Decolonising The Mind

2012-12-28 04:37

What is to decolonise the mind? Decolonising the Mind sets out to undo or at least lessen the effects colonialism has on the minds of Africans.

The black mind has gone through a weakening process  that teaches us that western culture is by far better than the African way. This weakening process through the education system at model c schools, social media and television has corrupted the black mind.  It has taught the black to rise above and look down onto the "uneducated African". It has led an African into believing that his culture is both out dated and barbaric. Instead of defending our culture the weakened African mind opposes it. He too finds it barbaric and he disrespects it, by doing this he has disrespected a tribe, a nation, an African culture.

Mental colonialism created a narrative of race relations that still dominates the discourse in western media: the supposed superiority of western culture and the supposed inferiority of non-western cultures

We are now living in a "civilized" society where one is able to choose whether they wanna practice or follow the African culture or not, by all means you may make up your mind and not be judged BUT do not disrespect a culture we trying to protect because you oppose it. Do not make a mockery of it because you have been told that it's barbaric. You must remember that the same people who have weakened your mind have not abandoned their way of life, culture and practices which you will never understand no matter how much you try. But remember, never forget where you come from. Steve Biko wrote "You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can't care anyway." Mr Biko went on to say " "The basic tenet of black consciousness is that the black man must reject all value systems that mseek to make him a foreigner in the country of his birth and reduce his basic human dignity. "

Not being able to read, write or speak your mother tongue is nothing that you can be proud of. The Westerns are curious to learn and speak your African language but YOU belittle it. But mostly I blame our parents who turn a blind eye like it is ok for an African child to forget his or her roots.

Decolonizing the mind means changing the mindset of an African mind, to not forget where he comes from.

As a country we continue to be chained within the confines of what the West defines and perceives about the erstwhile colonial subjects. Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s “Decolonising the Mind” holds true in the present day as well where we have failed to carve out our own subjectivity that would be perfectly divested of the Western thought of conduct and behaviour. It is important to de-colonise the mind before de-colonising the body; if the mind continues to be trapped within the walls of colonial interpretations then the freedom of the physical anatomy would be rendered futile. The compulsive need to be recognised and acknowledged by the parameters of western standards have to be shrugged away so that individuality and subjectivity can mature in full clarity and adequate visibility.

We need to rid ourselves of this 'belief' that western way is better than the African way.

I am an African child so when I speak with my elders I look down as a sign of respect  just to avoid their eyes. But they came from the west and told me that my respect was a sign of cowardice. That my gestures of respect told them that I am lying... So which do I embrace , their teaching or my culture?

Not so long ago President J.G Zuma made a comment about "clever blacks". He said “Some Africans who become too clever take a position (where) they become the most eloquent in criticising themselves about their own traditions and everything.” He went on to urge the House to play a role in helping Africans remember their roots.

There was nothing wrong with the President said, but  "the clever blacks" who were touched by this are simply driven, again I will say by the compulsive need to be recognised and acknowledged by the parameters of western standards.

Former President Thabo Mbeki wrote a masterpiece "I Am An African" which promotes Africaness and pride and sense of belonging, in his speech Mbeki says " I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever- changing seasons that define the face of our native land."

Be Black and Be Proud.

“I am an African, not because I was born in Africa but because Africa is born in me ”. — Kwame Nkrumah ...


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