In this article, I am trying to throw some light on an article by Mubanga Lumpa, a Unza political science student, who wrote: ’’Are African intellectuals lazy? Recently, BBC Africa, on their Facebook post, reported that according to a new research by the UK’s University of Loughborough, universities in Zambia, Malawi and Botswana put too much emphasis on learning by heart.
The BBC further revealed that ‘African students need to be taught to think more critically and creatively, or there could be trouble for future generations’.’’ (Zambia Daily Mail of 16th June 2016).
In the same way, Education minister, Honourable John Phiri said that the Zambian university system has failed the nation and said that it was clear that the Zambian university curriculum needed to be reviewed so that it supported sustainable development, ‘’We need to review the curriculum at all levels so that learners are better prepared for the challenges Zambia faces. There is need to align universities so that they meet the demands or needs of our people and that they stay with the people if sustainable development is to be realized……our universities only answer the demands of the capitalist world rather than the people who are looking for solutions for poverty, hunger, underdevelopment etc., our universities have failed the people.’’ (The Post 20th February 2012).
Colonialism Depicts the Law of Cunning.
It is said that the world is three days i.e., yesterday, to-day and tomorrow. If you do not know yesterday, you won’t know what day to-day is and certainly tomorrow will take you by surprise. Some people have argued that we should not blame colonialism for the present state of Africa because it is more than fifty years since we attained our independence. And those are the victims of the strategy of colonialism because at each turn of history, colonialism is bound to spawn resistance; it is destined to bring to confuse the forces that will guarantee its death.
One cannot just know about colonialism or imperialism until one takes time to study the complications and strategies of colonialism, which is the brain-child of the capitalist-exploiter. The word ‘’imperialism’’ stands for ‘’domination.’’ Irvin Babitt in his book Democracy and Leadership wrote: “…..the man who stands for nothing higher than the law of cunning and the law of force, and so is, in the sense I have sought to define imperialistic.”
Dr. Kaunda in A Humanist in Africa wrote: ‘’In fact colonialism, for all its benefits, devalued Man. It created elite societies in which men’s worth was determined by an irrelevant biological design – skin pigmentation. And even more serious, the colonialists set out to destroy an African’s self-confidence. They dinned into our minds the idea that we were primitive, backward and degraded, and but for their presence amongst us, we would be living like animals. The result is that even today in an independent African state, you will find a certain sector of the population suffering from a Bwana complex. They cannot stand on their own feet as free men but must look over their shoulder all the time for the approval of the white man.’’
Professor Rene Dumont in False Start in Africa wrote: ‘’African civilization reached a kind of apogree in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries around Benin. African blacksmiths knew how to work gold, copper, bronze and even iron, the latter as early as the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. They thus surpassed the oceanic civilizations, like those of pre-Columbian America in technical development. The system of cultivation practiced at the time, working the earth with hoes after clearing it with fires, and rotation of fallow lands, is still used today with rare modification………However, no one knows where agrarian African civilization would be today if it had been able to follow a normal development, in peaceful contact with European techniques. Alas, this development was brusquely arrested and we are still paying for the crimes of our white ancestors, who believed that they were free to do anything, endowed as they were with ‘innate superiority’. ‘’
The freedom fighter had grasped the truth that he was the master of his destiny and was capable of shaping his destiny. And because of his firm cultural foundation, he got rid of flunkeyism, dogmatism and all other ideas of slavish submissions and came to possess the consciousness of being the master of his destiny and a firm conviction of self-confidence.
And above all, the freedom fighter knew exactly how his dominationist viewed him as Dr. Kaunda in A Humanist in Africa put it: ‘’The European knew the African as servant and employee __ as an extension of a broom or a shovel….. Certainly, they showed kindness and even generosity to those Africans they encountered in various relationships. They gave them many things ___ coddled them when ill; helped to educate their children; treated them with a certain fond of indulgence. But their relationships tended to be one-way, with the European dictating the degree of intimacy. There was lacking that basic honesty and openness of true friendship.’’
On the other hand, the so-called intellectual of today is very much aware of how unfair his western counterpart is, and yet he has no courage to shout this out, surrounded as he is by the fake signs of presumed equality. Of course, no one can overlook the fact that the white man has brought a lot of good civilization to Africa, but it comes with a sly danger, because while celebrating the generous donor aid such as the distributions of free skippers endorsed with ‘’I love Africa,’’ and such privileges as learning and enlightenment, it can easily blind us to who we really are and come to the fatal conclusion that the white man is the measure of all things. This hypnotizing mentality has subverted the African personality like no other ideology.
Now listen to Hasham Nazor in Power of Third Kind: Western Attempt to colonize the Global Village wrote: ‘’If the developing countries’ intellectuals do not soon wake up and challenge the colonizing operation, it will be too late. The process has been activated by the western powers using vast amounts of money, time and planning. Meanwhile, most people in developing nations might not even be aware of its complexity and magnitude. They certainly are not ready for a serious confrontation. Beneath the overwhelming western charm and the power to assimilate, some of the developing nations are already submitting too much….the power to target, penetrate, manipulate and consequently to alter human consciousness through the modern global communications, especially television and the internet is the power of the third kind…..this stimulation of consciousness is the most effective means of global brainwashing.’’ (emphasis mine)
The Bantu System of Education.
The capitalist has an instinct or genius for colonizing. He is a great strategist and he is well blessed with the gift of wit and he leads with truth but never to truth. And during the “Scramble for Africa,” the colonizing western nations met in 1860 and resolved to bring civilization to Africa within the time frame of 100 years. Zambia became independent in 1964 after 70 years of colonial rule and according to John Hatch, we had 100 university graduates; those with full secondary education (i.e., Grade XII) were 1,500 and those with two years at secondary school (i.e., Grade IX) were 6,500. And those graduates were mostly teachers and we had only one engineer, Mr. Andrew Kashita and Dr. Konoso.
A report on colonial education in Africa that was prepared by J. Miller, the first inspector of schools in Sierra Leone reads in part: “….the knowledge later produces doubt and fogginess in adult life….want of liberal attainments induces imitation of the worst in Europeans.” (Adult Education and Development: Germany Adult Education Association No. 30 30th March 1988).
Chika Onyeani, a Nigerian, now resident in USA wrote: “It is this mis-education of the African that continues to make him dependent on the West for everything he does. We have a high cadre of Africans who have degrees, but whether they are highly educated is another matter. If we were to look at some of the categories in the lives of Africans, we can immediately see the hollowness of their education. We can see how we have allowed ourselves to be mis-educated with cheerfulness, because getting the degree was more important than getting the substance of learning attached to a particular discipline…… You cannot blame the Europeans for our inability to produce anything tangible for ourselves. What is the essence of education if you cannot practice what you have learned? To us getting our education is the end, rather than a means to an end. We cannot apply whatever we have learned to our everyday life.” (Capitalist Nigger: The Road to Success)
Education is power and the purpose of education is to extract a human being from the limited circle of their lower self in order to project them into the limitless circle of cosmic consciousness. The image of the human mind is infinitely malleable, capable of being reformed, transformed and rectified without limit. Chairman Mao related to the vision of the will as all-powerful, even to the extent that (in Mao’s own words) ‘’the subjective creates the objective.’’ That is, man’s capacity for both undergoing change and changing his environment is unlimited once he makes the decision for change the entire universe can bend to his will. But again the controlling image is the sense of revolutionary immortality that confers these vaulting capacities upon the mind. And during the Great Leap, Chairman Mao declared that there was no poor soil but poor thoughts.
In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler revealed some of his thinking: ‘’Force is not enough to ensure total domination; admittedly it is still the decisive factor but no less important a factor is that___ intangible psychological faculty which the lion tamer must have if he is to dominate his animals.’’ This analogy of the circus is an indication of the capitalist’s instinct or genius for colonizing which is carried out through the colonial education system.
The greatest problem with our “Bantu” colonial type of education that was especially designed for Africa is that it teaches ‘’what to think’’ and not ‘’how to think.’’ And this is the area where ‘’Bantu’’ education system actively plays its role since character and thought patterns can be directed to desired ends and whoever controls the mind, controls the man. And so the type of education you receive will direct the way you approach the whole spectrum of life. King Solomon wrote: ‘’Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.’’ Thoughts are forces, subtle, vital, creative and continually building and shaping our lives according to their nature. And so whoever controls the mind controls the man. The ear is the gateway to the senses and that is why in what is called ‘’the power of the air,’’ all governments control the radio because whoever controls what is transmitted controls you.
The capitalist cannot exploit the continent without first demoralizing the inhabitants. And so he introduced a key word in the ‘’Bantu’’ educational system, i.e., LACK. This particular word has totally dominated every initiative and it has been used to squeeze out hope of prosperity that existed or could have existed within us. Lack is everywhere in Africa. There is lack of good climate; lack of good vegetation; lack of good water ; lack of good air; lack of good soil; lack of good minerals; lack of good people; lack of good natural resources etc. The list can go on and on and in short there is lack of everything on the African continent. The only thing that is in abundance in Africa is LACK itself.