Updated: Feb 10
The process of decolonization is never a comfortable journey; it’s a voyage that sometimes takes one back in time before catapulting one into the future almost in a prophetic manner.
Here are some of the actions that had helped me in the journey of decolonizing myself.
As Africans and colonized people, the colonizers forbade many of our traditions, and for that reason, they died like they never existed. This loss of our roots is still ongoing in the twenty-first century as more of us embrace schools and religious systems that were given and sometimes forced upon our modern forefathers. An excellent example of this wapping-off of our roots is the marriage ceremony that we practice today, many of us get married in the church. Many of our people spend money and time trying to have a perfect ‘’white wedding.’’ (dressing in the long wedding gowns, and suits and tie for the men) and the kissing of the bride in from of a Christian priest. Our various and colourful African marriage ceremonies are dying away in the name of. ‘’ modernization’’ as many of our people like to call this deviation from our roots. To understand that the European style of marriage that is choking our traditional way is also a traditional custom to the Europeans. So, why have we allowed our beautiful tradition to disappear under a different culture? This is one among many of the things that we need to understand in the process of self decolonization.
Clothes and dress code:
As one of the primary needs of people in civil societies, the clothing industry is worth fortune, and it’s in a constant rise and we Africans are a massive consumer of this primary industry as we love looking good which is a positive thing. Still, we now tend to dress like the colonizers and buying luxury clothing from them to fit into their definition of good-looking styles. In doing so, we are gradually forgetting or forbidding our traditional ways of dressing and this action is also disenfranchising our designers. Although some may argue that it’s impossible to wear our traditional clothes in cold countries that many of our people live. I would agree with some of such excuses. But for millions of us in Africa that has no such reason, we must recognize that it’s the effect of colonization, and we have mastered it more than the colonizers themselves, thus resulting to us placing higher values on their clothing brands than ours.
Dread-locs: This word came from the word ‘Dread’ meaning fear. The Europeans Developed this word to describe fear for our hair when it’s in rasta, it’s a shame that we now use the same language to describe our precious hair. I must say that this one took me a long time to realize because it’s just one of those everyday languages that we use without knowing or questioning their origins.
West Indies: A name from a failed voyage of the sailor (Columbus) that wasn’t brave enough to accept his failure to locate his original destination (India). But because he sailed West, everything became India, the coloured people that he met in the land became Red-Indians, and the nations around became West-Indies. I hope we can wake up someday and eradicate this language, and use The Caribbean instead.
Black African: I realized this the moment that I learned the order of racial groups as the Europeans graded each group. There is no group of people that are legitimately inhabiting any part of the African continent that are not black people, history has proven this over and over again.
In race categorization, the inhabitants of North Africa are categorized as white people regardless of the colour of their skin. I believe that this categorization is about the expansion of ‘’White’’ territory and to shrink the geographic size of black people. This is a language we must totally destroy in our quest to build one global African unity.
3. Religion: Is a big subject that has been covered in many books, documentaries, movies, essays, and lecture, but remains controversial. We must always bear in mind the perils of foreign religions in the African communities. Christianity and Islam had sipped into the blood vessels of our societies to the depth that we can almost do nothing in our communities without first addressing the issues of these religions, or trying to reconcile the irreconcilable beliefs before we could move forward with our fellow brothers and sisters. The worst of it is that we cannot civilly share our opposite views with our people that are believers of these foreign religions. I’m also grateful to see that this is changing among the fast-growing Pan-African societies around the world, but there is more work to be done.
4. Read books:
Books are some of the sources that helped me and are still helping me in the process of my decolonization. Here are some of the books that I recommend to anyone that is at the early stage of self decolonization.
1. The Bible. I know the look that most people will have on their faces for this recommendation. I think it’s essential that we have a full understanding of the weapon that was used to put our people in mental and spiritual captivities.
2. The Book of the Dead
3. Greek philosophies. The reason for recommending this is that most written Greek theories originate from the ancient Egyptians. When you go through them, you will find them in many African cultures.
4. Slavery by Another Name.
5.African Religions and Philosophies – by John S. Mbiti.
5. Study life:
Studying our environment and event that happens around us is something we have been made to believe that it’s the job of the media, such default programming is the reason the media can feed us with lies and things that only serve the agender of those that pay the bills of the media houses and workers. When we pay attention to the life events around us, we can find the truth for ourselves, and not allow people to manipulate us with the versions that serve them.
These five tips were the steps that helped me at the early stage of self decolonization, I hope you find them helpful too, and if you have any suggestion that you think should be added please leave a comment below to share your point.
Get involved in the discussion.