Just this weekend , I was in an Uber ride, the driver was an African American lady named Kafilat. As soon as i saw her name on the app while ordering the ride, I recognized she may be Nigerian. I was half right. Apparently , she was half Nigerian and half American. Her dad is Nigerian. We immediately got talking…
“Is Juju real ? ” she asked, huum .. “ Yes and No ” , i replied . I started to explain how Africans originally had their traditions , religion and practices before the Europeans and Arabs brought Christianity, Islam, colonization, and slave trade. Most of what is regarded as Juju today is the worship of African gods for protection , wealth , health and economic growth . It has been portrayed in negative light. Bad people use any tool at their disposal for bad and African religion is not an exception .
Today , Africa is a confused place with all kinds of religions . Some practices are a mix of African religion and Western Christianity or Arabic Islam . I told her that African spirituality is not a myth but new generation Africans have been forced to believe that our religion is inferior to the European based monotheist religions . We also made reference to Beyonce’s recent video’s depicting her as a follower of Oshun the river goddess.
African Americans have been deliberately left in the dark for ages . I think the Education system here was designed to keep us asking questions rather than providing answers. Many African Americans who have approached me are constantly asking questions about their origin and their identity . While Some have taken the added step to traced their lineage to different parts of Africa, others are still in their quest to find where their families originated from . You need to know your history to discover who you are and understand your purpose . I encouraged her to research the topic and I gave her some references .
One thing remains obvious , The Western Media will not tell the truth. Have you ever wondered why Africa is depicted in today’s media as 100 percent poverty , diseases and Mal-nourished kids? It has resulted in African Americans begin ashamed of where they are from, and grateful for being forcefully taken across the Atlantic – That’s the aim . That is why Africans need to tell their own story . No foreign entity should help you define your religion , history , shape or background . Africans need to guide their own interest . We need to take a cue from the Chinese and Indians; who have battled against western influences to retained their culture , religion, and heritage. It is only when you understand that your father was a scientist , a king , or a queen then you can hold your own. When your history is constantly depicted as useless , you subconsciously become afraid , shy , and grateful rather than outspoken , confident and forceful . It is a control mechanism.
The notion that Africa’s Religions are Fetish and crude is false . Christianity and Islam were similarly crude, but as time went on became refined to suit modern society . African Traditional religion would have evolved the same way if it was not for Europe’s invasion of Africa. To cut the long stories short, American Rappers , namely Seven Six Supah & Yosun Tala just dropped a single that summarizes all i have said above. They are seen in the video Praying to the Yoruba orishas ( Obatala , Oshun , Sango , olodumare , Ogun , Ifa ) and remind Africans to be proud of their heritage and history.