Achebe Lessons For Africa

African Update – 11/06/13

Chinua Achebe will be really missed. Not because of Things Fall Apart, but despite. There were many words of wisdom he wrote during his illustrious career that should not be lost in grief.

He was the one who opined “ If you want to plunder your neighbour’s house, first hire a good storyteller”. He was right.

What does the storyteller do? He diligently spreads false narratives about your neighbour.

“ He is a drug dealer. He is a vicious criminal who organizes all the house robberies. He even drinks the blood of victims he murders”

When the storyteller’s job is done, you can happily take your big gun, shoot him, and rob him of all his property. The neighborhood will applaud you.

We have seen it happen several times with colonialism, apartheid, imperialism and now neo-colonialism. Kwame Nkrumah was supposed to be an evil dictator. Nelson Mandela was a terrorist. We all know what happened to Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. And we all know what happened to Gaddafi who was before his demise feted in European capitals.

LESSON NUMBER 1: For Africa to succeed we need our own storytellers, lest we are plundered over and over again. The hyenas are circling with news of Africa’s rise.

Then there is the hilarious anecdote of the Snake and the Toad. A toad basking by the roadside saw a snake riding a horse, coiled up in the saddle.

“ That is no way to ride a horse, the toad berated the snake. Let me show you how. ” The Snake dutifully slithered out of the saddle while the toad climbed astride the horse, took the reigns and majestically rode the horse, prancing proudly up and down.

“ That is how to ride a horse” the toad said triumphantly.

“ Well done “ the Snake clapped “ Now you may come down”

The snake crawled back into the saddle, and rode away in its usual manner. On its way it looked back and advised the toad.

“ To have is better than to know. What is the value of fine horsemanship without a horse?”

LESSON NUMBER 2: Africa’s big brains should roll up their sleeves and get unto the factory floor. It is only by making, creating and innovating that Africa will succeed big. Meetings to plan meetings, endless conferences, summits, workshops, talk shops and retreats has limited use. They generally d o not put food on the table. It’s time to spend more time converting ideas into conglomerates that produce world class goods and services, sold to the whole world at the right price. Fine horsemanship with a horse. Chinua Achebe will indeed be sorely missed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Pusch Commey, is the Founder and President of the South African company Real African Publishers,dedicated to “ Telling the African story “ . His new Real African Writers Children’s Series , fully owned by Africans, will be launching a number of inspiring and empowering stories for African children, that puts them at the centre of success stories. His classic bestseller 100 GREAT AFRICAN KINGS AND QUEENS is available in all major online bookshops. www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com,www.kobo.com, www.sony.com, www.gardners.com, www.scribd.com, www.ibookstore.com,www.esentral.com www.bakersandtaylor.com, www.copia.com, www.ebookpie.com

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New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fashion Cities Africa by Hannah Azieb Pool
  • Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanismby Christopher Lee
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Robinson, James A., Acemoglu, Daron
  • Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee
  • A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present by Richard J. Reid
  • Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture by Sarah Van Beurden
  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
  • Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 by Karen Elizabeth  Flint
  • Global Education Policy and International Development: New Agendas, Issues and Policies by Antoni Verger
  • Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry by Matthew M. Heaton
   

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