2017 was the year I finished high school. All this time I was a Christian. I attended all the evening rosaries at the YCS (Young Catholic Society), and I was a liturgical dancer. But then when I penned down my last KCSE paper, I got a chance to breathe, a chance to think.
What my mind went to immediately was, why everything we learned in class was from wazungu (white people). Why was it only French, German, British, Greek, American scientists and no Negro, no African? Why is it only Pythagoras, Le Chatelier, Bernoulli, Boyle, Charles, Faraday, Archimedes, Newton, Einstein, Schrödinger, Marie Curie etc etc. Why wasn’t there a Chinedu, a King’ang’i or a Walukagga? That disturbed me very much. Kwani how stupid were we? How backward were we?
Then there was also this biology teacher who used to tell his students that science has found that Jews are the people with the highest intelligence. Of course he didn’t say the converse, that Negros were the most stupid, but well, we all know everyone filled that part with their own conclusions. That disturbed me as well.
I started discussing these issues with classmates even before clearing from school. Hell, I’d been broken from chains, I was so free, I was free to use my brain to do something else than cram shit.
On the debate, I asked how come Africans had not contributed anything to human civilization? Like were we hunting hares all this time while people all over were discovering this and that? Of course my classmates were as ignorant as me, they didn’t agree with my position that we were primitive savages who were civilized by the Europeans, but they also didn’t have anything to disclaim my position. I won that argument, but I wasn’t contented. I still knew something was wrong.
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On the way home I was asking myself: So here I am, a high school graduate from one of the best high schools in Kenya, going forth into the world with all this inferiority complex in my head, is this how we are going to build our nations? No. Something is terribly wrong. I need to find out what.
So I left high school with the question of what Africans had done for humanity; if they had indeed done anything at all.
I was also disturbed by the nature of the social ladder in the world. Why are Africans at the bottom? Why does everyone despise us, and we never colonized anyone or did anything to anyone? Why is there not a single African country that is prosperous? Why are all African countries the same, tyrannical and unprogressive?
I needed answers. I needed to know how come we hadn’t done anything for humanity. I needed to know why our countries were always so backward. And I wanted to know how I ended up with all that inferiority complex in my head, and why.
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So I hit the ground running. Researching as much as I could find. I read Things Fall Apart, Something Torn and New, Matigari, joined some Pan Africanist groups on Facebook and did more research. It wasn’t long before I came across the detrimental effect of religion on Africans.
Our countries were backward because they are looted and sucked dry by imperialists, an act which is facilitated by the religions they gave us. And the inferiority complex? I had to strip myself of all my attached identities to assess this accurately. That’s when the scales fell from my eyes.
What dawned on me was that my feelings of being inferior to other people, especially white people, stemmed from my Christianity religion. How could I not feel inferior to them when the god I worshipped looked like them?
And this inferiority complex, in my thinking, is what made our people all over the continent not fight back against white aggressors. Yeaaaah! This religion of a white god facilitated our colonization!
And not only did this religion hold us from fighting back, it even made us not find our enemy guilty, it made us trust him, it even made us look up to him. And we were wondering why we were not progressing.
I recalled my wishes, ambitions and dreams while I was still a high schooler. I remembered how we had at one point discussed how our creator did us injustice by giving us kinky hair. “Man don’t you wish we had that straight flowing smart hair like everyone else? Why did God give us this shaggy hair? Aaargh!”
I recalled my dreams and ambitions to marry a white woman if I could and get some lighter ‘more beautiful’ children. I remembered how I’d see myself living somewhere in Europe or America when I finally ‘made it’, and attending those mega churches there fellowshipping together with white congregants.
Now I saw that this was indeed very terrible and detrimental to my society, especially considering that it was someone like me, a successful student, who was looked up to by the rest of the society to improve their conditions. And here I was, wishing to escape this reality at the slightest chance!
No, it wasn’t a life, living your whole life wishing you were somebody else.
It didn’t take much thinking for me to realize that the biggest problem with us Africans was inferiority complex. People who believe they are inferior will accept the lowest position at the ladder. They will not improve themselves, and even if they try, they do so believing that they can’t do or be better than the others. And they will not fight back. In other words, the problem was not so much that we were being oppressed by others, but that we accepted the oppression.
So I yearned to be as free as possible from any feelings of inferiority and anything that caused them. And I didn’t spare myself from religion after convicting it. I made a military about-turn from religion, I detested it so badly, as if I had never been part of it.
That was around April 2018. Four months after high school I had dropped religion. Now I knew there was more to knowledge than just school. My gear only accelerated, moving with speed. I came across so much knew enlightening information….and never stopped. Up to now 😉