Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Diagnostics and Prescription for Africa’s Recovery.

While we may blame colonialism for the current predicament of the Africans to a lesser extent, we have the Africans to hold accountable for the continuity. Truly, colonialism and slavery played a larger part because of the exploitation of human and natural resources but also the education and orientation of the people. However, the natural resources never depleted and though we lacked behind for a season in human resources the growth rate would have permitted us to catch up if we had the will. Japan and West Germany were two economies that were brought down due to man-made disasters. Yet the little help that they were given was regarded a window of opportunities for their future rise and domination. Why can Africa despite all the aids, grants and other subsidiaries handed to them not do same?

The Avaricious, somatic and aberrational polity of governance is a propeller on its own. Look at how Africans tear themselves in wars. Which colonial master is behind them with a whip to do that? The political philosophy that governs Africa is rightly summed up in Achidi Achu’s phrase “you scratch my back I scratch your own”. That is where the devil lies. Leadership is often regarded as a buffer milky cow (cow with no owner) whose milk is shared amongst it leading nganakors.

Most Africans who went abroad under government scholarships did not return back to the country or when they returned did not find it safe to stay. They deprived the country of their expertise for which it had invested. The intellectual who filed for asylum because he/she was haunted by the government turned back to join the same government party after obtaining foreign citizenship. So the tendency of exploiting that window of opportunity is not only deficient with those at home but even those abroad. We should at least give credit to some African countries like Ghana, Egypt and Libya which have tried to divert from this psychological slavery and have implemented some benevolent reforms to the bitter taste of the West. Africa must enter into a reformatory school if it wants to progress!

Mobuto, Obianguema, Bongo, Bokassa, Taylor, Abacha, all knew too well that embezzlement and capital flights were viruses that destroy whole generations. Why do they still do it? Why do African presidents always want to die in power? There were and perhaps still are people who are in the US teaching and still collecting salaries from the government in Cameroon. Greed! That is what is still killing Africa and not colonialism and slavery.

The problem is not only with the leaders but also the masses. What excuse would you give for anyone who is living in the US, working in the US and still collecting a monthly paycheck in Africa (Cameroon) for years? Which slave master or colonial power taught him/her that? And why are you not doing it though your parents and mine suffered from slavery and colonialism. If we are afraid to invest at home because the investments will not be well managed then we should think of erecting structures. How many of those African intellectuals living abroad have built houses at home despite all the mansions they have abroad. Those living abroad are always the first to say the leaders at home are the cause. No doubt they are the primary cause but the masses and we the émigrés have also contributed to the backwardness of the continent

My friend, our problem is just a lack of morals. Don’t lose sight that the West is what it is today because of Christianity. Morals may be dwindling in the west but Christianity was the foundation that cornerstoned their virtues into the enthusiasm and knack to do the right thing. I remember in Cameroon sometime it was either BIRD or IBRD that wanted to give us aid and the Minster said they have to first give him a tip (tchoko)) before he takes the money. What has that got to do with slavery and colonialism. If we still hold the argument that we were brainwashed that means we never learned anything. More so, since the time we took our educational system into our hands why have we not changed it?

People always object to the fact that Christianity would contribute positively in Africa. To do that then we selectively decided to root out the contributions of the monk. Due to the Benedictine Rule people became so religious, intellectual and entrepreneuring. This influenced the neighboring barbaric tribes who became civilized. The monk took time in preserving the writings of great scholars and church fathers. They also taught the people how to do manual work either in farming, art or handicraft. Those that went to the New World and those who remained in Europe had that principle in them.

However, when they grew rich they became grossly immoral. During the reformation in protestant countries they soon disappeared, and are dying out in catholic countries. Each time the people began going astray there was reawakening through revivals. Those who are familiar with American and English history will tell you the impact of people like Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley John Knoxx and the rest. If those African leaders had just a miniature fear of God in them then we will not be talking of that amount of embezzlement and capital flight. As if not enough, great discoveries were done by Christians the world over. From 1571-1916, the works of these guys dominated the world of science. From Johannes Kepler, Blaise Pascal Robert Boyles Nicolaus Steno, Isaac Newton, Michael faraday, Charles Babbage, Luis Agassiz James Young Simpson,. Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur, William Thomson, Joseph Lister, James Clerk Maxwell to William Ramsay just to name these few, we see science bring life to the community.

In addition one must be aware of the dominant economies of the US, Great Britain, Germany, Japan (thanks to US occupation) and in short Europe which again is thanks to Christianity. The most amusing thing is for humanists to claim that man is a moral being. The implication of that statement is that man has morals in him that he needs to exploit. Yet the question would be “do some Africans leaders show that man is a moral being’. Those civilizations (especially the west) that have shown that man is an amoral being are the ones extending the beggars crumbs to us.

Again remember that religion was not invented but the argument here is not the origins of religion that would be chasing rabbits. The micro theme would be the contribution of Christianity to the West in particular and humankind as a whole. Make no mistake; I am conscious of its havocs. Yet like I always ask “would you blame a doctor if his patient refused taking his medication or following the prescription”.

Nevertheless, let us go back to our problem who is to blame for the chaos in Africa was the question in summation. I say the larger blame goes to the Africans and the smaller blame to slavery and colonization.

You many not be the last (since wonders shall never end) to peter out the contributions of Christian morality to the growth of the West as machinations of capitalism. One should enquire when capitalism as a form of economy started. I am not talking of the existence of the said philosophy. If you accuse a tortoise of fighting with a monkey on top of a tree, you must judge your own conscience. A man cannot be dissected from his religion considering that it is the propeller to the psyche that forms his being and leads him into inventions.

To avoid digression I will limit the contribution of religion in the world because I don't like chasing rabbits. Happy is the hunter who goes for a deer but shoots an elephant but no hunter will be happy to go for a hare but shoots a squirrel.
Bringing in religion as one of the solutions to the development of Africa people quickly challenge me if I know the history of my ancestors. As for the history of my ancestors, I will tell you that; it is only the eagle that can give the account of the whispering of the cloud. Some people should not feel like they are the only PanAfrican because they hate Christianity. One should not be in a hurry to untie a bundle that he or she cannot retie. It amazes why the African intellectual can never debate without ad hominems. To those I always remind them that the darkening of the sky never scares a tree that was once struck by lightening.

A Chinese proverb says “when the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways, but when the heart is unwilling it will still find a thousand ways”. If the Africans are willing to improve their welfare they will find a thousand ways because they are not they still find a thousand ways.

I once read a beautiful diagnosis and treatment plan for this African problem from Dr Louis Mbua when he unfolded on the concept of good and evil. Permit me elucidate more. Every human being is a moral being. That is, they are capable of doing good and recognizing that what they are doing is bad. They also have the power to change the terminus of their spirits by reorientating their actions; be it inherited or traditionally transmitted from evil to good. Consequently, there is no African president, who does not know that capital flight, embezzlement, nepotism and corruption are bad. If they were not taught at home, they were taught in school. If the colonialists and taskmasters did not teach them, they were taught by village customs and traditions. There is just no excuse.

Sometime ago Tony Blair and Co were championing that African debts should be cancelled. Without a plan and willingness to do good, canceling them will take the Africans nowhere. Rather a fund should be created where domestic companies supervised by the foreign governments writing off the debt use the money for infrastructures and other developmental plans. In that case, it leaves little room for mismanagement.

Also African presidents whose governments apply the program successfully should be rewarded and those whose governments failed should be personally held accountable and the same amount of money deducted from their personal funds. If African presidents were held personally accountable for the money their countries borrow from foreign institutions they would personally supervise the eradication or reduction of corruption that is destroying the continent's ability to perform economically well.

That means, there should be willing leaders who want to do the right thing. There should be altruistic and benevolent leaders, whose polity of governance is summed up in; “a government of the people, for the people and by the people”.

Until then, the African intellectual may not hold the key to its wellbeing.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Wife and Husband Beaters

Let me start by balancing the appellation that there are Husband Beaters too. In some Muslim societies, the man uses the same whip they use on their cattle on their wives. The first reason why especially men beat their wives is because of weak communication. Violence is the weapon of weak communicators. If you can communicate well you will try to convince your spouse.

Secondly, misuse of religion has led to wife beating. This problem of wife beating though plagues the entire world is very rampant in Northern Nigeria and other Islamic dominated areas especially because Islam favors the beating of women in the Qu’ran (Sura al Nisa4:34) and treats them inferior to men (Sura al Nisa 4:3; Sura al Baqara 2:230,236; Sura al Nisa 4:3; Sura al Nisa 4:34; sura al Ma‘ida 5:5; Sura al Baqara 2:282; Sura Al Nisa 4:11; sura al- Nur 24:31 and Sura al- Nur 24:33).

The Christian men who beat their wives justify it with the Old Testament that the woman is projected as inferior to the man. They lay claim to the suggestion that the Bible lines up the properties of a man, and includes their wives (Deut 17:15 -17; I Kings 20:5). In addition, the language of the Bible may lead them astray when they hear “And Sarah called her husband Lord”. The root word is etymologically that of a servant to a master (I Pet 3:6). Their position that the Bible shows the woman as the property of man is very correct contrary to those who say that the injunction was against many wives only. The first set of passages in Deuteronomy and I kings would not have meant that the man should not have many wives for it would then mean that the king was not supposed to have more than one horse, silver or gold. It would then mean that we today are not supposed to have more than one house, car, TV or computers.

However, looking into the position of the New Testament, Jesus raises the status of women and puts them as partners mutually submitting to one another with the man still the head of the household. He accepted to be born by a woman, had women like Mary Magdala in his ministry (Lk 8:2), taught that women too grow in grace as men in Mary and Martha; sisters of Lazarus (Lk 10:41 -42) and called the crippled woman daughter of Abraham (Lk 13:10 -13). The Apostle Paul, accentuates that in Christ we are one (Gal 3:26 -28). As such, the Christian men who treat their wives as property are lacking in biblical exposition. Consequently, wives and husband beating should not be considered as prescribed by Higher Authorities but as a lack of character because violence is the weapon of the weak communicator.

Therefore, wives and husbands beating is bad before God and before man for it is violence. It is a crime too! Peace is a recurrent sub theme in the Bible and a prerequisite to see God (Heb 12:14). The Bible encourages us to love our wives as Christ loved the church that he gave his life (Eph 5:25). Yet as you know, with the advent of home breaking philosophy of feminism, the insecurity of some men and women and the persistent male chauvinism in our modern society there will always be wife and husband beating. If anyone would want to save themselves from it, they must live according to the precepts of the entire Bible whereby communication and prayers would resolve the problems that beating would pretend to do (I pet 3:7). Note that the Bible only says in this passage that the woman is a weaker vessel but it does not say she is an inferior being. Hence, those who are married should treat their wives just as Christ treats the church with sacrificial love and care.

Until then, it is evil to beat your wife.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk
“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson: Victim of Two Face Society.


Michael Jackson: Victim of Two Face Society.

As I read the news of Michael Jackson’s death, I told six of the people we were socializing that the man was already dead since before yesterday. He was just a mobile corpse roaming the world. Read this:
Two child-molestation investigations (no convictions), two divorces, myriad civil lawsuits over concerts, special performances and soured business deals, near-bankruptcy and the threatened foreclosure of his Neverland ranch kept teams of lawyers busy.

You will soon see why Michael had died years back and short. You know that the crocodile lives an average of 70 years while the lion lives an average of 15. See how each of them lives their lives and it will give you the answer. Now compare the zoo lion and the wildlife lion. The lion’s body always produces more chemicals to do its hunting and fight for survival than it uses.

Same for the human being; when you are in fear, worry or anxiety your body changes its chemical balance and produces more chemicals than are used thereby breaking down your immune system. You start to feel worn out and now opened to all sorts of diseases especially heart attacks. That is why smiling is medicine but anger is poison. Look; that is why the lion in the zoo lives twice longer than the one in the wild because it merely sits and have its food.

Jackson lived an artificial life like most stars and people and so could not have expected to die a natural death. There came a time when no one really cared much how Jackson survived; all they did was join the negativity choir led by choirmistress Diane Sawyer and choirmaster Martin Bashir in their different interviews. These became very famous for painting him like gorgon. Most in melodious tunes sang: “take away the kids from him, put him in jail for life; he is a monster”. So why does he suddenly become so dear after death? Perhaps because to most two-face people the dead are always more important than the living.

His whole life was like a mirror through which mankind could rebuke and encourage himself. Perhaps the most poignant lesson is that material things do not make one happy. Jackson had the riches, power, fame, sex yet he was inwardly unsatisfied and that dissatisfaction led him to alter his physiognomy which was the paroxysm of his lack of self esteem.

Furthermore through his life we may emphasize that every human needs to be loved, accepted and valued but he was denied these basic necessities of life. As summated in this excerpt: “Accusations, rumors, private eyes and prosecutors followed him for years”. These did not follow him to worship him; they followed him to condemn him. Today the same people say oh we missed him. In search of the acceptance the Americans had denied him he went to the UK but when it was denied too he went to Bahrain. Bahrain he thought would be paradise ended as the other two artificial safe havens. He was made a king without a kingdom!

However, if we hold only the society and world for his demise then we do the rest of humanity a disfavor because we deprive them of memorable lessons they could learn from Jackson’s life. Looking at Jackson and all what he was going through; some of them caused by society and others by himself, it is clear that he would not have lived long. If you did not live a peaceful life don't expect to die peacefully.

Take two animals: the clam and the chameleon; one lives the longest life span of at least 400 years ands the other lives the shortest of about 2-3 years. A couple of things are common in the life of the former : they develop immune systems resistant to aging and they have feeding times. The constant intake and purge of water correlates with the prime importance of water. National geographic says clam lived for 405 years caused by slow cell replacement. They do not eat at all times or five meals a day. Jackson was already abusing himself with pain killers.

On the other hand the shortest life span amongst four legged animals is the chameleon . Chameleon simply means ground lion . Again look at the way the lion haunts for food. The chameleon changes colors as need arises. When people want to benefit from Jackson he is the everlasting king but when they thought they could not squeeze out anything in unison they cried to jail with him. What a world: two faces.

When anxiety becomes the bedrock on which our lives are built it is impossible to live happily talk less of long. The chameleon does not have ears. Such lack demonstrates the absence of instructions and endorses with biblical support why it dies too young. The Bible says: Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many (Prov 4:10). Jackson and the world have sealed their ears from listening to God. Are we surprised with the average life spans of human beings? Because of the way the chameleon feeds it never has sufficient vitamins and minerals and consequently since it does not have ears it may not hear well where the preys are to hunt and survive.

Therefore if we compare the two in terms of how they diet, what they diet and living conditions then we quickly understand why one lives like vapor and the other lives almost eternal. The clam does not differentiate in the planktons they eat; actually they eat whatever algae and take in and send out a lot of water.

Nonetheless, one thing is clear: the King of Pop came and is gone but his footprints will live as a giant tattoo on a highway. No matter how many cars drive through, they will be there for long. I wish his family consolation and pray God will fulfill his promise of catering for the fatherless. Now that he is gone I hope some people will have a life of their own.
Until then, don’t let people define you; define yourself.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk.




“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Raising Up Little Monsters Via Video Games.

I don’t remember which online newspaper carried this headline, but it was a headline for days. As you look at kids nowadays, you lack words to describe their actions. Nothing is wrong with kids these days. The parents are reaping the seeds they sowed. If you rebuke a child, they say it is abuse. Children are left to grow up as little monsters. You cannot correct your own child. One day I asked a colleague how the kids are treating her, and she said: "Oh, they are not kids, they are our little monsters." Perhaps she was not wrong when you look at what kids do nowadays and what monsters did yesteryears.

A child goes to school and does not do his or her work, but the teacher, school and school system are bullied into inflating grades to let the child pass. They make excuses for them how they are kids rather than holding them accountable. If one cannot raise up a child, then he or she should be responsible as he/she sows his/her wild oaks. Indeed one would feel sorry for what the kids do to their parents but again perhaps there is nothing bad in eating one’s own food. The society is merely reaping what it sowed! When a child does something wrong in school, you hear people say "Oh, you know he is just a kid and teens will always be teens." Well, he that trains monsters should wait for their turn; after they finish your enemies, you will be next.

September 4, 2007, a 14 year old student stabbed her 16 year old sister to death because she did not like her boyfriend . Destructive violence is the weapon of weak communicators. Today when you try to engage teenagers into an argument, they get very offended and tell you "I don’t want to talk about it". Any resistance results to violence. They have not been trained to communicate meanwhile it is through communication that we buy reason.

September 17, 2008 teen grabbed a knife and stabbed his own mother in the chest and her boyfriend on the arm for nothing they alleged . In December of 2008, Kristofer Beddar stabbed 15 years old Jessica Knight around 20 times for nothing . Can you imagine your sister or daughter listening to her ipod and walking through a park only for some disgruntled kid to fall on her and stab her 20 times? Who has told them they are the only ones with problems?

May 13, 2009, 14 year old teen stabbed and killed his own mother’s boyfriend . Are we surprised with such acts? There is no bond between step-father and step-son. Perhaps the father is somewhere remote-controlling the poor kid to be against the mother’s boyfriend so that he may have a second chance, or perhaps he is doing that to gain custody. One thing is sure; there is no bond.

In June 7, 2009, Arnold T. Ross was arrested on charges he raped an 8 month old child . On June 16, 2009, Daniel Petric was sentenced to 23 years to life imprisonment for killing his own very mother and wounding his minister father due to obsession with video games . June 17, 2009, Tylar Witt who is merely 14 years old and her 19 year old boyfriend: Steven Colver connived and killed her own mother: Joanne Witt by stabbing her to death . Imagine stabbing your own mother to death just so you can patch life with a boyfriend. She stood there and helped a man drive daggers into her mother’s body until she died. Are they the first to love? Are men or women finished on earth that if they refrain you from being with a given person you must kill someone? Here is a lack of family value and bond. Families are now torn apart with divorce in a way that kids are growing now with their parents as complete strangers. June 19, 2009 Tyler Hayes was charged for a month long killing spree of cats . Again violence!

The main reason is that the kids have been trained by monsters called video games and televisions. These are things that have no emotions and are not attached to any human being. Commercials and advertisements are created to entice consumers. When you watch a cold coke, you are tempted to get one and quench your thirst. So as kids drill their souls in the violence of video games and televisions, they subconsciously acquire those violent skills. The nearest cavies to test their skills are their parents and siblings!

A little girl of about 8 years old came to me one time to pray for her that she was having nightmares. I prayed and went away. Then last week she met me in one occasion and told me that those nightmares have started coming back. So I asked her if she was watching scary movies she said she loves them too much. Then I told her “that is the cause of your problem”. Those games kids are playing and watching on TV are turning them into monsters. They spend more time on the internet and television than with family and this has eroded the family bond.


Until then, a properly trained child will not go astray.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“No matter how a rat becomes the house pet, if it is sleeping beside the bag of groundnuts the owner may not have much sleep. ” (Hamilton Ayuk)."If a goat runs from the owner’s leash it will be tied by the council in a market square" Hamilton Ayuk).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Should Christians Support Sex Change ?

As you know, the concept of sex change is a new concept that was absent in biblical times. Therefore, it would be difficult to show with direct Bible verses talking about sex change. However, we will infer from some verses that deal with changing of roles. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God” (Deut 22:5). If God could hate a woman wearing a man’s clothing and a woman wearing a man’s clothing, how much more about sex change? The idea of sex change is even an insult unto God as if He made us the wrong way. Can we make ourselves?

Actually if there were no psychological effects, they would not have had mandatory psychotherapy classes for people intending to do sex changes. Dr Hudson “will only perform surgery when he feels the benefits of surgery for you outweigh the potential physical and psychological disadvantages” .

Nonetheless, those who are born with both sexes (hermaphrodite) will need to consider surgery since it is clearly a physical defect and not a psychological desire to perfect oneself. Indeed they will decide which one to keep for it is their right. Would someone have the right to select if they will keep two and do away with two they had four legs? It will be abnormal for anyone who has two good legs to decide they want to cut one and put an artificial limb because artificial limbs are only used as a replacement when the real leg goes bad. Therefore, there is no sin in trying to do corrective surgery on a physical impairment.

One should look at why people do sex change. People do sex change because they are not satisfied with themselves. They have a low self-esteem for being the gender they are. For such people, not even sex change will help them because after they do that, they end up in depression or constant depression regretting having lost the magic they thought they would get through sex change. It explains the high level of suicide amongst transgenders. 

All those things with God loving the sinner and hating the sin is all hogwash. God hates both (James 4:4; I Jn 2; 15-17)! The world also hates those who love God (Jn 15:19). I know people will say why then does the Bible say God so loved the world if he hates sins and sinners? The world there stands for the original sin or inherited sin of everyone. The original sin is the sin that makes us all die, get old, get sick and that which had condemned every human before he or she was even born. God loved us that he sent Jesus to come and die for us to give us a clean slate. Thenceforth, we are justified by our belief and confession in Him. But then the dynamics changes; sin and sinners like before is still greatly hated.

It could be illustrated this way. There was a king who owned and ruled a beautiful city. One day, the initial inhabitants decided to bring some dirt in it. The dirt could not be wiped out; thenceforth, everyone born there was born in the dirty city. Because of no fault of theirs, all the subjects were born in the city that became dirty because of their great grand parents. He was mad with them for bringing the dirt, so he decided to punish them.

One day the king took his son and sent to go and clean that city. Just because the King’s Son has cleaned the city does not mean the king is no more mad with those who try to litter the city anew. His madness now does not peter out his original love.

Furthermore, those who support people who consciously sin are sinning themselves (I Tim 5:22; 2 Jn. 1:11; Eph 5:6-7). This is guilt by passive participation. In legal jargon "you are an accessory to the crime."Though you are not participating but you are the grease to their elbows. In other words, if you support anyone to do a sex change whether they like it or not; whether it makes them happy or not, whether you think it is their right or not, it is a sin. That means you are sinning yourself and except you repent, you will face the consequences of sin.

Until then, I hope you do not consider sex change.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“No matter how a rat becomes the house pet, if it is sleeping beside the bag of groundnuts the owner may not have much sleep. ” (Hamilton Ayuk)."If a goat runs from the owner’s leash it will be tied by the council in a market square" Hamilton Ayuk).

What is African Literature?


 Hamilton Ayuk

Introduction

How different is African literature from other world literatures is a question many have asked. In order to make a better comparison, the most efficient way will be to examine the elements of literature between the African writers and their world compatriots. It is expedient to acknowledge that African Literature is very difficult to define due to factors that will be explained below. Would the African be anyone born of African parents? This definition would be too simplistic, if we consider the strong African presence in Asia, Australia, Central America, Latin America and Europe. Would all those kids born in these places be considered African? Would Obama be considered an African, since his father was Kenyan? Wouldn’t Shakespeare’s Othello (1603) be considered African Literature since the Moore- Othello is the protagonist? If African Literature is defined as literature written in Africa then would Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, (1885) or Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness(1902) be classified as African Literature, since they all take place in the hinterland of Africa, exploiting the people and culture of Africa with European protagonists? At times, in an attempt to define an African, it is rather the color that is defined, and that is what brings the confusion. You cannot define an African by color because there are whites and even Indian Africans. As less informed as westerners could be, they are sometimes very surprised, to a disbelieving proportion that there are white Africans. European and American literatures are literatures that were written by Europeans about Europe and America respectively. Couldn’t that be the same with African Literature? Does The White Man of God (1980) become a European novel just because we have a European protagonist- Big Fadda? What then is African Literature and how different is it with other literatures? While it is difficult to define African literature, this paper will attempt to make a precise definition and elucidate key contrasts and similarities with literatures from other continents.

1.      Definition of African Literature.

Literature is an author’s creative work with some artistic value on humanity and its surrounding. The author writes to entertain, teach, and inform. In addition to the three major genres of literature: prose, drama and poetry, there are other sub-genres like short story, folktale and myth. Since the author is mirroring the society with itself, literature could be divided into two major kingdoms - fiction and nonfiction. Such a categorization will consider a phylum like novel, tragedy, comedy, and poetry that could actually be broken down into different classes of novels, dramas and poetries. Because literature does not function in a vacuum, the vehicle of comparison will be through the function of setting, characterization, themes and style that contrast African Literature with other literatures. African literature then becomes any literature that is written by an African, about Africans in Africa and using the main vehicular characteristic of African languages which is proverbs. In short, the author, the plot, the characters, the setting and the style should all be related to Africa. 

Literature is known to carry literary elements and techniques that push the reader to read literarily, reflectively, and practically (applying the text to its context). In a recent debate in a Cameroonian Forum, there was a struggle to define African Literature. Many participants quickly scribbled a few words like African literature is literature by an African, but after reading the arguments of other participants with the same speed, they quickly made a U-Turn and began again redefining the term.

No one has such difficulty with defining American, Caribbean, European, Latin, or Asian Literatures, yet there is a serious dilemma in defining African Literature. Except Africans stop imitating “French School”, the Eurocentric authors and even trying to be copycats of Camus and Beckett, African Literature will never emerge from its shell. A flashback at books like The Swamp Dwellers (1980) by Wole Soyinka , The Concubine(1966) by Elechi Amadi, Things Fall Apart (1961) by Chinua Achebe, The River Between(1965) by Ngugi Wo Thiong’o, The African Child (1954) by Camara Laye, one easily finds conflict as the theme of predilection. The Africans are always struggling to redefine themselves as most of the French writers imitated the “French School”. What then is called modern, and what is traditional may help upend the rason’d’être of the confusion.

The reason why African Literature is difficult to define is because even the word African has not gotten a fixed definition. The reason it has no concrete definition is because the African and all that surrounds him/her, has always been defined by others. The reason why it has always been defined by others is because the African has been very cosmic and enshrined into the lives and cultures of all other people in the world. Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asian cannot have the annals of their historicity without talking of Africans therein.

After reading six textbooks that were all trying to define African Traditional Religions (ATR), it is possible to conclude that it is impossible to define African Traditional Religions. One would have thought that the easiest way to define African Traditional Religion is to say that  it is a religion practiced in Africa by African ancestors. We could then borrow from the same method to apply in the definition of African Literature as literature by an African about Africans living in Africa or abroad. 

Exploring the Anthills of the Savannah (1987) one easily sees that conflict in which African Diaspora come home and try to redefine themselves in a system they consider corrupt; perhaps genuine and perhaps not. This establishes a conflict between man and the society which subsequently invites the wrath of nature. Its landscape has made things difficult to coin a proper definition.

Because of the topography of the Maghreb region in its similarity with Southern Europe, Maghreb literature also includes Spanish authors. But the quickest question one would ask is why is it difficult to ascertain that Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria are all African countries; thus, writings from those countries should be African Literature? That is because most people from these countries do not consider themselves African; rather, they identify themselves with European countries of the Mediterranean.

When a people are used to denying who and what they are, then their neighbors will help define them. "No father living in a sandcastle should buy the child a water gun as a Christmas gift," and "an animal with a long tail must be careful as it crosses the road," the Africans say. Africans must consider how cosmic they are before they start to doubt who they are because it transcends the present into the future.

Nonetheless, a common characteristic in African Literature is the use of proverbs which Achebe defines as “The palm oil with which words are eaten”. African languages not having a wider vocabulary seem to strive better in a compact language and because conversation is always intense, non prosaic language is required. Consequently, one would easily know an African Literature because of a high volume of proverbs in it; in addition to the fact that it was written by an African, about Africans.

2.      Elements of Literature.

A.    Plot in African Literature.

In looking at the plot of African literature, one easily sees conflict, but the conflict is usually between man versus man, man versus society, and sporadically you see man versus nature, but perhaps rarely would you see man versus self. In African Literature, the conflict is usually exposed abruptly from the beginning as is the case with Anthills of The Savannah by Chinua Achebe unlike in Charles’s Dickens Hard Times where the conflict is seen only en media res. It is mindful to say that The Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe deviates from this pattern and starts en media res. The plot of African Literature could actually reveal different approaches in life between the Africans and the rest of the world.
The African society is a confrontational society as exhibited in their daily speech. Unlike the West where there is a huge usage of euphemisms for fear of hurting the other’s whiny feelings, there are very few euphemistic usages in African languages, except for sex which is considered a taboo subject. Even in their daily usage of foreign languages like English, French, Spanish or Portuguese, they do not use them. Not because they don’t like it but simply because they do not exist. This confrontation has at times transcended even to the spiritual realm with the confrontation of the priests and priestesses of gods and goddesses which culminates into fatalism as you take a look at even works like The Battle of Musanga (1996), and Egg of life (2003).  The theme of conflict developed in the plots is not just between the Whiteman and the African, or Christianity against Animism, or perhaps traditionalism versus modernism, but even amongst Africans there is conflict. Ola Rotimi in Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again reenacts a scene in which his Kenyan wife, Liza injects feminism into their marriage to stage a vote of no confidence against Okonkwo as the only sage of the home and ultimately the state. 

B.     Setting: elements of setting in African Literature.

When considering the two elements of setting: Place and Time, those of African Literature are quite different from the rest of the world. The settings in most African works take place always in villages like we see in The White Man of God, The African Child, The Concubine, Ville Cruelle (1983), and The Old Man And The Medal. Others like (The Swamp Dwellerstake place in swamps. Very few take place in the city like Cry, The Beloved Country) because the city was always regarded as a cursed place that corrupts the innocent. Ngugi Wa Thiongo affirms the assertion in Devil on the Cross (1987) when he shows a young villager: Waringa being exploited by the corrupt city dwellers. It reinforces the general perception of the people that the city is a putrefaction factory. Despite their fondness for rusticity, it differs from the type of pantheistic attachment Western authors portray as in the case of Wordsworth’s “Prelude”.

In addition, they boasted and still boast more villages than cities. To be able to write a work that will encompass the majority of people, it is proper to fit the setting in the village with sporadic city scenes. Furthermore, most of their authors decry the individualistic lifestyle in the cities as evinced in foreign works like A Tale of Two Cities ( 1859), Robinson Crusoe (1719), Rip Van Winkle (1819), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1917), The Scarlet Letter (1850) and many more. To the African, "the cock that crows belongs to the household, but its crows belong to the community." In addition, the presence of priests and priestesses and shrines of gods and goddesses may help to expose the nature of the people. Through this setting, you can decipher the type of religion and the belief system of the people in general.

The second element of setting-time, paints quite a controversial picture and again helps to create a timeline for African history. Many, especially westerners have argued that Africans have no notion of time. This author will treat it in full latter on in this screed.  

C.    Characters in African Literature.

The third element of literature-characterization is even more intriguing in African Literature. Character was defined as a person in a work of art. With time, that definition seems lacking because of the evolution in technology. Nowadays animals (Animal Farm, Lion King) and things (Robot Cops) play a role in movies and other forms of art. Consequently, it will be appropriate to define a character as a person, thing or animal that plays a role in a work of art. Most African characters have the same potentials as those in myths and folktales. They are normal human beings, raised almost to godlike status and then fall as though suffering from the anger of the gods. Again this is due to the conflict that ensues permanently in African Literature when you look at characters like Okonkwo and Camara Laye.

Nonetheless, there is still a similarity with world literature since society though may not have the same people, it has the same ills in different forms. Just as we have tragic heroes in western literature, we do have the same in African Literature. A man like Okonkwo in Things Fall Part (1961) is a typical tragic hero whose flaw of excessive manliness creates a vaulting ambition that overleaps its bounds into accidentally shooting a man. The same flaw awaits Ezeulu in The Arrow of God (1964) who transgresses village norms to make his case.

Characters are known for some awkward acts like a woman breastfeeding her child in front of strangers. While western authors use a real person as a Deuse ex Machina, the African character must transmogrify into a totem to play God in a machine situation. Nowadays, in western works of arts, there is a lot of animated technology that has widened the definition of a character. While animals are now used in both George Orwell "Animal Farm" and the movie Lion King, the African authors employ the totemic technique. Each person is believed to have an animal person that inhibits them, and into whom they metamorphosed when they desire to do evil or at times to escape from danger.  Since they communicate with the spirits of their ancestors, the easiest bridge will be their totem that would lead them into worship.

That is why in The African Child, the snake is kept in the house because they believe it is their ancestor that protects and gives them good success (Chpt 1). This totem is quite different from the pet that westerners keep, for the totem is actually worshiped and is part of the person in the spirit world. Another aspect that influences characterization in African Literature is the ghost.

The ghost of a deceased person usually appeared to give warning or to solve an enigma. It is no doubt necromancy and ventriloquism are common in African literature.  While it is a phenomenon in western literature, it is a form of worship in African Literature as the individuals must undergo some rituals while alive and funeral rites after they die for them to appear. In most African works, the appearance of a ghost is a sign of danger. The ghost of Emenike-Ihuoma’s late husband in The Concubine who dies appeared and asked her for food (chp 6). That was a premonition of dark paroxysm!

D. Major Themes.

African literature sometimes bears the same themes like other literatures as we see in George Orwell’s Animal Farm when Boxer says “Napoleon is always right” (chp5). It correlates with the generic message in Anthills of the Savannah that the African leaders think they are always right; thus, making themselves demigods. That shows that humanity faces the same problem, though in different forms and time. 

i.                    Theme of nudity.
 Africans believe that nudity starts and ends with genitals only. That is why in most of their cultural dances (like the South African Reed Dance[1]) the women dance without tops. They believe that nudity is the westerner’s making. They believe that seeing the nakedness of a strange woman will bring you a curse. The westerners instead pay to watch nudity in strip clubs and porn sites. Perhaps it explains why the West and its migrants are perpetually and eternally cursed. They argue that when the African did not know that exposing the woman’s breast was a “sin”, no one condemned those who walked bare breasted. That again correlates with the Bible as explained in Rom. 7:7-8. More so, lust is just ingrained in the human heart. Most Africans have contended that the breasts of a woman have not been shown as part of nudity that God set an injunction against. Furthermore, they argue that if nakedness comprises breasts, then since God made both Adam and Eve with breasts, the chest of a man is part of nakedness. That too would not be true because the Old Testament priest was cautioned not to climb right high less he shows his nakedness (Thompson Chain reference Bible Ex 20:26).

Consequently in some African works like Your Madness, Not Mine: Stories of Cameroon (1999) or --during some special dances for women only- the old women wash their vaginas to curse or threaten to curse culture and customs defaulters. A virgin was never included in the process because she was still considered pure. If eternity is in the hearts of all men as the Bible says (Eccl 3:11), it means that God would have made the entire humanity aware that bare breasted was a sin, even before the arrival of the Whiteman. The African authors make their case. That means; if God put bare breasts as nudity in the hearts of the westerners, then He would have put the same thing in the hearts of the Orientals, especially because civilization began in Egypt (Africa).

ii Theme of Polygyny.

The recurrent theme in African literature is Polygyny (one man marrying many wives). This theme is rare or totally absent in western literature because it is not part of their culture. In A Man of the People (1989), Odili’s father is married to many wives. Achebe does not think that is the cause of his poverty. Polygyny first found its place in the African society due to the many men who died in inter-tribal wars; thereby, leaving behind many women who were single and ready to mingle. It was befitting for one man to take many women to provide for them. The advent of slavery helped to enforce polygyny because many men were taken away and many women left behind. The scarcity of men was a great factor encouraging polygamy. The exponents posit that polygyny has the interest of the woman, economically and romantically. The argument becomes more intense when they find solace in the Bible where men considered as men of faith were polygynists. Africans practiced levirate marriages where when a man died, his brother inherited his wife in addition to his, so he could provide for her. More so, women who were seized from the vanquished tribe were brought to the victors’ village, and they became their wives. That is why most Africans are almost interrelated. They became their wives as spoils of war. Polygyny also found its way because of unpaid debts. When a man could not pay his debt, he surrendered his wife or his daughter to the creditor, especially if she was beautiful.

Nowadays, polygyny is gaining grounds because of the stigma placed on being single. Women want to be called Mrs., even if they are fifth or sixth wives. Mischievously too it is a means to cuckold a rich fellow generally called tycoon. If he has many wives, he will not be able to satisfy them emotionally, but he is more than able economically and financially. Thus, it enables them to keep their indolent boyfriends by the side while they carry the title of Mrs. to reap their subsistence from their Sugar Daddies as the West calls those type of men.

 Another important reason was that there was a high infant mortality rate and children were used in doing most of the farm jobs. In certain cases a woman with 10 children could lose 8 and only two survived. So the man needed many wives to have many children who were at the same time too the pride of the man.

In Things Fall Apart, polygyny is a theme of predilection as Okwonkwo boasts of his three wives and 8 children. The people of Umuofia and its environs believe that a man’s wealth could be seen through his many wives. That is why Achebe takes time to paint a buoyant picture of a villager who had 9 wives and 30 children. Nowadays, the same practice though not too common is still prevalent and permeating the entire continent as the president of South Africa- Jacob Zuma has 6 wives[2]. Just of recent, a man married four wives on the same day to minimize wedding expenditures[3].

iii. Time.

Paul Hiebert, in Anthropological Insights for Missionaries suggests that “Africans have no notion of time.” John Mbiti (an African himself) confirms that in some of his writings. There are two major reasons why Herbert and Mbiti think this way. Some of the reasons others have thought Africans have no notion of time is because no African meeting will ever start on time. You smile; don't you? Sadly like “E. V. Lucas once said: “I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them”.  It seems like coming late to any appointment makes them happy! However, most African authors assert that if the African has no notion of time, why did their fathers sacrifice only during specific periods? They did that because the gods will only receive those sacrifices during certain periods of the year. Though they did not have watches, their fathers read their shadows to tell time. Both Herbert and Mbiti failed to show the importance of time between the Westerner and the African. The Westerner sees time mechanized in monetary terms as Charles Dickens shows it in Hard Times while the African sees time in terms of work done as in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Dickens said: “Time went on in Coketown like its own machine.”[4] Time in the west is mechanized and thus has made even the people mechanized, and life has become monotonous and insipid in its emphasis too as Dickens says “deadly statistical clock”. It is not that Africans do not have a notion of time; they simply differ in the way they use time. For example, when Okonkwo and his people go out for hunting, it does not matter what time they leave or return; what matters is that they go for hunting and bring some game.  

Meka in Oyono’s The Old Man and The Medal spent almost an entire day waiting outside for a medal to be given by the "colon"because it was important to him and his family. The medal that he received, submerged his fatigue and converted his wait time into a non factor. Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “This time like all times is a very good one if we but know what to do with it.” The lack of clock in those days means that time was recorded by market days of the villages in the environs.

            iv. The Theme of Jungle Justice

The Theme of Jungle justice is no where better than in Petals of Blood (2005) in which Munira, Abdullah, Wanja and Keraga are charged with the murder of Chui, Kimeria and Mzigo-directors at the Theng’eta Breweries (Chp 1). Even today you still see the same pattern. On July 10, 2009, a Kenyan bishop was paraded naked for being caught in flagrant adultery[5].   There are great similarities in some form of parody between Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not To Blame (1974) with Sophocles ' Oedipus The King (1885). In both of them, the protagonist kills the father and marries the mother. In each of them, the people do not wait for the authorities to decide; they decided at the customarily level because customs weighted more than legal power.

V. Christianity against Animism.

The Arrow of God and The African Child have the same type of conflict where in both novels, the villagers wonder whether their children should attend the Whiteman’s school. In The River Between, the father advises his son in these words, "Go to the mission place. Learn all the wisdom and all the secrets of the white man. But do not follow his vices. Be true to your people and the ancient rites."(Chapter 5, Page 20).

In Things Fall Apart it is put this way:

Does the white man understand our custom about land? How can he when he does not even speak our tongue? But he says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad. How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? The Whiteman is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart. (Chp 20).

The Whiteman of God and The Petals of Blood (2005) bear the same message: “the black man” was so “bad”, “the Son of God ... sent the Whiteman to teach us the way to heaven” (44). While in Moll Flanders (1722), Moll’s male platonic companion’s wife had gone literarily mad, in Ola Rotimi’s [6]Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again (1977), the madness is figurative.  It is just that by learning the Whiteman’s ways, the women are considered mad. Women who wore trousers were considered mad. Women who wore short skirts were considered mad. Men who disobeyed the chief were considered mad. In Africa, people who wore clothes with holes were the mentally ill and paupers; meanwhile, in the West, the manufacturers make them with holes as a style or fashion and charges a little bit more.

vi. The theme of corruption.

In A Man of the People (1966) by Chinua Achebe, we see two camps: those who perpetrate corruption and those who want to extirpate it. Odili the protagonist is trying to deracinate corruption, but his former teacher Chief Nanga who permeates it is against his efforts. Such was and still is the problem of Africa heretofore.  In The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born (1988), Ayi Kwei Armah decries corruption which has hitherto plagued Africa as a cankerworm. The author is so pessimistic that he believes that those who can deliver Ghana in particular and Africa as a whole from the claws of corruption are not yet born. Ironically, Ghana seems to loosen itself from that grip while its compatriots wallow in its shackles and manacles. In the Lion and The Jewel (1963), we see that the women themselves prefer those traditional values contrary to the portrait by western authors. In this book, marriage is regarded as a sign of a hard worker, since the man has to work hard to obtain a bride price before he could marry because without a bride price, there is no marriage. That is why Lakunle (protagonist) trying to exploit his Europeanism fails to convince, even his own lover to sidestep tradition for the sake of love. Lakunle-is a poor man running his mouth and cannot put his money where his heart is. 

vii. The theme of colonialism.

Joseph Conrad in Heart of Darkness has this excerpt in part 1, "The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much." In a play that examines postcolonial Africa I will marry when I want (1988), the authors posit that neocolonialism that replaced colonialism has benefited western imperialists rather than the Africans themselves. Ngugi Wo Thiongo and Ngugi Wa Mirii teamed up to portray the plight of the Africans in this play, by suggesting through their characters that “The oppressor, son of grab and take” still holds them in bondage through the means of finances. As you know, " He who pays the piper dictates the tune."
When one compares the reactions of the woman in I will marry When I Want with those of Pride and Prejudice (1813), we see diversity and cultural priorities. In the latter novel, in a heartbeat the women forgo their basic upbringing, if at anytime they think it will make them happy or win a man; whereas, in the former, the virtue is more than temporal happiness, for within lies intrinsic happiness. This could not be an aberration to conclude that women are unique in their being and must be treated as individuals because what makes this woman happy may not necessarily be that which makes the other woman happy. 

Conclusion

Although the elements of literature may differ between African literature and other literatures, there is still a huge pool of similarities. When an individual reads novels, plays or poems from Africa and those of the world, he or she must be willing to look further into the local color because therein lies the key to proper criticism and analyses. There must be a cross cultural connection that will place the audience in the same locale with the author because language is so ambiguous that at times, it tends to set ablaze the very fire it was trying to quench. For people to start enjoying literature out of their surroundings, they must be willing to assimilate the author’s language and identify themselves with a character or two in the book.

As one reads Shakespeare’s Othello (1603), he/she tends either to hate Iago or love him for his intrigues and wits or perhaps gaze into Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (shakespeare1606) when she says,

O, never shall sun that morrow see! Your face, my thane, is as a book where men may read strange matters. To beguile the time, Look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue. Look like th' innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t. He that’s coming must be provided for; and you shall put this night’s great business into my dispatch, which shall to all our nights and days to come give solely sovereign sway and masterdom (Act 1 Sc 5).

One can easily imagine a wife in the bedroom wheedling the husband to collude with her in their evil in the pursuit of her overreaching dream. That way literature tends to satisfy all classes and all generations, no matter when and where it was written. Teenagers of all societies would enjoy the dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet (1597). By implication, literary and sound devices will be efficient in any work anywhere.  That is why works like Things Fall Apart though with the Igbo local color have been able to find abode in the hearts of western readers. Through reading, we tend to go closer and visit places we would not have visited and will never visit, perhaps before we die. Consequently, literature should not be interpreted by nation-based constructs especially because although the problems that people face in different countries are different, they are similar in nature. African literature should be defined and compared with literature from other continents through a cross cultural modus operandi. Therefore, African literature is literature written by an African, about Africa, using common African characters, setting and themes that are conveyed through the common African vehicle of proverbs.  

You can invite the author to present this paper anytime anywhere. 

Copyright © 
Bibliography

1. Achebe, Chinua. A Man of the People: a Novel. New York: John Day, 1966. Print.
2. Achebe, Chinua. Anthills of the Savannah. London: Heinemann, 1987. Print.
3. Achebe, Chinua. Arrow of God. London : Heinemann, 1965. Print.
4. Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Oxford: Heinemann Educational, 1996. Print.
5. Amadi, Elechi. The Concubine. London: Heinemann, 1966. Print.
6. Armah, Ayi Kwei. The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born. London: Heinemann, 1997. Print.
7. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice [and] Sense and Sensibility. New York: Modern Library, 1950. Print.
8. Camara, Laye. The African Child. London: Collins, 1959. Print.
9. Conrad, Joseph, and Robert Kimbrough. Heart of Darkness: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism. New York: Norton, 1988. Print.
10. Dawodu, Bolaji, Sampson Augu-Barry, Dan O. Orji, Gab O. Okoye, Alex Usifo-Omiagbo, Chika 11. Anyanwu, Martin Njubigbo, and Chiwetalu Agu. Battle of Musanga 1 &2: An African Epic. Lagos, Nigeria: Giant Merchant Ltd, 2000.
12. Defoe, Daniel, and Edward Kelly. Moll Flanders, an Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources; Criticism. New York: Norton, 1973. Print.
13. Defoe, Daniel. The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner. Mount Vernon, N.Y: Peter Pauper Press, 1945. Print.
14. Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities, And, Great Expectations. New York: Penguin Books, 2010. Print.
15. Dickens, Charles. Charles Dickens's Works. London: Chapman & Hall, 1890. Print.
16. Eza, Boto. Ville Cruelle. Paris: "Présence africaine,", 1971. Print
17. Haggard, H R. King Solomon's Mines: A Novel. New York: Review of Reviews Co, 1900. Print.
18. Hawthorne, Nathaniel, and Kenneth S. Lynn. The Scarlet Letter: Text, Sources, Criticism. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961. Print.
19. Hiebert, Paul G. Anthropological Insights for Missionaries. Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Book House, 1985. Print.
20. Irving, Washington, Edna Cooke, and Felix O. C. Darley. Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of 21. Irving, Washington Sleepy Hollow. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co, 1924. Print.
22. Kenjo wan Jumbam.The white man of God. London ; Exeter, N.H. : Heinemann, 1980
23. Makuchi, and Ohio University. Center for International Studies.,.Your Madness, Not Mine: Stories of Cameroon. Athens: Ohio University Center for International Studies, 1999. Print.
24. Ngũgĩ, wa T. Devil on the Cross. London: Heinemann, 1982. Print.
25. Ngugi, Wa Thiongo,, and Wa Mirii, Ngugi. I Will Marry When I Want. London; Exter, N.M.: Heinemann, 1982. Print.
26. Ngugi, Wa Thiongo,. Petals of Blood. New York: Dutton, 1978. Print.
27. Ngũgĩ, wa Thiongo. The River between. London: Heinemann, 1965. Prin.
28. Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1954. Print.
29. Oyono, Ferdinand. The Old Man and the Medal. London: Heinemann, 1967. Print.
30. Padita Agu, Clarion Chukwura-Abiola and Pete Edochie.  Egg of Life 1&2. Nigeria:O.J. Production, 2003.
31. Paton, Alan. Cry, the Beloved Country (abridged). , 1979. Sound recording.
32. Rotimi, Ola. Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again: A Comedy. Ibadan: University Press, PLC, 1999. Print.
33. Rotimi, Ola. The Gods Are Not to Blame. London: Oxford UP, 1971. Print.
34. Shakespeare, William, and A. R , Braunmuller. Macbeth. Cambridge; New York, NY, USA: Cambridge UP, 1997. Print.
35. Shakespeare, William, and Norman Sanders. Othello. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Print.
36. Shakespeare, William, G. Blakemore Evans, and Arthur Brooke. Romeo and Juliet. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]; New York: Cambridge UP, 1984. Print.
37. Sophocles, Stephen Berg, and Diskin Clay. Oedipus the King. New York: Oxford UP, 1978. Print.
38. Soyinka, Wole. Three Short Plays: The Swamp Dwellers, the Trials of Brother Jero, the Strong Breed. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. Print.
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[4] Charles Dickens. Hard Times. (1854; New York: Norton, 1966), p. 17,69
[6] Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again, Oxford University Press Nigeria, 1977.


Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“No matter how a rat becomes the house pet, if it is sleeping beside the bag of groundnuts the owner may not have much sleep. ” (Hamilton Ayuk)."If a goat runs from the owner’s leash it will be tied by the council in a market square" Hamilton Ayuk).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Why Are Girls Always Crying For Lost Love?

These days I have read many blogs and the general cry amongst college girls is love. If any of my students was crying they automatically have more attention than the rest because I ask myself what if she was my sister or niece crying will I be indifferent. So I spend more time reading those sad blogs thoroughly to see why they are crying.

Indeed there are three things that every human needs in life: love, acceptance and value (LAV). Yet in the pursuit of these thereof, most make many mistakes that seal their destinies with unhappy lullabies. I am writing on it because of two things: firstly because it is a miserable pattern I have seen from close female friends and secondly because it is a shameful and wicked thing to be happy alone.

However, my intervention today may look like a surgeon carrying surgery without anesthesia. I will be blunt in my descriptions and prescriptions. Their blogs describe the men in their lives. Their common and # One mistake is that they love boys who don’t love them the same way. I have a simple and experiential advice that has worked with many. Always go for the person who loves you most and not the one you love most.

The second love killing mistake is when communication is one sided. Those girls are the only ones talking and if they never initiate a conversation there will be none. He or she that is talking but there is no one responding is merely running his or her mouth.

Language is the vehicle we carry our love. Some people drive empty vehicles. But the process of transporting to and fro is called communication. Some people have less or none because for this vehicle to carry enough loads and function properly it must be regularly serviced. Most people do not service their vehicles so they break down without warning and sometimes very badly. Communication needs to be entertained and maintained regularly for it to be able to carry our love to its intended destinations. There are many ways to communicate: phones (calls and texts), internet (emails and chat or meeting places) and physical communication (visits).

Nonetheless, many have been hijacked by artificiality that they spend more time on the net than the phone or meeting eye to all. When machines replace physical contact, then the relationship will be mechanic. That is why with people most relationships are broken now behind the machine. They feel less or nothing when they maltreat the other person. Eye contact and mouth to ear communication is the most efficient means of communication in romance. So quit burning your hours on the internet.

The third anomaly these days is that more young girls spend more time crying than laughing. The third mistake ladies do is to think that the tears today will convert to joy. If in the beginning that you all have not yet discovered the peccadilloes of each other you are now Niobe then how much more when you will see those tragic flaws? Young girls always think that crying today will change for better tomorrow. Actually it becomes the sandcastle on which your relationship is built. If a man is constantly making you to cry by not showing you interest, not showing you commitment and emotionally torturing your poor soul then, leave that relationship alone. I say leave it alone for it will never be better! When a man does not want to appear with you in public then the vehicle is empty sister. If he does not want to appear with you in public then he has someone he appears with in secret.

Until then, you may limit your tears with good judgment.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“No matter how a rat becomes the house pet, if it is sleeping beside the bag of groundnuts the owner may not have much sleep. ” (Hamilton Ayuk)."If a goat runs from the owner’s leash it will be tied by the council in a market square" Hamilton Ayuk).

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Solution To Illegal Immigration

As an immigrant myself I know the challenges of immigration. I was born in Cameroon and came here as a Diversity Visa lottery winner where I subsequently became a citizen. People always say the government should allow everyone to live wherever they like. But they don’t allow everyone to just move into their houses or come drive their cars as they like. After all, isn’t it cruel to be sleeping in a house while others sleep outside or driving a car while others though they want to drive but cannot drive and have to walk miles just to go to their destinations? I read and hear people tell me all the time “why don’t you want to bring me to America”. I will say I don’t want you to come here and be illegal.

Illegal immigration is a very sensitive but urgent issue. This debate is very serious and raises many eyebrows because it is a universal epidemic. No matter what decision a country takes it will never please all illegal immigrants because many want to live in their host countries with or without proper documentation. There are a number of proposals made and we will try to look at their loopholes and efficiency. .

The first proposal is to use the National Guard to patrol the Mexican Boarder. That is wasting the taxpayers’ money and digging a big hole to fill a small one because we will need a large number of guards to control that border. Perhaps rather than have them sit and be polishing weapons we want them to do something. But there is a lot of construction around and many other things they could do. Perhaps the scientists should come out with an automatic gun that works with a laser. Once the laser detects human movement it fires to deter intruders.

The second is not allowing illegal immigrants to send their children to school. The weakness with this proposal is that the immigrant could homeschool their children, make them take the other benchmark summative tests at home, then send them to a community college and if they have the money or are lucky pick up a scholarship. During this time they wait for them to reach 18 and then file for them. So it will be useless! That will make many teenagers and adolescents to stay at home. The more kids of that age stay at home the easier it is for them to join gangs. If they join gangs then we start to worry about our security. While they cannot sleep because of the crimes they commit we will not sleep for fear of what they will do to us. Your kids who are going to school could easily be derailed and become copycats of truancy. This is a less costly and less efficient proposition for the tax payers but they should include health and other services.

Nonetheless, it is better than the first one. Illegal immigrants should not be given the same opportunities like legal immigrants. If that is done they will refuse living in this country. So the solution would be to prevent illegal immigrants from giving birth in the country. Hospitals should report illegal immigrants once they are pregnant and come for care so that their identification is made easier for deportation.

The Children of illegal immigrants born in the country should be illegal too. Illegal immigrants should not be allowed to have children in the country and their children should not be given citizenship. That means; illegal immigrants should be denied any service meant for legal residents and citizens. Since some parents know their children will file for them once they turn 18, they are able to persevere until they turn 18. That is why most illegal immigrants encourage their kids to have babies at 15 and 16 to shorten the wait time.

The third proposal is to increase fines for employers who hire illegal immigrants. This is the key to every immigration problem. Nobody will go to a country they cannot fine work. Only fines as a consequence are a weak discourager. It should be a combo of fines and jail time. If employers know they could lose money and their freedom, they will refrain from hiring illegal immigrants in their quest to maximize profits.

The fourth proposal is for churches to report illegal immigrants. That will make the church to breach the code of trust and confidence between the pastor or priest and the parishioner which is against the Bible. The pastor is there as a shepherd and the illegal immigrant is one of his or her sheep. He or she is to protect it. Once a person enters into the church they should obtain protection. But remember; they cannot live or stay in the church their whole life. The church should counsel them to go back to their home countries but not to report them. If the church reports them it will be a serious abuse of trust.

The fifth proposition is for police to report illegal immigrants to federal authorities. That should happen and they should also assist in arresting them. Once they detect that an individual is an illegal immigrant they should be arrested and sent to the federal authorities or the homeland security immediately. Furthermore, the law should disregard the rights of the illegal immigrants to reduce the amount of money spent on them while they are in custody. They should be deported immediately or sent to a private jail so that they can work for their repatriation money if they do not have the money.

The sixth proposal is building a fence. This is a great idea but there are drills and cutters out there to drill and cut holes on any concrete and wire that exists. They should merely build an electrified barbed wire fence with a high voltage that can shock any trespassers.

However, I know that work is what brings many immigrants into a foreign country. So the fourth position to make a package of fines and jail time for employers who hire illegal immigrants whether knowingly or unknowingly would be the best. The consitution should be amended to exempt children of illegal immigrnats from being citizens. If you were born by illegal parents you should be regarded as an illegal immigrant. That way the residual effect of illegality will pursue them and will dissuade many from coming into the country and living illegally.
Until then, every country protects their borders and the USA should too.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“No matter how a rat becomes the house pet, if it is sleeping beside the bag of groundnuts the owner may not have much sleep. ” (Hamilton Ayuk)."If a goat runs from the owner’s leash it will be tied by the council in a market square" Hamilton Ayuk).

“Do Americans understand what adultery is? What is Adultery? I was wondering if adultery is the same everywhere.”

From the movie: Adulterers.  “Do Americans understand what adultery is? What is Adultery? I was wondering if adultery is the same ev...