Sometimes, I just sit down and contemplate some issues. Maybe I’m learning hard and fast about being a thinker. It takes next to nothing to get me thinking these days. I guess I could say it’s one of the things that go with getting older. OUCH!
I was having a talk with some family and friends a few days ago and we were discussing how far the mobile technology world has come. From big boxes to portable mobile devices and thereon till we arrive at just tiny chips.
It just keeps getting smaller and better.
Then we moved to the television and the innovation there too. Those big boxes are ever getting flatter and flatter. Computer keyboards can be rolled up like a napkin. It just keeps getting interesting from there. Then an elderly lady mentioned that the foreigners are copying from us. She made an example from the white sheet Ifa priests usually spread on the wall of their shrine to view who or whatever they wanted to view. That not only are they copying the concept, but they’re now trying to achieve the design. We all laughed over it but the truth is that the joke is on us. And therein lies my problem.
Have you had the pleasure (or displeasure) of watching so many Nollywood movies of the Yoruba genre? Truth is that I’ve seen quite a lot but there has been a recurring theme, a kind of message that the producers try to pass across to us. And that is that “we should never forget our culture… our roots.”
Now hear me out and kindly understand my points before you decide to carve me open.
Truth is that, I don’t really care much for culture. Not anymore. I’ll make an exception for roots though but that‘s it.
You may wonder what my grouse is but the truth is that while I sat down listening, talking and laughing with my peeps that day, something dawned on me and I voiced it then.
The whites may have copied our concepts but they are constantly innovating. But the typical blacks… they tend to go backwards.
I’m sorry to say to say but it seems the major difference between the white man and the typical black man is that the white man Innovates but the typical black man hates.
Think about it. The white folks seek to find ways to make things easier for themselves but the typical black man is angry that the neighbor is making progress. The white man is looking for ways to make things better so they tend to be flexible but the typical black man will say that you should “se bo se’n se ko ba le rib o se’n rii” which translates in English to “…do it the way it is being done so that the usual outcome will be reached.”
Sorry if this seems to be an attack on the Yoruba but it’s actually a general challenge to the black man’s way of reasoning. I just happen to be able to speak and write Yoruba and no other language that’s why this post seems to be parochial in nature. I must also add that I really can’t stand that above saying.
So what am I saying? When we embrace our culture sometimes, are we moving forward or backward? I assume everyone reading this is educated to some level. I do not mean to sound westernized but I’m just urging us to put our objective thinking cap on. Is that culture we embrace so tightly positive thinking or negative thinking? Is it moving us forward or dragging us backwards? How many of our traditions have moved us closer to who we want to be? Then why hold on to it like it’s a rock during a storm?
A mind is truly a terrible thing to waste.
I’ve seen some so-called educated people hold on to some mindset that I thought was rather pathetic. I asked some friends a question yesterday. Let me ask here; you’ve probably heard of white folks divorce over the flimsiest of reasons but have you heard of a white man who divorced his wife because she couldn’t bear him a child? This writer hasn’t heard of such a case so I’ll assume that it’s rare.
But come down to this part of the world, culture demands that it’s the woman’s fault for so many reasons I can’t be-labour myself to write here.
But is it always the woman’s fault?
Personally, I find people that reason this way a disgrace to education. Have you checked if she has damaged her womb? No? Then how do you know it’s her fault? No proof, just a conclusion that your son or brother can’t get married to a ‘fellow man’ that can’t bear a child?
I respect values. I really do. I hold on them seriously because you’re nothing without them.
It’s good to know your roots and hence where you come and are coming from because it’ll help you to an extent in knowing where you’re going.
But Culture… it was fun while it lasted. This is a new breed. An evolution. The playing field just got a lot larger and so it’s Adios to that chain we didn’t know held us bound called Culture.
It’s time we did a serious mind transformation in this part of the world to reason objectively and to think forward. Therein our development as a people lie. It’s both an individual and a collective effort but it’s do-able.
But if we throw away forward thinking and replace with the old way of thinking or the way our culture dictates… Then our past just became our future.
Here I am signing out.
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