The Mis-education of the simple…
January 1, 2007 4:50am CST
The Mis-education of the simple… By SaintJerry A. Njoku Hung on the wall of a teacher’s college in a North-East region of China is an informative poster on ‘The geography of the world”. In the advert, which featured The Republic of Cameroon, it described her as a small West African poor country with mainly farming as an occupation and has only one secondary school located miles away from the people, the picture in the advert had bare foot and half dressed kids in a riverside area doing ‘probably’ a cultural dancing and some elderly people in the background ‘likely’ farmers watching. Christmas was fast approaching and I was getting prepared to visit home for the festive season and on this particular day, the head of the Foreign Language Department of the college an ‘Associate Prof. with some overseas training, met me on the stairs and said “You seems so be so excited about visiting home for the Christmas; Do Africans celebrate Christmas also?, he noticed my embarrassed gesture and quickly chipped in “I mean, when did Africans started celebrating Christmas?…I had thought it is an American and British festival. One day, few of my students visited my apartment and out of sheer excitement of practicing their ‘improving’ English speaking skill, one yelled ‘I got some question to ask you Sir… what do you think about the Indians?...I asked my 22 year old student what she wants to know about the Indians and she said; “I think the Indians live with monkeys and some of them living in the rocks while some live on top of the tree…I just don’t like them”…What do you think sir? I asked her, who told you the Indians live on top of trees…and she replied “That’s what they told us”. As a growing young boy back home, memories of China was built up from clips of ‘Bruce Lee Kung Fu movies’, Shaolin Temples and very weak long white bearded monks or ‘freaks’ living sort of a ‘dry’ life in a very remote poor region…On the international and local newsreel, images of China were flicks from a large droves of people on rickety bicycles looking much more wretched than the ones we see in the background of those movies and how they eat ‘everything that creeps on the surface’ edible and non-edible’…the images were really passing an information because when we asked questions like my 22 year old student did…the answers we get were; they are poor, too many and have less to eat, so they have to do with all within their reach in order to survive... Now, as I advance to adulthood I had to brace up the challenge to form a personal opinion of what ‘they told us’…I applied for a teaching job in a university on the internet in an ancient Chinese city ‘Anyang’ and had all the necessary documents processed in my country before I depart to China, I noticed how deep what we were told about China had sinked into our systems when even my ‘subsistence farming’ uncle discouraged me from traveling to China, 75% of my family and friends just didn’t see any reason why you should go to such kind of place as we see on the TV and read in the magazines. But I did left to China. The first impression I had was really not very good as I saw something close to what we had seen on the TV in Anyang and was tempted to return. But After a year in China touring other cities North and South and East China, I discovered that someone had taken advantage of some people’s simplicity to prey on their innocence to propagate a ‘retrogressive class war of false superiority.’ Someone had deliberately propagated false information by electronic means to assume a position of supremacy over others. Someone with an ulterior motive certainly had done a negative clip on China and sent it to Africa to pass a message and done some negative video clips on Africa also to pass it around to gain prominence…as the best of models, of people, economy and society over some ‘underdogs’. the Africans, Asians and the Indians. ”They” told my 22 year old Chinese student every negative thing about their own neighbours…what the Indians are not! Like I asked her; who are “they’...those who see nothing good in others? We would give then a name as ‘Western Media’ whose tools of wreck and havoc is ‘Propaganda’. My 22 year old student teacher said “They told us” and my ‘Dean’ the Associate Prof.’ said “I learnt…” Then I asked where did you get that information about Cameroon from because that information is over 60 years old as Cameroon certainly have over 1000 schools now? And why did you think that Christmas is simply an American festival and has nothing to do with Africans? My dear Prof. said ‘that’s what THEY wrote in the book’…then I told the Prof. if Cameroon is my country I would simply rip the poster off the wall and tell you why I did that later. A friend of mine from Canada was invited to teach here and he had a CD on him from a documentary on China that featured on international newsreel in Canada, everything on the clip was ‘a caricature of China’s prowess as a great nation’…one day out of excitement he dared played it for his students ‘probably’ to ‘mock’ them in their face. The school authority on finding out what happened that day had to seize the CD and probably destroyed it to save the youngman from imminent danger. I watched a similar CD I borrowed from a video store here with a different title on it written in Chinese characters with deceiving pictures on the plate only to play the CD and found out that it was actually a clip done on ‘primitive ignorant and innocent Africans in a remote village’…of course to mock them and anything they hold dear by some white cons’ While climbing the stairs in her high school, my friend told me how this white French lady who suddenly had gained a ‘white supremacist prominence because the school had other black foreign teachers, had gathered the innocent and ignorant Chinese students around and give a ”run down” lecture on Africa and the African people to her unsuspecting Chinese students in the English corner and was feeling self satisfied of her supremacist theory of ‘better than others’. Bob Marley, the great reggae legend and philosopher says; “there will be no peace but WAR until the color of a man’s skin is no longer significance to the color of his eyes’…by “his eyes” here, he means his views and ideas of other people, how you rate them and what they believe in. God made us different individuals of unique personalities, no race or people is superior to the other, in every position of life, we are actually fulfilling a purpose meant for the progress of this world without that, those (THEY) who had found joy in running other people in the mud by means of a particular advantage are calling for a ‘WAR’ that will have no end by the time it starts…the class war of racism, ignorance and prejudice! China is a growing country and fast moving forward, Africa is a developing continent, although pace of progress might be slow, let your teachers those who wrote the book on Cameroon visit some African countries, let my French lady visit us and draw a fair judgment, let the “white teachers”, Mr. Movie maker, who don’t see anything good in the Indians, the Africans and even the Chinese with all their progress visit some of us…When you come to Nigeria, don’t run into the jungle to take video clips because we have enough, even our monkeys know you…False teachers!...when you come to China give them credits for what they have done with their poverty…they’re turning those myriads of bicycles into something great. All over the world, ‘inefficiency abounds” the poor can never be wiped off our midst, all our streets are certainly not laid with gold neither will everybody live in the castle…but someone is trying to deceive the simple into believing fables. We all have problems and it will honestly suffice us to admit this fact…We Africans know our problem and are tackling it our own way. And to my dear Associate Professor and Head of Foreign Language department; you will do your country and the prospecting Chinese teachers much favour to debunk those ‘archaic information’ you pride over because it was written by one ‘White man” probably whiter than you…because it’s going to relegate you and your new generation to the background despite whatsoever progress your country might be making…Someone is preying on your innocence and ignorance due to long closure from the international community…Most of us don’t see you as THEY showed us on TV or in the magazines any longer because we now know why all the clips were a negative impression…but you’re priding over the false information “THEY” told you about ‘Africa’ in the media…simply put ‘tell the Chinese anything he will believe you, tell them that Africans are poor and wretched, they will be happy to hear that… Make sure you hide from them any good information about the black people…how Africans, the black people dominates every field of development, Sports, Entertainment, Science, Business, name it! And are affecting the new world order positively with their skills and talent.. Those who give you the wrong education you pride in knows your simplicity and ‘MAY’ not give you the privilege to enjoy the significance of the black man in our fast advancing generation…and what will happen? By the time you wake up from your ignorance, you’ll be faced with one hectic battle of class, Identity and relevance among the people in this great dispensation of the new age order.