After my university graduation two months ago, I’ve been trying to catch a glimpse of who I really am. Everyone is full of suggestions of who you are or who you could be, in the end you have to fuck everyone’s opinion and strive to become comfortable. I’ve gathered that this is what matters in the end, if you’re happy with you. I’m usually the observer kind -very noisy with friends- but would only observe in crowds. I’ve been reading a lot of literature reading lately from African and Indian literature to English Classics. Slam poetry helps me put my pieces together. Since graduation I’ve observed a lot from all sorts of people -the good, the bad and the prejudiced- also from many “pan-Africanists” and their strong opinions. From observing this is my parody from a woman’s perspective on how to save Africa:
1) Cut all your hair off: Natural Hair is Africa’s most crucial natural resource. Many have corrupted hair with relaxers just like the oil in Niger Delta’s Rivers.
If you are in the corrupted category, there is good news that you can start again. Your hair has been corrupted by western poisonous chemicals. The chemicals are going to attempt to straighten out your history, to make you forget the ships and the scramble for Africa. This straight hair/weave would try to make years of slavery and suppression all right. The chemicals would try to give us all the same straight flowing hair. We do not have the same history; we would never be the same. God forbid that you attribute your straightened hair to better management. “You’re a black woman, your hair defies gravity”
The first world citizens should represent everything we are against do not aspire to be like them.
2) Aspire to be like them (first world citizens): your ultimate goal is to get a good British education. This would help you save Africa; after “your superior education” you would be able to pull them out of darkness and ignorance.
Return to African and fight for a more Africanized school curriculum.
Note: it is not in the place of first world citizens to point out this darkness and ignorance in Africa. It makes them racist (refer to Chinua Achebe’s response to Joyce Cary’s Mister Johnson). Stop eating meat or only eat it in secret, you are now a vegetarian.
3) Talk about equality: We are all equal, man is not more important than women, white is not more important than black. Children should be given rights, we should not be subject to the violence our traditions allow (i.e. No flogging your children, No kneeling to greet etc.) Despite our History or race, we are all the same (equality)
Note: this does not apply to your colleague who went to Nassarawa State University, he is not your equal; you obviously know better. He didn’t go to Wales. This is not prejudice this is fact.
4) Keep an open mind: Support everything from traditional religion to Atheism. Condemn the rigidity of Christianity. Fight for gay rights. Criticize the Christians condemnation of traditional religion. They have been brainwashed by western religions. This is what makes you different from them you are western educated with the heart of an African. “They are brainwashed, you are civilized”, repeat this in your mind till this makes enough sense
Your open mind should however on no account cover women who fix weaves. There is no excuse for that. They have no other reason to. They are not proud of their Africaness.
Congratulate yourself on your open mindedness; condemn the rigidity of western religions.
5) Fight for their rights (Your fellow Africans) : Know the foremost activists and their works by heart. Fight corrupt politicians from your apartment in Stratford. Be prepared to spill you blood on twitter if this would regain Africa her independence.
Fight prejudice on the account of skin color, not mental superiority. We are not unequal based on skin color. Mind inequality is real. Fight to the death to protect wooly hair.
6) Hold a lot of opinions: Hold a lot of opinions about Africa from wherever you’re based, in another continent. Offer advice to your fellow Africans on how to change Africa. You love being African; but you would rather just not languish there permanently. There is corruption and unemployment in Africa. Write about the sufferings of African people from memories you can’t let go of. You have a job or a fellowship in Britain. Don’t worry convince yourself you have the task of changing the way the outside world sees Africa.
7) Become superior: Read a lot of books, quote a lot of authors. Claim intellectual superiority in a basic field. Tweet how much you know about Africa and other cultures. This may not feed a hungry child but you are a well cultured African. Also go to a lot of restaurant, name wines by how dark the lightness on your tongue. Speak many foreign languages, if you can throw in your local language. You have become a well-rounded individual.
8) Travel far and wide: visit many continents from Australia to Asia. You are now well traveled, return and talk about the various traditions you’ve seen. Compare and contrast them with you indigenous ones. At this point you may not be sure if you’re trying to preserve or demolish your own tradition, keep traveling, perhaps an epiphany would come.
Many of Africans problem are being identified by so many. There are enough analysts. Seek real change.