COLONIALISM AND CONTRAPTION: AFRICA’S BLEEDING CATALYSTS. (III)
(SPURIOUS ‘BUILDING’, AND PURPOSED DESTRUCTION).
By Gideon I. Onyedi.
From the foregoing, it is my humble judgment in this treatise that the reader is objectively coming to terms with the negative, manipulative and ‘incinerating’ dynamics and modes of colonialism and its attendant blood-sucking contraptions in Africa.
In Achebe’s timeless and ‘boundless’ masterpiece, ‘‘Things Fall Apart’’ which in contemporary readership and scholarship transcends a mere fictional genre as it has assumed a great multi-disciplinary utilitarian relevance in the literary, linguistic, historical and sociological/anthropological disciplinary investigations and analyses, the symbolic dispositional characterisation of the colonialist (the true antagonist/villain), as a self-centred hypocritical builder, one versed in the art of self-preservation and interest perpetuation through cunningness and manipulations, and an unmistakable predisposed destroyer of whatever monuments and movements: monuments of culture, history and identity, and or movements of tradition and natural social development that stand in his way and against his interest, was captured and could be aptly deconstructed from the defining narration of the amiable developing character, Obierik
‘‘How do you think we can fight when our brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.’’ (TFA, Ch. 20)
The white man is seen as deliberately coming to Africa under the guise of unqualified altruism and of a light-bearer. For his interest, he sowed discord. The role of Britain in Nigeria’s civil war generally, and particularly as experienced in the then strained relationship between brothers and neighbours in the then Biafra comprised of the present South East/South South Nigeria was nothing other than promotion of self-interest and ego and a total destruction of a people’s identity, history and brotherhood as he ‘won our brothers and our clan can no longer act like one’ vis-à-vis a larger colonially-induced national political expression through (unnatural) contraption that has continued to demand an endless rituals of blood and human sacrifice. A case of two-fold destruction: destruction of a naturally united brotherhood on the one hand, and the destruction of naturally existing boundaries through contraptions on the other hand, in the guise of building a larger social order founded and thriving on unmitigated bloody disorder.
On the historical side, we ‘momentarily’ remember the ‘scramble’ that saw to the destruction of precious lives and heritages. Apart from this, the carting away of Africa’s monuments of civilisation and culture and her artefacts to Europe, England in particular, was done to destroy Africa in man and material for the progress of Europe, and for which the colonial master now sees the need to return, (remember the British
onslaught against ancient African Kings and kingdoms such as Oba Ovonramwen), as captured below:
‘The British Museum will host a summit along with other European museums to discuss the return of bronze artifacts looted in 1897 from the kingdom of Benin, now southern Nigeria. The museum boasts the second largest collection of art from the Benin kingdom after the Ethnological Museum in Berlin. In the late 19th century, Britain sought to wipe out the kingdom of Benin in what became known as the “punitive expedition.” The city was set on fire…….. Some of the looted goods primed to be given back to Nigeria include a bronze cockerel called “Okukor,” which is currently housed at Cambridge University. In 2016, the university removed the statuette from their dining hall after a group of students petitioned for it to be sent back to Nigeria.’’(Quartz Africa, August 17, 2017)
The ‘supremacist’ palm of the self-acclaimed custodian and pacesetter of democracy and human rights is forever dented and soiled with the blood of Africans. These colonial masters built their empires and kingdoms in Europe and America by the blood and ‘bond’ of African slaves. They always pretentiously sustain their economic and diplomatic interests with the blood of Africans. And they strive to preserve their colonial legacies, with Europe’s glamour, technology and advancement as the exploiter’s colonial narrative, on the one hand, and with Africa’s sorrow, impoverishment and blood as the exploited’s colonial narrative, on the other hand, with the ever-flowing blood of the African on African soil.
These are Africans protesting their ‘forced citizenship’ through balkanisation and contraptions. Think of Nigeria with over 250 ethnic nationalities. These are Africans agitating for self-determination. These are Africans longing for their kinsmen and women in distant lands cut away by colonial ‘sanity’ or insanity. These are Africans fighting for their God-given natural resources in their own land. Again, the unfortunate experiences of the oil-producing states and communities in Nigeria is a case that can never be denied. These are Africans resisting forced proselytization and conquest of their ancestral lands. But their blood cries. And will continue to cry until the day and time of unmitigated retribution and remediation.
Although, on conviction of faith and ideals, just for a few, one is inclined to believe that by extending ‘civilisation’ (which started from Africa), bringing education, and the Christian religion, or ‘reviving’ Christianity in Africa, (after all it is believed that Christianity came first to Africa –Ethiopia- before Europe), and helping to abolish fetish and primitive cultures and practices such as the killing of twins, the ‘osu’ caste system, ‘the dead-for-evil-forest dialectics’, etc., the colonial master came to build for the present and eternal good of mankind, no doubt (though some may quickly dismiss this argument). However, by their selfish balkanisation of Africa, and creation of artificial formations, forging and realignment, and unmitigated distortions of previous original ‘national’ boundaries as defined by culture, history, language and social dynamics, and natural principles and preferences, thereby laying unavoidable ‘timelessly-tugged generational’ landmines against peace and development in Africa, the colonial master was judged to be partnering with the devil and his demonic cohorts that hungrily dine on helpless African flesh and thirstily wine on innocent ‘black’ blood. It amounted to questionably and spuriously building with one hand, and purposely and purposefully destroying with the other hand. It brought to question the original intentions of the colonial master.
He came to use Africa proactively to perpetuate and sustain the economy and civilisation of the West. It was a historical ‘sadistic’ cross-continental long-term strategy unto self-preservation for himself and his posterity. And to keep Africa ever-undeveloped and helplessly dependent on the West. A continuation of colonialism in the garment of neo-colonialism and socio-economic ‘dependencism’. A ‘civilised’ but subtle caste/feudal system where the downtrodden remains under the ruler for a thousand generations. Sometimes without realising it. Under a politically-refractive (optical) illusion of despicable, pseudo palliatives.
Whatever seeming good the colonial master did for Africa is controversially likened to the generosity of a ‘civilised’ paedophile struggling to clean and brush up a helpless little damsel, to his ‘manageable’ level, all and only for his selfish lustful and erotic aggrandisement. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nothing else. Even an ever replaceable or most dispensable slave would still be fed and ‘taken care of’ to be kept productive. Not for the sake of the slave, but for the slave master.
Without any intentions to denigrate the honour and humanity of the West, in my representations above and below, (as I have never, and will never denigrate their honour), I am a very defied and ‘defiled’ victim from a socio-culturally, economically and politically exploited continent, race and humanity, a crisis-ridden nation, and a seemingly conspiratorially threatened ‘nationality’, whose purity, honour, brotherhood, humanity, and natural/historical essence were taken away, and identity distorted, and who tells his own story, and that of his race from his own perception and experiences. And if anyone, any race, has any regard for social constructivism, such would forgive my seeming ‘vituperations’, which are not vituperations but a sorrowful story of reality told from a blood-soaked participant’s perspective and natural grounds of experiences.
Again, without deprecating the genuineness and glory of the sacrifice and labour of the selfless God-ordained missionaries who preached the saving Gospel of the Risen Christ, the Only Potentate and Lord, to us, it should be pointed out that to Africans, not a few, and in the light of political realities, the colonial master ‘used’ religion to ‘use’ and ‘destroy’ Africa. He used the name of God (religion) to advance his economic and political interest and expansion. He played God, but was indeed, an ‘arrow of the Devil’ in his unfaithfulness and selfishness. As stated earlier, he recreated and created nations where they didn’t exist. Created boundaries in the middle of natural blood stream of common origin. He dissolved naturally existing boundaries. ‘Wedded’ and welded strangers together, and sacrificed genuine ‘histro-cultural’ and natural considerations on the altar of potentially destructive selfish goal of economic advancement and a bloody legacy of colonial empire. And he saw nothing wrong and dangerous in this. It was not for the good of the people. Altogether. It was not for the good of Africa. It was for the colonial master.
He tried to free his conscience from guilt by rationalising his naturally dangerous supremacist action at the disequilibrated transactional level. A ‘dialectical materialism’ largely in his favour unto the dehumanisation and exploitation of Africa. And, again, at the sanctimonious and hypocritical level of religio-cultural blackmail: the colonial master is a self-righteous man on a mission to deliver the African from primitivity, mental incapacitation, Satanism and paganistic trado-cultural existence. Forgetting that an African, the Ethiopian Eunuch had received the gospel even during the apostolic days, though the continent obviously appeared to have needed a revival and restoration, long thereafter. But the colonialist was not the pioneer of Christian religious faith in black Africa. It can be argued that God wanted to use him as a tool of revival, and though the missionaries that had nothing to do with politics did their gracious best, and achieved God-honouring results, appreciably, but the colonial master ended up making his ‘belly his god.’
In his ‘wisdom’, self-serving ‘wisdom’, proverbially speaking, lions and lambs became a kingdom. Arid kingdom ever irrigated by the blood of the innocent; a ‘shrilly-chilly’ kingdom ever gravely resonating with heart-breaking lamentations of the orphaned and the widowed whose deceased fell prey in the hungry jaws of the bloody predator, scavenger, and ‘prehistoric crusader’ having a field-day, unfettered, in our time and clime. It became the proverbial charged keg of gunpowder, or pressure cooker, having waited to explode, now consumes millions at will and snaps.
In summary, it should be seen from the experiences of the victims of the evil of colonialism that the white man came to Africa to deceive in a manner that falsely presented him as a builder of society for the sake of the society selflessly, sacrificially, and humanely, but the truth that abounds with unmistakable evidence remains that he came to destroy the future of Africa to preserve his own future. He came to destroy the heritage and history of Africa to preserve his own heritage and history. He came to destroy the economy of Africa to preserve his own economy. He came to destroy the peace and brotherhood of Africa to remain the world’s opportunistic self-styled ‘peace-maker’ and preserve his own peace. It was a curious, spurious building and a purposed destruction indeed.