Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hospitality Drying From The Rock of Africa

On a small plaque laid these words: “hospitality is the bedrock on which the African custom strives and survives”. My late father: Mathias Mbi laid it on the dinning table. He kept many people in his house: young people attending college and those looking for work. All he lodged for free: no rents, bills or whatever charges. Then we went to live in the village. When kids were fighting, he stopped to separate the fight and when he saw an old woman from the farm with a load on her head he said: “Mfor (chief) carry mama’s load to her house and meet us at home”. Once I dropped the old woman’s cargo she will open her basket and offer me a gift. When there was a wake-keeping my dad was there on time and most at times the last to leave. If a child was born he went there and told stories until it was dark. But wait; he was not the only one: almost every parent I knew in those days did same. They always said this is the way you should grow. If I did not go to school and an uncle saw me loitering, it was not only my father’s business: it was his business too. He corrected me with Doctor-Do-Good and waited for my father to return home. He told him and my dad did a follow-up. Hellas times have changed. These days these people do not seem African at all.
They are still selling others as slaves in Sudan. They come to power they do not want to leave. What happened to “come and let us share”? If you are bereaved only cronies will show up. Relatives talk on the phone and chat more on the internet than they visit each other. They claim they are working. Were our parents not working? Would you tell me you are happier now than our parents were? Ebob killed herself because it was a disgrace to have a child out of wedlock. Nowadays it is the zeitgeist and times are changing they explain. Yes, indeed changing for the worse. You were stigmatized if you committed abortion. Now as you stand in front of an abortion clinic you see familiar faces. I visited a nursing home one time and found a parent who told me he was African. What happened that our parents kept their parents with them until they were 110 and even 125 years old? They carried their faeces and cleaned them up like they did for them when they were babies. Why can’t we do same for ours? Why are we paying good with evil?
Before only nuisance were homeless abroad but today may have duplexes with empty rooms while their kinfolks have the sky as their covering and the grass as their beds. A common proverb was that: “if a snake enters into your house; kill it first before you ask questions”. Nowadays whether an African was set up or guilty once he is accused other Africans draw their daggers from their sheaths and help stab him to death. Perhaps it is time to change that axiom: “hospitality is the bedrock on which the African custom strives and survives”. You go to court; divorce amongst Africans is skyrocketing while their mixed marriages are abating. Why are those with mixed marriages now soaring higher while those with Africans seem like birds with clipped feathers? Divorce used to be a stigma now it is not. Young girls are in their 3rd & 4th marriages. We are excited about our new found freedom in the West. In the days when there was a problem the problem was taken to the pastor, priest, family head, quarter head or chief until it was resolved. But today it is 911. African women have discovered a new toy called 911. You want to copy western women? Fine; don’t you see them very happy? A man that beat his wife was put in a village song. As young men we were told violence is the weapon of weak communicators.
We have ascended another level of barbarism; armed bank robbery, murder, 419, faking insurance and a lot more. Oh let me tell you why; the community honors riches from flaneurs no matter how they got them. See, Africans robbing banks, defrauding Medicare, stealing cars and shipping them fraudulently to be sold in Africa just to get rich. In olden days if a family member killed anyone your whole family will need an ablution because your family was cursed. Today it seems no more the case. If not; why so many killings? One village chief told me one time to stop wasting my time writing religious articles because he does not read them. “I only come to the net to watch naked women” he explained. This is from a village chief. Wasn’t it taught that if you watched a naked woman who is not your wife you would be cursed? You think it is not true. There are many things happening nowadays as a curse from watching porn.
My fellow Africans, we must strive to be examples and to stay away from news with bad examples. The world is watching and our history is soon turning to a myth because the present does not match the past. Are you an African? Then let hospitality be the bedrock on which you strive and survive.

Until then, those who abandon their past go to unknown destinations.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.

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