In the last budget meeting in the Parliament there were a good number of women and men who emotionally criticized Tanzanian girls who wear mini-skirts and perform nude dancing. They strongly pointed an accusing finger to them saying that it is very immorally un and anti-African. They advised the parents and the government to do something about it in order to arrest this embarrassing situation. I agree with them completely.
Nevertheless, the problem is much, much bigger than that. Personally I believe that the mini and/or very tight skirts and trousers which clearly reveal the geography of the body, the over-lowered trousers for boys etc are not the problem but rather results or indicators of the key problem. When the MPs were emotionally pointing an accusing finger to the poor girls I watched them with a smile. Almost all of the female speakers and possibly the male speakers’ wives had bleached their skins and most had scorched their hair with chemicals feigning white women! They forgot that when they where pointing one accusing finger the other three were pointing to themselves and the thumb to God requesting for a just judgment over this wrangle.
In showing what the real problem is, in the book ‘Song of Ocol’ (EAPH-1970), the writer p’Bitek had the assimilated Ocol lamenting:
There are only white women around:
Awful fakes of white females…….
But in conclusion Mwakusa admits:
Then I turn and weep upon myself
And then, only then I realize:
I am not black either.
Mwaikyusa’s conclusive verse should be a wake up call to all of us, Africans. We have been put in a vicious situation where almost all of us believe that you can NOT be beautiful unless you are white or you have hanging hair like a white woman! This is a psychological problem which we have intentionally or unintentionally decided to embrace. It is an inferiority complex, cultivated into our minds many years ago, and now it seems as if it so natural and genuine that Africans do not even see anything wrong with it. Many of us do it in the name of FASHION. If that is the case then let us introduce the fashion by which whites will polish their skins black and scorch their hair curly.
I am not blaming anyone, please. This is our problem. I cannot claim to be a perfect African. The war in order to liberate the Africans psychologically can neither be simple nor take a short time. If the assimilation has grown roots for well over a century then fighting and winning it should take as much or longer, probably over two centuries. This should be one of the longest wars on earth. That is why I say that the Theresian Sisters’ mission is an uphill task. It is like trying to contain a very strong ocean current. For that reason, therefore, we should all join hands with them. My only precaution is that we should not fight the signs, indicators or results of the problem but the root.
Jackson Mambo, Teacher