I have a personal conviction and conservative belief that, Africa as a continent and Africans as its denizens have arrived at liberosis. Liberosis, as defined by the The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, a definitive guide to “naming unnamed human predispositions and emotions” is
“the desire to care less about things—to loosen your grip on your life, to stop glancing behind you every few steps, afraid that someone will snatch it from you before you reach the end zone—rather to hold your life loosely and playfully, like a volleyball, keeping it in the air, with only quick fleeting interventions, bouncing freely in the hands of trusted friends, always in play.“
For we have come to a collective realization that we are nothing, but black people who lived their entire lives borrowing from abroad what we have once lent and the feeling that we could lose nothing whether we care or not for we are as people are unconsciously committed to the emulation of Western ideals (the so-called “Democratization”) and the immitation of Eastern projects (often quoted as “Asian Miracles”), we have fallen from our grace, our ivory tower down the memory lane of our historical achievements, from the two ancient giants – Ancient Egypt and Kush to the centers of learning and wisdom of the classical age, Alexandria, Fez, Marrakech, Timbuktu, Meroe. AS a matter of fact and circumstantial fate, we have no other genuine, homegrown choices left to be resuscitated for they are generally regarded as “the wisdom of the damned negro”, for they are the taboo subjects reinforced and systematically manipulated, puppeteered by the big Other, the Absolute Taboo against knowing ourselves. This amounts to forbidding us as a collectivity and as individuals, from opening the “mischiviously ill-prepared cocktail of Anansi” in restless journey to find what we have lost and are being forced to forget – ourselves, our identities, our relics and antique legacies to the world we live in shame today.
Today, it’s the order of the day and the spirit of the age, to teach the youth of the continent (especially in the countries where a stubborn claim is made to genuine Africanness) in the art of forgetting the past and the necessity of confabulating it, if needs be, in the context of the chaos (of epic proportions) that engulfs the quest for having a seat at the global table as dignified human beings and a moment in history as people who deserve credit for the achievements and advancements made in world history, apart from the eternal curse that has been “bestowed” upon us by our foundlings and foster children in the West, that we are nothing but the les miserables that incessantly complain about the lack of progress and modernity in our backyard.
Per se, the liberosis, the liberotic tendency and th general resort to such a pitifully disgusting extent and sense of existential dilemma without anybody to understand it, let alone overcome its predicaments is the rotten fruit of a present-mindedness borne of the deprivation of the basic necessities of life, both materially and ideally. If there ever is the harshest of all punishments to the human psyche, it is this one – the one that forbids from making sense of our lives and satisfy our basic desires in our own way. In the same accord, I claim, what is rife today in Africa is not financial corruption rather a mind corruption, so myopic, so desperate, so vindictive, so worshipping…that will continue to claim the lives of millions of Africans irrespective the empty promises of improvement from the etherial domain of regional integration and continental unity.
The diagnosis is a melancholic one, the deep-rooted sense of helplessness is orchestrated and dictated by the dearth of ideas worth explaining our life conditions in our own manners of parlance and as some Government Scientists claim “bucolic” or “bumpkin” philosophy of life. The more our governments delve into a Shakespearean linguistic contest in their desperation to describe our condition, the more they distance themselves from the social topics and issues that need immediate and meticulous attention instead of being left to themselves till “they figure themselves out”, the more they go on pretending that everything is fine from the head to the toe, the higher will be the probability of a boom and bust of a generation without a future, without the means to survive for a day, without the tools to withstand the current global inundations of cut-throat wars, the site of hungry and famished children, and most importantly, the recognition that the people from the “Dark Continent” Africa we created for nothing, but eternal denigration both at home and abroad caught in a constant plight from cauldron to cauldron hoping that one day we will stumble upon a cauldron with yet unboiled human spirit in it.