The Founder of Christ Embassy – a big church in Nigeria with a global spread, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, made some statements recently that really caught my attention….actually, it got me thinking.
In a telecast to members of his church, Oyakhilome said:
“Maybe I should tell you something, those of you that say black lives matter, I feel sorry for you! Do you really believe you have a black life? Do you want me to read to you the meaning of black?
Who called you Black? Shouldn’t you have rejected that from the beginning? A contradiction, a bundle of contradiction. You refused negro and nigga…. but that is what black is. You took the English version.
Negro means black. Do you know what black means…. Have you seen black? Black means the absence of colour, absence of good, absence of light and absence of direction. Black is not a colour but the absence of colour.”
There is global agreement that words are powerful. Words can create and break down. Words can be a sole decider between what is possible and what is not possible. Words have psychological implications, and for those who believe there is more to this life than the obvious, words have spiritual implications.
Maybe by a single word – “Black”, Africans have accepted a personal and social definition that has inadvertently created foundational dysfunctionalities that could explain the ugly realities of our political, social and economic lives.
Black is synonymous with darkness and none of these represent anything good. Literally, it is an unadmirable colour, and figuratively, it truly represents an absence of good, an absence of light and an absence of direction – something that sharply defines the reality of the African existence compared to the other continents of the world.
There are many Africans whose complexion are not dark, yet they are referred to as Blacks.
Even in cases where the complexion of an African man is dark, does it make sense to refer to him/her as a black man? Is the colour of his eyeballs also dark? Or would you call him a white man because his eyeballs’ colour are white? Is the colour of his blood dark? Or would you refer to him as a red man because the colour of his blood is red?
So why should an African or anyone of African origin/linkage be referred to as a black man/woman? Where is the rationale?!
The description of Africans as Black was never a natural phenomenon. It was an artificially created adjective that has its source in the African colonial heritage.
To better understand the fraud and ill-intention behind this adjective, the Europeans, Americans and almost anyone who is not of African origin or do not have traces or linkage to Africa are usually referred to as White men.
Well, I’ve seen white colour, I know what colour is called ‘White’, I know how ‘White’ looks – and from that knowledge, I know there is no human being that is white in complexion.
But it fits into the narrative the colonialists and the West wanted to create and that narrative still hold strong till date.
Pastor Oyakhilome could be right in many ways than we realize. A black man can’t be capable of running a structured government that exist in the service of his citizens, a black man can’t be incorruptible in public or private service, a black man can’t be capable of leading any advancement in ingenious knowledge and technology, a black man can’t respect the fundamental human right of his fellow citizens, a black man can’t practice religion without intolerance for people of different faith……
What good can ever come out of a man tagged with a colour that represents the opposite of good?
Words are powerful and maybe this ‘Black’ tag is part of the African foundational issues.
It is for these reasons that I affirm that I am not a black man and there are no black men. I am an African man and the only adjective that holds true is the African adjective.