Culture and the fundamentals of African heritage


AFRICAN people are defined by their culture, land, and history. These are the fundamentals of their heritage. They constitute their civilisation and level of development.
African humanity is measured against them. Their culture, are the values that bind them together as a people.
These values are expressed in their languages. They are celebrated through their arts which include oral stories, proverbs, songs, music and dance.
They are preserved for posterity through various forms of representation such as sculpture, architecture and other forms of symbolism.
When Africans are robbed of the fundamentals of their heritage, they cease to live as Africans. This is the secret that Europeans discovered early in their history of colonisation. As Marimba Ani says, they knew that culture contains the rules for thinking.
If you impose your culture on your victims you limit the creativity of their vision and destroy their ability to act in their own interest.
You prevent them from thinking in a manner that would lead them to authentic self-determination.
Intellectual decolonisation in Africa is, therefore, a prerequisite for successful political decolonisation and cultural reconstruction strategies.
This is so because to be truly liberated, Africans must come to know the nature of European thought and behaviour and understand the effect that Europe has had on our ability to think victoriously as Africans.
Only then would Africans be able to separate African thought from European thought and visualise a future that is not dominated by Europe.
This demand is fundamental because, as Marimba Ani says, we are Africans and the future towards which Europe leads us is genocidal.
The intended genocide of an African people by Europeans can be illustrated with reference to the continued efforts by Europe to destroy African languages as one of the fundamentals of African heritage and make Africans cease to articulate their relationships with each other as Africans and see the world in their own terms as Africans.
This is so because, as George Steiner explains in After Babel, each human language maps the world differently. Each tongue construes its own worlds and geographies differently.
The past tenses in each language constitute a people’s concept of history. When a language dies, therefore, a whole people and their world and history die with it. There is no survival of the fittest.
The same is true when African history is destroyed as one of the fundamentals of African heritage.
This is so because, as Dr Clarke explains, in Nile Valley Civilisations, history is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day.
It is a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography.
The role of history is to tell a people what they have been, where they have been, what they are, where they are, where they still must go and what they still must become as a people. If it fails to do so, it is useless.
This role of history is emphasized by Malcolm X in By Any Means Necessary when he says history is a people’s memory.
Without memory, man is demoted to the level of lower animals. You don’t know who you are. You don’t know where you are.
You don’t know where you came from. You don’t know how you got here and why you got here. You don’t know how to go from here or where to go from here.
The ultimate genocide of an African people intended by Europe is to deprive them of their land as the most important of all the fundamentals of African heritage.
We have said that Africans celebrate their civilization and heritage through their music, song and dance and various other forms of their arts.
When Africans are robbed of their land as the most important aspect of their heritage, their arts become mere hollow forms bereft of their true content.
Every time they sing their songs or perform their arts, their songs and arts and dances invoke the need to repossess their land as the true content and basis of their heritage.
This explains why the coloniser’s first task is to disallow Africans to continue singing the songs and dancing the dances and playing the drums and practising the cultures of the land of their African ancestors.This also explains why the coloniser’s first task is to educate the African intellectual to hate the ways of African people and follow the ways of the coloniser as the best practices in the world and insert them in African constitutions to encourage Africans to turn away from their cultures and follow those of the white man as fundamental human rights and freedoms for Africans.
This is the purpose of such provisions as in the Zimbabwean Constitution in Section 63, which says “Every person has the right to follow and participate in the cultural life of their choice.” This is also the purpose of describing Zimbabwe in the preamble of the Constitution as a nation of diverse cultures where one is free to follow any culture.
The intention of such provisions is to encourage disunity among African people and to incite young people to rebel against their governments and cultures in the name of human rights and freedoms.
A true African Constitution safeguards and protects the interests of African people. It is anchored in African history, culture and land. It unifies Africans and does not divide them.
A constitution whose provisions encourage rebellion against the fundamentals of African heritage is a product of intellectuals schooled in European worldview to lure Africans towards genocide by Europe.


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