COMMENT | Kwame Gonza | African brethren, I have a big problem with this assertion of ‘a problem with the African mind’. This allegation does not hold water in the eyes of history, and, is an insult to the African personality.
Africans single handedly rescued themselves and plucked victory from the beast of slavery and colonialism. We are, and have always been, at the center of making the world a better place for everyone.
We have many times found creative ways of rescuing ourselves and gaining freedom from unimaginable conditions. In Haiti, the slaves had only but sticks and stones against three mighty world superpowers, France, Britain and Spain.
They won and rescued all the blacks from slavery. Add to that, was the creativity that was used to gain independence.
We have not only contributed to giving the world the best inventions today, but we have also taught the Europeans, who many think have a somewhat better mind.
We have continued to flourish where the conditions are great and also in conditions where others can’t even survive. This, is without a single reparation to date even though other people like the Jews and Japanese on whom genocide and mass human rights abuses were committed, were given reparations. In many cases we outperform every one of the races.
Now, if we have been able to forge nations that are so far imperfect but are still struggling on and have produced some of the best human beings on this planet like Toussaint Louverture, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr, Kwame Nkrumah, Haile Selassie, Robert Sobukwe, Patrice Lumumba, Mandela and others, then where does one get the audacity to claim there is a problem with the African Mind?
The men I have mentioned loved all humanity that they would never want to harm even a single small ant, but would embrace and want to live with their enemies or those who brutalized and murdered them for centuries.
There is no problem with the mind of Africans. Please stop this baseless insult.
Individuals are subject to the institutions they operate in and we are living in an era of neocolonial institutions in every sense.
Nkrumah fought very hard against this evil and sinister system. He understood that you use what resources (all) you currently possess and control to capture political power because that’s the supreme human institution that has the ability to rapidly shape all the other institutions — hence his dictum of ‘seek yee first the political kingdom’.
That is why we are constantly saying we have more resources today than our ancestors who fought against slavery and colonialism. We are fighting an enemy who is already weakened if only we paid attention to historical events.
People failed to understand what Nkrumah was talking about and how he had a superior understanding of the interrelation between the institutions which constitute and shape human society.
We have people running around others on human rights issues, others claiming ‘education is the problem’, others ‘if we run with the economics then we will fix everything’, others this, and that.
All these are important but there is what is supposed to be done first in sequence before resurrecting a damaged civilization like ours. You can’t escape certain steps in building or rebuilding a civilization, and this has been proved, in all history.
Look at China for example from 1912 to 1949. There was a struggle to capture and consolidate political power, and not, building free trade areas.
It was after consolidation of the political power by Mao, who followed that up with reorganization or what they called a cultural revolution, that others like Deng Xiaoping came to add and carry out economic reconstruction, building on a strong foundation. With this example staring before our eyes, and history as the witness, how can a sane pan Africanist Champion AfCFTA as the first step?
People are running in the wrong direction with the instruments like AfCFTA and wasting time, and some pan Africanists are supporting these misled people in their enterprises instead of standing ground and showing them the right way. They are doing a disservice to Africa now, and for generations to come.
If the Pan African Body can’t correct things that are blatantly going wrong but encourage these misled elements to continue in the wrong direction with the right instrument, then who will?
Nkrumah believed that the black man can shape his destiny because he has a sane mind, and Marcus Garvey said it also before Nkrumah and proved it. Anyone who wants to understand more about the mind of the African should read Nkrumah’s book; Consciencism, Philosophy of Decolonisation.
What then is this ‘mind’ thing that people talk about all the time?
Has someone conducted any scientific study on the African brain and found that it is lower in any capacity?
Our struggle is subject to historical forces and when we come back to the top of the world you can be sure it’s going to be another 6000 years before anyone will be able to challenge that status.
So, I would like to say there is nothing wrong with the African mind. We are struggling up against formidable forces which are arrayed against us — like Nkrumah said in one of his speeches.
The Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute