I don’t know how to describe the scene I’m about to narrate here, maybe description is not the right word, maybe I should have said I don’t know what name to give to the conduct I’m about to describe, suffice it to say that I consider it so shameful that I refused to write about it, but after listening to the news tonight I said to myself “what the heck, you might as well admit it, after all we were kids when we did it, excuse is we didn’t know any better.
evacuated from, at least that was my impression, still is by the way. I was born 7 years post independence (
I read and I was told when the white men arrived my country he was welcomed. When he
sought to rule he was resisted, at least I understand he was resisted by some of the
kingdoms then on the ground in Africa, some Nigerian Kingdoms inclusive especially the
trade our leaders sold our brothers and sisters for mundane things as worthless as
mirrors, guns, etc. That historical account is, however, not the focus of my article today.
I did not know the population of the white men during the colonial period, whatever it was it must have thinned out considerably when the British left, they must have left
Some nice ones will stop and shake the kids’ hands thereby making the kids’ days. You
can notice the joy of each child on holding the hand of the white man, he was like God. I
never really liked following the crowd and believe me or not I can’t remember running after any white man nor can I remember shaking the hand of any. Apart from the fact that I never really liked following the bandwagon my dad, I’m sure, would have beaten the living daylight out of me if he had caught me singing after any creature, white, green, black, whatever color. He was a very proud man and would have seen singing after anyone an insult regardless of the creature’s color.
So I grew up believing the white man was a very wise man, special even, which he was
since there were not many like him around or maybe I should have said unusual. When I
was in primary school, as it is called in Nigeria, I was told about the great feats performed by some white men, I was told about Mongo Park and some other explorers, it appears that the British text books were imported to Nigeria without any form of modifications to our environment and heritage; we swallowed it hook, line and sinker. For example I was taught that
We sang of some strange places, I remember we sang about Mississippi, which I didn’t
know was in America then I can’t really say I know much or anything about the United States then, everywhere outside of Africa was Ilu Oyinbo (the white man’s land). The song:
Probably the purpose of the song was to teach us how to spell, if that was the aim it was a
very good tactics because of course I can spell Mississippi now, even if I was drunk, I might not be able to spell some villages in my country even if I’m sober.
We were also told at any given opportunity how well the white man managed our country, how everything was working, how there was electricity, good roads and good schools. Most of the times we were told this story it is because whoever was telling the story was feeling sorry for himself his people and his country because of the general decay that was and still is the order of the day in the country.
Like I said, I was born 7 years after independence, when I was born the country was into
I read and was told that the nationalists (whatever that means) told the people that it was in our best interest for us to rule ourselves, the white men were reported to have retorted that we were not matured enough to rule ourselves. That was total BS, the people were told, after all before the advent of the white men we were ruling ourselves. Perhaps what the white men meant then was that we had not mastered their techniques of governance enough to utilize them to rule ourselves. Maybe we would have done better if we had gone back to how we used to live with some modifications of course since there can be no progress if the society is static.
Anyway, I was brought up under the belief, well founded if I may add, that the white man did a better job than our so called nationalists. They were so greedy they went to war less than 10 years after gaining independence and let nobody fool you that it was in the interest of the people, seem to me like a war based on inflated ego.
Reflecting the general views via their songs, some popular musicians sang in praise of the
white man, imploring us (black people) to use their achievements as examples to better
ourselves. Ebenezer Obey sang:
“oyinbo pogbon po won fi se motor” (the white men through collective knowledge
“Oyinbo pongbo po won fi soko ofurufu ( the white men through collective knowledge
manufactured the airplane)
“Oyinbo pongbo po won fi se keke (the white man through collective knowledge
“O jo wo le mi abo eyin eyan mi lowo rikishi pelu ote, tembeleku, iwa ika pelu ote iyen odara rara. (When would my people free themselves from back biting, wickedness and evil plotting, these things are not valuable)
That was Ebenezer Obey. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister
, after visiting Disney World, went back to
He begged us to do something, even if it is something as simple as fertilizer, which he
contended was from trash. He enjoined us to consider getting the chemicals made that is
added to the sand so that at least we can boast of manufacturing something, anything.
Both men were not just speaking for themselves; their songs reflected the mood of the
society. It is generally believed in Africa, based on facts, which you may dispute if you like or point to one or two scientists of African origin that have contributed immensely to the scientific world, that the white man is something of a genius and that but for him we would still be in the stone ages.
When I wrote “Are blacks jinxed?” I was wondering if we could actually come together and do something spectacular for our continent, a continent that doesn’t have much to boast of except war, pestilence, hunger and illiteracy even when we lay claim to doctorate and professorship we still act uneducated.
It is in this light that I see the claim or should I say the statement of James Watson that
whites are more intelligent than blacks. Hear the wise man, a member of the white (wise)
race, a very important scientists and a Nobel winner, his words:
“I am inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours — whereas all the testing says not really.”
When people who do not know how to accept a factual criticism heard that they got on him “like the wild animals that they are” and he, afraid for his life quickly apologized, hear his apology:
“I am mortified about what has happened. More importantly, I cannot understand how I
could have said what I am quoted as having said. I can certainly understand why people,
reading those words, have reacted in the ways they have. To all those who have drawn the inference from my words that
From his words you can see this gentleman is a very wise man, an intellectual who is
addressing idiots. Idiots who do not know how to interpret words and to whom everything must be negative.
The man could not understand how he could have said what he was quoted as having said. Isn’t that simple enough and can’t these fools see it as what it is, the man did not actually say it he was quoted to have said it, he did not understand that. How could he have allowed his loose mouth to say in public the joke that he and other wise men like him enjoy in private?
He can understand why these animals are making so much noise, that is part of their
nature isn’t it? Their genetically inferior nature.
He didn’t really mean that so what’s the fuss? More importantly, from his jaundiced point of view, there’s no scientific basis for his belief. He got away with that apology didn’t he? Please tell me he did, he is such an honest and straight forward man. The basis of his
utterance was not scientific, he never said it was. Basis for his assertion? Their faulty social policies which regarded both races as equal.
Leave this man of God and science alone and stop persecuting him for saying the truth. If
you’re going to the church and dressed scantily, so scanty that your titties are showing, you couldn’t bend down to pick something without a generous view of your panties for those who care to observe, how can you blame anyone for calling you a whore despite the fact that you were on your way to the church. As long as Africa refuses to get her acts together some wise men would teach wisdom and knowledge by letting people know that
Seriously, in conclusion, we need to look in the mirror and check ourselves out, we don’t
need anyone telling us about the level of our intelligence, if we cease behaving like idiots
we won’t be referred to as one. Respect is not demanded it is earned. First we must be
proud of who we are, we must be proud of how we look. Then we must be proud of where we come from and be ready to put our collective interests first, then we must be proud of our heritage, of our customs, of our way of life. If we do this then we would be on the way to occupying our rightful position in the scheme of things. If we say we are Africans we have to be one in spirit and in deeds.