Tuesday, 12 April 2016 19:25

To know you you have to know your parents

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Africans Must Study Their Parents And Not Gloss Over Their Character Weaknesses

Ozodi Osuji

When I do a write up I expect people to take from it what they want. Each person takes from it what resonates with him, what he deems important.

Good writing enables the reader to project his own issues into what he read, and that is exactly what folks do to my writing.

Some of my readers apparently believe that I hate Igbos and take from my write ups what seems to hate Igbos. Actually, I love Igbos; my goal is to help point Igbos to prosocial behaviors.

Love includes insisting that the loved one do the right things. Love does not mean closing one's eyes as one sees ones loved objects put their hands into fire.  My love for Igbos compels me to point out their character foibles and urge them to correct them.

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living. Human beings are different from animals because they have self-consciousness and do see their behaviors; they notice their behaviors that, in their estimation, are good or bad. They strive to only engage in those behaviors that they deem good and work on not engaging in bad behaviors.

One way one gets to know who one is, is to study one's parents, especially the parent of ones gender. You can get to know yourself, if you are a man, by studying your father and if you are a woman by studying your mother.

You carry Y and X chromosomes from your parents and those not only influence your body but your behavior. By understanding how your parents behave you learn how you behave and change your anti-social behaviors.

Somehow, Africans seem to believe that love for their parents means not observing their behaviors and or criticizing their untoward behaviors. In not doing so they perpetuate their parents and their own bad behaviors.

For example, in the past two thousand years, Africans sold their people to Romans, Arabs and white men. If you do not study to understand why they did it how are you going to not do the same thing? If you ignore your ancestors' bad behaviors you will repeat them in the present.

Our ancestors sold their people, among other reasons, because they did not love one another. In the present we do not love one another hence our politicians do not work their asses off to improve all our people. Instead, they construe public offices as from which they steal. That is, they are self-centered, the same self-centeredness that led our ancestors to sell our people.

In Nigeria, folks steal from each other and kidnap each other for money. We do these heinous things because we have not examined our behavior patterns and keep on repeating them. We kind of fancy ourselves as innocent victims that bad other persons victimize. We are innocent persons who sold their people and currently screw their people!

If we see white men exploit black men we yell bloody murder. We talk about how white folks enslaved us and exploited us and want the entire world to hear our voice but we do not talk about how our evil ancestors sold our people and our evil contemporary Africans exploit our people.

We are too childish in believing that if we presented only the good part of us that the rest of the world do not see our bad side; in fact, the rest of the world know about our negative side and that is why we are the laughing stock of all humanity.

I want to understand me. To do so I study my father for I am the exact replica of the man. By understanding him I understand me.

For example, after schooling in his village father left his world and travelled all over West Africa, from Senegal to Angola and eventually settled down at Lagos. He did not go back to his village until the Nigerian civil war forced him to do so. And while he was in his village, he really did not have anything in common with the villagers, for his mind set wanted to talk abstract subjects, say, the nature of stars but not to go talk about who owns what piece of land as was the routine in his village.

By the same token, after secondary school in Nigeria I wound up in the West and have never had an urge to go live in Africa. Why? It is because I really do not want to talk about how much money Nigerian politicians stole and how they can improve on their stealing habits; I want to talk about abstract subjects like who are man, where did he come from and where does he go to when he dies, and what is the best lived life? These ideas can only be found in sophisticated university environments, which are most likely to be in the United States and Europe.

By understanding why my father left his people I understand why I left my people. Like father like son.  You cannot understand you unless you understand your parents and people.

If you see what seems like character weaknesses in your parents the chances are that they exist in you, too, and you must study them and not pretend to be angelic.

Just look at Nigerians, are many of them what you would call ideal human beings? To me they are mostly benighted human beings. I would not like to be like a Nigerian! And that is the God honest truth.

Why are Nigerians living in the dark?? Is it because they are sub human beings? No. It is because they do not try to understand their characters and change their weaknesses; instead, they pretend to be superstars who cannot govern themselves!

Look, it is now time that Africans studied their personalities and the personalities of their people and worked on becoming better persons rather than fancying themselves perfect people that white men exploit.

Africans are mostly weak characters and that is why their world is underdeveloped.  It is now time Africans stopped pointing two accusatory fingers at white men for their problems and look at the three pointing right back at them telling them that whereas  all people  contribute to their issues that they contribute more to them than other people do.

Self-understanding is the basis for understanding what is wrong with the Africa House. Africa House is traditionally the market place for selling and buying slaves; this is a shame!

Worse, if the white man's international laws did not forbid slave trade Africans today would gladly go capture their people and sell them to all buyers.  Africans commit this existential crime because of their endemic character flaws. It is now time that Africans understood and improved rather than denied that palpable character weaknesses that all people but themselves see!


  • I am a very humble man; however, humility does not mean being blind; in that light, I believe that I am contributing to the understanding of the African character; in fact, I do not mind telling you that no African, from the beginning of time, have contributed to the understanding of Africans (and humanity in general) as I have.  You are free to call my self- congratulatory assertion arrogance; go right ahead and call it that if makes you feel good doing so! And while at it, please do me a favor, will you, chew on the points that I make in my essays; you might benefit from them. There is a method to my madness!

Ozodi Osuji

April 12, 2016


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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176