Dr. E. S. Etuk poses questions, as they affect his deeper philosophy:
I should really thank you for re-awakening the silent anger within me which was brewing up when I arrived here 24 years ago and, particularly, when I was at the various graduate schools.
Way back in the 1980s, I attended graduate schools at Ashland, Baylor and Howard. There, I was exposed suddenly to much of the rubbish written about Africa. There, I began to think and think about Africa. In fact, I owe my current fiery love of Africa to those who showed me how ignorant I was about mother Africa.
What really irked me was that at Howard, I tried to ask several thought-provoking questions about Africa. Questions like:
1. Why was it so possible for the white man to arrive at Africa and take over the continent in the first place?
2. How did a tiny island like Britain come to dominate Africa and most of the world?
3. What was the intellectual climate like under which our African leaders at the time could easily be deceived and misled into selling out under the tricks of a foreigner who gave him trinklets in exchange for his brother or sister about to be dehumanized into slavery?
4. Why were the Africans not the buyers of whites but the other way around? Why did Africans not try to conquer all of Europe?
5. If slavery and colonialism were profitable to the Europeans, why is it morally wrong and unethical for Africans to sell Europeans?
6. If seapower and militarism are the foundations for world domination, why do African governments not prepare for the emergence of a great power in Africa in the future?
7. What is the morality behind stealing African resources and handing them over to the descendants of those who had dehumanized us Africans and impoverished and continue to impoverish us?
8. If colonialism was such a great thing for the non-Africans, why are Africans not striving to be the colonizers?
9. Was there ever a true African renaissance and who were the intellectual gians of that era?
10. When did Africa experience a true Reformation that was continental?
To my chargrin, I found out that my intellectual superiors were not prepared for such intellectual inquiry. I became suspect of the true nature of our so-called education. For, if you raised some kind of questions, you could become a "reactionary." You could be an emerging rabble-rouser. You were to be suspected as a formentor of trouble.
Ever since, I have been very suspicious of the real intent or goal of contemporary education. No wonder that we are now producing copycats who are afraid to raise hell by questioning existing phenomena.
I am about to say that much that I read and hear about the colonial past, about the effects of slavery and colonialism SIMPLY says that we Africans cannot or would not do some hard thinking. "LET MY PEOPLE THINK." Thinking produces ideas. Ideas lead to technology when experimented. Africa is poor and wretched because of the lack of excellent thinkers! QUOTE ME ON THAT ONE!
As long as we are greatly tied to the dead ideas of the past and refuse to think our way through the future, Africans will ever remain the footstool of those who despise us. As long as we continue to party excessively and jive instead of burning the midnight candles in the laboratory of ideas and inventions which are truly African, we shall continue to be the underdogs of modern progress.
Therefore we have a choice: TO BE OR NOT TO BE.
This is my way of thinking and I thank you again, Prof. Falola.