Have you ever opened the door for a lady, only to be told by another African… that that is not African?
Have you ever arrived punctually or waited patiently for your turn, only to be told by another African that that is not African?
Have you ever spoken in soft, sophisticated tones, only to be told – loudly and crudely and full of mortified or amused laughter – by another African that that is not African?
Do you, when you are with your fellow Africans, deliberately coarsen your ways or diction – sometimes greatly, sometimes very subtly – in order to be accepted as being authentically African?
Do you act as if certain habits are normal to you which you actually inwardly abhor because they are less than your innate take on nobleness?
Do you too subscribe to the thinking that coarseness is not only a badge of belonging but also a way not to show weakness in African culture?
Well, the truth is this: You carry Africa in you. Africa begins and ends with you. Whatever you do today, that is what posterity will one day point to and label as being African. And if you acquiesce today to something which you inwardly know to be inferior and improvable; something a better version of which you carry consciously or unconsciously within you; then you commit three sins, at the very least.
One: you fail to establish the next stage of African evolution by not bringing out the New which you carry within;
Two: you reinforce in the next generation the false assumption that it is African to be coarse;
Three: you transfer to subsequent generations the poisonous message that it is right to acquiesce to what is wrong and to lower one’s standards, within the context of one’s African culture – even if one carries strong convictions in the opposite direction within one.
And these three things, which reinforce each other reciprocally like the sides of a triangle, are some of the greatest killers of Africa.
Additionally, as a human being you are not just an African, you are also a member of the human race. You owe it as a duty not only to Africa and not only to yourself but also to mankind as a whole to be a part of the evolution of civilization. Very often the African component is missing on the world stage of emergent ideas and evolutionary effort. But each time you break the self-fulfilling stereotype of African coarseness, and of African lethargic changelessness, of helpless receiver mentality instead of creator impulse, and of lower African standards, you produce something – tangible or intangible – that fulfils a part of the the African responsibility in the advancement of humanity.
– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.