Tag Archives: colonialism

Three thoughts on Ngugi wa Thiong’os public lecture

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Source

His talk was titled “Decolonising the Mind, Securing the Base”.

  1. We exchanged our accents for European accents and in exchange for access to African resources.
  2. If you know all the languages of the world except your mother tongue, you are enslaved. If you speak your mother tongue in addition to other languages, you are empowered.
  3. Names and language is the imperialist’s last battle for the war that begun with the sword.

His talk was disrupted, I think wrongfully but here are a couple of other views you could check out.

Book Review: Capitalist Nigger

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I recently read this book and hated it.

It was poorly edited and very repetitive, also, I felt that Onyeani, the author, did not really counter the accusations he made against Black people – that we don’t really like to research and come up with new knowledge, rather we just sit back, consume and adapt what people around us have done. I would have liked to see his well-thought out theory that is counter the status quo. However, he did have some gems that I took note of.

  • You must understand that the same amount of time it takes to start a small venture might be the same amount of time or even less than it takes in starting a major one.
  • You must possess great discipline and an iron hand if you are to succeed in this world … One of the greatest drawbacks to our march to the promised land of wealth and money is our lack of discipline and persistence in the face of adversity.
  • If you are a slave, you cannot be independent and distinct from the whims and caprices or dictates of your conquerors.
  • Capitalist Nigger … understands that the State of Black economy can only be created when a group of young Black men and women dare to be success. Yes we have to dare to be successful.
  • If you cannot buy African, there is absolutely no way you are going to create a Black economy.
  • A Capitalist Nigger understands that for the Black economy to be created, he must have to create a niche for himself. The movement to restart the Black economy must be planned with absolute focus, with each individual focusing on how he can contribute to making it a reality.
  • The Capitalist Nigger is not going to patronise people who disrespect him and denigrate his intelligence as inferior.
  • It is extremely necessary that we take a few minutes,  hours,  days or months to ponder the intelligence of a race who cannot produce the basic things of life that are needed for their survival and have to depend on those who have oppressed them for years to come to their aid.
  • The question really is how could Africa have millions of educated men and women, yet have to import experts in all fields to manage areas of economic development, engineering and others for which Africans had gone to the same school.
  • Today, Africa is incapable of defending itself militarily, it is incapable of sustaining itself economically,  it has lost its culture and its socialisation is based on European culture.
  • The second annihilation which confronts the African child when he begins his school life is the name he must answer to. … They insisted that  if Africans had to become “Christians” they had to abandon their names which are historically and culturally rich. … I have never seen a European adopting an African name, despite the fact that some of them had lived or were born in Africa. They are not a conquered people ….

The book made me ask myself/ think of:

  1. How am I procuring from black people and making sure that the money circulates within the community I live in or if not, among African people? During the wedding, I tried to have as many African vendors as possible and sometimes it didn’t work out but for the most part,we did keep it within.
  2. It did get me wondering about some of the franchises closest to me and how many of them are owned by a African owner. Also, how would I go about finding that out?
  3. I had to come clean to the fact that part of my reluctance to patronise African-owned establishments is the lack of #excellence and the expectation that because I am supporting them, I should be happy to take scrapes from them. None of that! I won’t have it!
  4. Any establishment that disrespects me or my worth as a buyer, I complain about and if after suitable time no change is made, I vote with my feet and tell my constituents to also abstain from taking their patronage there. And this is the case, African or not!
  5. English/ Caucasian/Foreign names for African children in this day and age. NO! JUST NO!
  6. I still feel sad that I do not speak an African language. Thankfully I have Kiswahili which is African. But I wish I could speak with my grandparents and now some of my in-laws!

I would further recommend Decolonising the Mind by Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Similar subject but mainly about language and literature and the editing is THAT bit better!