According to Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Benin, and Togo proverb, until the lion tells the story of the hunt, the tales always glorify the hunter.
The internet was described as a disruptive technology, so it is the idea of redefining and repackaging Africa. And, as Omoyele Sowore vividly described Nigeria as a construction site and that the leaders can no longer operate with an analog mindset for the 21st century.
Thus, redefining and repackaging Africa requires a disruptive delicate balancing creative act that must challenge the colonial contradictions and dismantle the old colonial indoctrination. Therefore, just as the internet was a disruptive technology, Africa needs a disruptive awakening, for the new dawn. Africa can no longer operate with the colonial mindset and contradictions in the 21st century. Consequently, Africa needs a shock therapy, a rude awakening for the 21st century, and must challenge the future.
And, until Africa tells her stories from her perspectives, her stories will always be told from other’s cloudy lenses. Africa must develop her storylines and make it appealing, if not, Africa will not be respected anywhere in the world.
However, according to Dorothy Blake Farden, Africa’s first contribution to human progress, then, was the evolution of man himself. And, as George G.M. James revealed in his book, Stolen Legacy; how Greek philosophy was stolen Egyptian philosophy. James also stated that ancient Egyptian were the first to develop a complex religious system called the Mysteries, the first system of salvation in the world, yet, the west argued that Africa did not contribute to world civilization.
Lest we forget Chinua Achebe’s things fall apart, the center cannot hold, and no longer at ease. It is no longer at ease for the west to sustain the fallacies that Africa did not contribute to world civilization and or history.
Consequently, Chukwudi Okeke Maduno (White Magic: The Origins and Ideas of Black Mental and Cultural Colonialism) emphasized that the role Africa played in the evolution of human civilization has not been enthusiastically acknowledged, but falsified and understated by the west. Thus, we must understand the destruction of black civilization by Chancellor Williams, which led to the delimitations of Africa, her current state of despair.
Conversely, the basic factor for Africa regeneration is the awakened race-consciousness, which means that a new, and unique civilization to be added to world history, as posited by Pixley Ka Isaka Seme.
And W. E. B. DuBois prophetically stated that the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line, and Africa has long been the clown of history, the football of anthropology, and the slave industry.
We must be attentive to the alarm of Carter Godwin Woodson, the mis-education of the Negros and Fela Anikulapo warnings, teacher don’t teach me nonsense, an education without interrogation.
We should remember the writings of Yosef Ben-Jochannan’s Africa the mother of western civilization, and Cheikh Anta Diop’s Africa Origin of Civilization.
And Dr. John Henrik Clarke’s famous quote on religion, anytime someone says your God is ugly and you release your God and join their god, there is no hope for your freedom until you once more believe in your own concept of God. However, Africa spirituality forms the fundamental pillars of all aspects of our societies, as Joshua Maponga III also contended.
Marcus Garvey believed that all Africans in the diaspora should return to their rightful homeland — Africa. And Dr. Kwame N’Krumah proclaimed resoundingly; that the survival of Africa can only be achieved by United Africa, in his 1963 OAU speech. Likewise, Amílcar Cabral, Patrice Lumumba, Samora Machel, and Frantz Fanon were strong advocates of African unity. On the other hand, Muammar Gaddafi played a significant role in the transformation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union (AU). And as the head of the African Union (AU), Muammar Gaddafi was resolute that Africa’s power lies in its unity — One Africa (United States of Africa).
Bob Marley reminded us to guard against mental slavery, and the liberation of the consciousness of our mind is a must, to change the course of Africa’s history.
Nevertheless, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao opened the French pandora box, revealing the sustainability of the French economy by the francophone African countries. While Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba (PLO) eloquently urges us to seize this opportunity and make our mark as a people in this 21st Century. In essence, PLO was advising Africa not to miss this window of opportunity to make a change for the 21st century. And I preached that the way forward for the 21st century Africa is to re-define herself on the world stage and not by any foreign religious salvation.
Although most eastern and western world sees negative media depictions of Africa as a land of social, economic, and political failures, instabilities, and sufferings, Africa is a huge continent rich in natural mineral resources, human capital, and underdeveloped opportunities. Roughly 1.3 billion Africans reside on the continent, while an additional 400 million of her children live in the diaspora. What a resounding powerhouse of people!
Despite the negativities, Africa is the motherland of humanity, a continent of extraordinary beauty and endless fascination.
So far, Africa has not seen reasons to aggressively campaign to redefine, repackage herself, and sell herself to the world. These can be attributed to African leaders’ unfamiliarity with the power of imagery and public relations or the fear of retribution from the colonial interests in the status quo Africa.
However, I applaud new Africa’s consciousness and efforts in repackaging Africa. A strategy I called “Africa Re-Defined”, a new way forward for the 21st century.
And according to Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba (PLO), We must refuse to be known as the Continent that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
In this new world order, Africa cannot afford to be waiting for handouts from the east or west, Africa must start promoting herself in earnest, a move that will undoubtedly create opportunities for her many children. I have religiously preached this reasoning to Africa for over 30 years, and it is time to challenge the contradictions of the colonial interventions in Africa. And I have been a strong advocate that the way out for Africa is to create her unique marketing strategies geared towards the new world order (a media house).
Nevertheless, it is Africa’s responsibility to promote her image in the new dawn. And who can best develop Africa’s image rather than her many children scattered all over the world? These are the people I called the “ambassadors” in your backyard. However, it is necessary to use these ambassadors to promote, redefine, and repackage Africa for the new dawn. The diaspora understanding of Africa, skills, cultural know-how, personal interest, and enthusiasm uniquely position them to help facilitate and promote Africa for the new dawn. They are dedicated and have the best interest of Africa in mind, and they understand the significances of the positive image of Africa on the world stage.
Their expertise and understanding of these countries’ perceptions of Africa will clear the paths to strategize a comprehensive redefining and repackaging for Africa. Beyond all else, they understand these perceptions, can anticipate, overcome culture, tradition, life, and business style, that can help elevate the image of Africa for the new dawn.
Although many African countries have begun opting for selective eastern and western styles for tackling political, economic, and social problems, lifestyle changes have created vast African market opportunities for anyone with quality products and services. Yet, African countries refused to use these ambassadors as tools to answer these pressing progenies.
New strategies must constantly be formulated, implemented to meet the needs and demands of tomorrow’s marketplace.
However, before Africa can successfully implement the repackaging strategy, and sell herself to the world, she must undo the effects of colonialism and eliminate the residue of the colonial brainwash. Hence, Africa must first make the necessary conscious internal efforts to change and sanitize her home, while simultaneously eradicating the ruminates of colonialism, when implementing the new media strategies.
Furthermore, James Baldwin made a passing reference, not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. Africa is facing new dawn in world history, and must not miss the golden opportunity to change and make her mark for the 21st century.
It is better to follow even the shadow of the best than to remain content with the worst.
Here are some recommendations for the media strategy that requires some internal changes, which will help facilitate and affect the new image campaign. These suggested recommendations are not limited to only these ten: Beauty & Hair Care, Diaspora Relocation Assistance, Education, Governance, Health & Medicine, Judicial, Languages, Names, Religion and Technology — Internet Accessibility.
- Beauty & Hair Care
The African woman is the epitome of beauty, God’s best creation. However, African women need to redefine their concept of beauty in the context of Africa and self-esteem, and not from the Eurocentric perspectives. Huberta Jackson-Lowman posits that perhaps the most insidious effect of white supremacy racism has been its impact on how people of color view their physical appearance.
As a psychoanalyst, and in his book Black Skins White Masks to analyze the psychology of colonialism, Fantz Fanon examines how the colonizer internalizes colonialism and its attendant ideologies, and how colonized peoples, in turn, internalize the idea of their own inferiority and ultimately come to emulate their oppressors. Thus, racism functions as a controlling mechanism that maintains colonial relations as ‘natural’ occurrences.
After centuries of being brainwashed to believe the fairer-skinned are superior and should, therefore, be more favored, particularly if their facial features mimic Eurocentric ideals of beauty, has had a rippling effect — Fumi Fetto.
Most of the hair care products purchase and used in Africa are imported from countries such as India and China. According to Statista.com, the Asia Pacific region has the largest market for hair care in the world. And the global haircare market value amounted to about $85.5B in 2017 and is expected to grow to $102B by 2024.
Catherine Saint Louis noted that throughout the Caribbean, Africa, and in the United States, the devastating effects of skin bleaching, can be seen in the faces of women whose skin though lighter, exhibits thinning, and who are requiring dermatological treatment to deal with the destructive health effects of skin bleaching.
- Diaspora Relocation Assistance Program
When reasonable basic infrastructures are in place, many Africans in the diaspora will be incentivized to come back home — Africa, which will undoubtedly lead to knowledge and technology transfer. The proposed five-year special relocation incentives or program should include but not limited to the followings:
- Housing and personal effects
- Special Business Funding
- Tax Breaks (Business & Personal)
- SMB/SBA New Business Support Programs
- Other additional appealing incentives (country specifics)
Imagine how many Africans in the diaspora that would return with their entrepreneurial spirits, talents, know-how, to stimulate and rejuvenate the economies of the continent, coupled with the rich African cultures and people. These are the future architects of Africa’s developments, their diversities of knowledge from around the world, to be harnessed in Africa, imagine the possibilities? The improved infrastructure will also help reduce the brain drain from Africa.
Colonial Germany set a historical partner of racism and discrimination against dark-skinned people in Africa and the African diaspora, that some feel continues, unfortunately, down to this very day — Firpo W. Carr Ph.D.
Education without interrogation and intelligence is an immense progeny in Africa. For example, roughly 4% to 6% of Nigerians in the US have PhDs/Doctorate degrees, higher than any groups, and South Africa leads the continent with the highest PhDs/Doctorates. Despite all these academicians, Africa has not seen any reason to reverse the colonial imposed academic systems that failed Africa.
Why should our literacy competencies be based on foreign languages? How many countries in Europe use other languages for their literacy standards, no matter how small the country? The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), should be abolished, it has outlived its usefulness. Each country in that council should set its own standard high school examination, independent of other countries.
History of Africa should be taught from elementary to the university level, particularly the effects of slavery, colonialism, and corruption. Courses on corruption and its effects on the continent should be offered and emphasized from kindergarten to university levels. Why study the geography of North America, and not study the geography of North Africa in our school system? Unfortunately, and likewise, most Africans are not taught the history of their country or Africa. Instead, they study and glorify the history of Europe, while neglecting their history.
More degrees should be offered for African history and languages, instead of degrees in English, French, and other worthless languages without added impact or significance to the development of Africa. Practical vocational and technical institutions should be developed, rather than theoretical academics. Africa should be proud of her diversity of languages, and they can be harness for open source software and apps developments that will facilitate technology development within the continent.
Plato warned that the punishment suffered by the wise who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of bad men. All political power is inherent in the people, and accountability is the core of any democratic system, which is based on elected officials working on behalf of the people — their constituents. Africans deserve better. Africa has enormous natural resources, and human capital unparalleled to other continents. Foreign forms of governance are not conducive for Africa, they do not put our cultural settings and values into consideration, likewise they are not sustainable. How can small countries like Malawi, The Gambia, Eritrea, Togo, Kingdom of Lethoso, Swaziland and Benin support a democratic or parliamentarian system of governance?
What Africa needs are officials, both elected and appointed, who are dedicated and accountable to the citizens they are required to serve by law. According to Peter Obi, a former governor in Nigeria stated: what the society allowed them (politicians) to abuse today will take revenge on us tomorrow. Accountability has the potential to transform government and put political power back in the hands of masses — not politicians. Thus, wise men who refuse to do anything, suffer under the rules of idiots. If all Africans determine to hold their public officials accountable, Africa will be a prosperous, peaceful, and harmonious continent.
It is time for change in governance in Africa, hold elected officials accountable to transform government, and put power back in the hands of people.
- Health and Medicine
Africa should have eradicated malaria, sickle cell, and tuberculosis from the continent by now, instead of waiting to the east or west. According to the World Malaria Report 2019, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for approximately 93% of all malaria cases and 94% of deaths in 2018. More than two-thirds of deaths were among children under the age of five. The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that the number of deaths caused by malaria in sub-Saharan Africa could double to 769,000 in 2020.
Africa must understand that the east or west is mainly interested in diseases that affect their race and continent. Africa should question their medical interventions or interests in Africa, because of their history for medical abuse and neglect. We cannot forget the famous syphilis research experimentation on African Americans and in Guatemala; because their goals are for their safety and profits.
Africa must develop her pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing facilities for security reasons and stop depending on the west or east for medicines. Instead, Africa should also encourage and harmonized standards for herbal medicines within the countries and across the continent. We have all the natural cures and remedies to cure Africa and beyond.
The imposed judicial system is not conducive to the African cultural systems. The old fashion judicial wigs and gowns have out grown their usefulness. It is time for change and the change is now. Our judicial gowns or representations should reflect Africa and not the colonial intervention. The whole judicial systems should be reformed to reflect Africa, not Spain, England, America, or France. However, we can harness the best parts and incorporated them with our cultural settings. Africa needs a reformed judicial system to reflect 21st century Africa.
Research and studies indicated that the mother tongue (thinking language) is the best instructional language, an enabler that facilitates better learning, understanding, and transfer of knowledge. Colonial languages should be phased out and no longer used as the standard to measure literacy in Africa. Africa should be proud of her diversity of languages.
Africa should use major languages of their country as the instructional language; however, they should also teach other major languages alongside the instructional language of the locality. The colonial languages should be an elective, if at all offered. This will finally lead to developing a new lingua franca for the country, just like Sawhili is used in eastern and southern Africa.
Language is not inherent in humans; it is a learned process. We can develop a new lingua franca for Africa to facilitate commerce, development, and harmony.
All the countries with colonial imposed names should change their names to reflect the new Africa. According to Jim Rhon, whatever happens to you from age zero to eighteen, we blame your parents, however from eighteen up, we blame you. Africa is long due for redefining herself with new names and attitudes that reflect her for the 21st century.
Places such as Victoria Falls, which the people call Mosi-oa-Tunya, the smoke that thunders on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and likewise Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria. When and how did Victoria own lakes and islands in Africa? They ought to be reverted to their original African names.
Are there any islands or falls in the colonial countries named or called by African names? Africa needs redirection of her thinking, mindset, and should free herself from the destructive colonial mentality.
Africa ought and must erase all the colonial indoctrination from her psyche to forge a new beginning for the 21st century. Africa should think and must think like leaders rather than have the enclosure of the mindset, names like Nollywood should be changed as well. Nigerian movies industry should be a leader and not a follower of Hollywood. Every European country name their movies industry their own creation, yet for Nigeria movie industry to be relevant, it has to associated or align with Hollywood by naming her movie industry “Nolly-wood”. What a disgrace? Leaders always behave like leaders; Africa should develop the leadership mentality or mindset in all its endeavors for the new dawn.
If foreign religions are the answers to Africa’s colonialization challenges, then what are the questions? How are foreign religious salvations relevant to the answers to the questions of colonialism, social issues, instabilities, economic and political failures in Africa?
We are children of superior religions and Gods. Thus, Africa should develop their indigenous religions, package it, and sell it to the world like other religions. We should export our superior Gods to the world, instead of worshipping imported religions or gods. Why settle for foreign gods in our land?
If these foreign religions offered a better place other than this earth as they claimed, how come the so-called religious leaders have not gone there to get a better life? This absolute brainwash of the foreign religions, the opium of the poor, failed Africa.
Every group of people should worship the Gods of their imaginations and representations. After all, God is an exaggeration worship of the cultural self. The Bible or Torah and the Quran is a collection of religiously authoritative texts or books, a documentary hypothesis. After all, every religion is about morality and ethics, an elaborate system of worship and levels of discipline which imposed dos and don’ts on the activities of humanity concerning nature. Religions are different roads converging upon the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads so long we reach the same point — The words of Gandhi. Africa has superior religions and Gods, worship your Gods, and be content.
- Technology — Internet Accessibility
Internet accessibility and affordability should be a human right in Africa. Internet technology is a game changer and should be deplored in all aspects of life on the continent. The 21st century is a knowledge-based society or economy and is no longer limited to any geographical area. However, affordability and accessibility are the keys to develop and harness the full potential of the technologies.
Internet cost is far too expensive in Africa, Nigeria has the highest cost for accessibility in the world. The high cost limits people’s ability to harness the power of internet technology possibilities. Make Internet more accessible, affordable and open to accelerate development, says New World Bank Report. Why outsource our technological needs to India, if the cost of housing the technology is made affordable and reliable? Imagine the number of jobs it will create on the continent? Affordable high-speed connectivity facilitates and accelerates business development, innovation, expansion, e-commerce, it creates wealth and new opportunities by attracting businesses that want to relocate to areas with a strong and connectivity presence.
The future is creativity, innovation, and technology. Why has Africa not developed her social media apps or platform to rival Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tiktok? Africa should innovate, develop, support, and buy technologies made in Africa.
The ultimate goal of the redefining strategy is to create, own, and operate a continental (African) media house. We recommend all African countries to contribute a minimum of half a billion dollars towards the creation of the continental media house that will rival CNN, RT, France24, and Al Jazeera.
The personnel should include Africans, African Americans, and Afro Brazilians media gurus, with the HQ located in any African country, and housed in the US and Brazil, with branches all over the world. We also advocate a name from any African linguistics, meaning Truth or Telling Our Stories. This media house will tell the world our stories and to correct any negativities about Africa.
Linguistic diversities define Africa as one of the most linguistically diverse continents. It has roughly estimated 2,000 different spoken languages, divided into four major categories which include: Afroasiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, and Khoe. I am very confident that we can formulate or create a name from those 2,000 languages for the media house. Hence, we do not need any foreign names for the media house.
We are gods in the body of God, truth and love our destinies. Go then and make of the world something beautiful, set up a light in the darkness — Awakening Osiris; The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Normandi Ellis.
In conclusion, will Africa ever rise again? Yes, there has to be a re-thinking and re-birth, only when she becomes Africa all over again, The New Africa of the 21st century. Thus, the world is changing; Africa must change her thinking, and think anew, act anew.
God Bless Africa!
Dr. Bamidele Adeoye, IS & ERM
Research Consultant & Adjunct Prof (CIST)
Email: [email protected]