From my archives (circa 1995)
The Internet is a great place to be. It is super great when you are looking for information. Little wonder then that they call it the information-highway!
What it means is that with a desktop computer equipped with a modem you are connected to any other person on earth! All you need is an internet account. A lot of companies are now providing this service. Wow!
You send and receive electronic mails, bypassing stamps and delivery vans. You can kiss the PTT bye, bye. You have a cousin in Australia, he has a computer and internet account, you’re as good as DIRECTLY CONNECTED. Leave a message for him, you get your reply in a few hours. Your aunt is in Canada, no problems. What makes it such a great place to be is that you’re always current. So, you’re information junkie, no worries, you can join all the newsgroups on the network – several thousands of them and spend the rest of your life reading the news. Or you can join the groups that appeal to you, like those from your home country or from the motherland – soc.culture.african.
Mailing on the internet is like sending a letter. It goes directly to the addressee. In theory, only the addressee can read the mail. Posting, however, is another kettle of fish. You post a message to a group. That message is meant for members of that group. No one knows for sure how many groups there is on the internet. You have such like Bible, bisexual, tri-sexual, gardening, astronomy etc, etc.
Recently, the Afrikaners were on the SCA (soc.culture.african) with the claims that AFRIKAANS was an African language. Naturally, I challenge their ridiculous claims. A small electronic battle ensued. Below I present my fireworks:
Pray, must I suffer the sight of this ignoble language on SCA?
Is it beyond the competence of these apostles of white supremacy to establish SC.boer or SC.apartheid or SC.afrikaner or SC.whatever?
I thought SCA was a forum for Africans to exchange views and ideas in a DECENT LANGUAGE. Afrikaner is definitely not an African language, and it’s too guttural to be considered decent. It belongs in the gutter if you ask me. It is but a bastardized form of Dutch, of which the German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, wrote: ‘Dutch is not a language, it is a throat disease.’
I know that neither English nor French is native to Africa but, IMO, the speakers of those languages, whatever their other shortcomings, are capable of THINKING STRAIGHT.
Afrikaner is a language of oppression of African people, and I believe that it takes some arrogance and insensitivity for its speakers to launch it on SCA. Steve Biko, among others, must be writhing in pain. That bygones should be bygones does not mean that the oppressors should continue to slap us in the face. Afrikaners’ crimes are too heinous and too recent for its perpetrators to believe that it is forgotten.
What’s coming next, Flemish, Serbo-Croat?
My posting What’s Afrikaans doing on SCA excited the Boers, among the incoherent arguments they put forward I answer the following:
1.) Why I think Afrikaners are incapable of thinking:
Hausa, Pula, Swahili, Yoruba are indigenous African language, no speaker of this language have ever considered posting with them. Simple courtesy demands that you do not impose yourself on other people. I believe this is too difficult for Afrikaners to understand. That is what I mean that Afrikaners are incapable of THINKING – straight or crooked.
I’ll be considered rude if I go to SC Korea or SC Arab and post a msg. in Yoruba. That’s what I want the Boers to understand.
2.) What am I doing in Nederland? Following my money. Those who care should find out how many Dutch people live in Nigeria. How much they and the Dutch MNCs are looting from that country. I’ll post a detailed reply later
3.) Afrikaners are Africans! Who or what made them Africans. Because I live in Europe doesn’t make me a European. Because your father\grand-father left Europe and went to Africa with a gun, ‘conquered’ some ‘UNOCCUPIED’ land, doesn’t make you an African. Every society has its own system of admitting new members, it is only Europeans who have no respect for this time-honored tradition.
I cannot come to Holland, conquered some real estate and proclaim myself Dutch. That’s what the Afrikaner are doing. Do you still wonder why I said that they are incapable of thinking?
‘A chicken hatched in the oven is not a biscuit.’ – Malcolm X
Afrikaners are among the bastards that Europe sired around the world – nothing more, nothing less.
I cannot live in Holland, refused to learn the language and assimilate the culture and proclaim myself Dutch. That’s the ridiculous position of the Boers.
4.) Afrikaner fought hard for equality!
Oh, gallant soldiers for freedom!
Apart from the Boers, I don’t think any other person will believe this piece of jejune nonsense. Aside from a few so-called liberals, who were squirming in liberal agonies while enjoying the fruits of the SYSTEM, I don’t know of a mass action to denounce or stop apartheid by white South Africans. I guess this is another attempt of white people distorting history. How many white people died in the fight to end apartheid? Compare that with the numbers of blacks killed.
5.) Bygones are bygones
Europeans, it appears, are the only people on earth who believe that they have the right and the power to forgive themselves for the crimes they committed.
Many Europeans continue to shed tears over German occupation of their countries in the 40s. The same people want Africans to forget over 2000 years of European despoliation of Africa which continues until today.
Why are Europeans who pursue their enemies into the graves, are always asking that bygones be bygones? Why don’t they practice what they preach? Libya is still under UN sanctions imposed at the instigation of the West. Iraqis children continue to die because those who teach other people ‘to forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespassed against us’ are nothing but sanctimonious hypocrites.
Afrikaner: Kaffir boy, I killed your father, raped your mother, assaulted your sisters. I stole your land and drove your family into a ghetto. But, kaffir boy, that was yesterday. Today, I am a changed man. See, I smile with you, my boy. We’re friends now, yes, boy? No talking about yesterday, ok, boy?
African: ja baas, ja baas, danki.
6.) On Africa receiving aid:
Africa is receiving ‘aid’ because Euro-Americans prefer to call it so. Africa is remitting more money to Euro-America than it is getting back.
We have neo-colonial tyrants mis-ruling\ruining Africa for the benefit of Euro-America. This shall not last forever. The next generation of Africans is not going to be fooled by the beguiling smile of ‘missionaries.’
Africa is poor because FOREIGNERS are mismanaging our affairs.
It is true that many Africans are materially deprived, this does not mean that Europe hasn’t got its own share of problems. Since the Afrikaners do not appear to read much, I quote the following for them:
“An imperiled ecology, irremediable pollution of atmosphere and oceans, overpopulation, world hunger and starvation, the depletion of resources, environmental diseases, the vanishing wilderness, uncontrolled technologies, chemical toxins in water, air, and foods, and endangered species on land and sea.
A deepening suspicion of authority, distrust of established institutions, the breakdown of family ties, decline of community, erosion of religious commitment, contempt for law, disregard for tradition, ethical and moral confusion, cultural ignorance, artistic chaos, and aesthetic uncertainty. Deteriorating cities, megalopolitan sprawls, stifling ghettoes, overcrowding, traffic congestion, untreated sewage, smog and soot, budget insolvency, inadequate schools, mounting illiteracy, declining university standards, dehumanizing welfare systems, police brutality, overcrowded hospitals, clogged court calendars, inhuman prisons, racial injustice, sex discrimination, poverty, crime and vandalism, and fear.
The growth of loneliness, powerlessness, insecurity, anxiety, anomie, boredom, bewilderment, alienation, rudeness, suicide, mental illness, alcoholism, drug usage, divorce, violence, and sexual dysfunction.
Political alienation and discontent, bureaucratic rigidification, administrative inefficiency, legislative ineptitude, judicial inequity, bribery and corruption, the use of repressive machinery, abuses of power, ineradicable national debt, collapse of the two-party system, defense overspending, nuclear proliferation, the arms race and arms sales, and the threat of nuclear annihilation.
Economic uncertainty, unemployment, inflation, devaluation and displacement of the dollar, capital shortages, the energy crisis, absenteeism, employee sabotage and theft, corporate mismanagement, industrial espionage, business payoffs and bribes, white-collar criminality, shoddy goods, waste and inefficiency, planned obsolescence, fraudulent and incessant advertising, mounting personal debt, and maldistribution of wealth.
International instability, worldwide inflation, national and civil warfare, arms buildups, nuclear reactors, plutonium stockpiles, disputes over laws of the sea, inadequate international law, the failure of the United Nations, multinational exploitation, Third World poverty and unrepayable debt, and the end of the American imperial arrangement.” – Kirkpatrick Sale, quoted in ‘The Death of Industrial Civilization’, by Joel Jay Kassiola, State University of New York Press, pp.5-6.
The people of the Third World are derided because they can’t feed themselves. The people of the industrialized countries have a far worse kind of hunger which they can’t stay with their technological achievements: the hunger for love, security, and community. – Mother Theresa.
So brilliant is Europeans creativity that they succeeded in creating a paradise on earth, where human beings need pharmaceutical assistance to live. A society where parents are routinely sexually abusing their children, and where youth are abusing any substance known to chemists. Oh, it is in their gene!
7.) On Mandela’s visit to The Netherlands
He came, I supposed, to ask for western investment and aid – that magic wand that would transform his country into a paradise on earth.
He should have gone to Zaire and see how 25 years of aid has created a super-rich monster and devastated ordinary people’s lives.
African leaders should invest in the best resources any society can have – human. The Asians invested a lot in their own people, and today they are making impressive progress. Africans have to learn from that. The only thing western aid is developing are the bank accounts of tyrants and the aid-agents.
Neo-colonialism, after all, is not centered in a vacuum. It is built on the previous colonial history of the country in which it operates, from the foundation that the colonial regime lays before its ostensible departure. The object of neo-colonialism is to ensure that power is handed to men who are moderate and easily controlled, political stooges. Everything is done to ensure that the accredited heirs of colonial interests capture power. (Oginga Odinga, ‘Not Yet Uhuru’, Hill and Wang, New York. p.256)
At least Africans, unlike Europeans, do not solve their problems at the expense of other people.
9.) ON African Tyrants
I hold no brief for any dictator. But, If Africa is to be judged by the standards of Idi Amin and Abacha, Europe has to be judged by the standards of Hitler and Stalin. Whatever crimes those cretins committed pales in comparison with those of the Europeans.
As barbaric as we are, we have not managed to build an assembly-line operation to roast INNOCENT Human beings in the oven.
10.) Africans using computers, computers, and cars
I advise that fellow to check out the country of origin of his computer ‘made in Taiwan?’ Let me try to imagine this Boer: He probably drives a car, powered by Nigerian petrol, through a traffic light designed by a black man. He probably has composed his post under an incandescent lamp perfected by another black man. And he sent his posting over a telephone, the circuitry of which was designed by a black man. His shoes came from a machine designed by a black man. A stick of cigarette from African tobacco is dangling from a corner of his mouth. His dental work has been destroyed by over-consumption of African cocoa.
‘The Iceman and his European brethren were hardly at the forefront of civilization… But back when he was plodding through the alpine passes, the concept of a Eurocentric view of civilization would have been laughable, especially to the sophisticated societies that were thriving in Africa and Asia.’ (TIME, October 26, 1992. pp.52-52)
So badly have Europeans distorted history that some supposedly educated fellas are falling over themselves, over the lies their fathers invented to celebrate themselves.
11.) On Europe’s opulence
Frantz Fanon put it in good perspective:
The well-being and the progress of Europe have been built up with the sweat and the dead bodies of Negroes, Arabs, Indians, and the yellow races. We have decided not to overlook this any longer. (Frantz Fanon, ‘The Wretched of the Earth,’ Grove Press, Inc, New York. p.96).
In the same way we may say that the imperialist states would make a great mistake and commit an unspeakable injustice if they contented themselves with withdrawing from our soil the military cohorts, and the administrative and managerial services whose function it was to discover the wealth of the country, to extract it and to send it off to the mother countries.
We are not blinded by the moral reparation of national independence; nor are we fed by it. The wealth of the imperial countries are our wealth too. On the universal plane this affirmation, you may be sure, should on no account be taken to signify that we feel ourselves affected by the creations of Western arts or techniques. For in every concrete way Europe has stuffed herself inordinately with the gold and raw materials of the colonial countries; Latin America, China, and Africa. From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. The wealth which smothers her is that which was stolen from the underdeveloped peoples. The ports of Holland, the docks of Bordeaux and Liverpool were specialized in the negro slave trade, and owe their renown to millions of deported slaves. So when we hear the head of a European state declared with his hand on his heart that he must come to the aid of the poor underdeveloped peoples, we do not tremble with gratitude. Quite the contrary; we say to ourselves: It’s a just reparation which will be paid to us.’ The Wretched of the Earth p.102).
We must leave our dreams and abandon our old beliefs and friendships from the time before life began. Let us waste no time in sterile litanies and nauseating mimicry. Leave this Europe where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the corner of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe. For centuries, they have stifled almost all the whole of humanity in the name of a so-called spiritual experience. Look at them today swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration…
Europe undertook the leadership of the world with ardor, cynicism, and violence. Look at how the shadow of her palaces stretches out ever further! Every one of her movements has burst the bounds of space and thought. Europe has declined all humility and all modesty, but she has also set her face against all solicitude and all tenderness. She has only shown herself parsimonious and niggardly where men are concerned; it is only men that she has killed and devoured.
So, my brothers, how is it that we do not understand that we have better things to do than to follow that same Europe? That same Europe where they were never done talking of Man, and where they never stopped proclaiming that they were only anxious for the welfare of Man: today we know with what sufferings humanity has paid for every one of their triumphs of the mind.
Come, then, comrades, the European game has finally ended; we must find something different. We today can do everything, so long as we do not imitate Europe, so long as we are not obsessed by the desire to catch up with Europe. Europe now lives as such a mad, reckless pace that she has shaken off all guidance and all reason, and she is running headlong into the abyss; we would do well to avoid it with all possible speed.
Yet it is very true that we need a model, and that we want blueprints and examples. For many among us, the European model is the most inspiring. We have therefore seen in the preceding pages to what mortifying setbacks such an imitation has led us. European achievements, European techniques, and the European style ought no longer to tempt us and to throw us off our balance. When I search for the Man in the technique and the style of Europe, I see only a succession of negations of man, and the avalanche of murders.
The human condition plans for mankind, and collaboration between men in those tasks which increase the sum total of humanity are new problems, which demand true inventions.
Let us not decide to imitate Europe, let us combine our muscles and our brains in a new direction. Let us try to create the whole man, whom Europe has been incapable of bringing to triumphant birth. Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness, and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions. So, comrades, let us not pay tribute to Europe by creating states, institutions, and societies which draw their inspiration from her. Humanity is waiting for something from us other than such an imitation, which would be almost an obscene caricature. If we want to turn Africa into a new Europe, and America into a new Europe, then let us leave the destiny of our countries to Europeans. They will know how to do it better than the most gifted among us. But if we want humanity to advance a step further, if we want to bring it up to a different level than that which Europe has shown, then we must invent and we must make discoveries.” – Frantz Fanon, ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, Grover press, pp.311-315.
I got better things to do than waste time on the baying of the Boers. In the future, I’ll reply directly only to anyone who can show that he has read the following 3 books:
- ‘The Destruction of Black Civilization,’ by Chancellor Williams
- ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,’ by Walter Rodney
iii. ‘Our Story: A Handbook of African History and Contemporary Issues,’ edited by Akyaaba Addai-Sebo and Ansel Wong.
About the Author
Femi Akomolafe is a passionate Pan-Africanist. A columnist for the Accra-based Daily Dispatch newspaper and ModernGhana, and Correspondent for the New African magazine, Femi lives in both Europe and Africa and writes regularly on Africa-related issues for various newspapers and magazines.
Femi was the producer of the FOCUS ON AFRICANS TV Interview programme for the MultiTV Station.
He is also the Man and Machine Coordinator at Alaye Dot Biz Limited, a Kasoa-based Multimedia organization that specializes in Audio and Video Production. He loves to shoot and edit video documentaries.
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