After a successful debut with a thought provoking subject Franca Plange Writes “If the Tea is Hot”, which received massive reviews Franca returns with a second installment titled YES WE COULD powered by yours truly www.nydjlive.com. Enjoy and feel free to share as we await the next installment.
Hitherto, I had this strong conviction that Africa would have been a failure if not for the intervention of the white man and his colonialism. Why? Because I was appalled by the filth that graciously decorated our streets and highly disgusted by the stench that could overcome even the most expensive perfume.
I watch international news and I am ashamed of our continent because I think we cannot conduct simple elections to elect people to lead us. I watch movies like “Hotel Rwanda” with pictures of a human being chopping off the arm of a fellow human and I just cannot believe how inhuman our people can be and why we could not solve our misunderstandings with a simple dialogue but had to always resort to arms.
Yes! I just could not simply fathom why in this day and age, we allowed ourselves to be ruled by primitive traditions like how a widow should wear black and mourn her deceased husband for a whole year or else face allegations of being responsible for his death, or how a woman’s sole purpose is to raise children and keep a home.
Such that, a woman who is not married by a certain age is seen as not being normal, some jobs are perceived to be a man’s job and even in cases where the woman has the same qualifications and experience as a man and are given the same jobs, their salaries are not equal. I just could not fathom why a woman who has not been blessed with children in her marriage is seen as a social canker and how “faithfulness” in marriage should be a bitter pill swallowed only by the woman till death do they part.
I am sure you might have also felt this way at a point in time and might have also thought that we couldn’t have developed without the intervention of the white man. However, as I kept pondering over these issues and asking God intermittently why He created the black man this way, with such a myopic mind and with so many absurd traditions like how in some parts of Nigeria some ages ago, twins were killed and albinos considered as taboos; I had a revelation; call it an “eureka” moment!
I believe that Africa would have developed in her own small way according to her own potential at her own pace. We would have come up with our systems to suit our nature. But we would never find out how, because now everything is measured with the standard of the white man. And because of this, we will never know the potential of the black man. Our education, marriage systems, ruling systems, and every other aspect of our lives are compared to that of the white man.
And how can that be? A group of people who had inventions like the compass and the ship at the time when we had never dreamt of a thing like that. When they lived in brick houses, we lived in huts or houses built with clay (if you belonged to the royal family). They had guns and canons; we had the bow, the arrow and cutlasses. They used the lantern and candles at night; we relied on the moon, the firefly and the glowworm for our source of light at night.
They invented the ink thus; they could document all their records by just dipping the tip of a feather in it while we at that time used the feather for the sole purpose of tickling our ears for the share pleasure of it and rather preferred to pass our history orally to the younger generations.
It is obvious the white man was way ahead of us at that time (or so it seemed); the white man still is ahead of us and will remain so for as long as the world exists. This is because, one fact remains; we are two different entities with two different make up and capabilities. One is white and the other black. We can never be the same. And that is how God made it.
Our thinking, our behavior, our morals and our beliefs, everything is different. That is why we had our own ways of doing things at our own pace. Today, I walk through the bustling cities of Accra and Kumasi and I blame no one for our filth, stench and choked gutters but the imposition of civilization by the white man. I blame “Kwesi Broni” for our failed systems, hypocrisy and constant confusion.
If it hadn’t been for westernization, and the extent to which our water bodies have been polluted due to mining activities, the “kayayo” at “kejetia” would not need to go for sachet water in the first place to even litter the environment. She would just go to the river and fetch fresh water, boil it and pour it into her earthen ware pot, drink from it and its simple!
We had our own town council members or as my late grandmother, Auntie Esi Duku of blessed memories will say, “Tankass”. These town council officials ensured that we kept our surroundings clean through their regular unannounced inspections, defaulters were fined or persecuted and sometimes jailed. Now, you go to our villages where due to low literacy rates it is assumed that they are far behind, and you will find their homes and surroundings very neat, contrary to the “civilized cities”.
In our forefathers’ time, a rich man’s wealth was measured by the number of cows, sheep, wives and children he possessed, now there is so much pressure to live the “American dream” that people spend their whole lives just working and existing till they finally die of stress. Your traditional marriage will remain illegal until you have a church wedding. So people spend their whole lives working and saving just to have a church wedding. This has resulted in delayed marriages which have also given rise to fornication, single parenting and a whole lot more.
Our ruling systems have been destroyed, such that, if the president and the “Asantehene” are found in the same room, we don’t even know which authority is higher. Children of school going ages can’t tell the difference between their Christian names, their real names and their surnames. We have been brainwashed into believing that everything black is evil to an extent that now; bleaching is the new fashion trend in our sub-continent. A recent study has shown that 8 out of every 10 Nigerian, bleaches. It is quite alarming but unfortunately the same can be said of our country Ghana and other neighboring African countries.
Yes! I strongly believe that the black man could have developed in his own small way at his own pace, because I learnt in SHS during my history class about the civilization of Egypt and I remember the fact that civilization started in Egypt, an African country. Irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, preservation of dead bodies, the early development of an independent writing system, decentralization, a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, the first known ships, glass technology, new forms of literature and the list continues.
Its arts and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world. Its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of travelers and writers for centuries. So gradually through trade relations I believe we would have reached there too.
So if you ask me whether the black man can ever get to where the white man is, I would say, “no we can’t, but if you ask me whether the black man could have been civilized on his own, I would say Yes We Could! However, we will never find out because the standard now is that of the white man.
My name is Franca Efe Plange and just like noses, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion; and this is my opinion.