is the continent of the future? We all know what they did with the red Indians in the Americas, and thanks to their syphilis, Gonorrhea, and smallpox, red Indians are a minority in America.
Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, Africa is the continent of the future, let us populate it.
The technology that was used to built the pyramids over 6000 years ago was so advanced, that it even today, it would be very difficult to built such pyramids. For a long time, it was naturally thought the it is the Semitic Egyptians who built the pyramids, but scientific evidence in the 20th century shown that the black Africans were involved in the making of the pyramids, but since nobody would believe that the black man could build such a wonder, it was decided that it was built by black slaves, under the Semitic leadership. But as we jumped into the 21st century, it was conclusively discovered that by the time the pyramids were being built, the lighter colored Egyptians had not occupied the area, and hence the pyramids were built by black Africans, with black leadership.
This hasn’t gone down well with some people, and they are now trying to bring in lies about Extraterrestrial involvement in the building of the pyramids.
Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery: If our forefathers had such technology over 6000 years ago, what is my potential today, 6000 years later?
Coming home now, it is said that Kenyans didn’t know how to read and write until the missionaries came, and taught them how to do this. This is not true.
The Kikuyus knew how to read and write, many many years before the Europeans appeared. In fact, it was these Europeans who came and completely destroyed the kikuyu writing, so that it would be said that the peoples of sub Saharan Africa knew not how to read and write. To the Kikuyus, this was just a game, so the missionaries had an easy time destroying it.
This writing was called; Gicandi. It was a form of writing using a style similar to that the Egyptian writing. One village would write a piece of story on a gourd, and pass the gourd to the next village, the next village would try to decipher (read) the information on the gourd, and once they succeeded, they would sing that information to the other village.
Unfortunately, what remains of Gicandi today is the song aspect of it, not the writing. I am told that only one gourd is known to exist in the world, and it is in the museum of Turin, complete with info of its origin.
Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, we knew how to read and write, and ours was much better.
Neurosurgery and medicine
Though neurosurgery is a very ancient art, it is still one of the most sophisticated branch of medicine. In Kenya, many people die of brain diseases, and the lucky ones get specialized treatment in the developd world.
What many people do not know is that we have brain surgeons, right here in Kenya, who have never stepped into formal schools. They are to be found among the Kisii people, and their success rates are very very high. They will open your scalp, sort out the brain, and stitch it back in just a few hours,,,,at a extremely affordable fees.
My fear is that 15-20 years from today, these people will be long gone and forgotten. They will die with their art. Fifty years later, people will be told that such doctors existed, and that will be dismissed as a lie.
Today, many women die because of birth related complications. Others give birth to dead babies. Those who are lucky undergo the caesarean operation, which is not only expensive, but puts a limit to the number of births one may have after that.
Among the Mijikenda, there are women who can assess the development of a baby in the womb, and without the use of surgery, can correct the positioning of a baby who’s bound to come out legs first. They can even position the baby in a manner that reduces the pain at child birth.
Unfortunately, these old women will also die with their skill, and Kenyan women will be condemned to unnecessary surgeries and pain for the rest of the ages.
Traditional herbal medicine is still dismissed as non dependable medicine, some even consider it evil, this is despite numerous research done by some African professors.
There are many other examples of people (mostly very old men and women) who can cure many conditions which are otherwise fatal, but our leadership, which has the capacity and machinery to ensure that these arts do not die, and are instead improved and spread all over the world, is just not interested at all.
Let us emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, lets us save our traditional medicinal practices.
But we must not forget that with the emancipation from mental slavery, there is need for the physical and visible emancipation. This can only come through a revolutionary process, since the bad leaders, the artificial boundaries and the imperialists will not just fade away. And their roots are deeply entrenched into our society. An African revolution is the answer.
In my opinion, the revolution will sweep across Africa, just as the “winds of change” did over 40 years ago. My bet is that it will begin either in Kenya, or in South Africa, and will sweep over the whole continent. As for us, we now need to study revolutionary theory, since there can never be a revolution, without revolutionary theory.
Benedict Wachira Mamluki
24th May 2010