Saturday, January 15, 2011

News:2010 Sept.-Oct. Newsletter.

The Theresian Sisters founded Hekima and committed themselves onto the primary mission of emancipating the Tanzanian girl child from various handicaps, the first one being psychological. I truly congratulate but at the same time pity them because of the gravity of the task they had embarked themselves to fulfill. I am strongly convinced that we, Africans, have been very badly affected psychologically such that liberating us or ourselves is harder and will take much longer than even the much appealed economic liberation. This is because in the first place very few of us accept the fact that we are very badly affected in the mind.
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:
Mother, mother,
Why was I born
I believe p’Bitek wrote the book in an effort to make Africans aware of the problem in anticipation that we would gradually liberate ourselves psychologically. Although this was in the late sixties, the situation has not got any better but probably worse. In the book ‘Summons’ by Mabala et al (TPH – 1980), the poem Lost Beauty raises the same issue. In the poem the late Mwaikusa says:
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

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