AFRICANGLOBE – Is there truly anything like the African mind? Or is it due to past slavery experience that an African is blamed or ascribed with ill-fated attributes or even derogatory name calling? Or can it be as a result of a constant mindset exhibited by an African or people of African descents?
I had an experience in Port Elizabeth, South Africa while training to be a pilot, an elderly Afrikaner lady by the Michelle accosted me and told me people like me are not allowed in the neighborhood not because of racism but as she can see I’m dressed very neatly, smartly and slightly expensive; so she concluded I might be an undercover drug-dealer because I don’t look like a miscreant.
After weighing her stern disdain look all I did was to take it all in good faith, smiled and said “good morning ma’am”. She was taken aback by my politeness and refusal of violence. She then asked who I was. I told her my name and my mission as a student-pilot at the airport and showed her a mini plaque and passport that did identify me, also being the only Black of the school with mostly British Whites.
She then apologized regretfully, gave me a huge hug and said that she was proud of me living around, that was when I discovered that many others were watching. I was later welcomed in the home of Michelle and among many others. I couldn’t blame this action when I was told that another person from the same country of origin like me did act in a very unpleasant way in the area.
Still on the story, I decided to ask my flight administrator a very pleasant and welcoming older White lady named Glynis Trutter, why she think I had that experience. I asked Ms. Trutter if it was a well-founded phobia or pure discrimination. She replied that saying, “every race has both their good and bad individuals but mostly people are just cautious of the unfamiliar”.
Many others in the neighborhood I approached about the incident said people may likely judge the African based on what they term the “the African Mind”. Over time I discovered all this may be nothing more or less like a “Race’s Mind” of individuals relating to the experience they or others they are familiar with had experienced and may also be due to their inner personality.
Although through homogeneity or common norms in some community or society a major mindset maybe prevalent or characterized the individuals associated with such mindset.
As a teenager I had an intriguing opportunity to meet an American Mormon couple missionaries named Robert and Barbara Peels from Farmington, Utah. These couples who practically took parenting me as a hobby, did guide me through my late teenage years. These missionary couples where completely devoid of foul language, use of alcohol or tobacco and flamboyant dresses.
Funnily, unlike many other people I see on TV especially on rock or rap music videos. They often giggle when they see me with my Afro hair, a huge comb hanging at the side, with my designers T-shirt and baggy jeans or camouflage trousers. I walk with my side bent and bouncing on my trainers. All the missionaries did was taught me on how to curb my excesses – my biological parents did try but I never listened though.
Although I may not be an adherent of Mormonism the basic principles of curbing my excesses stayed with me and the voice of my god-parents often goad me if I’m derailing. I’m an African but then whose mind do I have, the African, Asian, American, European, or Indian? None but the ideal mind, the ideal mind that try so much to do the right thing at all times, curbing my excesses, work hard doing my best then leaving the rest for later and loving my neighbors.
I believe all the races should have a Love Mind, I’m not an ‘African being’ but a human spirit in a human body with the physical characteristic of an African male. Yes! I am African with a Love Mind, a beautiful Nubian with a creative mind and a king’s stride.
I’m the change Nigeria needs and I would never put to waste the labor of our heroes past. Let us all live by principles and not policies better still convert our national policies into national principles.
By; Bobmanuel Alakhume
An excerpt from his upcoming book titled, African Dream: The Chronicles of Albinism and the Black Race