Intellectual Slavery, The Most Dangerous Legacy of Colonialism
Intellectual Slavery, The Worst Legacy of Colonialism
Western Education Has Fooled Me
IMPORTANT: Following many messages of gratitude that I've received from around Africa, the America's, Asians, and other formerly colonized nations around the world who read this article, I decided to escalate the message even further. Be informed that this article has long evolved into a book and it could be downloaded for FREE. To download e-book, see details at intellectual slavery, the worst legacy of colonialism. Of course, you may read the short version below, but you'll be missing so much because the ideas were still in formation when this article was written. That's by the way.
But, before I begin, let me tell you a little about crowd mentality or what Fela Anikulapo Kuti called "Follow Follow" mentality.
What is Follow-Follow?.
There are those among us (like myself, Kwame Nkrumah, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and few others) who do have the courage and intellectual capacity to break free of the shackles of lemming hood (western intellectual slavery) and accept the truth when it is presented.
Below is a conversation between an Indian living in Africa and his brothers. This conversation ensued when the expatriate told his brothers he wanted to come to India for holidays.
If you still don't understand how we are bound into academic servitude, let me make it simple by putting it in context.
If you studied Chemistry in school, it's white man's point of view about Chemistry.
If you studied Biology, it's white man's thoughts about Biology.
If you studied Economics, it's white man's knowledge of Economics.
If you studied Physics, it's white man's model of Physics. e.t.c, e.t.c. We don't add any new knowledge to it. So, no matter what you studied in school as an African, it's always white man's point of view about that branch of knowledge.
In case you still don't understand it, a white man who's an educationist summarized it saying "Everything around you. Your career, weather engineering, Social Sciences, Arts, Medicine, Your Car, House, Clothes, phone. Everything, I mean everything is a product of white man's ingenuity. Your most intelligent black professor is a product of white man's education. All the theories and formulas he will encounter as a student were all developed by a white man. So please, what can you do without us?".
Western powers through intellectual slavery have installed the wheel driving neo-colonialism before leaving our lands. And to keep this wheel turning, it is being oiled by African teachers, scholars, elites, educationists. That is, it literally has us expanding neo-colonialism forever, all by ourselves.
As you can see above, you can comfortably name parts of the body in English language, and those of us from Francophone countries would comfortably do the same with ease in French.
But wait a minute!. Can you name the parts of the body in your native language?.
Another example I can give you is this. What do you call Click, Download, Upload, Database, Website, Homepage, in your native language?.
I can bet these words have no native words in your language because we don't create knowledge in Africa. Rather, we just copy what white people say. And therefore, we call it what white people call it. It happens in Anglophone and Francophone countries as well. Knowledge creation has been outsourced to western nations. Therefore, they control what we should know and what we shouldn't know. If this's not intellectual slavery, I don't know what is!.
Yet, another example I can give is the scenarios below.
(i). You want to write a letter to your mother or father who lives in the village, but instead of writing to him/her in your native language you still wrote in English. Why write a letter to your mother or father in English? Answer: intellectual slavery.
But, it's not like that in Japan, it's not like that in Russia, it's not like that in China, it's not like that in Korea. In these countries every educated person can name parts of the body in their native language, they can also tell you the meaning of download, upload, website, homepage, database, in their various native languages. I'll tell you why it's not like that in those countries if you keep reading.
We go to school in Africa to literally give up what makes us African and then assume an inferior foreign identity. In the process, we abandon our native African language and ideals in pursuit of what, and who we are not. Therefore, the same education we pursue then becomes the same education that is eroding our native languages. The same education we pursue then becomes the same education that is silently destroying our cultures and who we are as a people. This is the reason I could not find our native keyboard in the market!. We have destroyed our languages via western education. Therefore, the keyboard in our native languages is completely useless. Why?. Because you cannot eat your cake and have it!.
We can, of course, study the plant's properties ourselves. That's what true education is all about.
You don't need any white man's opinion to study the plants and leaves in your village unless you're comparing your finding. Knowing the botanical name or what white man call it; is brainwashing fake education installed by Britain and France to control what Africans should know, what we shouldn't know, how to know it, how not to know it, e.t.c. Thereby, they control the world of African scholarship millions of miles across the ocean, removing African viewpoint, culture, history, intellectual contribution, e.t.c. This is intellectual slavery, and that's why Africa is where we're today.
To be specific, books written in the following languages has won Nobel prize in literature; German, Spanish, English, French, Swedish, Italian, Russian, Polish, Danish, Norwegian, Chinese, Greek, Japanese, Arabic, Bengali, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Persian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Occitan, Portuguese, Serbo-Croatian, Turkish, Yiddish.
Thousands of authors in the world write in their native languages before translating and publishing in English or French or to other languages. Writing in your native language naturally gives you more power. As a matter of fact, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda, would have been bigger and better writers, if they had studied Igbo and Yoruba respectively, and wrote in our native languages. Sadly, they could not do that because the monster called intellectual slavery stood in their way.
Interchangeably, the name of each tribe or society that evolved also became the name of their language. Example; a tribe from Japan became simply known as Japanese, and a tribe that evolved in Korea simply became known as Korean, a tribe that evolved in China became known as Chinese.
As you can see, you cannot separate language from a tribe or culture, neither will you separate a tribe or culture from a language. If you manage to separate a tribe from their language, you will destroy their culture in the long run. That’s why language is the center of any culture. That’s why language is the center of any civilization. No language no culture!. No language no society!.
If you destroy the language of a people, you'll destroy who they're in the long run. This's because the DNA of a culture is written in and with it's language. Therefore, the easiest way I can get you to understand anything is to speak to you in the same native (natural) language you grew up speaking. In your mother’s tongue!.
Have you ever listened to the news on TV in your native language?.
What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?.
Soyinka has been fully dispossessed like an unfeathered bird!!. The same power he ought to have to impact the Yoruba literature is the same power he has lost to English literature. And this is because, over many years he has been schooled to lose the same power he would've naturally have had to impact the Yoruba language if western education didn't happen. Don't worry, you'll understand this better soon when you understand how William Shakespeare impacted his own native English language.
Yoruba is also a language and therefore have Yoruba literature!. Igbo is also a language and has Igbo literature!!. Hausa is also a language and has Hausa Literature!!. Zulu is also a language and has Zulu literature!!!. All African languages have it's literature wasting away while we develop English and French literature, just as we were commanded to do by the colonial masters!.
We no longer remember English is not our language, because if you're able to give drugs (education) to birds to make them not grow their feathers again, the subsequent generation of birds that would be born over many years of the drug would eventually grow up not knowing they were supposed to have feathers!. They would grow up not knowing they do have within them the innate ability to fly!. They would grow up not knowing they've been totally dispossessed!!. This is exactly what white people wanted to achieve by installing their languages and model of education across Africa and other colonies. Educational indoctrination is worse than religion or other forms of indoctrination because it happens gradually over the many years we spend in schools in Africa!.
Adolf Hitler was a mind controller and he knew this. This is why Hitler said ''let me control the textbooks and I'll control the mind of the nation''.
The slave masters have done their job and left Africa many years ago, it is now up to us to free ourselves from the shackles of mental slavery!. It is now up to us to free ourselves from intellectual slavery!. Bob Marley said, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, cause none but ourselves can free our mind”.
But, as I said earlier, William Shakespeare invented lot of words for the English people. See some of the Words Shakespeare Invented. He also invented many phrases. See some of the phrases invented by Shakespeare. For more detailed information, here are more words, phrases and their meaning courtesy of Shakespeare. William Shakespeare clearly left an eternal mark on his native English language.
Unlike William Shakespeare, our African authors have no impact whatsoever on our native languages. Their contributions have been stolen via western education, and they don't even know it!.
Before leaving, they figured out that if they left us without teaching us their languages they'll not have any means of exploiting us in absentia. You cannot fool someone unless you're able to communicate them fluently. Get it?.
Therefore, they began enrolling sons of African kings in schools to learn to speak fluent English- in the case of Britain. France also got the sons of kings in their colonies to speak fluent French. Spain and Portugal did the same. These first batch of Africans were schooled in Europe to think like Europeans!. Because, the main goal of the colonialists wasn't to give them education, but to have them help propagate their languages in their various colonies. That's why till the 1920's, an educated African in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Gambia, Zambia and other British colonies was someone who could speak fluent English. Those early victims also spoke in clean British accent.
Similarly, in Cameroon, Benin Republic, Congo, Ivory Coast, Togo, and other French colonies, an educated African in the 1920's was someone who could speak fluent French- in French accent of course.
There were no other criteria for judging an educated African at that time, other than the ability to speak the language of the master- no technical skills, no intellectuals capability, absolutely nothing. It is like a job opportunity advertising the only qualification as the ability to speak English!.
By the way, converting them to Christianity, baptizing them, and changing their first or middle name to English one was compulsory. That's why you still have us today in former British colonies with names like; Emeka John, Adebayo Michael, Effiong Jones, Kwame Donald, e.t.c. Of course, France and the other colonial forces did exactly the same, because the colonialists were always keeping abreast of what the other was doing. So, in former French colonies today you have names like; Kodjo Clement, Honsou Blanchard, Ayo Nicolas, Koffi Patrick, e.t.c. In Sierra-Leone, in the 1920's, an educated class has emerged that were so brainwashed that they chose two English names instead of one. So, they'll go with names like; Jackson Adama Steve, Paul Baru Philip, e.t.c. The British used to mock them by calling them ''black Scotsman'' which was a derogatory name suggesting they were black European.
After indoctrinating these first batch of Africans, they were pushed down to Africa to work with the religious missionaries to make sure they install their language, model of education, and religion all over Africa. This way, they forced the African people to learn their ways as they went further to make it compulsory for every African country to adopt English or French or Spanish or Portuguese as the language of instruction and also a compulsory subject in our schools. That's how we came about western education. Note that Rome previously used this strategy in medieval Europe to destroy languages and cultures across Europe in their hay days. When Rome was in power their colonies spoke Latin (the language of Rome) and were also forced to convert to the religion of Rome. So, you can see the colonialists simply learned from Rome!.
Even our first leaders, people like; Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, Francis Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Milton Obote, Jomo Kenyatta, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Etienne Gnassingbe Eyadema, Leopold Senghor, Kenneth David Kaunda, down to Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Mathew Kerekou, e.t.c also got that education. Basically, it was compulsory to adopt an English, French, Spanish, or Portuguese identity depending on the colony, as again, the purpose of western education wasn't and still isn't to educate Africans but to convert us to little black Europeans detached from our roots. However, what saved us was that Nkrumah and Azikiwe later hooked up with the Marcus Garvey school of thought in America, and began de-brainwashing themselves to the point they became politically conscious of the damage colonialism was doing to Africa, which is why they were later to challenge colonial rule.
Before Nkrumah and Azikiwe, Marcus Garvey was the most vocal of the first set of black people that discovered and freed themselves from mental slavery, and he preached freedom from mental slavery for all black people worldwide.
Is our problem Religious indoctrination or Educational indoctrination?
Let me share with you an analogy of how someone described our mental bondage in Africa today. He was talking about religious indoctrination though, and he said our situation is like where "a gang of ruthless and notorious armed robbers break into a family house, stealing, killing, and raping the entire family. And while they're at it, they deleted the police emergency helpline/phone number from the household's diary and replaced it with another phone number.
Let me ask you; would the thieves have given a genuine number or fake number? Of course, the alternative phone number belongs to the robbery gang and have a member of the gang waiting to answer it at the other end. And as expected, the innocent household dialed to call the police for help, not knowing the phone conversation is meant to keep them busy and distracted while the robbery last.
Do you think the family would ever realize they have the wrong number? What do you think the family did? The household believed they were dialing the right number and that help would come!!. They have no idea the real police number has been deleted and replaced!!.
He concluded that "I guess in the case of Africans, we dialed the number given to us by ruthless and notorious armed robbers (colonialists/slave masters) while they're enslaving, stealing and raping our lands. And surprise! That FAKE number is religion/god!. Our lands were invaded, our ancestors stolen (some sold), millions killed, our lands raped by the same people that brought us these religions, while they looted and raped and enslaved, they kept us busy in churches and mosques praying for a miracle".
If you understand the above analogy, you'll understand how anybody could be indoctrinated, and you'll also understand that religious indoctrination is exactly the same as educational indoctrination. So, when the so-called educated people in Africa talks about religion as our problem, it shows how deep western indoctrination has sunk us because they have no idea they're also in the matrix!!. They don't understand why the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, said: "every African is a victim of colonialism". Whether you're educated or not!!. Whether you're an atheist or not!!. As long as you're an African, you're a victim of colonialism.
Both religion and education were brought to us by the same European missionaries at the same time!. Religion is not ours!!. Education is not ours!!!. Unless our native African religion a.k.a paganism.
Religion was to serve a purpose and education too was to serve its own purpose. That's why they gave us both religion and education- the two most powerful tool to control people. The purpose of religion is to console us, to make us docile, patient, and without the willingness to retaliate, since "vengeance is for the lord" and not for men. On the other hand, the purpose of education is to control what is knowable by us, to make us intellectual slaves always looking up to white people for knowledge, to make us educated fools unable to question anything white people say or know. The real indoctrination was happening and is still happening under the so-called education!.
The worst attack on Africa by the colonialists was the destruction of our native languages, which then destroyed our original system of knowledge acquisition- Education.
This is why..............................
Language is like a seed. Within a seed contains all what the seed needs to become a tree. For example; if you plant maize seed, it would grow and have every other thing it needs. It would have stem, branches, leaves, roots, fruits, e.t.c. That's how language is!!.
But if you destroy a maize seed, you've also inadvertently destroyed a tree!. You've destroyed stems, branches, barks, leaves, roots, fruits, e.t.c.
That's exactly what the slave masters and colonialists did. They made sure they destroyed our languages by banning it while putting their own languages as our official language and forcing us to acquire knowledge with it. Acquiring knowledge in their language was the second worst disaster that ever happened to Africa. Because, that means we can no longer challenge their views, as over time we have grown to become accustomed to learning what they want us to learn, knowing what they want us to know, not knowing what they don't want us to know. This has led to an unfortunate situation where Africans have outsourced knowledge creation to foreigners!. It has led to a situation where we concede expert knowledge to outsiders!!. African people have surrendered the right to academic self-affirmation to foreigners!!. We've grown to become ''educated fools''. Indeed, its because we were schooled to think like fools that's why Europeans came back with religion and literally told us they were saints and we believed them!. That's why Adolf Hitler said ''let me control the textbooks and I'll control the mind of the nation''. Hitler was right!. Education is the most effective tool of mass indoctrination!!.
What we need do is uproot the brainwashing education we inherited from Britain and France, and return to learning in our natural (native) languages- Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Efik, Ibibio, Tiv, Ijaw, Zulu, Zona, Swahili, Nupe, e.t.c, e.t.c. Each African tribe should return to studying in their native languages. The knowledge you acquire in your own language is the true meaning of knowledge.
Africa cannot develop until we return to speaking and writing in our native languages in school. We must be masters of our various languages by using them in schools to acquire knowledge. Doing this would naturally re-wire us back to ourselves over time.
Religion that some us blame for our backwardness is just like a branch of a tree, not the seed, not even the root. Because knowledge about the bible and Koran was acquired via brainwashing western education!. Its the so-called education that we're using to acquire knowledge about religion, not the other way round.
Don't we have Christian and Islamic studies in our school curriculum in Africa today? Are those working in our ministries of education not educated? Of course, they've been indoctrinated by western education such that they believe religion should be a subject in school!. So, you see, religion is not our problem, because the religious knowledge itself is acquired via education!!.
It is not religion that makes them teach religion in school. It is education!.
Worshiping of foreign gods is just one of the hundreds of symptoms of what's wrong with the African mind. So, why cutting the branches? Why not uproot the brainwashing education itself?
It's such a pity we no longer remember what we have today is not true education, but an indoctrination fed us by the British and French, just like the robbers giving a fake phone number to their victim.
Why even blame religion? Is religion the principal way white people control Africa? Of course, not!.
White people control us in all areas!. White people also control YOU African Atheists or Pagans.
Again, if you studied Chemistry in school, it's white man's point of view about Chemistry.
If you studied Biology, it's white man's thoughts about Biology.
If you studied Economics, it's white man's knowledge of Economics.
If you studied Physics, it's white man's view of Physics. e.t.c, e.t.c. No matter what you studied in school as an African, it's always white man's point of view about that branch of knowledge.
So, stop hiding your heads in the sand like the Ostrich. Remove the plank in your eyes before removing the speck in your brother's eye.
The intellectual superiority white people exert over us is so huge, that's why the white man boasted to me saying "Everything around you. Your career, weather engineering, Social Sciences, Arts, Medicine, Your Car, House, Clothes, phone. Everything, I mean everything is a product of white man's ingenuity. Your most intelligent black professor is a product of white man's education. All the theories and formulas he will encounter as a student were all developed by a white man. So please, what can you do without us?".
As you can see above, this white man understands you cannot be a truly educated African, even if you hold a Ph.D. He knows there's no education going on in Africa. Its YOU that has been fully indoctrinated that consider yourself educated, but they know your educational indoctrination is exactly as strong as the religious indoctrination.
Whether you are a religious person or educated person, its the same indoctrination by the same white people!. They gave us both religion and education!!.
He had the audacity to say such to me because he understands we're being fooled with what they fed us as education during colonialism, but YOU don't know!. He understands that knowledge is only knowledge if they say so. He understands they create knowledge and that all we do in Africa is copy and paste. Yet, the saddest part is that while white people understand the damage and how western education mess up our minds, but the so-called educated Africans don't!.
Until African nations re-invent education and eschew from what Fela Anikulapokuti called ''follow-follow'' we'll remain in this situation of looking up to white people as a standard for knowledge creation.
You all African atheists must swallow your pride and drop your egos, then, come to the realization the supposed education you have is no better than the white man's religion. Your education is also a product of the white man's deceit, therefore, you're also as brainwashed as any bible or Koran believing African. A reason the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Muhammad II, said ''every African is a victim of colonialism''. We all have been fooled!.
In fact, that's why Lord Kwame Nkrumah, the father of African independence, after schooling in three universities in USA and Britain and earning lots of degrees, came back to Africa with all his degrees and he shed tears saying ''western education is a fraud''. Lord Nkrumah was lucky enough to be in America during the days of Marcus Garvey. He listened and adopted Garvey's philosophy and was intelligent enough to notice something was wrong with education in Africa. He even feared education in Africa would eventually create what Bob Marley called ''educated fools'' who would collaborate with white people to re-colonize Africa in future. He's not far from the truth!.
This our imaginary British man would have helped the literary development of Yoruba language, no matter how little. He would have coined so many Yoruba words that would sound half-English and Half-Yoruba, thereby helping enrich the Yoruba language in the long run. Why?. Because a language naturally expands or start dying when it interacts with another language.
Other languages like; Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Korean, e.t.c have native names for; Click, Download, Upload, Database, Website, Homepage. But we don't because nobody works for the literary development of our native languages.
If French is the standard for learning; how come Koreans understood sciences and built technological wonders without speaking French?. How come the Japanese built technological wonders and went to the moon on their own terms, in their own native language?
Of course, I would have loved writing this in my native Igbo language before translating into English, but education in Africa has failed me. Western education has fooled me!. I have lost the power to write in my own Igbo language because our inherited brainwashing system of education could not get me master writing in my native Igbo language in school. Instead, I was schooled to master a foreign language at the expense of mine.
But there's nobody born and schooled in Japan that cannot write and speak Japanese.
There's nobody born and schooled in China that cannot write and speak Chinese.
There's nobody born and schooled in Britain that cannot read and write English.
There's nobody born and schooled in France that cannot read and write in French.
There's nobody born and schooled in Korea that cannot read and write Korean.
There's nobody born and schooled in Germany that does not read and write German.
There's nobody born and schooled in Russia that cannot read and write Russian, e.t.c, e.t.c.
Shame on African educationists!. Shame on African scholars!!. The so-called educated people in Africa are the dumbest among us, and they have no idea the huge dis-service they're doing to the African people.
UCMAS for example; have proved so effective in solving mathematics that even western nations are copying UCMAS from Asia. So, as you can see, when we stop this slave mentality and develop a system of education as it suits us, even western nations will copy us.
I grew up researching this topic (pedagogy) without even realizing what I was doing. I was born not in the city, but I was fortunate enough to inherit an old library in my village. I've spent years researching this stuff, and literally shed tears the day I realized I' am an educated fool. Then, I began to de-brainwash myself. Should anybody out there want to understand more on this, read the book; intellectual slavery, the worst legacy of colonialism.