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Nigeria and the Secret Value of Blackness
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
July 6, 2009

 

 

Contrary to the definition of Black or Blackness in many Eurocentric or Arabic dictionaries, beliefs, and ideologies, Blackness simply is originality, the beginning and the end of all processes and situations, and the foundation on which humanity (physical and spiritual) is based upon.  Even in Genesis1: 1-3, before God separated the heavens, gathered the waters, and created the sun, it was all blackness.  In Revelation 6: 12-14, the sun will turn black, the moon will turn to blood red, and the stars will fall from the sky at the end of time. God is consistent; everything returns to its originality with time and Africa is the origin of all humans.  In the arts, a mixture of all the colors gives you black.  Science will argue that by spinning all the colors of the rainbow you get white, but that is just the colors of sunlight, which was created out of blackness from the beginning. 

When I first came to America at 16 to attend college, a lot of Whites and international students will surround me and be asking all kinds of questions about Africa and Nigeria.  I always wondered why.  They wanted to hear our language, sing our songs, and listen to our music.  They would even bother me about African deities, our royal families, and our history.  This bothered me because I just left Structural Adjustment Program, inflation, and austerity in Nigeria to come to America, but these people wanted to learn about Nigeria so badly.  Whenever I took them out on a date or just went out, they would leave their latest $15,000 cars that their parents bought them and ride in my $900 - 1985 car.  I started thinking that they were laughing at me or using me for gas.  While in my car, they would request African music (not reggae).  When they came to my house, they wanted to see my album and pictures from Africa.  Soon they stopped hanging around me and it did disturb me a little. 

Months later, I discussed my discovery with an older Black American who was a professor and had traveled the world.  He then pulled me aside and told me that they left me because they were disappointed in me.  He reasoned that they came to me to show them a different way and I was unable to provide them a solution to their problem.  I soon noticed that lots of White students in college at the time where rebellious against their parents.  They saw their lifestyles were leading to a dead-end, they saw the pain and bondage of uncontrolled pursuit of wealth, and understood that they needed redirection.  They came to me because they wanted something different to hold on to; something original and unique to enhance their life.  So I told my mother to send me African clothes, black soap, chewing stick, Edo and Nigeria music, Nigerian art and banner, old NTA Benin dramas, and anything African you can think of.   This time, the students did not only make good use of the African items, but they are still my friends to this day. 

The point here is that Nigerians (Africans) are unprepared to face the world and its need for Africa.  We do not only lack a good understanding of who we are and who we need to be, but also, we do not understand the needs of the world and know exactly where and how we fit in.  The value of Blackness can never be changes, displaced, or replaced.  We just have to know how to build on it and utilize it in maximizing our economic and political relevance.  Africa is like water.  It is used to make juices, wines, beer, and soft drinks.  We all know that water is tasteless but it makes the body health, cleans the body, and increase the movement within the body.  While Africans are running after the juices, wine, and beer that bring sickness and are made from water, the non-Africans are figuring out how to get the water to make the things we run after.  Our job is to understand water and control it because everything that lives depends on it. 

The mistake we make is that the very things we think are inferior or are shameful about Africa, are sometimes what the world desperately needs.  Africans tend to think that by telling others that they are Christians and love going to Europe, or that they are Muslims and have status in Islamic ranking, or have dissociated themselves from everything traditionally African shows that they are sophisticated, civilized, and thereby enhances their acceptance by others.  This is a lie from the Devil.  It only justifies the stereotypes of Africans as stupid, why we should never be taken seriously, and why we must be relegated as second class citizens, even when it appears that we have assimilated.  This is because we appear to have nothing original and unique to add to their lives.  The world is looking for the original African concept of God, legal system, health system, economic systems, and political way of life before colonization.  They see that their world is failing and they are figuring out a place to go, but Africans are not prepared to anticipate the turn around of global events that will be the biggest transfer of wealth in human history.  People will pay anything for knowledge and information to survive. 

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Just because you are a Christian does not mean that you can not speak accurately and intelligently about Olokun, Ogun, and Shango.  Just because you are a Muslim does not mean you should not know, appreciate, or teach African accomplishment before the coming of Islam.  The West makes billions of dollars talking about the ancient Roman Empire and its gods, but many are neither descendant of Rome nor do they worship Roman gods.   They simply study and utilize the ideologies and concepts to better their way of life.  Africans are always willing and very eager to insult their culture and give up EVERYTHING for the sake of Jesus and the Arab Prophet, but Jesus was an expert in Jewish traditions till the day he died and the Prophet never gave up on Arabic, despite the fact that they both introduced a new way.  Why?  It is because the noble in mind and understanding knows that knowledge and information is not only power, but it is also the highest form of wealth. 

My advice to all Nigerians (Africans) who love God and are noble in mind, despite discrimination, inflation, unemployment, deportations, northern/Muslim Oligarchy, hunger, and corruption,  is to find one thing uniquely or originally African that matches their personality and genuine interest and be a master of it (according to the book: Living with a peace of mind).  It could be studying a plant for its usefulness, making of natural soaps, understanding of traditional worship procedures, making of natural cosmetics, traditional energy drinks, utilization of solar energy to do work, traditional food storage and nutrient maximization, natural pharmaceuticals without side effects, and then publish, patent, or copyright it.  You may even turn your findings into a website that others can advertise on or pay to be a member.    Documentation will always beat conversation.  The world is going back to and will come back to blackness.  It is nothing but a natural process that must be fulfilled.  Black people just have to be aware, observant, and wait like patient investors when these things start taking place so that they will be in a good position to serve humanity with knowledge for the exchange of wealth.  This is what I call the value of blackness. 

References: 

Living with a peace of mind: http://www.edofolks.com/living