FEATURE ARTICLE

Mankind Olawale OyewumiWednesday, May 7, 2014
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THE AFRICAN HERO
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‘The world has no room for cowards. We must all be ready some how to toil, to suffer, to die. And yours is no less noble because no drum beats before you go out into your daily battlefields, and no crowds shouts about your carrying when you return from your daily victory or defeat .’ --Robert Louis

‘I saw before me then, even as I do now, a new world of black men, not peons, serfs, dogs and slaves, but a nation of sturdy men making their impress upon civilization and causing a new light to dawn upon the human race.’ --Marcus gravely

ung on the anger-hook of the deleterious augury that fills the misconceived and mis-defined heroism for the true liberation of my native Africa, my bile piled beyond what my living cerebrum could easily by-passed. I reckoned there are records of heroes that are representative of epical events in Africa’s different eras. From kwame Nkurumah to Patrice Lumumba, Julius Nyerere to Sir Seretse Khama, Pixley Isaka Kaseme to Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe to Tafawa Balewa, Thomas Sankara to Oliver Thambo, Muhammed Ghaddafi to Steve Biko, Marcus Garvey to the grand Ethiopian Emperor, etc. These men and woman a vast majority revere in different magnitude that bestows negligible credence on the collective attitude in the context of required freedom. So I began a critical assessment of sung names in the thematic neighborhood of their roles in chronicled events; this took me about eighteen mouths (between 2009 and 2011) though, I found that heroism is hardly in the words and walks of Africans most sung in variedly kowtowing ways!

Earlier I had wondered how the whites- from different parts of Europe-made such outstandingly successful inroad into Africa; and getting here, garnered the organization and guts to beat existing security measures to enslave the Black race for four excruciating centuries. I wondered further how the merciful slave masters were able to so proficiently commute the undignifying slavery-sentence into colonialism. My wonderment climbed further ladder to see how this too was propitiated into neo-colonialism or imperialism. The consequences of these smartly disguised incursions manifest in cultural destabilization, social bafflement economic exploitation and spiritual indignity.

‘Were we sleeping’, ‘was Africa that irresponsible and weak?’ I shrugged with psychological revulsion as I silently asked myself. The Black man is today unable to say if he is truly black; his identity is distorted, his land is not his, his resources are foreigners’, his labour designs, constructs, and sustains new worlds and leaves his own vast dwelling in shackles as he sleeps in decorated gutters and feeds on miserable maggots; his pride is subject to a belief in others’ traditions, his salvation must come from the spiritual experiments of Arabs and Jews as he abandons his unique and dynamic mysticism as fetish thrash.

I then remembered professor Bunmi Adewumi’s words in his thirty-nine minute telephone conversation with me (early December, 2013) in which the Information Technology messiah insisted ‘Africa is poor and backward because Africans are irresponsible!’ His submission was not strange at all; Aside from our hand-to-mouth diligence that quibbles of dominion-trifles publish in serial views, I once read it somewhere I can now not recollect that ‘Africans are corrupt, unvisionary and cowards’. Were these not true, why would our earth be their developments’ mine while we pray in hunger and hope in hopelessness because we fear to come together and act? If it be our destiny as Africans to remain the exploited and oppressed race and the tempo of this exploitation and oppression kept defining the bearing of our existential balance every ticked fragment that is time’s, why not make a collective resolve to die –fighting – if we must die? Wailing in the supplied bitterness in my soul, I versified the succeeding impressions from within into singable lines:

“Africa, world’s Africa!
Africa whom they cheat with intensity no devil applauds!
Africa, hemisphere of giant-minds maimed by unpronounced sanctions of the West!
Africa, the diversity and the most creative cultures on earth!
Africa whose ancestors developed America and the rest!
From taunted irony thy visions arise!
Fired wastage daubed as fate for earthlings’ grilling tears aboard
ships to brutish abroad!
Cracy conception Lucipher dropped on the table of His God!
Warranted beauty embattled by race of humaneness forlorn!
Africa, world’s Africa:

The origin and end of a story standing for Man as Man,
                  When will thou drive the dream of survival,
                      Glory and honour for thy posterity Africa (!) thyself?”

Once in a while, there are conscionable non-Africans who believe Africa ought not to be what she currently is. From Bono, the artiste, ‘Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice. It makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties. It doubts our concern. It questions our commitment. Because there is no way we can look at what’s happening in Africa, and if we’re honest, conclude that it would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else’ becomes a binding cement of the hypherlooted hypocrisy of the West. Of course whatever oral pity extended to Africa by leaders of major exploiting countries must be sneezed at, never to be ingested with a pinch of salt; why not? The makers of paupers boast no empathy that paupers who will cease to be paupers ought to believe. Done in improved guises, it is the convenient joy of slave masters to see their slaves remain affiliated to slavery. These the West and their competitors from other parts of the world had historically authenticated in their exploitative and murderous treatment of Africa.

Some of these Africans whom African history commends as being visionary and heroic had in part, not in whole –the traits of heroism in truth; and though humans are not expected to be perfect, the price of passing half as whole is paid in the erroneous conception of disabled, impressionable and fraudulent minds where views of heroism (as designed by, or passed on to them) add to our torture-quota in disrespectable existential gutters. Perfect men and woman Black people’s earth may never get; but it is not impossible to have soul-driven Africans, who once enlightened by the diary of virtues to acquainted with by those who are to become the Camilo Cavour and Giuseppe garibaldi of African unification and sophistication in buoyantly prosperous, unthreatened freedom. We do not wish to be dictated to by any west-owned or Asia-induced media; these required qualities we know too well and are resolved to hand down as parametres for measuring the authenticity of the African hero who inspires and leads Africans to enduring victory.

The African hero may be a man or a woman, a pure black or colored African, a native of whatever religious calling; it is his or her basic right to subscribe to whatever ideals provided the values of African overhaul are not hampered as he or she answers the carrion calls of his or her fundamental tenets and doctrines as the African hero. A time will come when it will be clear to the African hero that no religion is better than the worship he or she gives in different seasons of African struggles, that most of the existing ideologies are there to further impoverish his or her space. He or she will have no problem being the African hero if the conflicts between the jihadist instincts of his or her countrymen (as bravely demonstrated by Karima Bennoune’s Your fatwa Does not Apply Here in North Africa’s Algeria and in the bold removal of violent Brotherhood’s Muhammed Moseh in Egypt), he or she owns in loyalty to African good. But in truth, no real capitalist or passionate fanatic, or signposted socialist or quisling-globalist, etc., can ever be patriotic enough to become the African hero. The African hero does not hurt others with any hands in African doom; the ideology of the African hero is Samaformist Africanism!

Samaformist Africanism is the only inspiration by which the African hero strives. Samaformism is universal good. Samaformism is global justice. Samaformism is sacrifices for humanity. Joined to the need to assert the African rights and dignity in the world, the African hero, without playing to the gallery of injustice compares his way with the moral and just interests of other. And without being driven by the evil Africa’s tormentors serve Africa with in his history, he must protect- in words and in deeds- his own Africa with everything that can be and must be done. Samaformist Africanism invites him to serve his African earth with boundless patriotic zeal without forgetting the duties he owes other members of our common humanity. He labels Africa with prominent relevance if he does, and wrecks Africa’s hope if he misapplies the clear connotations of his noble commands. Therefore, between retrieving Africa from the claws of oppression and treating other nations with the flow of human milk he appears trapped as a beautiful spirit in the quandary of human conflicts; but whenever he must choose between Africa’s interest and others’ let justice decide, let Beauty say!

The African hero must be moral. He is not the fraudster framing illicit formats to dispossess unsuspecting fools of their money. He is not the liar, hoodwinking others for any brand of advantage; the African hero is a custodian of morality. His words and ways are moral. His does not create borders for his moral; he is as moral to Africans as he is to non-Africans. As the moral image of Africa, he neither sleeps with none who is not his partner, nor disguises the façade of his psychological escape by sleeping with any girl/ lady /woman he ought to motivate without conditions. The African hero must be moral enough to criticize anyone, any day without being afraid of any conjured boomerang of those he wages the edge of his tongue against. He questions Jesus and Mandela, and serutinizes the intents of the White House or Parish. His superior morality is the solid source of his unusual guts; no name matters, no tradition makes sense; no religion deserves to be spared where his morality asks for their burials. Morality forbids him to be abusive. He is not conceited in assertion; the African hero tables his views with no ambition to embarrass any burgess around. He explains himself as forcefully as possible in discourse without bearing the possibility correctness of opinions from those he may think he possesses opposing convictions. He is not arrogant; he is not intimidated; the African hero responds to correspondences with no assuming mien with sincere comrades with whom he must work for African reinvention and good. He must not believe the good-sounding sounding comrade is truly good; he must create the possibility in his consciousness however that he could be good. Let him, like Malaika Wa Azania, be willing to co-operate with any Mankind Olawale Oyewumi around to work for African greatness.

The African hero must be knowledgeable. He must know his own nature, the nature of Man; he must know his past, the past of Africa. He should read about slave trade, colonialism and imperialism in Africa. He should read the critiques of principled columnists on the havocs African leaders caused, and are currently causing; he should read criticisms of the West on Africa by Africans and non Africans particularly Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. He should master the African history; doing so informs him of the travails he must prevent in the future and more. The African hero must not be deceptively hired by ethically unideal governments; he must never show interest in collaborating with profit-oriented political figures. Knowledge is power; let the Africa hero use his power to brilliantly criticize, re-invent and found fantastic movements that are populated by fantastic people of African descent and aspiration. Let him not regard the business of salvaging Africa a part time job; the enemies- home and abroad –who prescribe poverty and indignity for his only space work day and night. It is true poverty here- which his principled morality improves- makes it nearly impossible to concentrate on the work of African liberation, but he must not only be seen to be working for Africa; he must sincerely be working for Africans. All that he needs to fight on will come from those Africans who have watched him clung along to the idea of a better Africa for years; he will have to be consistent and sweat to be trusted though, he will eventually be supported, he will be respected, he will triumph.

By this alone are egg-headed legends known: they think and think to know beyond our knowing, they say and do what the world must hope in and hold on to as stance; they live by solving our riddles, fixing generality’ hazzles and are fulfilled as tailors of indestructible thoughts, lining dignified morality on the fibre-beauty of depth for billions of naked humans to possess and eternally wear as garbs!

But the African hero’s knowledge is not, and must not be limited to past or on- ongoing African events. He must show interest in native African science for personal and group protection. He is not our hero if he is cheaply massacred by swords and murdered by guns; he should be filled with native powers. Wherever he goes, awe is in the air; his eyes are the very sights of the gods. From the Yorubas and the Xhosas, let him be cooked, let him see how the Hausas, the Zulus, the Kiswahili, the Ibos, the Edos and the Ashantis, etc., have survived without the Whiteman’s bullet proofs and muscular body guards. It is a time of war; it is part of his knowledge to go extra miles to protect himself, his comrades and his earth. He cannot insist his native ways alone equals protection; the African hero gathers Africans with modern scientific and technological knowledge to supplement the native fortress on ground. He should form an army willing to march and suffer, to kill and be killed for the African cause as our hero. For no personal gains should he betray Africa; he must not be used by enemies who tag him a hero to prolong our stay in miseries, whatever this causes his comfort.

Africa will be happy with any African who knows that life is not welfare but warfare, who is visionary enough to realize that internationalism as preached by the UN, is not governed by idealism but tainted in visionless realism. He must champion a unique and all-encompassing conception of African future. In culture let the African hero rinse Africans in beneficial clues. He should discard the discriminatory conclusion that all African ways (language, art, fashion and spirituality) are inferior without retaliating the sponsor of such fallacy with the neglecting and proscription of foreign ways that may be less helpful to African greatness. In art, let him inspire the massive re-visiting of these extra-ordinary artifacts and music, myths and sayings that show African as Africa. In economy, he must never be restricted; I enjoin the African hero to look beyond the resources in vogue even as he maximally harnesses these. Knowing that the development of any great republic is proportional to the economically booming policies it pursues, let the African hero (whether or not in power) theoretically demonstrate the African capacity to escape economic quagmire. The economic regency of the politically unified African state must show in the state-of-the-art infrastructures that are available to African citizens and others living in Africa. The hero Africa cherishes must economically empower the citizens; and making education free at all levels and nullifying the continuity of the farce that women are inferior to men, I ask the African hero to make Africa what Africa ought to be: a haven of survival and bliss!

Being visionary transcends believing and saying that the African hero is; it involves an active interest in the survival of and the future of Africa. The African hero must build and sustain an invincible security system for Africa. Let the army he forms or maintains be capable of fetching destruction to any power that remorselessly puts Africa under punitive pressure. I recommend that Africa has a standing army of thirty tactically qualitative million soldiers; ten million each as Navy, Air and Land departments of warfare. Additional ten million should preserved as reserves. Generally, every African should be imbued with invaluable military tactics!

They should be well-trained enough to be able to defeat all the world’s armies combined within four hours; their physical strengths must be sturdily strong. Each soldier should have the irreversible mandate of killing one million enemies before he or she dies. Their strength must combine the physical with the spiritual; they should behave and be able to operate all physically invented weapons with impressive adeptness without failing at mystically conjuring the forces of Nature when battles become destructively overwhelming. The African Army should be fearless and indefatigable. The enemies they battle are as formidable as death; and if invisible demons on the gorge of hell attack these soldiers, let there be no stress putting them to test they will eternally regret. As the African soldiers go to battle, let those Africans at home be also unconquerable; no ally-invaders attack our godlike civilians; let all civilians be harmful in arm-use, let all Africans be more dangerous than the posed danger from any angle of danger as deathless humans. Let the African hero never be bought into believing that disarmaments is strength, or that life is anything less than war while they retain theirs and murder others’ leaders at will. This is never true! Disarmament is a policy aimed at weakening the perpetually scheduled for oppression. In the brilliant words of professor whole Soyinka, the first African laureate of literature, ‘Safeguarding freedoms, alas, goes beyond even the most intense passion and will of the poetic muse, and we must never shy away from acknowledging this cruel reality’.

The African hero’s vision must cut across the entire facets of existence. In trade and transportation, let vision show up. In education and politics, he must be the African vision. In matters of religion, let his vision be thorough enough to outlaw fundamentalism and fanaticism that may show up as terrorism in Africa. The laws he writes must guarantee everybody’s survival with no given right to anyone to immorally encroach into others’ right of choice. Rights cannot intrude the private façade of redefining exceptions if we are just; exceptions will not crush fundamental rights if we love. But love is the purpose for which justice seeks to remedy the compliant of the law. However we are all one, seeing our oneness in different ways. Whether as theists or atheists, deists or agnostics, we need to relate with others unwillful blunders with love. However when we advocate tolerance for, and love towards one another, it is not to convert latent and required courage to cowardice; it is in more appropriately waging the peace for the general bliss that we first explore the love of peaceful war with love. Do constantly explore the love of p[peaceful war with love. Do never mistake the loving for cowards; those who do often have no biological facilities to express regrets! The passion with which pacifists go for peace is deadlier than the violent heroism of the finest army in human history when convinced it is time for war!

The African hero must be fearless. A man is best defined by what he bravely defies, his weaknesses from what he fiercely fears. Every other thing does not defy him, in which a being withdraws his inner strength as threat. The logic of this principle can neither life captures, nor death eliminates. It is the projection of the indomitable spirit into the architecture of life’s fragmented but no less real realities. Realities are not as independent as they look; they are the offshore-constituents of some rooted spiritual constancy from which life’s orientations are destined or ordained. The choices the African hero makes will invite the world media against his person and the land he loves; all the armies, all the organizations established to foster his permanence in agony will plot his death. He must be strong; the African hero must be fearless. Odds are soft, war is fun, let the African hero survive for the survival of truth and Africa! No formal education is required in Africa to master the travails of Africa as Africans living the excruciating realities of Africa; the hunger and the diseases defy all social indices, the homelessness and job unemployment minister better to the soul than any postulated theory or legal point. We have swum in the tears of tragic, preventable deaths and lived with hopelessness and sorrows enough to dare these merciless political impediments as citizens. Countrymen and women, shall we say the truth? Every eloquent talk of freedom, all analyses on exploiters’ and tyrants’ massive evil that exclude the willingness of liberating action are as boring to the military soul as prose to experts of beautiful poetry; our quarrels are just but our skills and weapons weary the mood of victory: how do we ever think of being free? Our protests are ripe but our resolve is dulling; with our own hands do we fasten our fate to irredeemable woes as long as we are unexcited by the nobly immortalizing hope of getting the liberty or strolling- in brave deviance- towards the threatening death! Every obstacle fosters the cause of lasting justice; to those brave souls genuinely interested in freedom, death is as essential as the breathed air! Death is eternity, met on the path of progress; life is death, protected from the expansion of backwardness. War may be noble, fought on the side of love; the calm condition that yields the soul to secret violence is never peace. For how long shall we continue to increase the years of our stay in these needless parameters of penury? Can’t we be noble enough to temper justice with mercy on the decided idea of bequeathing social horrors to posterity as patrimony?

I am heart-broken, dear Africans... A congress of cacophonous critics increase the temperature of chaos with belaboured analyses, than are relevant to the conspicuously directionless polity millions hourly bewail; a pitapating assembly of hesitators and non-actors ignorantly sentence hope to untimely death, passing their cowardly rants in books and music albums that further feed on the poor; but thought is, and ought to remain the expressed impressions of enlightened awareness. Thought is the function, action the functionary; the one should culminate in the other for the era of assisting order. No nation, no organization, no government ever becomes enviably redefined and sacrificially great by informed but non-acting citizens.

In relation to African survival, few African who glue to the tattered but promising bag of hope are often being reminded of the impossibility of ideal situations in human organizations; elderly destroyers and morally unambitions youths say realistic expediencies must govern our African choices, that the glittering image of what is surpasses the latent energy of what ought to be. Holders of contrary view are stigmatized, isolated and punished on ground that they arrogantly differ. But principle can be pure, morality can be unblemished, beauty can be untainted in the African struggles for liberation and in the world if we will invest our will in the unusual ways of these. What Africans pay attention to and protect at the detriment of Africans are the abstract reflections of ethical weaknesses that brew and preserve collective mar. Africa will be better than it now is if we return the ideal Reality and boundless bravery represented in ideal African freedom to the administration of African affairs.

There is no over-simplification, no visionless simplism of the monstrous realities in our attempts to remove the afflictions of Africa. We are clearly aware of the complications. But we also know our latent capacity to diligently, sacrificially pay the price in making Africa rise. Pessimists see the only impossible at every point; idealists know these problems are real, and in addition, know they can be solved with inexorable work. Africa has hope! But Africans alone will fetch Africa to that hope. We are not as hopeless as we appear if we are as hopeful and active as we should become; in our own time, let us re-invent Africa for Africa’s good!

An incontestable truism it remains that heroes are necessary for the liberation of my native Africa; but Russia or any other imperial power has no stake in the opinions they promote and the cause they represent as Africans; these won’t be UN-fabricated, NATO-ordered or EU-backed villains inspiring those beautiful promises they are dramatically arranged to diplomatically, heartlessly hurt. They will be true heroes: principled Africans with no unprincipled plan to compromise Africa at any stage of African struggle; disciplined hagglers urging millions with their sacrifices to the point of original freedom, patriots that will never for fear of worse punishments and hope of empty self-trumpery and material aggrandizement settle down for terrifying indices for the African life. Men with no expectation to be dishonourably honoured in Stockholm, Parish, London or Washington, Africa needs heroes; women of thorough substance, youths of eternal hopes, human-gods that goad on despite odds, the African heroes are the pivots of coming African glory. Heroes glaring to African gratitude, not CNN-made, they are unfrenchifiable, never the type BBC clones with vested interest, beyond the Chinese calm but expensive Chess. Voices which though hunted by the whites, still remain loyal to the continental moods and worries of our WHYs; profound in thoughts, wild in action and rebouncing with enthusiasm that jolts us on as we follow and fight and die, these heroes are the messiahs we badly require. They need no Harvard degree, no Cambridge training; their African education will be enough for the African manumission. They are sons and daughters of Africa, our African heroes and heroines. In their words and ways, they are Africans. They are not the scholars who financially benefit from biased-towards the West or against-African activism, not the power-drunk dictators bequeathing no political structures from which near-perfect leadership may advance once they are dead. They are not the Mubaraks, not the Mugabes, not the Quaddafis, not the Obasanjos, not the Babangidas, not the Abachas, not the Biyas, not the Ben Alis, etc.; these men undermine the latent genius of other men and reduce leadership to family property. They are not the heroes Africa needs and seeks. The heroes we must have are neither realists who blend with opposed trends as the battle rages on the tracks of fire, nor idealists whose extravagant optimism invests our hemisphere in miss-calculated, dandy doom; African heroes are simply passionate with African salvation, let this bring life, imprisonment or death. They are not the arrogant activists who insult the emerging minds with brilliant points; our heroes are too humane to platitudinously wax in the pomposity of universally perceivable truths-; they are tough comrades with benevolent clout as tools for the realization of the African freedom. They are above corruption, tribalism and racism, these Africans re-invent Africa for the good Africa may imply to the human race. They are not super humans, the African heroes are not ordinary mortals; brave engagers of deadly dangers, dreadful drillers of afflicted pains for freedom sake, these Africans bathe in the rain of brutal kicks and cuts, bullets and bombs, dying and fighting still, with their minds fixed on the snatching of Africa from home and foreign Ahab. Africa requires heroes now!

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