I have always been proud of Africa and of the fact that I am a descendant of a great race of people. I must also credit Jamaica the land of my birth for my early recognition and love for the motherland, Africa. While I grew up in Jamaica, the music influenced our thoughts and made us know about Africa and who we were as a people.
We never looked at ourselves as captured slaves, stolen from Africa and brought to the new world, but as rebellious ones who fought for our freedom and gaining it, through our strength and resilience. Defeating our kidnappers and burning their estates, many died in the rebellion but as warriors we knew that the end justified the means.
As a child, I listened to Artist sing about going back to Africa, and about our home and our people and I too longed to know them. We had no idea where we were from, just that it was more likely that we all came from West Africa, since that was where the slave trade began and where slaves were taken from.
We identified with Ghana because of Nanny (real name Nana) of the Maroons, and also with Zaire, now known as the Republic of Congo, where you find their descendants on the eastern part of the Island St Thomas. and in the Western part of Jamaica you Hanover, St James , Westmoreland you find the Nago, Etutu (means sacrifice, but they in this part if the country use the term unto themselves) people the Yoruba’s of whom my mother and grandmothers belong.
Here you will find a place named Abeokuta, and when asked the meaning of the name, the elders will quickly tell you, that it means under the rock. There is an Abeokuta here in Nigeria, in Ogun State, and this is the town I was initiated into Ifa, it does mean under the rock..how cool is that. In our patois language you will also find traces of Nigeria and other places in west Africa. We call ver light skin people Red Igbo, Igbo is the second largest tribe right here in Nigeria (correct me Charles), they are to be found mainly in the Eastern section of the country and they have an affinity to red, even their dirt is red, lol.
Marcus Garvey helped solidify our strength and pride as Africans, the Rastafarian movement began out of the idea Marcus Garvey gave to a starving (in terms of lost identity or of where they came from) set of people who yearned to see a glimpse of themselves as the Kings and Queens of whom they descended from. Marcus Garvey told us to reject the pale face blue eyed image of God (Jesus), and look to the East for the coming of a black King. He shall be crowned Kings of Kings, Lords of Lords conquering Lion of The tribe of Judah.
Although Ethiopia located in East Africa was never colonized, Jamaicans heralded the sounds of jubilation when Emperor Haile Selassie, Ras Tafari, (Ras is actually a title, like Chief, Lalibela come correct me if mi wrong) was crowned Kings of Kings, Lords of Lords conquering Lion of The Tribe of Judah. Jamaicans saw Garvey’s prophecy as coming through and began looking to the Emperor as the returned messiah, an image which looked like us (Black like us!) to identify God with and not one who looked like our enslavers. (Reject the white Jesus yes!, I am just sad that they still look to the bible as the holy book))
That coupled with news that he was a direct descendant of King Solomon of the Bible, through Queen Makeda of Sheeba, who had a son for him named Melenik. A new movement was born and it also promoted Africa and our return to our home, our love for our race and for our people. I can never think of a time when I was never proud to be black, (expect when mi si de gully queen dem, there but for a sad minute….ok just kidding).
I remember being with my father and his friends in the big gambling yard next to where we lived, they would sit in a circle smoking their chilum pipe (Bong) passing the cucthie from one to the other, discussing Africa and longing to travel there. Some old men would say, even if they could go one time before they died, some would be there with a Nyhabinghy drum beating it while my dad and others joined in to the catchy chorus. One such song was;
Africa we want to go
come on my black brother
come on my black sister
Africa we want to go
Here is a recorded version of the song;
There is something about drums and our black race, the drums seems to be an awakening call, we all respond when we hear the drum!
I would suck my thumb and lay in my fathers lap, inhaling the sweet smell of some wicked high grade, as these men discuss Africa, religion, the sate of the world, politics and more, then sing, drum and run boat (cook a community pot of food, being black is fun!). I was in school and those were lessons I never forgot. Those lessons also lifted up my pride as an African. I too dreamed of the day, I would set foot on the land! My eyes teared up the first time I landed at Murtala Mohammed airport in Lagos Nigeria. It was as if I had stepped into another world! It would be the first of many trips home.
On my journey through life, I stayed close to my people, to my race. I never dated outside of it, (kudos to who does, no discrimination here, just a personal choice) I never wanted to dilute the melanin which was me. Which was the inheritance of my race, my people.
I read books on Africa and here are some very interesting ones;
Stolen Legacy by George M James
They Came Before Columbus by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima
Black Athena By Martin Bernal
The African Unconscious (a must read) by Edward Bynum…Big up Ty, mi know you read it!
The Destruction of the Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams…a must read! Every Balck man and woman should read this book and give it for presents!!! The author went blind upon completion of this book, he sacrificed his eyes to give us our history!
Women of Antiquity by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima
Books by Dr. Chiek Antop Diop;
The African Origin of Civilization, Myth or reality
Civilization or Barbarism, An Authentic Anthropology
Precolonial Black Africa
Cultural Unity of Black Africa
The Healing Drum: African Wisdom Teachings by Yaya Diallo…I could not put this book down!! It is a page turner, huddled down in bed between your pillows, a very good book, please read it.
Of Water and The Spirit by Malidoma Some
Ifa Will Mend Our Broken World by Professor Wande Abimbola…..You must read this book, for a clearer understanding of our tradition of Ifa/Orisha……The author did an excellent job
Ifa: An Exposition of Ifa Literary Corpus
Odun Ifa: Ifa Festival by Abosede Emmanuel
Conversations with Ogtemmeli by Marcel Griaule….About the Dogon People of Mali
Tell My Horse by Zora Neale Hurston
Divine Horsemen by Maya Daren (a white woman) get the Cd also if you can
These are just off the top of my head, books that will feed your spirit and soul and connect you to where you ougt to be, make you able to have great conversations, please be a lover of book, lol please!!
Below are some videos and articles, claiming the Aliens built the pyramids and anything mysterious in Africa could not possible be done by our people…..O Ma se oooo…so they prefer to give Aliens the credit…Please watch, read and let us discuss. I do believe in Alien beings, and I do know that they are among us, but I am insulted by these theories of foreigners that we did none of the buildings credited to us.
Remember that People are waking up to what our ancestors knew thousands of years before. Africa is a mysterious place, and so are the people
Obara Meji, Proud African!
Bó ti wù kí ojú kan tóbi tó, ojú méjì sàn ju ojú kan lọ. /
No matter how big an eye is, two eyes are better than one…..Yoruba Proverb!
[Together, we can do more]
All religion are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…. Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned!….Obara Meji