By Farayi Mungoshi
“THEY tease us with pictures of a blue-eyed Jesus,” so goes some of the lyrics in an early 1990s song by hip hop artiste Ice Cube.
However, it would be decades before I could understand what he meant despite singing along to the song then.
Like any young person, I believed Jesus was white, had blonde hair and blue eyes.
To think otherwise, was tantamount to blasphemy.
It wasn’t until my uncle, scholar and researcher, Billiat Magara, told me of our origins as black people, and how, over centuries, we had been painted as a Godless people who ‘needed to be saved’.
Thus, when the slave traders and missionaries came in, they brought with them, the Bible and a white Jesus for us to worship.
Others have actually gone on to believe these lies, disregarding the fact that we have always been a God-fearing people who have always believed in Musikavanhu who, we have always communicated with, through our ancestors.
It is important, for black people in particular, to understand that the earliest images of Jesus are believed to date back to as early as the 4th Century and they show him with short hair, a beard and ‘melanated’ skin.
My uncle told me how he had come across an ancient Bible, that shows baby Jesus as a ‘Negro child’ unlike the rest of the King James Bibles most people have today.
I was shocked, considering that I had already gone through my teens, 20s and 30s without having heard of such.
Of course, I had heard that the Bible had throughout centuries gone through lots of transformations and re-writings, straying from the original scriptures but could not understand why.
Could it be true that Jesus was black?
If so, why the cover up?
In another article I wrote for The Patriot recently, I recall quoting a line from a movie King Kong, featuring Samuel L. Jackson in which he says ‘a camera is more dangerous than a gun’.
In other words, what one is shown by way of television, film or even a portrait, carries a lot of influence and can determine one’s mindset, how one, thinks and what one believes in, thus ultimately how one acts.
The reason most of us believe that Jesus is white, is simply because of the traditional pictures of Jesus on the walls in our homes.
The pictures show a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white Jesus such that whenever we even try to envision him as black, we see this white Jesus.
Is this really the Jesus of Nazareth in the Bible or just a picture of Cesare Borgia, Son of Pope Alexander VI painted by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci?
Whichever way we look at it, the bottom line is, people will always believe what they see.
However, we should be aware that Jesus was ‘made white’ in order for white supremacists to gain world control by brainwashing blacks.
Film-makers, like artists from the Middle-Ages and before, are largely to blame for peddling such lies.
In Christena Cleveland’s March 2016 article titled, ‘Why Jesus’ skin colour matters’, she says: “Indeed, white Jesus is everywhere: a 30-foot-tall white savior stands at the centre of Biola University’s campus; white Jesus is featured on most Christmas cards; and the recent History Channel mini-series the Bible dramatically introduced a white Jesus to more than 100 million viewers.
In most of the Western world, Jesus is white.”
As much as Jesus was made white, so was his name changed from the original name Yeshua.
I urge readers willing to learn more to watch the series, Borgia.
It chronicles the ascension to power of Pope Alexander VI, the then church’s dislike of Jews and how Leonardo Da Vinci did the paintings of Mary, Jesus and others.
The paintings had no basis, whatsoever on the true historical Mary or Jesus, but today we gobble up these images without thinking of their origins and how they came about or the fact that it is the likeness of Borgia that Da Vinci used to paint the now known picture of Jesus.
Bloggers on the internet even repeatedly call out to people ‘to stop worshipping Cesare Borgia’.
The fact of the matter is, do not always believe everything you see.
Truth is, one of the hardest things to find, but according to the same Bible, when you find it, it makes you free.
Scary as it is, most of us are living as slaves.
Our history was erased in order for colonisers to have complete power over us.
Whites likened themselves to God and relegated blacks to simpletons serving this God.
If we, as Zimbabweans, truly believe in the restoration of our legacy, then we must remember how we were once dubbed as one of the most literate nation on the face of the earth.
And as such, it is up to us to re-write history, accordingly and depict in our films and television series, the truth, tainted over centuries.
A tall order indeed, but achievable, if only we believe. No doubt the white Jesus’ portraits in our homes, institutions and other places are lies.