Do Africans on the continent know their true history? Certainly, very few do and many still do not. Why? Because the majority of them only know the twisted Eurocentric version of African history. Much of this is because our history as a continent had been “colonized,” twisted, and re-written. In this series, Jackson N. Nkoh and Timah Fombe try to decolonize the stories told about Africa from a non-African perspective as they tell the tale of the African Odyssey.
Every man retains the right to an opinion, the freedom to express themselves, and that to act within borders of the law. “Today, the average Ghanaian admits an error was made not recognizing Nkrumah.” As usual, we Africans only realize they are GREAT men and venerate them after the despicable act of “murder” is committed. The question remains, who truly kills African heroes? The West or Africans? A question each and every conscious African should be asking themselves.
At the time most of these leaders mentioned in the article lived, they either faced stiff resistance from their own people or were considered “non-democratic,” whatever democracy even means.
An age-old phenomenon
Africans then, like us now, still suffer from political gullibility. A belief in the ‘black and white’ state of things is still deeply entrenched in the African psyche, capably enabled by ‘psycho-negrosis,’ cognitive dissonance or Stockholm syndrome, enforced by Western propaganda, pregnant with disinformation and misinformation.
Even with the surge of ICT (information and communication technology) allowing easy access to huge traffic of information out there, a greater majority of Africans who pride themselves as “informed” or intellectuals are either clueless or have little mastery of African history. On the contrary, almost every African is an expert in European/American/Chinese history and/or current affairs. This is a typical case of the African diaspora.
Believed to be the highly skilled, schooled and informed, yet highly susceptible to become the very cankerworm that destroys the tree from within (African diaspora paradox). Well, you can’t send your kids to Caesar and not expect home Romans.
PUBLIC OPINION is becoming the African political matrix, judge, jury, and executioner. If public opinion thought of an African leader good or bad, automatically, they become irrelevant of relevant factors and logical thought. As a matter of fact, very few tend to consider the fact that public opinion is a product of the media. And as African history has proven itself by constant repetition, the fall of African heroes begin with Western media propaganda and its proxies.
What it will take
It will, therefore, have to condition the African mindset and prepare it for rebellion; the one that ends with another great African bleeding to death on her streets (Gadhafi, RIP) like cattle or fleeing into exile like a thief in the night (Ahidjo, RIP).
Martyrdom sounds great when on a religious sojourn, but as Africa struggles to free herself from political and economic oppression, her story must try hard avoiding martyrs: the dead tell no tales, and great ideas MUST have an assurance of continuity. Africans would have to learn to cherish the moment and make the best of it with what they have (that in itself spells maturity). At some point, we would have to understand that leaders — good or bad — are only men like ourselves!
The greatest enemy of the African Odyssey
This pilgrim Africa has been faced with many enemies; black, white, blue, brown, orange, etc., yet she still rocks. Of these many enemies, the most long-lived is the enemy from within — the black enemy. As we go through this ride of the African Odyssey, we hope you keep emotions aside and critically reason with us. All this, in a bid to examine those who have created or are actually creating impact as far as the development of Africa is concerned.
In this series, we will be looking at Sino-African relationship vis-a-vis Africa’s relationship with conceptual West. This for sure will be the stepping stone of truly telling who our friends are.
This article which serves as a preamble to a series of articles about the African Odyssey is an opinion piece authored by Jackson N. Nkoh and Timah Fombe, Cameroonians with a passion for history, philosophy, politics, and world affairs.