HAS THE AFRICAN A GOD?

Igbo ancestral shrine Onica Olona
Igbo ancestral shrine Onica Olona

The editorial in The African Morning Post issue of May 7, under the heading: “Do The Europeans Believe In god?” has been read by me with great interest. I fail however to agree with the conclusion in the last but one paragraph that, “judging by the European’s attitude towards the Africans, there is no indication to show that they (the Europeans) believe in God.”

In my opinion, the question is either unnecessary or should have been put the other way round. It should have been: “Has the African a god, if he has a god, why not worship him and leave the Europeans’ god alone?”

Personally, I believe the European has a god in whom he believes and whom he is representing in his churches all over Africa. He believes in the god whose name is spelt Deceit. He believes in the god whose law is “Ye strong, you must weaken the weak. Ye ‘civilised’ Europeans, you must ‘civilise’ the ‘barbarous’ Africans with machine guns. Ye ‘Christian’ Europeans, you must ‘Christianise’ the ‘pagan’ Africans with bombs, poison gases, etc.”

In the colonies, the Europeans believe in the god that commands: “Ye Administrators, make Sedition Bill to keep the Africans gagged. Make Forced Labour Bill to work the Africans as slaves. Make Deportation Ordinance to send the Africans to exile whenever they dare to question your authority.”

“Make an Ordinance to grab his money so that he cannot stand economically. Make Levy Bill to force him to pay taxes for the importation of unemployed Europeans to serve as Stool Treasurers. Send detectives to stay around the house of any African who is nationally conscious and who is agitating for national independence and if possible round him up in a ‘criminal frame-up’ so that he could be kept behind the bars.”

The European also believes in the god that says to his Bishops and Priests: Tax the Africans with cemetery fees, sustentation funds, class dues, harvest festival collections, school fees, exhorbitant prices for school books and materials, picnic dues, desk fees, and other forms of religious tax.”

“Finally, put a monkey on a chair with a chain around its neck and let an African child hold fast to the chain and take their photographic picture and write an inscription underneath ‘two monkeys’ so that the African can realize the fact that to the European, he (the African) is classified as a monkey.”

Yes! this is the god that the European knows and believes in, and whom the African christian who goes to the white man’s church Sunday after Sunday, is worshipping.

Personally, as an African, I have since found the African’s god whom I have been worshipping for the past fifteen years. Since then I have found peace and happiness. No whiteman or European worries me. My peace is never disturbed, for ere any attempt is made by any pale-faced person to interfere with my rights and privileges, my God–the God of Ethiopia–whom my fore-fathers worshipped points to me the way to deal with him and I always have the upper hand.

The European respects me and I respect him in turn. Were he to overstep his bounds and become insulting, I often put him in his place within a jiffy. He does not controvert with me because he knows what the result would be. He leaves me alone, and I in turn do the same to him, and so I have many whom I can call friends, because we move on equal basis. They claim no superiority to me and I accept no inferiority.

I go to no white man’s church and pay no church dues. I have no worry about hell or heaven. I know of none and I do not expect to go into any “mansion of rest” in any place where the streets are of shining gold, nor do I dread the future entry into any hell full of fire and brimstone. I know when I have money, food and raiment I am in heaven; and I listen to none of their religious doctrines.

Let the African seek his God and worship him in sincerity and truth and leave the European’s God alone and all will be well with him.

The African Morning Post (Accra), May 15, 1936, page 5.

“Effective” was the pseudonym of Mr. Isaac Theophilus Akunna Wallace-Johnson, who was fined £50 for publishing this article, contrary to the Sedition Ordination.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s