Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Skeletons of our history

Our gods have been starved to death.

The cutlass that occupied prime position under the man of house's bed has been displaced by the shotgun and AK47.

The wrappers that proudly sat on our mothers' waists has been replaced by Calvin Klein jeans.

The evil forest in my village was once the most efficient courtroom. People accused of a crime only had to answer one question in their defence; guilty or not guilty? And the judgement was swift and final. No adjournment. If not guilty, you woke the next day to sleep in your bed again; if guilty, you never get to sleep in your bed the next day, you woke dead and joined the skulls in the forest. The crime rate was remarkably low.

The kolanuts in the bowl has been replaced with chin chin and chocolates. Homemade gin by Hennessy. Akpu was replaced by garri; which in turn has been replaced by semovita. Egusi and Nsala have been replaced by Chinese soup. Abakiliki Rice is almost extinct; Thai Rice has taken over.

Like Fred Nwonwu said, our young ladies have turned to scarecrows, with fake fingernails, fake hair, fake skin tone, fake eyelashes, fake lips, fake accents, and even fake breasts. Like Cheta Nwanze said, our young men are wearing leather jackets in the sun.

They are strangling our culture, and we are not resisting. We are all guilty. I have replaced the palm wine, that kept my forefathers strong and healthy, with Heineken. I have replaced my father's yam farm with bricks and imported flowers. I have turned papa's yam barn into a house for the generator. What will we tell our children?

I will not allow my children learn my culture from history books and the Internet. I will tie a wrapper once in a while, even if it's just indoors. I will break the kolanut once in a while, even if it's just before my children. I will make ugba for them, even if I have to microwave it. And my future wife must carry our child on her back, even if it's once in a while. So help me God.

They have strangled our culture to death. The least we can do is to preserve the corpse. So that our children can at least see the skeletons of our history.

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