Being born Nigerian, you are acquainted to one too many beliefs and clear-cut behavioral patterns that define who you are and how you act. You are raised by people who know you more than you know yourself and trained not to act beyond that. “You can’t collect stuff with your left hand”; “If you sing while having your bath, you’ll die”; “You can’t wash or comb your hair or you’ll die because you are a dada child” “If you don’t pass mathematics you can’t get a job”.
Those and as many more messed up ideologies you can think of, somehow define us as people. Eventually we learn some of the reasons behind these; for one, my Primary 4 teacher said the reason we are not to sing while taking showers is so that soap does not enter our mouth. Basically, we are trained to accept judgments of others who are perceived to be ‘smarter’ or older and follow them blindly.
In the same realm, the international community constantly feeds us with very gory and inept graphics of a suffering continent. This maleficent misconception of Africa presented to us has somehow become how we also view ourselves. We more often than not see Africa through their eyes, judging ourselves as a suffering, stagnant and underdeveloped breed.
Transcending this to the very popular quote- “If you want to hide something from black people, put it in a book”; Africa is seen as a containment of Ignorance, Greed and Selfishness. I have no idea how they came up with this theory, but this very perverse stereotype of black people has somehow leached its way into our minds and become the exact mindset with which we view ourselves. We believe the ‘whites’ are somehow better readers, more enlightened, much more creative and almost always right.
You know what they say- “As you think, so you are”; we have now become architects of our own disasters through our allowed gullibility. I mean! How can an African even afford a book when we are way too poor to even brush off the fleas from our face in all them CNN documentaries. Rather than try to challenge what they say or how they view us. We must seek to alter our mentalities that have somehow subconsciously become puppets of the white naysayers. Rather than get mad at the Caucasian douche (refer to coloured text above) who says “They are still our Slaves”, partly because of our perceived ignorance apparent in our refusal to read books even written by few of us, let us believe in ourselves.
I know way too many Africans that read. So, we should totally view ourselves as double doses of poison pills because not only do we read their highly regurgitated books, we also read those authored by us; which I daresay they almost never come across. Readers are Leaders; Africans are Readers. The sooner we act on this and take our spot on the pinnacle of Ruler-ship, the sooner we prove them all wrong.