Posted on ginnyent.net on 24th February, 2019
The ‘Theory’ of Incomplete Evolution of Africa – The Nigeria General Election 2019 in View
Many have posited over the past several decades that there is something inherently wrong with being African. They talk about her inability to self-organize; her being genetically predisposed to poor sense of judgment and appreciation of the deeper complexities of her existence; her overall inferiority in the order of human existence. They suggest in the context of human evolution from the early homo sapien phase, that the African’s evolution has somehow truncated, and thus Africa is dubbed the sick child of the world.
Expectedly, many Africans – enlightened and otherwise – have remained vehement in their rejection of this line of thought, perhaps reasonably so, or maybe just out of delusion. However, events of the last several centuries leading up to this very moment continue to threaten the intellectual credibility of those of us who toe this pro-Africa line.
Truth be told, if what we see on the streets and what we read online (many proudly written by our own friends and family) here are anything to go by then I’m afraid we’re gradually converging to the theory of incomplete evolution of Africa. It’s difficult not to conclude that the larger majority of us have yet to evolve into full human – perhaps most are ‘humanoid’ at best. In simpler terms, we are mostly still between being animals in the jungle and actual humans. And I don’t mean this in a disparaging way.
Yes. Humanoid because even though we’ve managed to evolve to the point of exhibiting some degree of social and existential sophistication, we have yet to activate the higher and finer human traits; the very ones that decisively stand humans apart from the other beasts of the earth. Yes, some amongst us might have attained this level of human development, but nothing in all of fairly distant past, recent past and present suggests that such is the defining character of the collective.
While we have shown some proficiency in such areas as commerce, industry, basic psychomotor skills, speech, etc., the African society has failed, for reasons which discussion is not the focus of this post, to develop at a practicable scale, the real essence of humanity such as community, empathy, compassion, justice, equity, fairness, compunction, scholarship, culture of prescience and science – the art of methodical curiosity into understanding that which does not lend itself to easy understanding, i.e the universe and its whole essence. And above all the ability to self-govern along any collectively agreed sets of rules and principles.
Our political process – across most of Africa, Nigeria as case in point – is sadly still nothing but a ‘shitshow’ of the most primitive instincts that best defines the generality of the so-called lower animals. One may justifiably make the case that a herd of cattle or a wolf pack or even elephants would do a better job organizing themselves than the average Nigerian crowd. Here is a society where even the so-called educated cheer tyrants and venerate petty thieves; casually perpetrate and justify jungle justice, both state-sanctioned and random; rationalize puerile and petty tribal feudalism; all while showing the strongest kind of disdain for the enlightened position, and towards those who dare to propagate.
The Nigerian brand of politics is the kind that elevates the concept of conquest at the ballot but says nothing about the conqueror’s ability to govern. There’s this very chilling trait of inability to see the common threads joining the wider political choices, the prevailing viewpoints, the dynamics of the global forces, the historical and of course the harsh realities of the average member of society. To the average Nigerian, including many who would read this post, all of these things are just, well, “stuff that doesn’t concern me – my case is different because I serve a living God”; for some others, “why complain, after all the game is the game”. Proliferation of folly.
I mean, what other explanation short of this theory of incomplete evolution could explain the theatre of the absurd that is Nigeria?
By my most optimistic estimates, it would take at least four more generations from the current millennium to get to some level of societal sanity. For now, the cycle of madness and hopelessness continues. Sad but true.
#NigeriaDecides2019 #Government #Society #Development #Anthropology
Written by Uba Nwogu