Colonial Mentality — A Lesson from China

I just realized that the surface rover that China landed on Mars last week which made them the second country ever to do so is called Zhurong. That’s the name of the Chinese god of war.

Let Nigeria name anything after Ogun (the Yoruba god of war) now and there will be placards everywhere.

While in hindsight I largely support the before-before imperalism because it led to a more efficient use of natural resources and building of better infrastructure, and more importantly it was the only thing that led to the survival of minority groups in a place like Nigeria (many of our ancestors would not have existed save for the British), one of the demerits of it is that total imperalism erodes some of the good cultural values of a people especially if carried out by those of the dogged Abrahamic religions. The one-god system they preach ensures that nothing else competes. (While different, traditional British colonialism in reality went hand in hand with missionary work).

What’s interesting about the total indoctrination of the African mind is that the same proselytizing fundamentalist who goes about burning shrines in his village is the same person on a rare visit to Shoprite to purchase halloween customs for his kids.

He will look with pity on Brazilians who visit Osun River but embraces the modern wedding, as performed in Christian Churches even though it contains rituals from pagan traditions which preceded the church by centuries. For instance, the very idea of a father giving a daughter away was based on the belief that it appeased pagan gods, who as a result bestow good fortune on the wedded couple. The bridal veil itself was started by ancient Rome on the belief that because the bride has gone great lengths to make herself attractive on that day, she is susceptible to evil spirits. A veil is thus needed to ward the evil spirits away so they don’t ruin her day.

But Kamaru from Ado Ekiti will travel to Silverbird Cinemas, Lagos to enjoy a movie about Thor, basking in the chants by the Nordic god of thunder, but when he gets back he will consider the Sango priest reciting incantations as backward and unsophisticated.

Na Fela sing the song, “Colonial Mentality”,

🎙️🎙️He be say you be colonial man

You don be slave man before

Them don release you now

But you never release yourself

He be so them dey do, them dey overdo

All the things them dey do

The thing wey black no good

Na foreign things them dey like

No be so? ️🎙️️🎙️

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