FEATURE ARTICLE

Sunday, April 7, 2024
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Arizona, USA
RELIGION AND MY AFRICAN BRETHREN

"Neocolonialism is eviler than colonialism. Neocolonialism has eaten deeper into the mental palace and consciousness of Africans." - Yahaya Balogun

egarding religion, Africa seems more than a thousand years away from developed countries. Suffice it to say that Africa is also rich and potentially endowed to be the most extraordinary continent in the world. Still, religion has been the bane of African growth and development. Logic and reasoning could be more useful in a topical and typical religious African. Religious idiosyncrasies have beclouded and rewired the mental and cultural default of some religious Africans.

It is mindboggling that a Nigerian-African Professor and intellectual could sit comfortably with intellectual travesty, looking at the pulpits: listening to cock and bull stories, the gibberish, fairytales, fibs, appalling miracles, sophistry, and the antics and demotivational talks of these gods of men and unlettered clerics without activating their cognitive reasoning. In that case, you should know that colonization was a child's play to neocolonialism in Africa. The pervading religious activities in Africa are a fraud and catalyst for fermenting chronic ignorance and hypocrisy. On a good day, in the region where religion was imported to Africa, just say "God bless you" to a typical American or European, and you will be stunned to see their look or countenance at your sanctimonious alien mental theology.

Once upon a time, my brethren in one of the religious sects in Nigeria were religiously barred from watching television and wearing good clothes and shoes. Cultural makeup (cultural cosmetics called týrˇ˛) was also made a taboo. The religious sect in Nigeria that prevented their members from watching television and wearing good clothes and shoes was a prime example of the dangers of excessive control and manipulation by spiritual leaders. It's alarming that they wired every aspect of their followers' lives with self-conceited beliefs, leaving no room for individuality or independent thought. Individuals must have the power to make their own decisions and think for themselves rather than relying on others for every aspect of their mundane and spiritial lives. True independence and self-reliance are essential for personal growth and development and should always be encouraged.

It is pertinent to take a firm stand against religious extremist and domestic terrorist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria. The mental bending of Pentecostal and the harmful beliefs marabouts have caused untold harm and destruction to innocent people and communities. We cannot afford to be complacent in the face of such atrocities. We must assertively eradicate these harmful beliefs and promote education and tolerance.

Finally, before the advent of the current nuisance in African mores, Africa was a brotherhood in the hood of peace, mutual respect, and tranquility. The simple but mundane solution to the African debacle and stunted growth and development is to rediscover the true identity of Africans in brethren Africans. Until this simple solution is applied to African daily life, Africa will continue languishing in the mental webs of televangelical ministries of gods of men and the cobwebs of ignoranceŚthe twin brother of poverty, jealousy, squalor, hypocrisy, and general hopelessness.

It's essential to recognize the potential that lies within Africa and its people. However, it's also clear that religion has played a significant role in shaping African society, often to the detriment of growth and development. While religion can provide a sense of community and purpose, it's crucial to ensure that it doesn't hinder progress. Understandably, people seek miracles, prosperity, and worldly gains, but it's important to remember the true intentions of religion - eternal salvation.

By promoting education and critical thinking, we can encourage Africans to unlock their true potential and work towards a brighter future. Let's work together to create a society that values innovation, creativity, and mutual respect. We must relentlessly pursue justice and work towards rebuilding and healing the communities that have suffered. Together, we can demonstrate our strength and resilience in adversity and create a better future for all.

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