Religion is one topic I would normally avoid because of its sensitivity and expected controversy. However, there is just one part of it that I just have not been able to ignore – the concept of control. I was out a few days back, and I listened to the opinion of a very passionate African who believed we were better off with the way things were in terms of religion around here. He explained that our religion and gods back then, controlled us and did a better job of keeping us in check. For those who have no idea about how the precolonial religions of Africa were, let’s just say the lot of them were a lot more ‘drastic’ than we have today, and were accorded a lot of fear induced respect as a result. Basically, if you swore to one of the predominant ‘gods’ back then, lightening might strike you under the burning sun. Quick disclaimer: I wasn’t born then and I haven’t experienced none of that stuff, so… yea.

Anyway, he explained how most Africans now go uncontrolled and unchecked because of the way religion is taken lightly. If a thief entered into a house and saw one of the holy books that westernization and *yawns* the Whites brought to us, they would simply shove it aside and continue their ‘job’. Also, in our courtrooms, people did not dare lie, having sworn on the other more ‘violent’ gods that were being worshipped. Today, that ‘truth-jerker’ is out and apparently, some people are not so pleased about it. Of course, I refuse to shoot myself in the leg by picking out any of these precolonial religions and comparing them to those that came alongside westernization for the complete eradication of ignorance or illiteracy. I would also not bother explaining whether or not I believe in all the supernatural mumbo jumbo that floats around this topic. But, really, we have to face it sooner or later – Blacks need to stop blaming Whites for everything. As Minna Salami puts it, it’s lazy.

Till today, especially post westernization, Religion is evidently a choice. However, in terms of nationally practiced religions – like swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in the court of law of any African system, I would go with keeping the general sanity of a people over enforcing extreme control. Humans generally have a knack for wishing for things they really do not want. If at all we did, we want to be on the side that is advantageous to us at every point in time. Do we really want to have unexplainable occurrences in our national courtrooms? If at all those gods were as brutal and unforgiving as we have been made to believe, are we really going to trade our sanity, literacy, and the mercy that we apparently enjoy by following new truths, for fire and war? The beauty about control is that it is not made available to the masses. If it were, not only would we all be dead, but there would exist no control in the first place.

For those who believe our cultures and traditions have been watered down as a result of the newness we have opted for religiously, let us not forget about the power of unity – at least for peace sakes. Back then, people accorded respect and attributed power to gods that their fathers worshipped or their communities believed in. With the thousands of cultures, belief systems, and the simple demographics of the numerous communities within the 54 countries of Africa, then you would agree with me that we would have had a major disaster on our hands. In any case, religion is still a matter of choice, but I would stand with the simplicity national leaders in Africa have opted for – let’s stick to mercy even as we fight for justice.

If you have a different opinion, kindly leave a comment.

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Lawretta Egba is a professional writer, ghostwriter, editor, and poet. She is the founder of Cyno Group, a boutique content creation/content marketing firm meeting the varying content needs of individuals and businesses towards effective storytelling, problem-solving and economic growth. The company offers in-house ghostwriting, editing, and content writing services for large corporations, businesspeople and economic leaders. Lawretta’s articles have been featured on a plethora of platforms within Nigeria and the diaspora. Some of these include the Premier Pan-African media group reporting on African affairs – Face2Face Africa, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global, Exquisite Magazine, YNaija, and a host of others. She runs two blogs: lawrettawrites.com, where she reviews books, writes on mythology, peeks into transformational African topics, and analyzes matters of the human psyche; and newcommas.com, a brainchild created towards documenting everyday African stories. For info and inquiries, contact via: lawretta@cynogroup.com

1 COMMENT

  1. I really would have preferred it back then. At least we would not have Boko Haram and other terrorist groups as we do today. We would not have the liar, thief and deceiver, Oyedepo or Idahosa, or any of the churches today who are all liars and confused in doctrine. However, our ancestors were never confused! They knew what they were serving. But now people are waiting for a God to come from the sky which possibly might never happen, because never once has anybody left the ground with jet propulsion energy naturally conjurred and it will never happen. Even the so called aliens that americans portray with their theatretric manipulations do not exist. Once or twice, I have stopped rain, I have been healed, but you see, God is too wicked. To cruel and unjust to let people endure suffering. In 2007, I had a vision of Boko Haram. They had not yet began to operate then. I dreamt that I defeated them in the dream using the name of Jesus. But the church is too busy sapping money from the people and stealing from the people and satisfying their own selfish ends. I discovered that reading the bible was not enough but a proper deciphering of history which our schools have failed to Give us. Science students are left without an understanding of their past or how government works. They are not taught to be self sufficient and do not know how to lead. While I had these visions, I felt a need to leave the church, because they would not listen. All they were after was tithes and offerings. When I was serving during my NYSC, the national coordinator fellowship of Nigeria, which every corper was forced to attend said that in the 1900, several nation’s were defeated except. . .And before he finished speaking, I was told the answer. . .Great Britain. But he question I asked was, what was the origin of war? What was the justification of it. If Jesus had told his disciples not to go to war . . .I had to understand the bible well, since churches do not teach these things. Then I discovered that the bible was not complete! In Genesis 12, why were the four kings fighting against the other five kings? Abraham, who people call the father of nation’s today, killed all the four kings men and allies and only three kings escaped. So Abram took revenge. I had to understand these things. So there is a great history to be learnt. From Genesis across revelation till 2017. It is long and cumbersome, but it is worth while. The so called igbo are claiming relatives of Israel, yet they speak through their noses.

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