How Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, Ezekiel Mphahlele & Co were deceived by Britain, the CIA & MI16 to destroy African languages in literature
The biggest mistake ever made by educated people on the African continent
In 1945, the second world war ended, however, with that end began an ideological and geopolitical tussle between Western powers led by USA and their allies (supremacist, capitalists) versus Eastern powers led by Russia and their allies (socialist, communists).
The two powers (East and West) began fighting a weaponless war of supremacy appropriately called the "cold war" in which both sides were vying to outdo each other to control the world. It's called cold war because no weapons were used, instead coercion, lies, threat, psychological means, rhetorics, espionage and things like that were used.
Their madness touched everywhere in the world and Africa wasn't left out.
By the 1960's, colonialism was fastly ending officially in most part of Africa, and those countries that got their independence first found themselves in a sort of colonial control vacuum. This created space for the Eastern bloc (Russia and China) to make an entry into Africa. African nations were then caught up between two world powers on where our alliance should be. Some African countries were on the side of the West, while others were on the side of the East, mostly depending on who was the colonial master.
So, with the colonial masters still lurking in the horizon, our alliance as you'll soon realize was nothing but choosing who shall neo-colonize us. That's when Britain rolled out a plan "B" to return Africa to colonialism.
As soon as colonialism officially ended in some parts of Africa, some smart African authors started writing books and other works of literature in our native languages. Some people even wrote books in Pidgin English because the embargo Britain placed on our native language was no longer in effect. People could then express themselves in languages other than English, so there was a kind of rejuvenation of native African languages going on at that time. However, that power to choose to write in our native language was a threat to the interest of Britain. They didn't like the idea of having us write anything in our native languages as that would've inevitably led to our coming to our senses to realize that we're African people and not European. This would have opened our eyes and would have ultimately led to our rejection of everything our ancestors didn't create. Britain realized what the outcome would be if we continue writing in our native languages, so they quickly plotted how to stop this burgeoning native African writing by all means.
In 1962, a conference was held in Uganda at Makerere University by post-colonial African authors who’ve been schooled in the English language. The theme was "conference of African Writers of English Expression" and the goal was to decide whether literature should be written in our native African language or in the slave master's language English. The conference was chaired by a British scholar named Gerald Moore and it was sponsored by an organization called the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), a Western anti-communist advocacy group founded in 1950 and run by the US central intelligence agency (CIA). Take note of that because you’ll hear about CCF again.
Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Obiajunwa Wali and many others were present.
The questions raised and debated at the conference are as follows:
(1). What constitutes African literature?
(2). Is it literature written by Africans, literature that depicts the African experience?
(3). Does African literature have to be written in an African language?
Ngugi wa Thiong’o immediately stood up and pointed out that the title "conference of African Writers of English Expression" in and of itself was already biased against African languages and the purpose of the meeting because it excluded any African writer who didn’t write in English. In other words, it meant they've come to discuss how to advance English literature in Africa, instead of all genres of African authors. Ngugi was still a student at the Makerere university, so he wasn’t able to influence the majority of attendees. However, Obiajunwa Wali, an Ijaw man from South Nigeria and whom I’ve discovered to be the most enlightened person in that meeting, supported Ngugi's position. But Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo and Soyinka were in favor of the title and on the side of the English language. Unfortunately, those in favor of writing in the English language won. They won because those on the side of the English language were fully brainwashed by the CIA agents masquerading as scholars, who lobbied and gave them support of the colonial masters.
The reason I want to talk about this is because the outcome of that conference is the biggest mistake ever made by a group of Africans in support of colonialism and neo-colonialism in Africa. If that meeting went on the side of those in favor of writing in our native languages, we would have completely detached ourselves from Western control long ago. It would have ushered in a cultural revolution that would've awaken the African people to kick out anything not African. We would have been living in a different type of Africa built with our own language and ingenuity and not what white people teach us. It would have been the true end of colonialism. Unfortunately, the opportunity was lost. It is like a footballer having the ball face to face in front of a goal keeper when no opponent is near, then kicking the ball over the bar in an important football match.
The outcome of that conference spelt the death of our native African languages, which is why I have to communicate with you in English even when we have our own language. Should you be in a position to participate in such a meeting in the future, please don't make the mistake that Chinua Achebe and Soyinka made because they sold their birthright for a bowl of porrIdge and watery soup.
How do you even invite a student from London to talk about writing in an African language?
The meeting should have been held by Africans in Africa!! Then others should’ve been told about the outcome. But, of course, the conference was partly sponsored by the same colonialists with Soyinka and Chinua Achebe already lining up to win their next award in English literature. Everything was premeditated and there was no chance of African languages winning the day even before the meeting began. Enough said.
I've done a lot of research on white people and how they manipulate people and nations, and also on language and education in Africa. I wish I attended the meeting to answer the questions they raised. Though it is over 60 years since the questions were raised, I woke up this morning and I decided I can still answer the questions today.
(1). What constitutes African literature?
First of all, there's no such thing as ‘’African literature’’ unless you're describing the race of an author or the geographical location where a work was written, not the written work itself. African literature is a misnomer but which was deliberately coined and put into the brains and mouths of the first set of Africans that wrote immediately after the so called independence. Such phrases or words are coined and handed over to a target through the means of linguistic manipulation in order to distort the target’s perception of reality. That's exactly how the post-colonial African authors were handed over such deceptive words and phrases by the central intelligence agency (CIA) agents in academia to disable them from pursuing literature in our various native African languages. So, even before the Makerere conference, Soyinka and Achebe were already set up as a conduit to destroy native African languages. But they didn't know!!
Metaphysics, a study of the nature of reality, has known since ancient time that reality is created in the brain by the orchestration and manipulation of semantics. He who gives you a language, a word, a phrase and the definition and context of that word or phrase will control you. As long as they own the English language, they can coin words, define it, set the context and hand it over to you to speak. But it means that they have defined reality for you. Yes, using words!! And when they've defined your reality, yours is simply to speak that word or phrase like a zombie and react according to how they want you to react. I find such linguistically imbedded indoctrination all over the place in what we erroneously call education in Africa. That's, of course, how we ended up with such a deceptive phrase as ''African literature.'' I teach how to free yourself from this type of conditioning and indoctrination. This type of conditioning is as strong as religion. For details, see Black people are living an illusion. Black people are locked down in consciousness
Having said that, I may now answer the question. What constitutes ‘’African literature?’’
African literature in it's right sense constitutes anything; especially books written in an African language, just as English literature constitutes anything written in English language, just as European literature constitutes books written in European languages, just as Asian literature constitutes books written in Asian languages.
And this reminds me of the book: things fall apart, which we have been indoctrinated to call African literature.
The book things fall apart
is English literature but it was written by an African named Chinua Achebe. It's so because LITERA-ture comes from LITERA-ry, which means to LITERAL-ly write, just as I am LITERAL-ly doing here and now in English. A book written in Chinese language is Chinese literature, irrespective of the race or nationality of the author or what the author is saying. A book written in Russian language is Russian literature, irrespective of the race or nationality of the author or what the author is saying.
Things fall apart is English literature but it was written by an African
Properly understood (without colonial definition of African literature) things fall apart can only be called African literature when talking about the race of the author or and the geographical location the book was written, which happens to be the African continent. Achebe wrote till he died and he didn't add one lexicon to his native Igbo language because he wrote ''English literature'' but he told African stories. The African story is not the LITERAture!! The LITERAture is the language that he LITERAlly wrote the book.
At this point, let me ask you a question, please.
If J.K Rowling (an English woman) the author of the book Harry Potter
, writes a book telling African stories; would that book not be English literature anymore? If the book Harry Potter was cast in Africa with African kids and an African story; would the book not be English literature anyone?
Conversely, if J.K Rowing went on a safari in Kenya and ended up writing a book in Gikuyu language about her experience in Kenya; won't the book be called Gikuyu literature? If she went on a safari in South Africa and ended up writing a book in Zulu language about her experience; won't the book be called Zulu literature? Would her books written in native African languages be called English literature? Or European literature? Certainly, it can't be called English literature, however, it may on rare occasions be referred to as European literature but only when talking about the race or geographical location of the author. But assuming we Africans were the ones that enslaved and colonized Europe, we'll fool her by defining "European literature" for her, and whenever she writes in an African language, we'll reward her with Nobel laureates, Pulitzer prize, Cain prize to ostensibly help promote African languages to the detriment of her native English language, thereby, keeping her away from pursuing true literature in her image and Language. Sadly, that's what Britain and the CIA did to the first post colonial African authors and ever since we got stuck with it. So, you get the point.
At the said conference, Chinua Achebe argued that writing his books in English would help him reach out to a wider audience. And that's why his book ''things fall apart'' has been translated into about 50 languages, so he died a commercial author or should I say a literary prostitute (excuse my French) writing for the highest bidder instead of promoting his native Igbo literature, which is what literature should be. For him, it was all about the money even if his native Igbo language goes into extinction.
Do you know what language thing's fall apart has never been officially translated? The book has never been officially translated into Chinua Achebe’s native Igbo language! Because he was busy writing and promoting English literature, which he was fooled was African literature. What a pity! It is not a surprise that when he died, a British article ridiculed him saying ''he wrote his novels in ''English'' and defended the use of English, a "language of colonizers", in African literature. Wow! This is very revealing about what white people actually think about the so called African literary giants who sit there moping while their native African languages go into extinction. And they don't care whether an African language goes extinct because they don't realize the English language is their slavery, just as Christianity or Islam is to many other Africans. Of course, you may ask why I am writing in English myself. The short answer is that at that conference they spelt a dead end of African literature. If you have any further question about that, read my book; intellectual slavery: the worst legacy of colonialism
Let me quickly add something before I answer the next question.
White people have so much dealt a big blow to our African brains and it seems the only thing we can do really very well at this point is just being slaves. It seems we're now professionals at being slaves. I need to say this because despite having explained the semantics of "African literature", yet the question (which is rational) you'll probably have is; how about when Europeans say "European literature?" The answer is that when Europeans say "European literature" they mean literary works on the European continent, not a book like Harry Potter by J.K Rowlling. When they want to talk about the work itself, they'll simply say "literature" since it's already in their language. They may also specifically say "French literature" or "English literature" or "German literature" or "Italian literature" or "Greek literature" or "Spanish literature", etc as the case may be.
The meaning we get when we say "African literature" is a deceptive artificial meaning which Europeans imposed on us. It's not an organic meaning that came out of African culture!! If we were not enslaved, we'll simply say "literature" or we may specifically say "Igbo literature" or "Yoruba literature" or "Zulu literature" or "Kikuyu literature" or "Hausa literature" or "Wolof literature" or "Akan literature" or "Swahili literature" or "Fon literature", etc as the case may be. The only time we would've said "African literature" would have been when talking about works written on the African continent as a geographical location, not a particular book.
(2). Is it literature written by Africans, literature that depicts the African experience?
A book doesn’t have to be written by an African nor does it have to depict African values to be called African literature. A book could be written by a Chinese but it becomes part of ''African literature'' the moment it is translated into any native African language. Example; a book written in Chinese and translated into Igbo language would become part of Igbo literature but written by a foreigner. However, Igbo people reading the book would care less the nationality of who wrote it. That's exactly what Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and, unfortunately, the rest of us have been fooled to do, writing and promoting the English language all over the world on behalf of England!!
Why do you think the only book translated by white people into native African language was the bible? The reason they translated the bible into our various native African languages was to localize their religious thought as part of African culture. And what do we call those bibles in our native languages? We call it Yoruba bible, Igbo bible, Kikuyu bible, Zulu bible, Shona bible, Hausa bible, Ijaw bible, etc because literature is about language not about who wrote what.
Many people across the world reading things fall apart
don't even know whether it was written by someone from the moon. Who cares? All they know is that it is an English novel. In fact, in a country like Japan, people would find it hard to believe that someone wrote a book first in a foreign language instead of his/her own language first. They won’t be able to process that type of information because it is irrational.
The most annoying thing about this is that, while Chinua Achebe, Soyinka and others promote the English language, their own books are also being translated to other native languages across the world. But at no time have they stopped to ask themselves; if English language is so good, why are my books being translated into other languages across the world? They never ask themselves; if English language is so good, what are non English speakers doing with my books in far away continents? Such questions don't cross their mind because what we're trained to do in Africa is to write and hand it over to the rest of the world to profit and develop literature in various native languages in other continents, while African languages suffer. In other words, we are trained to serve the interest of others. We're trained to undermine our native languages. We're trained to undermine ourselves so that white people would continue to rule over us. We're trained to underdevelop our own languages!! We're trained to abdicate from our heritage in exchange for worshipping white people. And as we do that, we spit upon our intelligence and upon our ancestors and all they did in language for millions of years before Europeans showed up on planet earth. This is the ultimate submission!! What a shame!!
(3). Does African literature have to be written in an African language?
Yes, yes, yes. African literature has to be written in an African language but it must not always have to be written by an African to qualify as African literature. African literature could be written by anybody from any country in the world but it becomes part of African literature the moment the book is translated to any native African language. Wole Soyinka has written English literature. Chinua Achebe has written English literature in things fall apart
. Chimamanda Adichie has written English literature in her book Americanah
and in Half of a yellow sun
and in many other books.
Another way to help you understand what I am saying is to give you a little assignment. Answer the question below.
In 1986, Wole Soyinka won the Nobel prize in:
A. Greek literature
B. Igbo literature
C. Kikuyu literature
D. African literature
E. Chinese literature
F. French literature
G. Yoruba literature
H. Zulu literature
I. Shona literature
J. Hausa literature
K. English literature
The answer is K, which is English literature because literature is about literature in a language not in a place. Soyinka won the Nobel prize in "English literature" and that's what white people (not Chinese people) gave him an award for, yet he was equally deceived that he wasn't writing "English literature" and he never stopped to ponder about that.
I think Soyinka and Achebe weren't really educated enough at that point in their lives when they attended the Makerere conference. They were both young and just good English writers trained to be used. And that's why I have warned Africans several times that speaking English fluently doesn't equate to education. Unless someone is educated enough to the point of serious critical analysis, we can't begin to talk about education.
Yet, I overheard Soyinka some time ago talking about what he called "green god", an allusion that Africans worship foreign gods. But the "greenest god" is the English language and he (Soyinka) is the chief priest that influenced every serious African student in the 1980’s; including myself. How do you go accepting an award in Europe for writing in a language used to enslave your ancestors and still worry about Jesus or Muhammad in Africa? My God is better than yours, is the same as my language is better than yours!! As nature gave you your language, so did nature also give you your God!! So, what's the difference between English language and Jesus? Both were given to us by the same people at the same time!! What makes English language better than Christianity and Islam? When you understand why you love English language, you’ll understand why other Africans love Christianity and Islam.
One interesting thing I’ve discovered in my research over the years in different former European colonies even outside Africa is that this naive acceptance of English as good and Christianity and Islam as bad is common among the so called highly educated people. In his book: inglorious empire- what the British did to India
the author Mr. Sashi Tharoor (an Indian) after lampooning Britain for so many crimes they committed in India but he still went on to thank Britain for "coffee, cricket and English language" because he doesn't understand that the English language (no matter how good it may seem) is his slavery. He doesn’t understand that there are many good English speakers in China, Japan, Russia, Korea, which were never enslaved by Britain. Fortunately for him, he is a Hindu but if he were to be a Christian, he would have also thanked Britain for bringing Christianity to India. He would have defended Christianity with his last blood and would've told you how beautiful and beneficial is it to India. When he understand why he loves the English language, he'll understand why other Indians love Muhammad or Jesus. As smart as he is but he doesn’t understand the attack on his psych!! That's how evil accepting something that your ancestors didn't create could be. To understand the attack on our psyche, see Black people are living an illusion. Black people are locked down in consciousness
The English language in former British colonies is like a pyramid scam. As long as there are many new participants joining in from all over the world to speak the English language, the fraud won't be unraveled and won’t stop. The former European colonies are like victims in a pyramid scam. They are blinded because more and more people are joining in the scam. If all of us colonized countries wake up one morning and prioritize our various native languages and decide that we’re no longer speaking the English language, English will die a natural death. There's nothing special about the English language. The only thing is that it is the most spoken language by conquered people and former slaves across the world. When the slaves wake up to their various native languages, the English language will die!! In fact, it will happen sometime in future when enslaved people get smarter. Funny enough, ENGLAND itself was once locked down in Latin and Greek, which were among the languages used to enslave them by Greece and Rome. It wasn’t until 1348 that English replaced Greek and Latin as the language of instruction in British schools. And in 1362 English became an official language in Britain. That was also the year English was spoken in the British Parliament for the first time in history. The first English newspaper was published in London in 1702. Before then they were written in Greek, Latin, and French. I am hopeful that one day Africans and Indians will open their eyes just like Britain did. If Britain can do it, we can also do it.
It is language itself that is culture. Culture is seen language, language is unseen culture. Culture is condensed language!! If you want to advance your culture, then it is your language that you must promote. Because everything else would grow out of language.
Everything is a word. Look around you, anything you can see or touch is a word. If your language have no words to name things to compete with other languages, then the language would die. When the language dies, the culture in turn would die because a culture cannot exist unless it exists simultaneously with a language. Guess what? Since a culture cannot stay in a vacuum without a language, it means that if your language dies, you'll be ruled by foreigners who’ll give you an alternative language. So, right now we’re still ruled by foreigners even as white people are no longer in our lands. And that's why we would be enslaved forever by white people unless we make a U-turn before it is too late and return to our native African languages to do everything. Obiajunwa Wali told them at the conference saying ''the whole uncritical acceptance of English and French as the inevitable medium for educated African writing, is misdirected, and has no chance of advancing African literature and culture.'' He added "African literature as now understood and practiced, is merely a minor appendage in the main stream of European literature." That's very correct!! We are simply servants writing for white people. We are still in slavery!! The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Ngugi Wa Thiong'o and Obiajunwa Wali have been vindicated!!
In 1963, France having observed the success of the Makerere conference, envied what Britain achieved and how Africans were easily deceived, so they replicated the same feat for Francophone African countries. Their conference was held in Dakar the capital of Senegal. Guess what? The Senegal conference was also sponsored by the CIA’s "Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF)". Wow!! This is a good example of how white people morph into internal African issues to exploit us. The black man was deceived again through the help of ''educated'' Africans.
After the Second World War, the CCF was created by Europe and America to shape the mentality of educated natives in former European colonies. The real goal behind the curtain was for them to create elites who would serve as conduits, so that the West would continue ruling their colonies by proxy, as well as to mitigate against any former colony decamping to the Eastern bloc i.e China, Russia and allies. There’s a book about the CCF activities within that period. The book is called the liberal conspiracy
- by author Peter Coleman. According to Peter Coleman ''the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) was America's principal attempt during the cold war to win over the world's intellectuals to the liberal democratic (Western) cause. It spread throughout the world, establishing magazines, publishing books, holding conferences and festivals, organizing protests, setting up a network of national committees, and fostering personal contacts. It dissolved in 1967 amid disclosures of its funding by the CIA.''
The book would tell you the schemes used by the West to shape the minds of people like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and many others throughout the world to usher in the post-colonial thinkers and elites in former European colonies.
Obiajunwa Wali, a very enlightened man at that time did warn everyone just as I warn Africans today but nobody listened. Through few brainwashed Africans in 1962, we gave up our autonomy in language, thought, knowledge and literature but instead chose to be herded like cattle from one location to another by white people. We abdicated from our heritage and sold our birthright for a bowl of porridge beans. Today, literature in our native African language is dead and buried. The white man is no longer here today, yet we are unable to free ourselves from his language because any slavery built on language and education are built on strong foundation. We’ve been so much enslaved from generation to generation with the English language that most of us now think that our slavery in English is normal. But to be normal doesn't mean to be natural. No matter how well you speak the English language or any other foreign language, you can never have an organic experience with meaning unless in your native language. We have accepted an alien artificial thought process as the way to do the basic mundane business of thinking that even animals in the forest can do naturally without help. And that's why we're doomed to live vicariously upon the success of white people instead of what we can learn, write, study, build and create for and by ourselves in our own image without foreign help. White people have led us into a ditch and we're not even about to wake up!!
Mr. Wali wrote an article in 1963, a year after the Ugandan conference and the same year of the Senegal conference. For details about the article, see the dead end of African literature
We were warned by Wali!! Hold Britain, the CIA, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka & Co responsible for the cultural disorientation and maladjustment we find ourselves today in Africa.
The Makerere generation- Cold War diplomacy and African literature
African Literature's Unending Battle With the Language Question
African Writers Conference
Congress for Cultural Freedom
Gerald Moore (scholar)
The cold war
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