The coming of Arabs in Africa in the 7th and 12th centuries as well as Europeans from the West in 1880 marked the death of African culture and traditions. This period saw African religion, education and language demeaned and demonized. Africans were forced to imbibe new names, religion, language and culture with a view of disorienting their thinking pattern, economy and values. The recent assault on African intelligence by Nobel Laureate James Watson, hiding under the DNA hood, is just an extension of this battering.
We go to great lengths to change our skin complexion to resemble that of the whites. Our gullibility is booming business to foreign companies that are manufacturing fleeting skin and hair toning crèmes to sell to us, for swallowing the ‘black is ugly’ bait. Why do we despise ourselves? Weren’t we better off before the assault of foreign ideals? Why have we allowed others to think for us?
We trust them to bring peace among us. Which peace? France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and America have a long history of wars. In addition, they ensure that their conflicts spill over to the rest of the world. The US, for example, spends heavily on arms- that is- killing! Who doesn’t know that every major conflict in Africa has a foreign hand? Look at Somalia, Rwanda, DRC Congo, Sudan and Angola. Aren’t they experiencing foreign manipulated conflicts to create an environment that will allow foreign powers to steal their rich natural resources? Haven’t we been made to believe that we are poor so that we can not exploit these resources?
How effective is their religion if it cannot make them pursue the way of peace? At one moment, they are pious. The next minute, they are headed to the lab to manufacture deadly bombs. Has their religion changed our society for the better? Aren’t religious leaders barricaded behind big steel gates for fear of their very congregations? Aren’t religious leaders engaged in corruption and fraud? Won’t religious people stone to death an individual for stealing a chicken but vote in a politician who is corrupt and has a criminal record?
Foreign assault has been extended to African families. We have been told that we are overpopulating the earth, hence the need for family planning. Believing this, we have embarked on foreign manufactured drugs and equipment to control birth or kill the innocent unborn. Some of them have rendered our women infertile. Cancer infections and still-births are on the rise. Mentally impaired kids are now the order of the day.Our sisters are throwing their children in pit latrines and streets. Dogs are picking these children and returning them home. Are animals becoming more intelligent than humans? Africans used to safely deliver in the bush. But now, delivery at home is not safe anymore. Isn’t something fishy going on? What is better: giving birth to more children or murdering more children? Aren’t we being forced to reduce our population so that foreigners may own what our children would have taken over or exploited?
Five hundred years ago, even European nations were under-developed. A thousand years behind, some nations were non-existent. They were mere jungles under the Roman dominion. The development we see emanated from clear thinking, innovation and networking. Scholars assert that during the 15th centurey, Africa’s development rivalled and even outpaced Europe’s.What made Africa, the pace setter, lag behind and wag the tail?
Foreign invasion disoriented the African psyche, enslaved Africans and uprooted them from their natural environment. Germans for example, grabbed African farms, animals and natural resources with impunity and rewarded Africans with brutal beatings. France forced the congolese to grow rubber and rewarded them by chopping off their fingers. African communities, such as the Wasangu and Wabena of Tanzania, were set upon each other and divided for easy rule. Gunfire was introduced.Our forefathers were forced to be constantly on the run.
We have been mentally enslaved and made to hate ourselves. Our education systems don’t impart innovation and life skills in us but rather prepare us to copy and paste foreign dictates. We can’t create; we only consume. Without education that is tailored to solve Africa’s problems, will Africa ever develop? When will Africans manufacture their own products- products that foreign nations will come to purchase? Crying will not save Africa. We have to stop, think and analyze where we are, why we are where we are, where we want to be and how to get there. This will not require foreign intervention. We must chart our own course!
By Gervas Zombwe
Mr. Zombwe is a Tanzanian based Teacher
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