“The white man is very clever.
He came quietly and peaceably with his religion.
We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay.
Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one.
He put a knife on the things that held us has together and we have fallen apart.”
– Chinua Achebe
A lot of times I don’t know what to believe, but reading and reviewing literary giant Chinua Achebe’s quote above I begin to wonder, I begin to think.
I begin to ask myself questions.
The real question to ask here is what was before the advent of the white man?
What did the African do about spirituality before the advent of Christianity?
Nature abhors vacuum therefore one couldn’t possibly say we did nothing about our spirituality prior to christianity.
When you critically review the way things have panned out today in our lives as Africans do we blame this “foreign” religion?
Growing up I knew of relationships,
I knew of family values,
I knew of humanity!
I also grew up knowing that my grand father and elders in our village always called on his forefathers and their ancestral spirit. Before any gathering took off “libation” was poured on mother earth and the forefathers were invited to guide and direct proceedings.
However, with the white man’s religion we were made to believe that our ways were satanic and pagan ways!
How true this is I don’t know as no one has ever died and come back to tell us who was right or wrong the African or the white man.
Is there a heaven or a hell?
People knew when they did bad there was consequences of those. There were cases where people went mad instantly when the gods of the land were invoked to adjudicate.
Land disputes were said to have been settled by the god of thunder who would strike and divide the land correctly? I could go on and on.
No one ever went straight to “God”!
We dealt through intermidiaries.
We asked our forefathers and ancestors to pass our request to God unlike is the case today. Imagine how busy God would be considering the population of the world and the amount of requests for intercession on His table?
Seems to me that we had more saner societies. Life was less complicated.
Everyone looked out for their neighbours.
Today we have a society bereft of any values, relationships, family nor humanity!
Were our ways better or are things better as they are today?
Who do we blame for the way things have turned out – maybe the white man and the white man’s religion as expressed by Achebe?
I will leave you to make your own deductions.
Am I threading in an unfamiliar territory?
I don’t know.
One thing that I would like to do someday is to enrol somewhere and study “Traditional African Religion” maybe I would unravel some of this mystery. Just maybe!
Be that as it may you may or may not observe that despite the way churches and religious denominations of different hues have continued to spread all around us the world is being overtaken alarmingly by evil and wickedness!
Eventually it looks like the white man and his religion ‘has put a knife on the things that held us has together and we have fallen apart’!
Posted by Damian @8WDee.com.