The culture crew retards Africa’s modernization


Ejike Osuji: Please leave the culture crew to prattle on the need to return to their imagined past African cultures (what they think is Africa’s past culture is not true, just their recollections of it); they are playing an unwitting role in retarding the trajectory of Africa to the modern world; you do not look back but forward if you want to grow. You do not step into the same river twice. The past is gone, forever! Nostalgia will not bring it back. Realism asks us to deal with the challenges of the present, not the past or future.

Ozodi Osuji

     Every group of people has culture; bring two or more people together and within a few months they will have formed a culture, their accepted way of behaving to have peace in their little world. Thus, culture is not some mysterious thing that folks should use in befuddling their minds.

    Africans use their so-called past culture to hypnotize their minds and prevent modernization in Africa. These days they seize on every opportunity to talk about their various ethnic group’s cultures. They seem proud of them.

     They forget that those cultures were behaviors that their people formed in the past that they believed enabled them to adapt to their past world. But most of those behaviors, aka cultural practices are now maladaptive in the modern world and should be discarded as relics of the past instead of been harped on.

     For example, all over the world, in preliterate societies, families who could not afford to use hired workers or slaves to do their farm work tried to have many children to have the many hands needed to do their farm work. Thus, preliterate societies tended to have men have many wives and that way produce the many children needed to do their farm work.

     In the present world, folks are living in the post-industrial age, except Africa, of course, and farmers are expected to transit from subsistence farming to large scale farming if they are to produce the food that feed the burgeoning urban populations of the world.

      Less than 3% of the American population are farmers and yet they feed all 330 million Americans and produce the surplus food that America exports to the rest of the world. They do so because they use mechanized farming methods and fertilizers.

      The point is that in the modern world we need fewer, not more laborers at the farm. This means that farmers who used to have many wives and many children no longer need those.

     Common sense teaches that a man should have no more than a wife and the couple should not have more than two children if they are to be able to support those children. Family planning is now necessary to keep the population growth to zero.

     In Africa people talk about their culture allowing them to have many wives and children and in the process their population is on a runaway speed and only God knows how they are planning to feed those people (they cannot even provide them with jobs, youth unemployment in Nigeria is over 80%, no wonder these idle hands engage in criminal activities).

    Europe, America and Asia that have reduced the number of children to two per family will soon close their borders to Africans who refuse to do the right thing, for they do not need Africans to come overwhelm them   and lower their standard of living.

      So, why do not Africans do the right thing, why cannot they do what modernity calls for instead of harping on their past cultures; if you wanted to be generous you say cultures that adapted to their hitherto nonscientific and technological environment but at the present are maladaptive.

     Why is it that Africans do not seem to have the ability to learn what needs to be done and do it, instead, they keep doing irrational things and call it their culture?

     Consider what Nigerians wear, such as agbada. They wear dysfunctional clothing and call it their culture.

      Asians used to have elaborate clothing but discarded them and embraced the simple trouser and shirt that the modern work environment calls for, and for executives to wear suites.

     In Africa, the unproductive big men wear agbada, blissfully unaware that agbada is not conducive to productivity. Just visualize a person in a laboratory wearing agbada and the flowing robes dragging test tubes full of chemical mixtures down.

      If you want to be productive you must do what Europeans and Asians did, wear simple modern clothes and stop talking nonsense about your traditional attire.

     If truth is told, many Africans used to run around naked; the clothes you now call your traditional clothes were mostly borrowed (and modified) from early European slave traders and or Arabs.

      Africans keep praying to nonexistent gods and their ancestors who are dead. They refuse to use their minds to do philosophical thinking and figure out where their ancestors are; they are assumed to be in ancestor land.

     Our body is composed of sixty-four elements, including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium etc., when we die those elements decay to electrons, protons and neutrons and those particles of the atom, ultimately, decay to light.

      So, your dead ancestors’ bodies are no longer in the forms they had on earth; if at all they are in forms they are now in light forms or are back on earth.

      Why are Africans not amenable to doing pure reasoning, philosophy, and science; why do they always talk about preserving their culture; they do not hear other people talking about preserving their culture.

      Western Europeans have tried to make their hitherto primitive cultures to be in accord with the scientific method and Asians are increasingly doing so; the result is their modernization and economic productivity.

    Africans keep trying to retain their past cultures, celebrate them unaware that those cultures keep them backward.

     It is now time for Africans to discard their old cultures and embrace the scientific culture and its scientific method, if they want to accelerate their movement to the modern world.

     Africans are, if truth is said, irritating in their prattle about their culture. They must stop talking about their culture and, instead, talk about science and technology.

    Africans drive me up the wall with their infantile talk about their cultures.

     Consider Nigerians sacrificing people in so-called rituals to make money (other people used to do so, Mayans used to sacrifice their people to their gods to bring about good fortune for their people, but they gave those primitive practices up, long ago).

     Africans need to move on and stop talking about their so-called past culture (some of them have joined the vacuous, ego gratifying talk by African Americans that ancient Egypt was African; assuming that to be true, what good does that do them in the present when their extant culture is unable to sustain institutions needed to operate in the modern world).

    If you are around me, please do not talk about your people’s culture, talk only about science and technology and the scientific culture needed to modernize Africa; I do not suffer fools kindly; stop escaping to suiting messages from the past and live in the present world and address its challenges realistically.

     Nationalist-fascists, such as Donald Trump and his Republicans, are scoundrels who seek refuge in their past culture; they want to make America great, again, meaning returning it to pre-1960s, before the civil rights movement, when white folks and racism relegated African Americans and women to invisible status.

    No sir, you do not go back, you live in the present; the present world requires embracing diverse populations and those people’s cultures unified in an all-inclusive unified culture.

       This is rational reality; stop talking the irrationality of returning to your past, for the past culture is gone, is now in the mist of time, and is only kept alive in memory. Let the dead bury the dead and the living live in the modern scientific world.

Ozodi Osuji

April 10, 2022

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