A Letter to my Unborn Daughter

ImageSweetheart,

This letter is a betrayal of my previous convictions, and an apology for actually allowing a society of chauvinists to train my mind into agreeing that the womenfolk are indeed inferior, merely created from our ribs to be chained to marital slavery. This diseased mindset was the reason I addressed a letter to your brother about two years ago without even a reference to you, or even expressing a concern over your wellbeing in the pre-mortality world. I felt sorry for you afterwards, Sweetheart. Recent experiences have shown me the complexes of this ancient crime against ‘womanity’—a crime perpetrated by a species of insecure men for whom the freedom of the woman is seen as the collapse of decency. The woman, in their inverted wisdom, is a metaphor of gullibility—a moron who cannot think or survive in the absence of the almighty man; an imbecile whose knowledge of right and wrong must be stirred up by the ever “holy” male; a pet that must, as needs be, be treated as an accessory.

My heart is heavy, Sweetheart, as I brush away my shame to write this.  I had unfairly antagonised feminists whose misery I now understand. I had dismissed their Gender Equality campaigns as attention-seeking wolf-cries done either for publicity or to enjoy a piece of the Whiteman’s dollars. The misery and frustration of woman can be understood when we study the history of their subjugations, the cultural and religious conspiracies perfected to make the position of the woman as subordinate a design of God. Give religion to an idiot, and you have created a monster. The sheer inability to check the border between devotion to God and obsession with insanity is the root of our present societal chaos. The borderline between adherence to religion and fanaticism is thin, people don’t seem to know it when they cross it. But a fanatic is an intellectual fraud who highlights aspects of religion that celebrates the man, while he finds bliss in disregarding portions that emphasise the rights of the woman.

This letter is actually written from a will to give you the hint of latest happenings here. Ahmed Yarima, that man who ought to be in jail for establishing a political space that serves as greenhouse for this new breed of extremists, has again attempted to play on our intelligence and anger when he rallied his fellows together to agree that an underage girl is a constitutional adult simply because she’s married. They tried to cite the Prophet as role model, defending that present context shouldn’t invalidate the practice. Do you know what that means, Sweetheart? The challenges of 21st Century are issues that require painstaking application of wisdom, and not these outright insensitivities of the literalists. My provocation is an expression of many disgusts over this perpetration of an old conspiracy by a cult that still sees an empowered or independent woman as a puncture to their inflated egos! This deliberate destruction of the woman remains why every poverty-stricken idiot quotes Allah and the Prophet to marry more than one woman, even when their income is not enough to feed a camel. Has any lawmaker ever moved a motion to stop low-income earners from this going against Allah, which is what they do by going into polygamy with empty pockets? I can’t let these conspiracies and hypocrisies be dressed in the garments of religion. I can’t watch a little girl not only denied privileges but constitutionally dehumanised.

And when we are trying to highlight where commonsense ought to be applied in engaging the socio-politics of religion in modern Nigeria, some self-appointed litigators of God declared us as “liberals” or even “apostates”? One even warned that my geography and name are proofs of my infidelity. They argued that you must bear Arabic names and even be from the core north, perhaps Dan Fodio’s lineage, to pass for their own Muslim. These litigators were possibly going from house to house, market to market, as destitute “Almajirai” conveniently abandoned by their parents to begging in the name of Qur’anic education when some of us were in decent classrooms studying the ideal Islamic literatures under scholars of piety and repute. These litigators can’t tell cultural Arabism apart from Islam, yet where they counter that commonsense must never be applied in interpreting Islam, they refuse to ride on camels for pilgrimage to the holy land. Like the Prophet did. You see, Sweetheart? Fanaticism is a disability in thinking. There is nothing sacred about Arabic language or names or culture outside the context of religion, but they don’t know this. And Islamic texts are preserved in their original Arabic forms to avoid distortions. I approve that, Sweetheart. You may learn Arabic to perfect your faith, so that you won’t end up like the clowns who initiate an aggression when they see, say, a Christian cuddling a Bible written in Arabic. You see, these litigators are so pious they can mistake porn magazines written in Arabic for Islamic literatures!

Our people’s cultural and religious ignorance is that complicated. To understand them, you must study the history of their evolution either from Darwin’s contested apes perspective or from the Adam of the Qur’an and the Bible on to the invasions and missions of Arabs and Europeans who exploited our primitivity and introduced dazzling concepts of monotheism in which the inferiority complex-stricken Blackman becomes an example of spiritual confusion. Sweetheart, this holier-than-thou gra-gra over imported ideologies is one reason I wish we had a leader like old Turkey’s Mustafa Ataturk—to restore our lost self-esteem. Our esteem has been grounded in the mud by the slaveries and racisms we’ve been subjected to and which we still come across overseas today, which seem not to upset us enough to return home and demand for an ideal Black Africa of our father’s dreams. The frightful danger with pseudo-religious politicians here is their acute understanding of our gullibility, their understanding of our submission to their frauds when couched in the name of God. They sponsor sectarian crises in the name of God, they waste our resources on sponsorship of pilgrims to holy lands just to render our budgets unanalysable. Could you believe that they invested billions of taxpayers’ money in feeding destitute subjects this Ramadan, when that money could have built an industry to engage the hopeless people? Theirs are not the ways of Allah.

But don’t be afraid of showing up whenever Mum and I are ready to have you. Come, just come and be our delight. I promise to train you into that woman the society cannot but idolise, that woman of whom the chauvinists shiver… I hate the fact that Muslim women are under-represented in the Labour Market. A society whose women are powerless has done a disservice to Islam because it’s the same women, and not men, that shape the earliest education of every child. A woman deserves her freedom to rightly decide who her man is, and also be as empowered as her male counterpart. Don’t be afraid of any man, just be sure you mark the identity of whoever harasses you on your way to Junior Secondary School. I’ll definitely take care of his funeral. May God save us from us!

Dad.

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

Blueprint Newspapers (26/012013)

Marcus Garvey and the Modern Blackman

Marcus-Garvey

“Every African-American in the United States needs to move their money, family, knowledge (sic) back to Africa w(h)ere you will be treated like the royalty you are. You don’t deserve this treatment. This is not your country.” Akon, Senegalese-American singer on perceived racism over the acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing a black teenager, Trayvon Martin.

If we stare longer into the global map of racism, we may realise that Africa is responsible for the humiliation of its dark-skinned people and descendants worldwide. If we stare longer into the sociology of Black people, we may realise that racism is perhaps a deserved punishment for our inability to build a single country years after the ideologies of Marcus Garvey, the intellections of W. E. B. Du Bois, the disobedience of Rosa Parks, the protests of Martin Luther King and the agitations of all the provoked black ancestors in post-abolition Americas. We do not need to stare longer to understand that racism is justified by the ostentatious inferiorities we Africans wear in disobedience to Bob Marley’s call—“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery!” Oops, Marley actually inherited those words from Garvey, Garvey who asked his people to move back to the Homeland – Africa!

Of course I’ll understand if you don’t know Garvey—in present society, history books are reserved for the misfits! But those who remember a dreamer like Garvey are simply seeking sympathies and attention to a collective failure; spell it out, any Blackman who remembers Garvey is destined to end up on the laps of misery. Garvey was a good guy, in whose memory I always shake my head as I reflect on the confusions and amnesias that occupy the worlds and homes of the Blackman today. He understood the need to reconnect with one’s ancestry, to be in a world in which the colour of justice is in the shade of the colour of your own skin. Garvey was a social prophet who died wishing Black Africa had dotted the White Man’s ‘t’ and crossed his ‘i’.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that the Black people in Americas refused to heed Garvey’s wish in that phase of our history. So we may praise that setback for forestalling those Back-to-Africa campaigns, because there wouldn’t have been many exceptions today in our attempts to convince the world that not every African leader corners taxpayers’ money to Switzerland while dependent citizens pine away, as we witness in our politics from Abuja to Kinshasha. We must celebrate our convictions, that racist geneticists could not scientifically prove that absence of intelligence among many African leaders is genetic. The Mandelas have managed to frustrate that stereotype even though South Africa is still not a land of privileged Blackman. There are exceptions, and there are also enough statistics of evil white men who wrecked humanity. But no evil would ever be bigger than conspiring to loot the resources of a nation in need; this is where the black leaders, especially of this era, lose it. And this is where they become easy pawns of contempt and racism. If you want to fix racism, fix yourself, fix your people and fix your country. There is no shortcut to stopping these humiliations of the dark-skinned race in Americas, Europe, Asia and Arabia. Racism is a psychologically acquired prejudice, it’s a feeling that comes with realisations that your own people, having built what the others couldn’t or haven’t, must indeed be superior. Commonsense!

This acquired prejudice is applied in our institutions, and our very interactions, where an excelling Blackman is seen as either lucky or deviant. It’s this same feeling that inspires even African men to shamelessly refer to the most beautiful of their women as “African Beauties” or “Black Beauties” – this depreciatory epithet, we don’t seem to know, gives away that, though African or Black ladies are largely ugly, some are indeed beautiful. Why aren’t there European Beauties, Caucasian Beauties, or even White Beauties in the lexicostatistics of the White race?

These are the reasons I was not particularly surprised by the verdict of the George Zimmerman –Trayvon Martin trial. Young Martin was killed in a world where the colour of justice is still white, and there is little we can do about it. I don’t know why “resident” Africans suddenly developed sensitivity to inhumanity when we have celebrated worse evils in our polities. The Zimmerman trial is not any strange to our people. The acquittal of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha after almost 15 years in prison is a bigger joke than Zimmerman’s, for in the case of the latter we know the politics of race there in which the Blackman is always guilty until proven otherwise. This is as a result of the unfavourable statistics of Bad Guys among the black communities. Institutions don’t work with truths, they work with statistics, and as long as statistics remain the major tools of interpreting a people, the black people are forever criminals.

To demand to know what subjects the Black race to this level of moral collapse despite the churches and mosques seeking to reconstruct the spiritual morals of a people with no traceable ancestry is a futile mission; our poverty and economic frustrations fuel our desperate and criminal quest for survival. The gangster culture, which actually exists among other races, becomes an escape for the hopeless black youth in America, and the statistics of this incriminated and killed Trayvon. Yet the exemplary African-American models that condemned the criminal culture of black inner city communities are seen as “player-hating” morons. Classic response was one by rapper Nas to Civil Rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson. “You ain’t helping nobody in the ‘hood and that’s the bottom line.” Simple!

Now who helps the unfortunate blacks in America’s ghetto-hoods? Black Africa? Hell, no! Akon’s outrage may be absurd, but it revives the memory of Garvey and how, about a century later, there is no single Black African country capable of granting the marginalised blacks a home. In fact, native Africans are dying to replace Trayvon Martin. It’s really depressing to think about Garvey in this trying time. May God save us from us!

Gimba Kakanda
Blueprint Newspaper (19/07/2013)
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

Abuja Survivalism

 

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“Abuja is one place on earth you don’t want to be broke… Strive to attain certain level of financial freedom even if it means starving your grandmother at the village!” 

Now don’t ask me who this cruel counsellor is. In your initial attempt to flow with the pulse of this city, you are the textbook Good Man—welcoming, jovial and generous. Here and there you will run into smartly dressed people in fronts of ministries and agencies, old and young in distress. Monday to Friday and even Weekend, you see them. “Help me, bro, I lost my wallet… Help me, Sir, I don’t have money to go back home… Help me, my son, I have not eaten today.” You’re not restrained at first, having come from a third-world town in which communalism is in practice and in which it’s a virtue to assist and an honour to be assisted. But gradually you lose your patience, angry at the system that produces these economic drawbacks, these social parasites. Gradually you realise that your lack of management wisdom is measured in the countless alms you handed out to the bag-carrying ‘students’ you hoped to save from dropping out of school, to the innocent young girls you thought you were saving from prostitution, to the hijab-wearing group of women you assisted in the spirit of Muslim brotherhood, to the Jesus-touting Christians whose pleas you heeded to ascertain your level of religious tolerance…

“What are they doing in Abuja?” Your counsellor explodes when you’re finally in your shade, away from these networks that rightly highlight our nation’s devastated human capital. “That’s why el-Rufai said whoever earns less than 50 thousand naira per month has no business being in Abuja!” I think that statement is a rumour, you correct.  He hisses, “That man talks too much, he doesn’t even remember all he has said.” You smile.

But, where actually is Abuja? Aside from the destitute, and the adventurous fellows who occupy uncompleted structures, the most unfortunate victims of Abuja survivalism are actually from the outskirts of the city, survivalists who cannot afford the overpriced accommodations of central Abuja. Abuja Survivalism is losing your moral fibre and abandoning any measure of honesty in the rush to secure your wellbeing; it’s an evil inhibition that weakens the innocence of a previously empathising person. Living and existing in Abuja are two different experiences; the former is the only socially decent life, and the latter is a reckless struggle for survival.

Coming to Abuja is wrongly perceived as the beginning of one’s financial security, but trust me, it’s more honourable to live with the tolerable poverty of a third-world town than deceiving your family and friends and even yourself on coming to learn the survivalist stunts of this closed city. The greatest shocker here is the experience of underpaid and job-seeking dwellers. A friend of mine recounted a heartbreaking story of a lady who served her national youth service at his firm. He couldn’t retain her when she rounded up the corps service because, aside from being “incompetent”, there was no vacancy. The girl refused to leave Abuja and after some months she appeared in his office with her CV. “Help me secure a job.” Decent deal. My friend accepted to try his best. Weeks later, weeks of continuous talks on the phone, she returned with a bruised face and recounted that her roommates had been maltreating her and that she couldn’t leave their pad because she had nowhere else to go. He gave her a token and advised her to go back to her parents and remain there until something came out of the job hunt. She didn’t. And a few days after this conversation, she texted my friend to inform him she had been thrown out and needed a place to stay. That day, even though my friend had asked the secretary to tell her he was out of town, she showed up and forced her way to his office. Inside, she stripped—”If this is what you want, you can have me. I need money, sir!” Even though the girl knew that there was a security camera in her former boss’ office, she didn’t care. Her desperation had fenced off her fear of a scandal. “She used to be a good girl, one of the most decent ones I ever met,” my friend recalled. He had made advances on her when she began her service at his place but she smartly refused, and in the course of their employer-employee relationship in that one year he got to know her well enough to testify to her propriety. It turns out that after her service year elapsed, she first went to squat with a friend, a male friend! And her attempts to still hold on to her sexual morals started up a friction between them. There is no free lunch in Freetown, but she didn’t know that. 

Some, ladies especially, actually earn the approval of their parents to remain or come to Abuja with a deceit—that they had secured a job or have prospects of one. This deceit eventually entails posting money to the parents, and this means stooping below moral lines to earn a living, and in this way some are lost to a form of prostitution. Many survivalists here fabricated these tales to escape unbearable parental supervision. Initially, the ladies stay with their boyfriends through a popular arrangement called “Abuja Marriage”, but the result is always the host’s quest for freedom, yes freedom to bring in other ladies. Or, also popular, the man gets jealous of her illicit ‘wealth’ or romance with the wealthy. These stunts have produced many pregnancies and babies who may never know their maternal grandparents for the ladies too afraid to return home with these products of a desperate survivalism. The babies’ paternity too may become an issue when the marked man flees or denies responsibility.

The story of these survivals is not different among male survivalists whose method, though not really more dignified, is posing as agent, consultant or even CEO or founder of sham or unregistered organisations and seeking to work with this or that government agency, political organisations or social development outfits. It’s only in Abuja that self-professed CEOs with overblown profiles on LinkedIn and other social networks sites operate from shared bedrooms at Lugbe or Pyakasa or Dei-dei or an “Abuja” at a faraway village in Nasarawa State. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

Blueprint Newspapers (12/07/2013)

@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

I know Why Obama Avoids Nigeria!

 

 

 

 

ImageNo, not because we’re the African country with the most American visa applicants. It also couldn’t be because of our sophist terrorists. It’s definitely not over his security here. Obama has bugs even in President Jonathan’s Aso Rock. He listens in to even our President’s whisperings on telephones, and gets duplicates of every email sent and received by our President. Quote me only when I reach my man Edward Snowden. Obama couldn’t be avoiding Nigeria on moral grounds as carried by our inferiority complex-stricken media. A coward who sends unmanned drones to another man’s country has no moral right to label us. A coward whose drones kill innocent kids in his hunts for terrorists is just as guilty as our soldiers who invaded Bama. Ethical morality is the last excuse a hacker should offer in dealings with Africa’s corrupt politicians. So, let’s hang the question of morals.

 

The reactions of Americans to their President’s Father-Christmas junkets to Africa betray the claims that Obama brings salvation. The angry Americans, who allege that Obama’s trip cost them $100 million, while lamenting the state of their economic mess, are more deserving of Obama’s planned $7 billion charity to Africa. “How can we be feeding Africa?” One asks. This breaks my heart! I think Americans are the most untravelled people in the world; they live in amusing illusions of an Africa with half-evolved humans and poverty and barbarisms and aid-seeking governments. Perhaps Obama needs to legalise cannabis and cocaine to know the exact statistics of his subjects taken down by drug-induced mental illness. Obama can never be the saviour of a government in whose eyes a sum twice his charity was stolen in just a sector, and in a very short time of President Godluck Jonathan’s administration. Perhaps we need to send reports of General Babangida’s government to Americans. Perhaps we need to send them estimates of General Abacha’s loots. Perhaps we need to show them the extent of President Obasanjo’s financial mismanagements. Of course we must forward reports of Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force and, yes, yes, the names and thefts of the ‘poor Africans’ involved in the fuel subsidy scam. 

You see, even a New Yorker who cannot afford a flight to Philadelphia is sold a lie of Africa’s reality. New Yorker doesn’t know that thousands of Africans actually fly to Dubai to hold ordinary birthday parties. New Yorker doesn’t know that the grandest house in his borough is possibly owned by a Nigerian politician. He doesn’t know that our people own estates which accommodate his middle-class countrymen. He doesn’t know that the same Africans to whom he sees himself as savior are shareholders of American corporations, where he seeks employment as labourer. I respect New Yorker nonetheless. And I’m also concerned about his welfare. I wish Obama understands that New Yorker may commit suicide if he fails to secure a job by the end of this August. It’s a good thing that Obama agrees that “Africans are responsible for Africa.” We have the resources to build a viable Africa, but the thieving politicians who invest in Obama’s America have forestalled our developments, and turned us into pitiable wrecks in the lab of international politics.  

Obama avoids Nigeria not because of our misused funds, some friends vow that he does so for fear of our reactions to his actual import, same-sex marriage, which may be too chaotic even for the secret service agents in this most religious of all Black nations. The Nigerian moralists are, more than the Arab Islamists and Vatican Christians, the most fearless self-appointed litigators of God, and thus Obama must be wary of another disrespectful heckler. Our National Assembly itself is the prime champion of homophobia, which may make Obama’s attempts to sell that deviancy undiplomatically adventurous. America’s political strategy is a plainly complex exercise, I tell you.

See, Obama avoids this country simply because of me. You don’t have to wear this look, you know. You don’t have to antagonise my destiny. This is why I have been very political in my resentments towards gay rights. My marabout has predicted that I’m a potential son-in-law of this son of a Kenyan, and so it’s cruelly immature to ruin that prospect in the name of social crusade. Don’t quote me but I’m afraid that the ever-nosey secret service agents have already spied my love letters to Malia, which I hope to post as soon as she crosses into the age of American foolhardiness; it’s only outside Africa that an 18-year-old rebels parental supervision. So, the moment my Malia becomes a romantic rebel, I won’t hesitate to remind Obama that there are other deviants seeking rights. If a gay can only do with gays, addicts too deserve a right to sniff cocaine and smoke cannabis, it’s their health anyway. Until then, my in-law, your visits to Africa is simply to highlight America’s Big Brother mentality, and also to pose as the messiah, whereas you have produced more widows, widowers and orphans than any other country in this planet. Check the statistics of your many wars. And it’s quite depressing that Africans look out through the Western window to call out for help, ignoring the multi-millionaire politicians who abuse our sensibilities. We don’t need any aid; in fact it’s criminal to give us aid. What we need are stricter laws against corruptions, bigger prisons to contain small-time thieves, and politically informed and adventurous citizens to monitor the system. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

Blueprint Newspaper (05/07/2013)

@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)