By Hammadi Maasinah.
Today lets start withÂ the writings of William Shakepeare, an icon in the huge sea of words who cannot be buried under any rug. In most of his plays William has been able to set the world as a stage where actors and actress converge to interpret the meaning of life. William was not a shy writer before brutality, thuggery, decadence or where people have been “raped” by the desire of ruthlessness. If only I can ask myself this. What would he have written for or against Africa during slavery days if time was to challenge him on that? The answer maybe in the abstract some where.
In his famous book Julius Ceaser Cassius (one of the known characters) said this:”The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
Interpretation:-Cassius, a nobleman, is speaking with his friend, Brutus, and trying to persuade him that, in the best interests of the public, Julius Caesar must be stopped from becoming monarch of Rome. Brutus is aware of Caesar’s intentions, and is torn between his love of his friend Caesar and his duty to the republic. Cassius continues by reminding Brutus that Caesar is just a man, not a god, and that they are equal men to Caesar. They were all born equally free, and so why would they suddenly have to bow to another man? On another level this phrase has been interpreted to mean that fate is not what drives men to their decisions and actions, but rather the human condition.
Along this very vein please allow me send a response to a fan and a wise man who has chosen to side with those of us who use words not swords, I am appreciativeÂ of the wise words coming from Mr Scales in the United Kingdom. Mr Scales, here is what your own bretheren said in this dictum: “He who wants to excel is always misunderstood” When Africa is mentioned it is like what we learned from traditional Nigeria through their able writers,one of these sayingsÂ reads:” When dry bones are mentioned in a conversation old women feel uneasy”
Indeed Africa isÂ groaning in pain. Africa has always been raped,cheated and abandoned. Who were the rapists,the cheats,the thieves and the uninvited and the harmful players within? History has given us some unhidden answers BUT we still have hidden ones within and without. The blades of those blames coming from its sons and daughters while rejecting our own part of the “share” is not acceptable. Likewise making good out of colonialism is not also acceptable. Like Nrumah said:”There are no pros and cons in colonialism because the whole idea is bad” Period. Those who came to intrude were not welcome. The names of those who came to settle share and care for our people shall always stay on the good side of our historical slate.
All Europeans did not come to loot,shoot and rule. There are those genuine men and women who came to see but not conquer. This is where universility matters. We cannot erase the past. Can we? We cannot. However,we can set a criteria as to how and why we need each other in this horizon of unversality. This very thread brought us Barak Obama today. His traveledÂ from a village in Kenya,was received in the US more than 4 decades ago. These were the days of Jim Crow’s laws but he managed to get to a white person from Kansas.Â An equation none of us can ever solve in the ordinary. It was destined to be! He thenÂ got a son named Barak. A sonÂ many are seeing as that light of hope to shine above one of the strongest countries in the world if not the strongest.Â
If races are rivers then Obama is the confluence! He is being called a first black man ever to be nominated by DEM Party(a major one in US history) thus yearning for the oval office. This is so significant in US history but more significant in African history. God has answered many questions as far as Obama’s case is concerned. He created Obama not out the a legacy of being a former slave’s grandson. The latter was created out of the idea of universility and “inheritance” beyond borders. Obama was born American but his father was not.
On the other hand we still have countries in Africa trying to deny those whose parents were not born in a particular country to pose asÂ presidential candidates!!!? Whose fault is that? Ours or the west’s? That is ours not the west’s! Lest we forget why Alassan Ouattara can’t still rule Ivory Coast. There is where we own the partÂ of the blame. Now when it comes to states,statutes,boundaries and other cunbersome layers of inherited “indirect” approaches towards social justice, there is where the colonialists have to recognise their share of the blame. Ultimately the power of our positive minds can see through the googles of history.
History has helped “merge” all these mishaps and original points together, whats left? We must learn how to appreciate each other by any means necessary. The west cannot go without Africa they know that very well.Â Neither can Africa go without the west. This is a matter of fact and reality not that of emotions and whirling accusations against one and another.Â Like ObamaÂ has been singing everyday…”Yes we can!” I will borrow his words here then say:”Yes Africa can!”
Africa’s civility has not been staggering at the rear. During the dark ages in Europe Africa had already built a library in Timbuktu. The Pharaonic era has shown us the power of a huge continent in history. History leaves so many interpretations behind because it is time with a different name. Civilisation in summary means:WAY OF LIFE. The Pigmi needs no preacher to tell them how to live. Neither does the Eskimo need anyone to tell them to vacate their igloo. Welcome to the Africa of universality. Words like modernity are designed perceptions of class struggle. Something can be fashion but not modern. Lest we forget the meaning of the English saying:”necessity is the mother on invention”
Who is modern where values are being guarded against all odds? Tell me!
My dearest friends of the land the above could as well be so touching and powerful before the eyes of those who want to rise against injustice,callous regimes,whims and caprices of a dictatorial statusquo and extreme desires of a men and women who want to rule with that “patent” of personality cult. Like many have said:”freedom is never free of charge”.
Certainly the price of freedom is sweat,pain,pints of blood,sleepless nights,being misunderstood,stalked,hacked and buried for the sake of it. This is exactly why Ken Saro Wiwa was hung by a former Nigerian dictator. Ken had no sword,no rocket,no bomb!Â All he had was his pipe,pen and papyrus. His armoury of words and wisdom shook Sanni Abacha’s base therefore he was slaughtered. Words are so powerful!Â Time has always proven that dictators despise men and women of pens more than they dislike those who use a modus operandi similar to theirs. They prefer facing those who use methods similar to what they know cause that justifies prolonging the illegimate. At any timeÂ a dictator tastes the power of words from a pen, it is always bitter. It is like whenÂ a huge snake is being smoked out of its hole. Snakes would have chosen seeing the hand of a hunter in the hole intsead of thick smoke. Hands are physically present but can be bitten by any poisonous mamba in a dark hole. Smoke isn’t muscular but works faster than muscles. WhereÂ dictators use praises as breakfast,truth becomes the acrid smoke to make them sneeze,cough and jump.
These words we write,the pens we use,keyboards we touch are the best partners we could have come accross as far as going against the rising fury in Banjul is concerned.
I could NOTÂ agree more with some of our pals and fans online. All those sound minds who see essence in the struggle with words and pens are what I will call genuine partners of wisdom and dedication.
These paragraphs that keep on pouring in from the freedomnewspaper and other online media outlets are the nightmare of ruthless rulers like Yahya Jammeh. Petty dictators do not like difference.They prefer uniform approaches. Uniform means staying the same while using form not subtance. Uniform is not the same as unity. Certainly the word is self explanatory. All soldiers are in uniform,True! All soldiers are loyal,false! Uniform helps dictators identify difference but it does help them photocopy minds,as minds are not to be reprinted.
This is where words are not swords. They do not chop,they plot. They do not rot,they float. They do not dissappear,they always reappear lest we forget the meaning of knowlegde! What conveys knowlegde? Words! This is why I adore those with stamina,wisdom and tolerance during these darks days of a historical against irresponsibility.
God Bless our supporters!!!