African Liberation Day: Are We Liberated?

The author, Edrisa Janko

Educationally, Europeans succeeded in rooting an educational system that teaches Africans to remember, but not to create. Take the example of our exams; learners who succeeded in cramming performed better than others, and are celebrated as the most outstanding among their colleagues. But these outstanding students hardly defend their higher grades in creating anything beneficial for Africa. Our intellectuals continue serving the interest of the West in the name of modern civilization.

When you go to my village, you easily identify the educated ones from the rest because most of the educated people tend to undermine our rich social norms. Even our Arabic students who studied in Arabian countries are easily identified among the Arabic Scholars because their line of thinking is completely different. The highly educated Africans are in fact puppets to western civilization. Now tell me, are we Educationally Liberated?

Politically, we are operating exactly the way the west was operating on our soil – calling themselves colonial masters. This was the same system they used to directly control us, and they are still empowering it to indirectly controlled us. Tell me the name of your political party, and I shall tell you your political ideology.

The politicians, themselves, never hesitated to tell us whether they are socialists or capitalists, or any other western political system. Those African leaders who understood their controlled mechanism and decided to rebel against it were termed, dictators. To get rid of them, they used their people against them. Now, they are enjoying the remote; controlling the so-called greedy African leaders who have no mission and vision for this great continent. Now, tell me, are we Politically Liberated?

Economically, despite our continent being very rich in natural resources which is the driving force of the world’s economy, we are getting poorer while the West is getting richer with little or no natural resources. They continue extracting our natural resources, giving us a smaller percentage, and continue playing the big brother role. That smaller percentage is normally stolen by our greedy and cruel leaders and banked in Europe and America for safety. When they die or are accused of international crimes, those countries capitalize on that and freeze their accounts and seize their properties. Tell me, are we Economically Liberated?

Culturally, western civilization has crippled our very many rich cultures. What happened to our great festivals and ceremonies? Circumcision ceremonies which teach youths about the secrecy of manhood are not important anymore in our African Societies because of so-called western civilization. Baby boys are circumcised in their early months and are being taken care of by their mothers which was an abomination, but it is now normal.

In their first three years, they are taken to nursery schools and hardly spend time with their so-called career parents who thought the best parents are those who financially cater for their children. They continue learning to remember most of the western ideologies from their early childhood education to their university level. How would such a child understand African Culture? Have you ever wondered why our career people wear African dresses once every week? Well, in The Gambia, it’s every Friday. Are we Culturally Liberated from the West? 

In conclusion, we are not even Socially Liberated. When I was young in the village, we normally gathered at my grandma’s hut and listen to very educative stories – some of which were accompanied by great lessons. All I did hear in the end was “Ntalin Ntalin konkoronkos”, and asked to go to bed. While in bed, I often internalized these stories, and I still live with some of them. But today, most successful Africans have succeeded in separating their kids from their grandparents. Even at our family levels, family members hardly socialize. The only form of socialization left, which is eating from the same bowl has now become history in most African homes. They eat from small plates with fork and knife and mock those of us who cannot use fork and knife. Are we Socially Liberated?

We must revisit ourselves and do things independently according to the needs of our societies. We must think independently and cut ties with so-called western theories, and create ours. That way, we will triumph.

 Edrisa Janko,

Double Certificate, National Language.

HTC, English Language and PHE, Gambia College.

Bachelor of Laws (LLB), UTG.

Email: edrisajanko40@gmail.com

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