COLO-MENTALITY; THE BANE OF YORUBA-IGBO- SOUTH AND MIDDLE BELT ORIGINAL AFRICAN EXISTENCE
By Prince Justice Jadesola Faloye
We have been made to believe everything foreign is better than ours. The ‘White is Right’ Colonial Mentality which is aptly known as Coloniality of the Self/Being. In addition to the high rate of bleaching, there is a deep seated racial inferiority complex that affects the quality and length of our lives, from our foods, architecture, dressing, religion, medicine, family organization, work ethics, employment practices and social responsibility. Our worldviews have been so warped that even if God dropped a first class industrialized economy or democratic system on our laps, we might not patronize it, and even sabotage it.
There are four main world civilizations – indigenous Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa African, European Christian, Afroasiatic Islamic and Asian Buddhist civilizations. Civilizations are fashioned by our environment which also influences our physiology. The Original African civilization is the first and oldest civilization, according to recent genetic and cultural anthropological evidences that show Yoruba-Igbo and indigenous Africans of South and Middlebelt are the oldest full sized humans and started accumulating their observations of natural phenomena in Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa, the world’s first knowledge bank and religion. The Original African civilization was based on a naturalist Binary Complimentarity philosophy since we evolved in a bountiful environment of Yams and Palm oil that didn’t inspire a scarcity mindset. Though all other civilizations adapted the naturalist foundations of the Original African civilization from about 700BC to 1AD in what is known as the Axial Age, their freezing arid wildernesses reconditioned the Eurasian civilizations, especially the Abrahamic civilizations, to evolve Binary Opposition philosophies, having to survive with a scarcity mentality that bred war and breaks a whole lot of natural laws. Eurasiatic civilizations faced the need to control the sole or few water sources, while the Original African civilization, the land of thousands rivers, were not so constrained.
The scarcity of resources of the Asiatic civilizations resulted in imperialism, first through brutal wars then cultural imperialism for long term control. While all Asiatic civilizations started with brutal war to wipe out African Civilizations across South Asia, the Abrahamic civilizations evolved cultural imperialism through religious and political doctrines. The Islamic Afroasiatic civilization colonized and balkanized the Original African civilization into caliphates and Emirates, while the Christian European civilization balkanized other civilizations into nationstates. However, while in most cases the brutal war colonizations don’t last for more than 80yrs and are reversed or loosened with a decolonization process, the effects of cultural imperialism known as Coloniality are far more resistant to decoloniality.
Three or four types of coloniality have been identified – knowledge, power, being and ecology. The coloniality of knowledge sources distorts our worldview and collective consciousness, starting with epistemicide, the killing of our own civilizational Ifa-Afa-Iha-Fa-Efa knowledge bank with misconceptions like Esu/Ekwensu as the devil, and replacing it with Western knowledge banks, academia and media with different philosophical and spiritual perspectives. We have not been able to discard and replace foreign knowledge sources, because of coloniality of power sources through the local colonially educated neocolonial guards, institutional violence to balkanize the Original African civilization into divisive tribes, propaganda, economic hitmen and coups to prevent decoloniality regimes etc. These two forms of coloniality are often manifested in the arrest of our economic and political development, however what is most important to us as individuals is how the coloniality of Being makes us self destructive and perpetuates collective coloniality through our wrong personal social preferences. While China, the most successful example of decoloniality, through revolutionary regime change has been able to reverse coloniality of knowledge and power sources, China still struggles against coloniality of the Being of it’s citizens influenced by global White supremacy doctrines.
This article is not to romanticize our past and seek going back to it, but to strike a healthy balance moving forward. While the colonists still kept their initial natural laws as their moral foundations along with messiahanic religions, their Westernization through Christianity and commerce imposed through coloniality was incomplete, and replaced our own complete beliefs, leaving Africans morally stranded in a civilizational void. The change of ourcollective consciousness started with the capture, destruction andcoloniality of our economic system that forced us to seek foreignknowledge in order to eke out a living from the new economicsystem of our conquerers and colonizers. The coloniality of ourknowledge sources through religion, education and media formallyimbued a racial inferiority complex, as Western Modernizationbecame the socioeconomic and political ladder. Therefore to gain afoothold, we were made to denigrate and discard our belief systems. We not only learned to hate our cultural identity as a process of ‘modernization’ but also hate other sister tribes in our own civilization.
The coloniality of being as humans beings begins at birth even before we can speak or write, watching our mothers makeup to be Europeanized women, seeing television images portraying White is better and ultimately going to Church/Mosques where God is not Black African. Abrahamic religions are institutional foundations of unnatural Global White Supremacy doctrines. When we become toddlers, instead of our own educational and knowledge systems, we start a foreign educational system whose greatest fulfilment is in the Western world where it was designed from and for the environment.
Unlike our own time-tested traditional education system that trained our kids for 12 years to be self employed and sustainable Babalawos/Dibia that will never be unemployed or seek employment from others; or trained to continue and takeover family business, we put our kids in a Western educational system for 18yrs only to be dependent on Westernized institutions and sources of employment, with reduced benefit to their family and collective. We are educated of foreign lands but remain illiterate of ourselves, our environment and natural laws. The history never gives a conclusive account of our heritage, their geography racially skews maps in their favor, the philosophy is lineal as opposed to our cyclic perceptions, etc Therefore we end up with huge unemployed and unemployables, while those employed become alienated from their roots. The muddling of our worldviews bred excessive consumerism, individualism, corruption and other social vices, especially with the discarding of our cyclical natural laws of retribution (Esan/Ogu n Ofo) for messiahanic justice..
In addition to education that miseducates, our consumption preferences have been questionable right from the time we switched from our local palmwine to sugary wines and brevarages that increases diabetes. Right from waking up in the morning, we have dropped our chewing sticks for flouride that not only sterilizes our mouth but it’s spiritual ase force. Our consumption of Western goods leads to the increase in diabetes, cancer, fibroids, a lower reproductive rate and lower life expectancy. Men switching to tight fitting trousers in a warm climate reduces sperm count. Perming, body creams and sprays infuse us with cancerous chemicals. Studies are showing that permanent footwear prevents the electromagnetic waves from the earth from keeping us Earthed and electrically balanced. Malaria is by far the greatest killer, and though we have always had malaria, our contemporary town planning results in more stagnant water for breeding more mosquitoes. To reduce mosquitoes, we have replaced our use of natural products like orange peel incense with cancerous environmentally hazardous pesticides. The use of natural herbs like Ugu boosted our blood that also naturally countered malaria parasites.
Western medicine is largely about pinpointing the symptoms and killing with antibiotics and chemotherapy, while Original African medicine sets out to balance the chemical composition that causes the ailment. Instead of cutting fibroids, African medicine counters the chemical composition that brought about growth. Another example is sickle cell, Nigeria being the epicenter of sickle cell, while 90% of sickle cell crisis treatments includes painkillers like morphine, a natural approach is to dry up the mucous at the source of most crisis, with vitamin C, marijuana and other herbs that are preventive in approach.
The coloniality of Being doesn’t only manifest physically but also other social maladjustments. Our relationship from the family unit to the civilizational level became warped. We were convinced that polygamy was wrong, not realizing that it was a socioeconomic institution. While Men farmed and mined, women marketed their products, and to increase business more wives and children were enabled. Property was collective, not individual. Coloniality sought the breakdown of the family/cooperative business approach in order to draft the masses to Western plantations and mass production industries. This reduced family wealth and self actualization since majority gave their productive life to government and multinational corporation.
Our architecture was influenced by our economic organization, resulting in courtyards that were in practice a permanent roundtable of family stakeholders. However the Westernized economic system bringing about specialization and institutional labor over the last 160 years, favored and inspired nuclear families. The initial poor masses reliant on the city based employment were made to live in face to face buildings with a linear common space/corridors. Those that moved higher up the Eurocentric socioeconomic ladders were moved into newly created Government Reserve Areas, where they build slavemasters houses and not family houses, thereby isolating them from their roots and balanced family structures. Rather than the Bigman effect, the effect was the effemination of Men whereby Men are isolated and surrounded only by his woman and children that he uses his life earnings to feed and educate in the Western system, only for them to graduate and move afar, coming back to take their mothers, leaving the father alone in old age. Once theygrow old and can’t pay or need an army of servants, their slavemasters architecture homes becomes desolate unlike thetraditional cyclic houses that subsequent generations continue to pass through. So even if we survive the wrong attitudes, wrong consumption that cuts our lives short, we end up dying in loneliness, not able to teach the coming generations or be appreciated by his peers abroad.
The question is despite decolonization, why haven’t we been able toget out of this sorry state of mental and spiritual slavery acrossAfrica? We went through decolonization but not decolonialiy that ismuch harder to accomplish. As Fela sang, Oyinbo don free you but you never free yourself. The first step is to learn and appreciate our cultural history and linkages to stop self hate and tribalism that prevents us from unifying to uplift ourselves. Personally, we must recognize that we adopted scientific materialism and consumerism from those with a scarce mentality due to their aridity of their evolving environments, and it’s unsustainable. It is time for Africans to appreciate their environment and natural laws through scientific spiritualism that can bring about true fulfilment and meaning of life. It is only when we look inside to question our personal choices and interaction with the wider society that we can make progressive collective aspirations to uplift ourselves and the Black Race. As some say the Change you seek in the wider society or country starts with you. We must first break the coloniality of our Self/Being, before we can challenge coloniality of knowledge and power sources.