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A Conspiracy History: Unraveling The Puzzles In Nigeria’s Future

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A Conspiracy History: Unraveling The Puzzles In Nigeria’s Future

By
Tunji Olaopa

In 1939, after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, as dumbfounded as the rest of the world, characterized Russia as a “riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”—an inscrutable state that defined her own international relations rules and played by them. Nigeria does not share anything in common with Russia in terms of her notoriety in world affairs. Russia’s political history, from Josef Stalin to Vladimir Putin, has been one long trajectory of aggressive foreign policy. Nigeria is a postcolonial state that has many crippling structural and institutional legacies to contend with in her attempt to make developmental progress. And yet, it is in these very attempts that Nigeria keeps confounding those who have invested thoughts, intellect, efforts and sagacity into making Nigeria realize her greatness. Since independence, sixty-one solid years, Nigeria’s ship of state has kept floundering, even with the best of the governance vision of succeeding governments and development planning.

To make matters worse, the inauguration and national progress of the Nigerian state has been further enmeshed in a series of conspiracies that seem to complicate the post-independence predicament and how to get out of it. And what we have come to know as the “Nigerian condition” or the “Nigerian Factor” is all the worse for it since it has been invested with some mysterious quantity that continues to undermine all that has been done politically to transform Nigeria’s fortune. For Dean Haglund, the Canadian actor, “The beauty of any conspiracy theory is that because it can’t be proved, that just makes it more ‘real.’ It’s not a question of believing or not believing, really; it’s more a question of just accepting a series of probabilities that lead to an undeniable conclusion.” In the case of Nigeria, the worry is the extent to which the conspiracies about the founding and development of the Nigerian state has occluded the real issues as to what we really need to do—what the political class needs to do—to get Nigeria out of her present condition.

READ ALSO: Narrow Politics And Questions Of Democratic Development

Colonialism and the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates is the most significant factor that defined Nigeria’s postcolonial reality. Outside of the historical narrative of how the colonial arithmetic strung together ethnic nationalities and infrastructural conditions for the sake of facilitating the development of the European metropolises, so many other conspiracies have been cooked up in the underbelly of colonization. Did the Nigerian nationalists betray the postcolonial future of Nigerians with backdoor negotiations? Were they led on a leash to do what the colonialists actually wanted for Nigeria? Were the nationalists, from Anthony Enahoro to Herbert Macaulay, and from Ahmadu Bello to Nnamdi Azikiwe, too eager to replace the colonialists that they failed to look deeper into the dynamics of independence and the encoded landmines? Indeed, the negotiations that brought independence for Nigeria, through the so many constitutional conferences, were too burdened by historical gaps to achieve certainties.

One of the other historical refrains, like British-induced conspiracies, is the idea about the Islamization of Nigeria. The Fulani Jihad war of 1804 to 1808, led by Uthman dan Fodio, not only defeated the Hausa kingdoms, but also led to the creation of the Sokoto Caliphate. The decline of the old Oyo empire also facilitated the foothold of the Caliphate into Ilorin. So far, so good. This is all historical fact. But there are those who still insist that the march of the Caliphate is not ended. Its endgame is the Islamization and Fulanization of the whole of Nigeria. When in 1986, the then military head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, took Nigeria into the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), the conspiracy theorists had their “proof”! But then, the “proof” keeps getting stronger with the rising insecurity occasioned by the Fulani herdsmen and the hesitation of the Buhari administration to decisively intervene.

But then, it is not only the Hausa-Fulani that have generated conspiracies in Nigeria’s political development. In 1966, Gen. Aguiyi-Ironsi promulgated the notorious Decree 34 that unified Nigeria out of her former regional status. The Decree was supposed to put to rest the crises that regionalism supposedly plunged Nigeria into. There were several indications that conspiracy theorists identified as a secret plan to foster an Igbo take-over of Nigeria. First, Ironsi stocked very sensitive federal posts with Igbo functionaries—from his three-man advisory committee, all Igbo; to the Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Onyiuke, who replaced Dr Taslim Elias, a Yoruba. Second, out of the four regional military governors, two rejected the decree, one was noncommittal; only Lt. Col. Ojukwu, another Igbo, welcomed the decree. By July, 1966, a counter-coup had occurred, and the civil war, founded on the fear of Igbo domination and Biafra secession bid, was about to happen. From Ironsi to the present-day Biafra, nationalism seems like one connected trajectory for many conspiracy theorists. And, as the argument goes, it becomes a dangerous political game to allow an Igbo presidency given the possibility of using that pedestal to realize the vision of Biafra and Igbo self-determination!

READ ALSO: Yahya Jammeh: A Messiah Of African Dictatorship

Even the civil service is not left out of the conspiracy. When the war ended in 1970, Gen. Yakubu Gowon became the head of state, reinstated the federal system, and had enough petrodollar to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Nigerian state. He also had the technocratic and strategic policy intelligence backend instituted by the famous super permanent secretaries. But, as the conspiracy theory goes, when the Gowon administration was toppled in 1975 by Gen. Murtala Muhammed, it was time to get back at the civil service and the super permanent secretaries who stood between the war generals and Gowon in the chain of command! And the 1976 purge of the civil service was the get-back strategy to whittle down the service. Of course, the theorists had nothing to say about the genuine need to downsize a system that was already over-bloated as a result of the Nigerianisation Policy and the principle of representativeness. On the contrary, the deathblow to the civil service was a means of making the institution realize the significance of power politics, and Nigeria sure will live for some time to come with the seemingly irresolvable unintended consequences of that political misjudgment.

We can cap this trajectory with the Yoruba factor in Nigerian politics, and the litany of theories about the marginalization of the Yoruba. The story moves from Awolowo to MKO Abiola and the Obasanjo presidency via the betrayal of IBB. Again, as with the other grand theories, it was Olusegun Obasanjo, a willing stooge of the Northern cabal, that undermined Awolowo’s chance of becoming president in 1979. And the same Obasanjo harvested the gains of the Yoruba’s chance of the presidency when the June 12 victory of MKO Abiola was annulled by IBB.

The entire gamut of conspiracy theories both indicts the Nigerian political class while simultaneously projecting elite nationalism as a means by which the futility of conspiracy can be unmasked in outlining Nigeria’s path towards national development and progress. The fundamental issue is that of how to undermine these conspiracies by outlining a strategic theory of change and socio-political reengineering praxis that will take Nigeria out of the national doldrums. The conspiracy theories complicate Nigeria’s post-independence predicament. That is one complication we not only cannot afford, but that must be creatively deconstructed to create a new narrative compass for envisioning a better and more reassuring future. But it is also one that is fueled by the incapacity of the political class to proactively put in place governance frameworks and dynamics that will advance Nigeria’s real interests on behalf of the well-being of Nigerians. As it is, the failure of the political class constitutes the ready manure that feeds the growth of these theories.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Democracy And Challenges Of Nation Building

When we put together the Conspiracy History of Nigeria (CHoN), then we are confronted with a straightforward conclusion that Nigeria’s predicament is an irresolvable one—a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. However, this is one conclusion that is very far from the truth. And that truth is derived from the many iterations of political histories in the march of civilization. From the Greek city-states to the rise and fall of the Roman empire, and from the dynamics of the Ottoman dynasty to the old Oyo empire, we have tales and trajectories of how national elites became the game changers in the evolution of national predicament and transformation. Indeed, one of my most famous examples is the injection of philosophical reflections, by Plato in the Republic, into the crafting of the political future of ancient Athens. Political elites have always been significant in the visioneering of the future of any state and society. And this is not less so in the urgent need to rethink the future of Nigeria.

The crass vision in the CHoN can be transcended by a politically genuine appraisal of Nigeria’s plural situation and development failures that serve as the basis for engendering first, a sincere dialogue about what ails this great state; and second, how we can generate a national health and integrity system to commence a healing process. Heroic leadership consists in making the people believe in the impossible. But then, Nigeria and her greatness are possible. All that is needed urgently are leaders who believe in the possibility of Nigeria and are willing to stake their reputation on that possibility.

Prof. Olaopa is a retired Federal Permanent Secretary , and Professor of Public Administration, National Institute
For Policy and Strategic Studies
(NIPSS), Kuru, Jos
tolaopa2003@gmail.com

 

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Opinion

Why I Love Kids

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Why I Love Kids

By

Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

I love kids. I love childhood. I love children. I refer to real kids, the unsoiled ones. The ones who see this world as a world of no impossibilities. Daddy is a hero, a magician. With daddy around they can get all they need, all they want. The ones who say ‘I will tell daddy for you’. If they tell daddy for you, daddy will deal with you. Or the ones who say ‘Mommy said I should tell you that she is not in the house! And unwittingly cause a war between two families!

I love their unspoilt nature, their innocence, their simplicity, and their lack of pretence. With them you know where you stand. They will not scheme against you nor hatch an evil plot to destroy you or derail your career. They will not envy your successful life. They do not pad things. They may make things up for their world to flow. But they do not mean to destroy your world. Their world is governed by truth, truth as they see it. They may be, they are often naïve but they are genuine. They may not act right. But they keep no malice. They trust adults. They believe adults. They want to be like adults in some respects. Yet in their world, the mindset of the adult is dangerous!

When daddy has no car, it is because daddy does not need a car. Not because he cannot afford one. When daddy says ‘there’s no money’, they say to ‘daddy go to the bank and take money’. and to dad’s ‘There’s no fuel in the car! they say ‘Let us go to the fuel station to take fuel! They do not have fake identities. They are who they are. They are, they could be fun to be with, especially if you are a grandfather, not obliged to pay their fees or be with them twenty-four hours. They make you forget the uglies of the world. You stay with the beautiful, the good, the kind, and the testimony of sainthood. In the world of kids, there is no malice. In malice, be like children. In understanding be like men. So, the Apostle Paul says. The assumption is that all men have understanding. We know however that sometimes, the naivety of a child is more powerful than the wicked understanding of an adult. It is our peril. It is our doom. Adults rule the world. Not children. Wish they could rule the world!

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Some powerful men, like most rich men, treat women like kids. Their kids. Their play thing. Their toy. The gambit is money. Influence. Access. The women look at them in awe. Treat them with awe. They exhibit the innocence and charm of the kid. They throw up the charm of a kid. The men fall for it. They lap it up. They fall for it. And the relationship becomes sweet, remains sweet. Until when the innocence disappears, that is, when the woman discovers the web of deceit, lies, and cunning. Innocence or the appearance of innocence in a woman portrays the image of the child, the vulnerable. It makes men want to protect them.

Childhood is innocence. It ought to be innocence, that is, a child ought to be innocent. Childhood is synonymous with innocence. At some point innocence disappears. They grow out of it, into the adult world. Like the children in William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies in which Ralph ‘wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of a man’s heart’ as the beast in children rises to the surface and dominates the landscape, their lives, their stay in the wild.  Maturity comes. Maturity? Perhaps, not maturity. Savagery. Exposure to the greed in the world. The hate. The jealousy. The spite. The bile, hidden one. You could be an adult without being mature. But you cannot be a child without innocence. Once innocence is lost, the sanctity of the contract between childhood and innocence evaporates. Golding also writes about ‘the world, that understandable and lawful world’, which ’was slipping away!

The child is the man. The child is the father of the man. This is belief in the future. It is hope. It is faith.  It is a seed that is planted to be nurtured when, if all circumstances are equal. It is no apotheosis of any kind, no epiphany; nothing near it. It is no divine revelation, no. It is the reality that we contend with daily. That hope is humanity. That hope is the future of humanity, the earth, the cosmos. So, when we destroy the kid, we destroy the future. Not in the physical sense may be. But in essence. To be sure there are consequences.

The kid dies in the child that is exposed to or plunged into the ugly dangers and filth of the adult world before the age of innocence naturally ends. And that is the plight of our world. Our fall. Our doom. Our death. Too many things kill innocence. Sheer brigandage rules the airwaves through the power of technology. Social media. Blogs. Porn sites. Wars and rumours of wars. The smartphone. The Internet. Brigands in power. Disappearance of sacred values or nonrecognition of sacred values. Muscles of the adult world squeeze life out of the chest of values, of decent codes, of mentorship.

There is a sense in which an adult loses innocence after trauma. This is another form of innocence. Experience, sometimes traumatic, opens the eyes to the realities of existence. Or when a sibling or a close friend or blood relation betrays you. Or when the husband is discovered for who he really is. Something gives, something dies, something flies away. Never to return. It is a story of no return often, even when there is forgiveness. Their spirit cannot rise to that level.

READ ALSO: The President Visits Owerri

So, I love children. I love the kids. And I want them to enjoy the beauty of innocence as long as they are Naturally entitled to it. We should guarantee childhood. But we are destroying the world of kids. The kid in Nigeria. In northeast Nigeria. The kid growing up in the wild killings in Owerri. The killing fields of Kaduna. In Jos. And the ones abducted from school. Innocence is destroyed, not lost. And they will never be balanced adults because there was no fitting transition. There was no transition. There was a staccato of shots. Suddenly that blind belief in the world of no impossibilities vanished in a puff. It is not a story to be told, neither now nor in the future!

There are tears for destroyed or murdered childhood. Tears for a compromised and destroyed adulthood. So, when a young adult breaks down or cannot face the world or cannot handle a family or cannot handle his kids or remains tied to the apron strings of their parents, where rests the blame? Has blaming exculpated the guilty or the vanquished? The answer is not blowing in the wind!

Loss of innocence is inevitable as the child grows into adulthood. But a destroyed innocence is a scar that not even time can heal. ‘The death of innocence causes an imbalance’, writes Bowers, ‘and initiates an internal war that manifests differently in each individual, but almost always includes anger, withdrawal and severe depression’. What have we done to innocence in the land?

 

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Opinion

The Audacity Of False Prophets

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The Audacity Of False Prophets

Dear Omoh Giwa,

Would you think it satirical to ask how you are faring (considering the state of affairs in Nigeria)? I bring you warm tidings from Osalobuwa (though He dissociates himself from the filth and treachery of a particular individual that claims to be led by the spirit of God).

I do not envisage a response from the Lioness of Lisabi or the great Awo (like the gods of ancient Greece, there are weightier issues than those iterated in your previous missives like our bets on the VAT brouhaha).

I am contacting from Nirvana as I could not but notice in your tirades, a disconcerting notion. (Digressively, are you really surprised that over fifteen million Nigerians voted not once but twice the nepotistic general or is this your weak attempt at humour?)

I have been called ‘Father of Pentecostalism in Nigeria’ several times and it is on this authority I want to discuss the subject of Christianity in Nigeria. How can you honestly expect a response from He who is addressed as the Holy One of Israel while wallowing in your filth like swine (blocked drainages or heaps of refuse on major roads?

You are an unclean lot spiritually and physically) However, this is insignificant compared to my reason for writing. I am bothered about the increase in false prophets and the gullibility of the sheep.

READ ALSO: Dear General Sanni Abacha

When our messiah charged Peter with the care of the flock, it was under the impression that as a religious leader, he would lead and act in the footsteps of the Nazarene but consider the perversion today. I understand the epistle of Paul to Timothy prophesizes that men would be lovers of themselves and practice heresy and idolatry but should this be associated with men of the cloth? The role of the priest is to act as ambassador between the sheep and the master of the flock but these wolves are more interested in exploiting and extorting the flock than caring for them.

Remember how politicians hoarded palliatives during the lockdown from the pandemic (do not get me started on the importance of cleanliness and abstinence which you are now being compelled to obey but at what cost?), well how did your general overseers care for you (you weren’t expecting anything or the miracle of the five loaves and two fish doesn’t apply to you?)

Instead they capitalised on avenues to ensure the steady inflow of wealth through tithes and offerings. You don’t believe me? Did one of them not recently boast that he acquired not one but two private jets during the pandemic as though that is a reflection of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

A nation enormously blessed with vast reserves of mineral resources yet is the poverty capital of the world coincidentally boasts of elegantly constructed cathedrals but has less than a tenth of the total number of churches in factories that could improve the economy and standard of living.

Is this not the same church leader smeared in a sex scandal of funding the rich and extravagant life of a certain actress? We particularly like the social media captions of “small girl big God” when they speak of their blessings and source of their lifestyles.

Ironically, the blessings are from the pulpit (a gathering of the widow’s mite. Jokes! Jokes! Relax, humouris not reserved for the living).

What about the one that was exposed as a sexual predator, preying on young girls (you’d probably remember him as the ‘Krest’ Pastor?) and intimidating them when they go public?

The feigned public outrage and anger lasted mere weeks and the nation carried on, business as usual and service continued as usual. Is he not back on the pulpit and his cathedral bursting at the seams? What about priests that not only engage in fornicating with women but have added young impressionable boys to their list of victims?

I especially like the one that calls himself “liquid metal” and has turned his church services into a carousal. One time he claimed to be casting demons out of a member and kept kicking and throwing the victim on chairs as though the erring demon is physical and could feel the torture. Do you remember a certain pastor that asked her congregation to tap into her special anointing of rearing virgins (I’m as confused as you are) for a paltry sum of one thousand dollars as though God’s blessings could be repackaged for sale like exotic wine?

How can you be comfortable with the denigration of Christianity? Was the blood of Jesus shed for this? This reminds me of Simon the Sorcerer who attempted to purchase the power of the Holy Spirit but was rebuked by Peter but look at stomach-infrastructure deacons.

My lengthy harangue seems to have gone off-track because I wanted to address the role of religious leaders in the political affairs of a nation. A certain influential religious leader has been tagged ‘Kingmaker’ because a sitting president and British prime minister knelt before him for re-election success (coincidentally didn’t go as planned).

I wish to remind you of the biblical story of Elijah and Ahab where the prophet faced the dictator without fear even though he knew the implications of such actions. You do remember that Elijah went into hiding for fear of his life and pleaded with God to take his life? What do these clerics do with their influence? Amass more wealth, influence and build bigger cathedrals during economic hardship and political unrest/instability when they have been charged with speaking truth to the powers that be. Do they even consider creating avenues for
economic growth for their members? I guess they have no intention of inheriting the kingdom
of God (the Beatitudes).

My daughter, men of the cassock have become influencers for politicians and have no regard for God whom they profess to call. Have they forgotten the prophecy that God’s judgment will start from the church? When did the pulpit become a poverty alleviation scheme?

How did the church get to this point where one cannot differentiate the heathens from the righteous? When did we lose focus and sight of the goal?

I think it is time to get off your knees in reverence to your religious leaders (I like how you are quick to quote ‘touch not my anointed…’ does having a pulpit make one God’s anointed?) and take the bull by the horns. Our Father considers the prayer of the unrighteous an abomination.

Yours in His Vineyard, Benson Idahosa.

Giwa is of the Department of English, University of Lagos.

 

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Opinion

Molefi Asante: The Lion Who Refused To Buy The Hunters’ Stories About The Forest

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Molefi Asante: The Lion Who Refused To Buy The Hunters’ Stories About The Forest
Professor Toyin Falola

THE  TOYIN FALOLA INTERVIEWS

A CONVERSATION WITH MOLEFI ASANTE, PART 1

By

Toyin Falola

Molefi Asante: The Lion Who Refused To Buy The Hunters’ Stories About The Forest

Molefi Asante

Africans have a famous saying that “until the lion talks, every story will glorify the hunter.” This is a multifaceted maxim that more than sums up the nuances of this world. It defines how stories are told, and histories are recorded. Guided by this maxim, a careful analysis of seemingly historical facts will reveal that the so-called facts might have underlying truths in them; however, they are not the facts. Sadly, Africans, who are the proponents of the opening maxim, have been in the position of the marginalized lion for a long time. In what follows, I present how Asante has constructed the pyramid of his intellectual contributions. I could not have been able to compose this piece unless I fully understood his way of thinking.

To Molefi Asante, history has it that Africa is one of the earliest sources of civilization. From the Mesopotamians to the Egyptians, civilization was well-founded on the African continent, millennia before the Industrial Revolution of Europe. When the world was still young, and humans were hardly any other thing aside from hunters and gatherers, Africans, especially Egyptians, had advanced civilization. They had their system of writing in hieroglyphics. Some engineers and mathematicians made the construction of pyramids a scientific possibility, not to forget the medical professionals. Egypt had its system of government, one of the fundamental qualities of a civilized society. To Asante, this is where we must begin not just the history of Africa but of the world itself.

Histories are eroded, and people are forgotten, and so it was for the early African civilization. By the natural law of evolution and perhaps the mal-decisions of some of the empire’s leaders and decision-makers, the empire fell into oblivion. Power shifted hands, and Europe became the center of world civilization. If the story of the European civilization had ended there, perhaps Asante would not have emerged as a proponent of the “Out of Africa” thesis. However, the Europeans, in the natural order of things and as humans, became insatiable. After exploring and conquering their territory, they stretched their tentacles to other territories and exploited them. First, because to humans, superiority is defined by how many humans or human territories they have subdued. Second, because growth means the expansion and the attendant inability of available resources to meet the territory’s needs. So it was that the Europeans arrived in Africa, initially as curious explorers who wanted to get familiar with new territories and trade goods. The initially clear conception of meeting new people and exploring new worlds translated into a burning need to ravage, exploit, dominate, capture, and grow exponentially at the expense of others. There were the long and arduous years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and how they brought humans’ brute nature and inhumanity to the fore.

READ ALSO: Molefi Asante: Breathing Africa, Living Blackness

As if the dehumanization of the trans-Atlantic slave trade era was not enough, there came the infamous Berlin conference of 1884 to 1885 and the unscrupulous sharing of the African continent among European countries. The centuries of colonization in Africa severely impacted Africans’ sense of identity, consciousness, being, culture, traditions, and continued development. Beyond this, an almost unforgivable impact of colonization on Africa was the deliberate misrepresentation and presentation of Africa to the world. Early European observers in Africa presented the continent as a barbaric one. Essays upon essays were written to portray Africans as needy and hopeless, and people who would have gone into extinction but for the supposed intervention of the Europeans. Indeed, the West brought us the modern form of education. However, Africa would not have declined, so argued many Afrocentric scholars, if the Westerners had not come to the continent. Some argue that Africa would have been better off and way more developed than it currently is if the Europeans had not colonized the continent.

In yet another argument by another set of scholars, the westernized education of Africans is perhaps the only good thing that colonialism brought to Africa. Of course, this same westernized education has severely impacted African thought patterns, beliefs, and ways of life. The Europeans handpicked Africans whom they believed were outliers and gave them European scholarships. After being schooled in the West, these Africans returned home, and with their return came an awakening and an intellectual revolution. The education of these select Africans brought about a much-needed reawakening. African scholars received a jolt in their subconscious; they were awakened to the realities that faced the African continent and the African people, how the Europeans had exploited, marginalized, and misrepresented Africa. Questions started sprouting from all angles. Curious Africans started gaining access to those malicious and mal-informant books of purported history, and so began a counter intellectual attack. The likes of Aime Cesaire, Leopold Sedar Senghor, David Diop, Kenneth Dike, Herbert Macaulay, J. F. Ade-Ajayi, Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela, and Nnamdi Azikiwe took to arms. They deployed knowledge and the education they got–the same tool used to train them–to re-write African history and counter the malicious records made about Africa.

Africa gained independence between the mid and late 20th century. However, the fact remains that Africa is yet to be free from some problems plaguing it. Post-independence has seen the rise of historians and African scholars, people who have taken up battle with the ruining political ideology of Africa and the corrupt and destructive governance militating against the growth of the continent. The attention has shifted from debunking racist and condescending fausse history of Africa to battling destructive African leaders, unscrupulous policies, and a host of other problems facing the continent.

In the face of all these, the lions have not forgotten that the hunter is lurking and has not ceased to tell the story in a way that glorifies the hunter and maligns the lion. This move of the hunter is visible to us; it is all over the media. The malnourished children; war; seizure of power; hunger; crises; and how the media projects them. However, lions still look the hunter in the face and choose to tell their story and that of their species. Lions who have defied all odds to glorify what needs to be glorified about their history and current story. Of these lions, Molefi Asante stands tall.

READ ALSO: Retrogressive Politics Of Value Added Tax In Nigeria

Molefi Asante–the father of Afrocentrism. If Afrocentrism gained flesh, received the breath of life, and became human, then it would be to the credit of Molefi Asante. I doubt if I have ever met, discussed with, or studied a man who is as passionate and proud of Africa as Molefi Asante. Is it his dedication? Asante has dedicated his life, intellectual prowess, time, and resources to the study of Africa and Afrocentrism. He is living proof of the amazingness of Africa. We often hear and read people’s thoughts on Africa, of how beautiful and rich the continent is in culture and human resources. If this were true of Africa, then Africans should be proud of their continent, and their actions, discourses, exploits, and manner of engagement should reflect this pride.

There is a lamentable eroding in the cultures, beliefs, and values that were once dear to Africans and guided our inter-relationships. To what are we losing our core values as Africans? People who have lost their values would soon lose their identity, and then the abyss of oblivion will not be so far away. In an age where we are fast losing the values that bind us and guide us, there are lions like Molefi Asante, roaring and reminiscing, reminding us of our history, who we are, and whom our forefathers used to be. Of communalism, the Ubuntu spirit, of how only the unity of fingers guarantees one of a resounding fist thump on one’s chest. Molefi is an African vanguard. Molefi Asante is like the baobab, with long-stretching roots that reach Sudan in the North-East, Nigeria in the West, and Costa Rica through the blissfulness of marriage. Asante’s contributions to Africa through scholarly works can never be forgotten. He is a proud and respected son of the soil and one of the most respected prides of African lions.

This Sunday, September 19, 2021, we will be hosting Molefi Asante on another edition of the Toyin Falola Interviews. And this is something I rarely say–I am personally looking forward to this interview to see the eloquent Asante prove his Africanness once more. Please do join us too for a conversation with this eminent philosopher.

 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

5:00 PM Nigeria

4:00 PM GMT

11:00 AM Austin CST

Register and Watch:

https://www.tfinterviews.com/post/molefi-asante

Join via Zoom:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85124202652

Watch on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/tfinterviews/live

Watch on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2lvX7A2iVndiCq0NfFcb0w/live

Falola is a Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies. He is currently the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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