By Titi Alake
No more! Do not call us a dark continent. We have emerged as lotus from murky soil; damn the loamy, damn the sandy; our cleansing tool has germinated from degraded clay. Call us the colourful sun; our ignition is from the East and sets globe across the borders of the earth. Announce to the world – we come in gait of renowned Nightingale; our sonorous tune silences criers of woe. Because we have come of this shed alive, we shall live forever.
Many fascinating illusions abound about a black shaded people of Africa before the advent of European explorers to the continent. One of such illusions was that Africa was a continent of flesh eating zombies. It was in the late eighteenth century that European explorers began to have a change of thought and set their gaze toward exploring Africa; a continent they later found to be most fertile. They began paying regular visits, at first to the coastal villages and at the wake of the nineteenth century, after three hundred years of frequent visits to Africa; they heard of the mystery of a Gold City of Tellem.
Fascinated European explorers flopped the River Niger in search of the legendary city of Timbuktu, and its Gold laden streets but returned rather disappointed because of the many difficulties they encountered. In 1805, another troop reinforced for a second expedition to Tellem City. Fully confident in the success of the mission, they returned to the Niger, where they piled into Canoes and paddled South in search of the City of Gold.
After years of no return, the European Government got astounded by the African Gold mystery and came on a rescue mission to find the missing emissary. After sailing for two days in the coast of Africa, the team paddled around a bend and laid eyes on the legendary City of Tellem. Langley in his work, 'Dark River' (1808), said the Europeans were disappointed upon finding the City of Gold. They saw rather a small village constructed in mud.
Sighting their canoes from afar, dozens of Africans walked towards them with a peculiar stiff legged gait in brightly coloured garment and the 'broadest of smiles…'
The explorers must have been hallucinating, what they thought was a broad smile, was actually the grimaces of flesh hungry zombies…
People of Tellem city launched a 'walk', matching all out like a great army. They had neither gun nor arrows, yet waged and won the war against the technological sophisticated exploring Europeans.
Would you not hearken my voice Africa? Africa of gold lined villages, Africa of fierce soldiers, Africa of great hunters?
Interlopers are in our midst; exploiter have arrived in their fine ship of maladministration. Millions of our brothers have fallen, our own building is crumbling; man against his brother. Let us reunite and reform our attack tactics; not only joining hands, but also minds. Like the Africa grandfather was proud of, like Africa of communal living; like Africa of serene peace.
Let us preserve this City of Gold not by more sheds of wailing blood but by our match of silence and trust. Solidarity and love for Fatherland. Amen.
*Today is Titi's birthday! Comment, share or wish her happy birthday on her facebook here