By Dr. Ugoji Egbujo
Rich and successful blacks are denied it. True status belongs to whites only. Racism may have left the streets but it has burrowed in hearts. It basks in bedrooms and private gardens, out of the view of political correctness. It seems almost immortal. Rosean Barr, a popular American television star, took a few tablets of Ambien for insomnia and called Valeria Jarret an ape. She thinks she made a mistake. The mistake was that she took to twitter when the drug had opened the gates of her mind.
The drug let her speak her mind. That’s how close to the surface racism lies. Some others wont make her kind of unclothed mistake. Theirs seep out in their glances and grimaces, smirks and sneers, or in ‘shithole‘ comments.
Blacks have work to do. It’s unfortunate they have to prove their humanity. They have to help the world become a better place. Even closeted racism can be eradicated. Blacks have done well. There has been an announcement of diverse exceptional individual capabilities and talents. But there is much more to do. Yes, the prevalent jail-broken marriage—teenage pregnancy—drug cycle in black communities in America must be shattered. And Haiti and Somalia must live like a country of adults. But A Republic of Wakanda is overdue .
A Wakanda must come and attract the envy of the world. And extract respect, perhaps deference, from the world. If a black community anywhere in the world organized themselves and became a reference in prosperity, health, technology and good neighborliness, racism would suffer a mortal blow. The Wakanda of the celebrated Black Panther movie needed the miracle of Vibranium. This West African Wakanda wont need such a single Manna.
A non fictional Wakanda would transform racism. Because racism is fostered by a myth of black inferiority which the poverty and disorder of black nations have fed and sustained. Blacks were inferior, they were sold as slaves. Blacks are inferior, they are incapable of civilization, they drown in millions, fleeing self inflicted poverty and savagery. Neither Carl Lewis nor Micheal Jackson, neither Wole Soyinka nor Nelson Mandela with all their superhumanity could dent it.
Nigeria has the potentials. It is the most populous black nation. It’s story will be that of undiluted black greatness. That is why it should be considered ahead of South Africa. Sudan doesn’t have the human resources. Nigeria is rich in human and natural resources. It has no magical vibranium like Black Panther’s Wakanda. But Nigeria has something greater than vibranium. An energetic and resourceful youthful population waiting to be energized with education and unleashed.
Nigeria has millions of black panthers waiting to be commissioned. A Nigeria with a 100% literacy level and universal access to health and electricity is immediately feasible. Nigeria’s legion of black panthers only need to be fed the herb of sense of nationhood, purposeful governance and a great vision.
Nigeria, the Wakandanization of Nigeria, must become the main priority of black lives matter movement. The rise of Obama didn’t scratch racism. The timing and manner of rise of Trump is the evidence. Racism can be squashed. It would require a collision with a huge meteorite, not a few individual supersonic jet fighters. Like the Wakanda of the Black Panther, Nigeria must take a leap, and lead.
Nigeria would be the third largest country in the world by 2050. Nigeria shouldn’t be left to divisive ethnic and religious sentiments of Nigerians and the shortsightedness of its leaders alone. The identification and pursuit of a wakandanisation project would spur unprecedented growth in Nigeria. But it will bring glory to the race. It will unite energies, bury divisions, and improve efficiency. That is what superior causes do. Everyone needs to be pushed to her personal best.
Currently Nigeria’s ambitions are loud in slogans but vague and pedestrian in actual policies and practices. Nigeria’s divisions are sharp and deep. A Nigeria possessed by a wakandanisation project, for the benefit of the black race, will have no time for petty political bickering. And the habitual looting of the treasury could become more than just theft, sabotage.
But Nigeria would need help. It would need good governance foisted on it. And tons of foreign direct investment channeled to it. The political space could be opened in furtherance of the ambition. And best black hands and brains hired to run the effort. Once national politics is liberalized, black energy and money will pour in. A relaxation of sovereignty and citizenship to admit black geniuses into the campaign would prove extremely useful.
Our land mass and average rainfall are huge. Half of our estimated 190 million population are under 15. Nigeria has a splendid geographical advantage. That’s why Ethiopia can’t be the best choice. Nigeria is relatively free of natural disasters. Nigeria has an easy capacity for food sufficiency. It has a huge potential for technological championship. What it lacks is what it will get once its wakandanization becomes a priority for the black race. Good governance and accountability, huge deliberate foreign investments and high productivity.
Nigeria has a huge diaspora population that would help spark the revolution. But the wakandanization project must be embraced by all blacks, especially blacks in western countries. Nigeria won’t just become a centre of black culture and renaissance where nostalgia is relieved, it would be a centre for technology and trade.
A wakandanized Nigeria would restore the dignity of the black person.