by Wobusobozi Amooti Kangere & Chris Nkwatsibwe
Saw the story below this picture on the Facebook group ancestral essence, and got moved to share a few words from our journey in this time. These I send to the young of our day.
The story behind the picture is a first person account of a captured slave. It recounts his experience of first contact with ‘the new world.’ and his thoughts and sentiments of the dehumanizing ordeal his captors put him through.
The story itself is likely fiction. But sometimes we need fiction to rearrange the facts so that we can see TRUTH in its context.
Many of we who remained here on the continent are often disconnected from the experience of those who were taken. We must never forget though that we are of one blood; we are of one root.
Today the same snake that came to steal our men, women and earth 500 years ago, stealthily makes its way to finish the job it started. The fires in our shrines have gone cold from neglect. The mountains where our journeymen made pilgrimage to carry our children prayers to the gods are abandoned.
Our homes, which once never needed doors, are as sterile as prison garrisons and boarding houses for travelling strangers. We have forgotten how to have conversation with each other. We have forgotten how to remember the names and works of those who came before us. And so we carry their names like lifeless limbs we can’t wait to replace with alien sounds like Laquinta.
When their voices reach out to us from beyond to help us correct the error of our ways, we call them demons and bind them; yet the real demon is this strange culture that plants inhuman instincts in our young. And then we wonder why everything in Afrika is a mess.
Remember who you are Afrika. You are the children of the SUN. You are the body in which its living essence dwells. That is the secret behind your skin. Your blood is the Holy Grail. Humanity begins with you. Your ancestors were once called gods because of their power. But what they had was wisdom and knowledge of the stars, the wind, the earth, and of how life came to be.
Fool yourself not, you are not mortal. You are the immortal essence of the sun; clothed in flesh for a time. A time defined by a purpose measured in your talents and mental fields of prowess.
As for you slavers of our kind; in the different shades of skin in which you come…Enjoy the comfort of the living tombs you have turned our land into. A time shall come, in this lifetime or the next, when the tables will turn. The fires that burn in our shrines shall warm our spirits again. Those taken and those lost will return. The children will find their way back home.
This is not prophesy: It is only statement of the inevitable. The ancestral power wakes from its long sleep. And when the Afrikan wakes, you who laugh at our passing fate will remember that your Jesus and Muhammad learnt at the feet of our ancestors. And that Krishna and Budha were spawned from this soil.
Remember who you are children of the sun. Memory is the beginning of knowing, and knowing is the spring of life.
They will do everything to make you forget. They will keep your eyes in TVs, and teach you that their history of war is greater than your history of peace. And you will believe them for that is all you will know.
They will tell you that the conflicts engineered by their agents and puppets are tribal clashes. And that your ancestors- those beings who made your parents and spent their lives building the heritage you have squandered- hate you and wish to destroy you, just as you hate and wish to destroy the lives of the descendants you toil for every day in a job you hate.
You will celebrate the conquest of your backward past filled with spears, superstition and treacherous spirits. And seek haven in their cities where justice is for sell and truth is whatever you want it to be.
Your men will sleep with men and call it nature. And when the temperature of debauchery is just right, the tourists will make way for settlers, and then for colonies. And what started as kidnapping of our folk 500 years ago, and the partitioning of our lands into mega ranches controlled from cities in Europe; will be completed in your annihilation.
And when there is completely no trace left of you, and your beloved cities have turned into the ghetto concentration camps they already are degenerating into; may be then, someone will remember that prophets of old warned of such times.
But we are fools- we who speak of such things. We are foul evil creatures- we who speak of ancestral voices. We are lunatics, we who read the signs of the times and share what we see. And so our words shall remain lofty and befuddled to you.
For those whose minds still yearn for better times, the future is bright when the past is resolved. You don’t have to look far. The future and the past are all in the present. You, young African, are the meeting point between your ancestry and your progeny. So choose your path wisely. You are the hope of this nation.
You do not have to live in huts to be in touch with your past. We are the parents of civilization. We built the first cities. The ancestors ask only that we remember them kindly, as we ourselves would wish to be remembered by those we leave behind.
Build families. Make communities. This is the message that reverberates daily from beyond.
We should like to think that even the Jesus and Muhammad of whom our slavers and exploiters preach would not be offended by this simple counsel.
Blessings and Peace
Chris Nkwatsibwe is a Human Rights activist from Uganda
The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of FES