I returned to the White man land from Nigeria after sixteen years of departure as a Christian and student, but was curious to know why the White man was living in abundance and the African was a beggar in the midst of plenty. It was not long that I had a lot of Christian friends of all races and others too who were not Christians. I was quick to observe that they liked it when I followed them, but they were uncomfortable about me leading them. Was it because I was from the failed Africa or because I was foreign? I noticed that the White students were kind of distant from the Arabs and Asians, but it was obvious that they respected them when they had to meet. There was a sense of equality when they met the Arabs and the Asians, but they saw the Africans as an extension of them. They liked us and were very friendly towards us, but it was from a superior angle. I observed that the Arabs and Asians were independent in their student activities and had no external influences in their affairs, but the Africans had to have either Whites as members or take permission from some White to make decisions about African affairs. This could mean that Africans do not have money, or those who have money are holding on to it or spending it elsewhere, or Africans are simply not organized to support their own interest.
As one of the leaders of the international students at the time, it was clear that when others stood alone, African had to pair with members of other groups to have a say or to be seen as valuable. Some did not even want to associate with other Africans in order not to lose their newly found “high class” friends. Some, especially our women, were every quick to talk down on the continent publicly in an attempt to be seen as different or sophisticated with the hopes of being accepted by a different group. It got so bad sometimes that even White people, who have lived in the continent had to stand up and defend Africa. Maybe the opportunities of America makes you turn against yourself sometimes in order to advance with the new system. At the international meetings, you could see the world taking charge and talking with authority about how great there countries where except Africans. We were more interested in showing how we could identify with their greatness as individuals instead of how great we were as a block. While others talked at the conference tables about how great their countries were doing, Africans were not only uncomfortable, but were very interested and excited about what was going on in others’ countries and wondered how they could be a part of it. Could this be because African has no history or modern accomplishment, or we just do not know our history?
From going to predominately White churches, I came to understand that many Whites to not really care about God, the Bible, or Jesus; they are only Christians out of tradition or gratitude. Many of them know that Jesus and Moses were African Jews and would even admit to it privately. After all, why did the angle tell Joseph to run to Egypt and not Arabia when Jesus was a Baby? How can Moses be raise in the house of Pharaoh without detection except early Jews looked like the Egyptians? Keep in mind that Egypt was African and it was until about 700 years after the death of Christ that the Arabs took over and brought Islam with them. Whites are mainly Christians not necessarily because they were born into it, but because it was the foundation of the justification that they used to conquer the world to enhance their economic and political influence as a race of people. From Bible study, it was obvious that many of them do not read and understand the Bible like we do. The Biblical Jewish culture is similar to African culture than European. Many White churches do not like speaking in tongues, seeing visions, loud signings, and dancing like the Biblical characters did. They made the Bible suit their culture. Despite all this, it appears that God favors them than the Africans. Has God turned his back to us? After all, the Bible, science, and history agree that man came out of Africa and we gave birth to the rest of the races. Why are we so far behind?
So I started going to Nigerian churches. It was not too long that I heard that many of the Nigerian students in the area who once had cars were now looking for rides to go to work and the store. What could have happen? It was later that I found out that one of the Nigerian pastors told the church that if they gave God something that would hurt them, then they would see how God would prosper them and take away their immigration problems. He also emphasized that they should challenge God with their cars, which was the only possession God had given them since they came to America. Some people listened and gave their pastor the initial blessing God had given them to find and get to better jobs and feed their families. The sad part was that the pastor did not give up his car, neither did the wife. When you asked why the pastor should do such things, the same people who have being deceived will justify it by saying you either have no faith or you should never question the man of God. Many White churches will encourage the richer members to donate heavily for a cause that the church will account for and members will see the result. It will be done to assist with college tuition for their members, to take care of their sick, or help a member with a financial problem.
In our churches, Malachi 3:10 is the most famous verse. It talks about you robbing God if you do not pay your tithes. Tithes (a tenth of your income) were taxes paid to the Jewish temple, which was the center of government (Jews did not always have a king, but had priests). It was not money but agricultural produce, of which the priests took a tenth as salary (since they had no other income) and the rest were used to take care of the poor, and provide basic amenities and social infrastructures. It was tax to take care of the land and during Malachi’s time, the Jews were just returning from Babylonian slavery and God wanted them to settle back as a nation quickly. But, we have used it as a way to extort money from people through the fear of God punishing them if they do not give a tenth. I once asked a group of Nigerian Christians in the presence of a pastor, who God will bless more between a woman who gave God a fifth but was happy that she had no worries, and a woman that gave God a tenth knowing very well that she might not be able to make the children’s tuition and rent. My God!! Thank God words cannot kill. They almost condemned me to hell for speaking for Satan. They talked about putting God before you finances, accusing me of living above my finances if I can not give God a tenth, and they backed it up with the story of the poor widow who Jesus commended for giving all that she had. What nonsense!!! Just because she is a widow does not mean her husband did not leave any investment, and just because she is poor does not mean she has not taken care of her financial obligation like her rent, food, and children’s tuition. She gave freely and cheerfully without any regret. That was what Jesus meant by she gave all. Our happiness and peace of mind is more important to God than our earthly money. If American government already takes about 25% for tax, I give 10% to the church (another tax), what is left for me to invest as an inheritance for my children or to start a business in the future? Did financial experts not say to always keep 10% of what you make aside for future investment or inheritance?
Soon, I started studying the African Muslims with the hope that they were by far better than my Christian counterparts. Despite the fact, that their short-sighted leadership has brought Nigeria to its knees, I was interested in observing their psyche. In one of our international student parties, I was dancing with a Moroccan girl and believe me, we were rocking it. Just then, two boys approached her and then she turned to me to see if I was from the north or south of Nigeria, as soon as I made the mistake of saying south, the girl disappeared. In my soccer team at the time, there were Arabs and North Africans, and we all got along very well. They always used to talk about Rashidi Yekini with me because he made them very proud. With time, they got to know that I was not a reader of the Koran despite the fact that I was Nigerian, so our friendship got weakened. They assumed that almost every Nigerian should at least be a Muslim. It was not long afterwards that the Emir of Bauchi got arrested in Saudi Arabia on his way to Mecca for not having the right immigration papers. Despite the fact that I am not a Muslim, I was very offended by this. This was an insult to Nigeria and Africans as a whole. An Emir, a ruler or leader of an Islamic state, gets arrested when he comes to the Islamic holy land. Does he even need introduction? Would they do that to a Syrian or Jordanian Emir? Or is that a Black Emir is still inferior to an Arab beggar? I remember the story of the African Berber of North Africa after converting to Islam; lead the Islamic army to conquer southern Spain. When he was done, the Arab governor of North Africa made the African general kneel with his head bowed to the ground and he placed his feet on his head. He then relieved the African of his duties as general and no one knows what became of him afterwards.
As I got closer to my Muslim friends, I noticed that many higher ranking African Muslims that are as dark as other Africans in the north and east of African considered themselves to be Arab. But, when the real Arabs come, they are very quick to put them in their place and say that they are mere African Muslims. I am usually amazed at the way the African Muslims are pacified when their Arab colleagues are around them. They tend to be quiet and submissive just like the African Christians act at the international meetings and White churches. It is very obvious that no matter how proud we claim to be, we appear to have Europeans and Arabs as our everyday social and moral masters. It seems that they are our social and moral leaders, and we tend to follow their lead. I once asked an African Muslim woman if she had to save a relative or an imam in a split second, which she would save. Without thinking, she said the Arab. She assumed that the imam must be an Arab since I am comparing with an African relative. When I asked why, she said that the imam owns her soul. She said since her religion was her life, she must save her teacher. After all, who will read and teach the Koran to her. She claimed it was better to save the imam (Arab) and make it to heaven than her own blood. I only wonder if the Arab, who arrests African Emirs on holy soil would reason the same. Another also told me that if God were to give him a billon US dollar, he would be more interested in building more mosques that creating businesses for his people. When I asked why, he said spreading the word of God was more important that his people having money and progress. This is great. I guess Africans really love God.
My question is this: If the God we worship is the God that takes away our blessing in order to give us more, a God that says you must give a tenth no matter what or you are leaving above your means, a God that say do not challenge abused authority, a God that says do not dance with a fellow African, a God that says save and fight for others but not yourself, a God that do not empower your people for the sake of His word, a God that basically says do not unite or hate progress, then what is the job of the Devil who is suppose to be roaming around the place looking for whom to consume and to destroy? What are the Bible and the Koran? Are they not history books from the European and Arab perspective for the world to follow as the word of God? Even if they are truly the word of God, must it bring disunity and inferiority to the original human God created –Africans? How come they are the ones who have the word of God and not us – the original race? How come they respect the Asians? It is because they have their own history and their own version of God. They call their God Buddha. So what must the African do so that his children can talk, reason, and have a say at the table of nations?
All Africans, especially Nigerians, must take their history and languages seriously. I remember in the secondary school days, if you do not get up to 40% in Math and English, you were asked to repeat. Nigeria must come up with a collective history book that can compete with the Bible and the Koran. The history book should document the time period, the political and economic accomplishments, academic and social progress, scientific and legal innovation, as well as the cultural evolution of all ethnic groups. Every child in the Nigerian schools should take history from primary one through secondary school using the history book as a text, and must be required to get 40% or repeat. This should also apply to languages in term of score and academic levels. Every school should offer the three major languages and five others based on their locality from which every student must choose four – two major and two others. This will not only bring us together as a nation because we now understand each other’s languages and histories, and see how we fit in with each other, but most importantly, it will give us a proud foundation to build upon. Instead of meditating on European and Arabic history day and night, we can meditate on our own history, have little children who are experts in it like the Bible, build career and income out of it like the pastors and imams, and maybe it will make a good text and reference book for global authors, researchers, and universities alike. This is how a nation earns the respect of others and this is how citizen have pride and stay focus in enhancing their nation in all aspects of life.