IN the wake of intellectual independence from the morose of imperialism, African minds consciously come to grips with self-reality, by deliberately reimagining the tyranny of what the colonial situation has created for them.
In so doing, the forces of colonialism are instantly inverted, and a new force comes into being. This is a force that is opposed to the status quo, a force that disturbs the thesis of colonialism and creates its antithesis.
In other words, the decolonisation of what Frantz Omar Fanon refers to as the “colonised species” and their colonial environments.
Decolonisation is a social revolutionary process, which involves the total rejection of the colonialist mindset and norms, in order to achieve an intellectually independent society. This is an unsafe revolt towards the oppressor, for the total benefit of the oppressed. Decolonisation is the act of reawakening the oppressed soul, from the tyranny of the oppressor.
In other words, decolonisation reminds the colonised species that the dominant position of the oppressor is not to be understood as a natural one, but rather as a social one. And therefore, it can be changed by means of a social revolution. The destruction of the social fabric (colonial customs), in which all colonial institutions, perceptions and Eurocentric myths are embroiled, should indeed be fashionable.
This is in order to create an entirely new fabric, in which the meaning and order of things are based upon African principles.
Decolonisation cares less with the position of the oppressor, in the aftermath of the revolution. It is biased toward the oppressed and critical of the oppressor.
Decolonisation is an intellectual, spiritual and philosophical rebellion of the oppressed, against the oppressor.
In the process of decolonisation, the colonial species has no tangible role, for the process is about challenging the colonial situation, in an absolute and radical manner.
The religious, political, educational and social institutions of the oppressor are held up to critical scrutiny – not with the aim to renovate them, but to build entirely new black institutions.
The very cultural institutions, which were undermined by the forces of colonialism during colonial Africa, are brought back to the centre of society.
Any foreign language and its alphabet, any social and physical structure, such as statues, architecture and the design of toys (with their depiction of white skins and blonde hair), as well as reason and logic in academic discourse, the definition and the interpretation of fashion, should come under critical scrutiny.
The linguistic decay that all the official languages in Africa are foreign must be scrutinised, before it is presented to the colonist as “junk”.
In decolonisation, everything perceived to be correct, in any colonial sense, should be re-corrected, to make sure it is correct in a new sense, which speaks frankly to the colonised species.
All Western theories that Africans use to understand themselves and the world they live in, should be rejected.
This can help to create, and put into practice, African theories to understand the world and themselves better, in their own way.
When one is defined in a foreign language, all one’s native definitions disappear and one is only subjected to the anecdotes of foreigners.
A foreign culture can never be used to build Africa, without destroying African cultures, particularly in a colonial manner. The colonial species’ discovery and understanding that there is oxygen in existence should make sense, and should be understood by both the colonial and colonised species, and not via a forced curriculum.
The decolonisation of the colonial health institutions seeks to understand the notion why the colonised species’ medicinal ways were rejected by the foreign species. Was it rejected due to its efficacy in treatment or due to ignorance, based on the perceived superiority of Eurocentric views?
Why the colonised species does not dominate the discourses on physics, chemistry, biology, politics and geography, in their own way, awakens African minds into a state of social revolution, for their creativity was dehumanised.
Africans, through the processes of distillation, fermentation and filtration produced their own traditional drinks and food, but the social domination of the colonial species made sure that their creativity remained inferior to foreign species.
African medicinal systems existed, but due to social stratification, the social status of African people socially undermined their creativity. Most of the African languages do not have their own alphabetic systems; they use the English alphabet, which is limited to 26 letters.
This is sometimes is not enough to express the purity of traditional African lexicons, as well as the syntax and non-verbal semantics. African linguistic systems have been totally messed up. Decolonisation calls for independent social systems and institutions, by delinking the colonised species’ school of thought from the Western colony.
So apparent is the colonial signature in the colonised species mind, its apparently socially acceptable for the colonial species to have its maximum length of natural hair, hanging visibly on its head or even to put up its hairs for sale, but the same racial stratification theory postulates a long-haired colonised species as either an ugly thief or a notorious drug dealer. The Christian tradition, which is colonial, teaches the colonised species a “way”, which discourages them to have long hair.
Those in disagreement should tell us where they have seen a black pastor with dreadlocks or why is traditional African attire not allowed in churches, except at weddings and funerals, while military personnel are allowed to get married in their ceremonial attires?
The social stratification system, created by the colonial species, discredits traditional authorities, making them less legitimate than the foreign courts of law.
The colonised species is sent to a higher institution to study law, after graduation as a legal practitioner, the colonised species is trained to see its traditional courts and legal customs as inferior to the one he or she studied about at university.
In other terms, for the colonised species the knowledge at varsity is taught upon their own inferiority.
This confuses them into believing that the oppressor’s version of knowledge is better than their ancestors.
Decolonisation calls for the colonised species to come into their own wisdom, by totally rejecting the colonial norms, and finding an alternate solution, which shall be independent.
Colonisation is the means of seeing the colonial species and their institutions as symbols of truth, justice, morality, purity and virginity, while decolonisation is the direct opposite. In a dawn of supreme consciousness and African wisdom, all that shall be seen is Africans’ independence, having their own thinking and living.
*Shivute Kaapanda is a writer and philosopher from Eyanda village
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015