The Stolen African Literature

Listen to article

African writers are truthful, they write without biasness and don't cause conflict between literature and history, culture and tradition of other continents. They are preservers of cultures and traditions. Especially Nigerian home-based writers are a very powerful people. They continue to write with limited or even no resources. They have always maintained in seeing that the African literature is not relegated to the background by the thousands of books they churn out each year, (as against the plan of the western world). They are always writing to rejuvenate African literature from the sobered and piqued state it was orchestrated to navigate to by the western world.

But publishers are the home-based writers' greatest woes. Hardly do publishers accept and publish manuscripts of the budding home-based writers. They preferred to publish the works of the renowned authors. And hardly do the publishers pay royalties. The ones that pay do not pay appreciable amounts. They pay 10% or less of what was sold from a manuscript that was published. This has made many writers turned to self-publishing (otherwise called vanity publishing). The dearth of responsible publishers in Africa to explore the budding talents is a blow below the belt.

African governments are even abetting to these woes. They forgot, or they are yet to comprehend, that their shrug-attitude towards the exploration for new writers in the continent is a setback to widening the mental horizon of Africans. These governments' unconcerned attitude towards their writers also affects the economic growth, social unity and the promotion of culture and tourism in Africa. This has made the writers of the Black race always look up to the West for the promotion of their writing careers, without minding that the western people stole the African literature and culture and christened it their own. This is the time Africans stopped believing the hypocrisy of the white men that, “all road leads to Rome”. Rather, Africans should start singing, “all road leads to Egypt”.

Contrary to the critique of critics, the qualities of creative works the home-based writers develop are standard. However, the writers at home might not be enjoying much publicity compared to their kiths and kins abroad, who African publishers quickly accept their manuscripts. This is because African home-based writers face excruciating perils in their environments. And the condition they found their selves in their different countries is mind bugging.

Of a truth, African writers abroad are much good with the awards they win and the monetary gains attached to those awards, not that they are better, than the home-based. They write in their different host countries patterns. Their books are written on the surface because the subtext in literature is very hard for the apple-skinned people to digest. At home, those books that won awards abroad might not even be accepted by pupils in the elementary school if enshrined in their term curriculums.

Notwithstanding, many litterateurs, friends and lovers of literature have always ruminated and wondered the essence of institutionalising all the Cultural Ministries that are in the continent if home-based African visual artists, performance artistes and writers can never be seen being promoted by these ministries as wont in other countries, except they travelled abroad. All that are heard about them is the grand finale those ministers of culture and commissioners alike enjoy overseas when they voyaged for cultural events as they relate to the United Nations International Education Fund's (UNICEF) or United Nations' (UN) art exhibition or their equivalent.

“Except Africans change their mentality, they will continue to read the world history which were mostly written by 'robots' called the western people to favour the later,” said Wale Ade, a Pan-Africanist/writer based in Lagos.

Ade is not far from the truth because hardly has any of the African cultural Czars initiate arts expedition for people from other world to share in, here in Africa. For example, Nigerian writers enjoy going on writers' residency in other climes, but no one is structured here for the benefits of foreigners. What about the fragile-elemental cultural festivals that have been seen hosted in many states in Nigeria by the different states government? Such festivals have been westernized to the detriment of the aborigine African cultural values and his invaluable traditions.

How can Africans boast of their cultural ministries whereas their hard-earned traditional and cultural heritages are being rubbished and destroyed today in the name of religion? The western Christianity is culpable of this act. These cultural ministries refused to send the culprits with any message for such satanic demolition of the ancestral edifices to stop?

The shamefaced cultural ministries perhaps don't realise that exhibition of cultural festivals in the cities without exploring the towns and villages for the mammoth untapped cultural and traditional heritages but most importantly writers, and preserve them, is the worst of eye-services to humanity and to the ancestors in the 21st Century.

It is saddening that anything African to be heralded, Africans have to run to the western world, thereby making the West proud to be the volcanic point for the socio-eco-political existence of the Black race. But was this not the West that structured the entire Christian Bible after the ancient Egyptian mythologies of the Pharaohnic Sun worshippers? Was the entire scripture not stolen from Africa?

Unlike the African writers who are truthful, without biasness in stealing any world's literature, it was the western world that re-wrote the African literature and tradition to favour their history. They did this because they understood the modern writing or civilization first before Africans. Was this not fraud committed against Africans in their quest to concoct their Bible? But writers of both the European and African descents are not sleeping in making sure that the hidden truth by the West against African literature and culture is exhumed.

A western writer, in his article entitled “WAS TUTANKHAMUN THE PROTOTYPE FOR THE "HISTORICAL JESUS"? #1” Ben Noah wrote that his cause of research to understand the "historical Jesus" is finally coming to a close. “I have been searching since my graduation from Seminary for the "Jesus Jesus" and not been able to find any demonstrable evidence for a Jewish Rabbi who lived in the first century in Palestine which was the "expected Messiah". I have looked almost everywhere and read and studied everything available in my efforts to find the clues that will reveal this "Jesus" as a historical personage. My search has been tedious and exhausting and fruitless”.

Without mincing words, he said that he came to found all the literatures he needed after 15 years of research on the persona dramatis “Only when I began to trace the roots of Judaism back to Egypt was I finally rewarded for my efforts all these 15 or more years for it is there, in Ancient Egypt that I finally found the "historical Jesus". The only problem is that he is only "half-Hebrew" and was a "murdered" Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty”.

But this finding was like a mirage to him. He could hardly believe it, but he said that he had to believe it considering the un-infiltrated literatures he laid his hand on in Egypt contrary to what the western people have written about “...the "historical Jesus" stories we find scattered down through history and applied to various "redeemers" had their origin with the life and death of Tutankamun in Egypt.... My search for the truth behind our Bibles and the stories surrounding the "historical Jesus" that we cherish finally culminated in the necessary acquired knowledge that puts all these puzzle pieces together surrounding the "historical Jesus" where I could finally see the whole convoluted picture surrounding the "historical Jesus" of Egypt. Such a view of the evidence convinced me for certain that the identification of Pharaoh Tutankamun as the "historical Jesus" is certain”.

He believes that a lot of information were distorted Africans, and “...this information was concealed from all but those with the most "inquiring" eyes and the time necessary to do the required investigation and study”.

The writer maintained that not even the pictures of the Egyptian Pharaoh are in the Bible, but “...a cover of a book I read many years ago by Richard Cassaro entitled The Deeper Truth ...we have the figure of an Egyptian Pharaoh and a typical representative image of Jesus imposed upon each other, both split down the middle. It serves perfectly what this article will teach the reader: namely, that the "historical Jesus Story" in the New Testament finds its origin with the Osiris-Horus myths of Egypt personified in the lives of the Pharaohs; in particular the Pharaoh Tutankhamun as you will come to see”.

He maintained that before the 19th Century that Christians realized this 'Jesus' and the ancient world depicted in the gospels, they adhered to naturalistic literalism. Also, “Southwestern Theological Seminary taught the same approach to the Christian Scriptures and the "historical Jesus", he said. “Naturalistic literalism" is the practice of reading the Scriptures and accepting the events that are described therein as the literal truth. In so doing we expect to find a "historical Jesus" in first century Palestine. No one had ever given much thought to reading the New Testament (NT) any other way. Things have changed dramatically since then. Today, the only Christians that still hold to a natural-literal reading of the NT are Fundamentalists who believe it to be "plenary," which is to say that every word is inspired by God. However, even a quick glance at the NT reveals inconsistencies”.

His findings showed him that “But there is one major problem with this "naturalistic literalism" as the approach to the Christian Scriptures; there is no evidence existing today outside of this one New Testament that proves that such a Jewish Rabbi and expected Messiah existed in the first century and was a real person. Let me repeat there is NOT one shred of contemporary evidence to support the New Testament story of the birth, life, and death of a Jesus of Nazareth. However, there is an expanse of evidence that exits which will prove that this "Jesus Story" in the New Testament is but a retelling of the life and death of another who lived many, many centuries earlier in Egypt; that one being the Pharaoh Tutankhamun”.

The only problem, he believes the world has today is that people have “...not seen this evidence that both reveals conclusively that there is not a "historical Jesus" of the First Century in Palestine and the clumsy forgeries and vain attempts by overzealous early Christians when challenged over this problem in the early centuries A.D. where they attempted to create one and "write a Jesus" into later writings by the Christian Church as well as the formation of their Bibles. Lacking as well is the reader's acquaintance with the corresponding evidence that supports this very same "Jesus Story" as taken from the 18th Dynasty of Egypt.... Many went down this road in search for the "historical Jesus before, but most of them pulled back because they reached areas of conflict between history and religion which is usually a touchy area. Besides no one like to trash what he has grown up revering and I understand that so well but let's never forget that if it's not the truth it is a LIE! Surely our God and Creator is not glorified in a lie; especially when we are commanded in the Ten Commandments to "not bear false witness". Thus our search for truth should be ruthless and sought with all our might as we run after the God of all Truth. Amen!”

In the article, the writer argued that “what were some of these stumbling blocks to finding a "historical Jesus"?” He said that a lot abound. “Many Pagan religious belief systems permeated the Mediterranean region during the 1st century CE. There were numerous male heroes, saviours and god-men within Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Hindu, and other pantheons of Gods whose lives had many points of similarities to Jesus. Of these, the Egyptian God Horus probably had life events attributed to him which were closest match to those of Jesus. Yet, Horus was worshipped in Egypt thousands of years before the first century CE when Jesus is believed to have been ministering in Palestine”.

What keeps this research most interesting is that the writer said that “The more I studied the more I saw "Egypt" coming up in my studies and it began to appear that behind both Judaism and Christianity lie source for all later "redeemers" and that source continually turned out to be Egypt so there I had to begin a 5 year study in order to check out all the possibilities. In so doing I would come upon the evidence that would show me why these "Osiris" and "Horus" stories were replayed down through history and attached to a host or "redeemers" like Tutankhamun, Chrishna of Hindostan, Budha Sakia of India, Odin of the Scaudinavians, Zoroaster and Mithra of Persia, Baal and Taut, "the only Begotten of God," of Phenicia, Indra of Thibet, Bali of Afghanistan. Jao of Nepaul, Wittoba of the Bilingones, Thammuz of Syria, Atys of Phrygia, Xaniolxis of Thrace, Zoar of the Bonzes, Adad of Assyria, Thor, son of Odin, of the Gauls, Cadmus of Greece, Quexalcote of Mexico, the Divine Teacher of Plato, Adonis, son of the virgin Io of Greece, Quirinus of Rome, Prometheus of Caucasus, Mohamud, or Mahomet, of Arabia, and finally Jesus of Nazareth...”

However, the Ameer Spiritual leader, and Pan-African Movement leader, Writer/Poet Naiwu Osahon, in his masterpiece titled “Bible Calls God Satan”, amongst other things, had the same view with the above writer. Osahon wrote that “the Bible is made up of the Old and New Testaments, and is the canon of the three branches of Christianity: Roman Catholic, Greek and other orthodox sects, and the Protestant groups. Judaism and Islam put premium on the Old Testament, which came from a wide range of ancient manuscripts written in archaic Hebrew, Aramaic, and Chaldean languages, with their problems of modern interpretations. Some of the books misquoted, distorted or misinterpreted to assemble the bible included: The Book of the Dead (African), which the British Museum gave their own title of (The book of the Coming Forth by Day and Night), in 1895. The book of Divines (African); the Book of Judgement (African); the Heart of Judgement and such other works. Also included in the list of documents, of course, was the Jewish Old Testament. Two of the most important documents the church fathers distorted and suppressed while putting the Christian religion together namely: The Coptic Scrolls, sometimes called the Nag Hammadi, were found at Nag Hammadi in 1945, while the Dead Sea Scrolls (supposed to have been produced around the 9th or 10th Century, were dug out of a cave near Qumran in the Judean desert in the 1950s”.

Ben Noah also talked about such books, and he wrote: “Books such as: The Egyptian Book of the Dead (originally titled The Book of Coming Forth by Day and by Night) by E. A. Wallis Budge; The Coffin Text and The Pyramid Text; The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Kersey Graves; and Christianity Before Christ by John G. Jackson, among others, have recorded these various stories and all you have to do is read them to see this evidence for yourself. Some Egyptologists feel that the triad of deities: Amon, Mut and Khonsu, at the temple in Karnak, were copied by the early Christians to form the present Holy Trinity. I kid you not when I say that "all roads lead to Egypt and not Rome". Rome has just lied about it.... As a side note, according to most Christian scriptures, Jesus was said to have been born in Bethlehem, or Nazareth. In the Coptic writings, where the oldest Christians called Copts still reside (Kemet and Ethiopia), and according to Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan, a Kemetologist, born in Ethiopia, Jesus was said to have been born in Kemet (Egypt). In Matthew 2:15, it still says, "Out of Egypt shall I call my son!" Contrary to written sources, Kemet (Egypt) is where Christianity was born, while Ethiopia built the first Christian Church and was the world's first and oldest Christian nation. Christianity was originally an African religion, as was the Hebrew African religion called Judaism”.

Juxtaposing to that, the erudite writer/poet Osahon stated that “the Scrolls incorporate ideas from very ancient Pagan times in Egypt, and The Dead Sea Scrolls include Isaiah's materials dating back to the second century BCE. These were all doctored while being translated into European languages. For instance, the Jews while translating the Hebrew religion into Greek text fraudulently spelt one of their deities or idols, with the capital letter 'G' for 'God' while spelling the idols of other nations with the small letter 'g' for 'god'. Seventy Jewish scholars gathered in Alexandra, Egypt, around 200 BCE to perpetrate the fraud. They found that although Judaism was preaching monotheism, they were in reality serving several deities or gods of the Canaanites”.

Osahon reiterated that what the world today refers to as the 'Most High God' was the Canaanite God “El”.

“The Canaanites deity was El (or El Elyon),” he said, “whose subordinates or sons were spelt with small letters as in: el, eloah and elohiym. None of these deities, not even El, was considered the Supreme or Universal Being. They were all deities with El as their superior of Father or the only God that could be spelt with the capital letter 'G'. These deities were actually super human beings who had at one time or the other lived on earth and are now ancestors who took charge of several individual nations. El Elyon (Black, Father or God of all gods), allocated the nations of the world to the deities”.

In supporting Osahon, Professor Molefi Kete Asante in his article titled “The Future Of African Gods: The Clash of Civilization” (July 10, 1998) wrote that “those who speak to us of Christian and Islamic morals have often been the very ones who have defiled our ancestors memories and called our sacred rites paganism. Malcolm X once said that the world pushes the African around because we give the impression that we are chumps, but chumps, weaklings, falling over ourselves to follow other people rather than our own traditions”. In the words of Asante, “this is what the Chinese and Indians have fought to keep at bay. While we have often embraced our enemies' gods they have found those gods to be anathema to their interests. Show me the gods we Africans worship and I will show you the extent of our moral and ethical decay”.

Professor MAC Odu in his article titled “Obama's Significance” (Sunday Independent (Nig), October 25, 2009), didn't sing a different song. He wrote that “the entry of Barack Obama into White House as President of United States of America has immense significance in the world history. It has happened to shut down nearly 400 years of world history that evidenced greed of Europe. It has provided the White World an opportunity for remorse for its past in broadcasting wrong principles in the world for earthly benefits. The world was made by Europe to believe that the Black man was less endowed than his White counterpart. That wrong principle is now dead and buried.... Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola, Congo, Australia, New Zealand etc are nations imbued by creation with unique features, and Europeans moved in to pollute with their craving for earthly gain and subjugating human beings allocated such lands as their heritage during their temporary sojourn here”.

In the same vein, Meshiyach Yahzitere Yahmarabhi, in his article “Hard Truth” (published in The Moonlight newspapers, Nigeria, April 20-26), said “... we still see their churches and mosques as salvation chambers while those things were consciousness we inherited as slaves”.

He further opined that the African race can never see civilization if they continue playing the scripts written for them by the western world, and he maintained that “...truly liberation in Africa can't be meaningful until a strong and truthful religion emerge from Africa and dominate the world.... Walter Rodney, an African-American stock in his epic socio-scientific thesis named “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”, Yahmarabhi said he prophesied the perpetual domination of Africa by Europe unless Africa looked inward to thwart the evil mechanization of the imperialists and neo-imperialists. (But he was tagged a nincompoop)”.

Just as Rodney was tagged a radical (by Europe), a Marxist and a social scientist with little relevance to human history, in another era, Frantz Fanon in his book “Wretched of the Earth”, Yahmarabhi said, “Fanon exposed the annihilation scheme of the imperialists to turn Africa to a mere economic zoo, where Africa as a suppressed specie of human beings will turn to robots... likewise Fanon was regarded with loath sameness at home and abroad”.

Therefore, there should be quick renaissance in revoking African literature, culture and religion and a law barring the westernized-Christian-faith from intimidating and extirpating other continental religion. But it is those Africans that inherited or are appointed umpires in whose hands that are left the relics left of African culture and tradition that are even clamouring for their total eradication. They can be called the modern day colonialists. However, African home-based writers have always fought to expose this odious perpetration against Africa, because they are truthful writers.

In a nutshell, Africans should not in a hurry forget the statement made by Steve Biko of South African stock before his death in prison, “The great powers of the world may have done wonders in giving the world an industrial and military look, but the great gift still has to come from Africa, giving the world a human face”.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Media Consultant based in Rivers State, Nigeria; and also the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Odimegwu Onwumere