Kofi Akosah-Sarpong's column
Uganda/Africa: In the Land of Human Sacrifice
Uganda/Africa: In the Land of Human Sacrifice
By Kofi Akosah-Sarpong
In and out of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, the City, supposed to radiate enlightenment to some of Uganda’s dark ancient cultural practices, has failed to do so. The City is entrapped in obscurity. “The villages and farming communities that surround Uganda’s capital, Kampala, are gripped by fear.” Human sacrifices, the BBC World TV reports, are on the prowl.
For some time, Kampala is darkened by the denial of child sacrifices. Modern technology, as the BBC investigation aptly used, is helping to track Uganda’s and Africa’s malignity and putting the refutation to shame. Some part of Kampala’s mind has gone into denial and avoidance.
The long evasion has enhanced certain cultural inhibitions that have been stifling Uganda’s and Africa’s progress. This has occurred because Ugandan/African elites are intellectually lazy, do not understand themselves, and find it difficult to comprehend their cultural values for answers to their developmental challenges. Where they are supposed to refine cultural issues such as human sacrifices, they are found wanting. Where they are supposed to appropriate the enabling aspects of the culture for progress, they cannot think through.
Dabblers will rather tell you human sacrifices will bring “progress.” That’s wealth and power. What sort of “progress”? If human sacrifices could bring progress, then the elites and their funky associates, with their egomaniacal Big Men swaggers, can grab one million of Africa’s one billion people, mass sacrifice them with juju rituals, and Oo la la, Africa will be the most developed place on earth – with fantastic thinking and reasoning, long life expectancies, superb sanitation and health, sound education, free food and drinks, greater peace, and so on.
The twisted African Big Men involved in human sacrifices see human rights, the rule of law, freedoms, human dignity and enlightenment as not progress. They are allergic to such human advancement; and that make them demean their victims. The children killed for traditional juju rituals are seen as sub-human. But ironically their blood are deemed powerful enough potent to bring power (an African Big Man’s obsession). What a contradiction!
Despite the human sacrifices, Africa is still the poorest region in the world. We talk about this in an age of rising enlightenment, science and technological feats. The attempts by African Big Men to engage in human sacrifices reveal their inability to think well. As key appropriators of this primordial craft, they are still stuck in cavernously dark primeval practices that are counter-productive. This has muddled the African Big Men’s thinking, the notorious “African mentality” unfathomably at work.
Some important part of the African elites’ mind has gone into perennial denial. It shrinks back the African progress. It makes Africa at the mercy of dark forcing. How does a society deal with its leaders who think of killing children for rituals? How can such leaders think well and deal with very challenging developmental issues that need higher thoughts? If the leaders are engaged in murdering children for power, how can they have feelings for the poor, the hungry, the weak, and the marginalized? The leaders loose empathy, a key basis for progress, and for that, they also loose compassion for Africans.
In such a heartless atmosphere, the African Big Men look down upon ordinary Africans; they do not really care about them! Normal Africans are thought of as lambs that can be easily slaughtered for rituals. The African Big Men’s human sacrifices began as an extravagance and ends as a filthy necessity, glued to the murdering of children, other people’s children, and not their children.
In ritually sacrificing Africans, the rot in the African Big Men’s private minds eat away at their public responsibilities. They become ritual murderers for nothing. How can you have leaders who whose private thoughts are dark, evil? If real development is measured by the nature of private thoughts of a society’s leaders, then do not be surprised by what you see in Africa’s development terrain. The leaders’ thoughts aren’t good. The thinking is destructive.
Liberia President Samuel Doe was known to engage in human sacrifices; he projected such dim thinking unto the entire Liberia society, and boom!!! Doe blew Liberia into pieces. Equatorial Guinea’s Francisco Macias Nguema was engaged in human sacrifices of all sorts including burying some of his victims alive with juju rituals. Macias used the knowledge of witchcraft he inherited from his sorcerer father and built a huge collection of human skulls (from the people he has killed) at his farmhouse. Marcia paralyzed his country as a result.
In all these the average African will tell you that surely retribution will occur, and the fate of the African Big Man involved in human sacrifices is disastrous. Doe was shot, stripped naked in public, his ears cut off and then brutalized to death, and his dead body thrown into an unmarked grave. Marcia was killed by firing squad.
The African Big Men’s mentality of human sacrifices prevails in zones. Almost all the zones are inhuman. Marcias and Doe were insane. The African Big Men addicted to human sacrifices find it difficult to extricate themselves from it. Once involved, there is no turning back. In some parts of Africa, such as Uganda, this has become a mania, driven more by the primitive attempts to play supernatural being. In engaging in human sacrifices for the quick fix of their problems, the African Big Man wants to live a painless life, where all the good stuffs in life are automatically brought by the blood of the children he has ritually sacrificed.
At the centre of the human sacrifices is the clash between irrationality and rationality. The irrational forces are ancient and think more with the superstition part of their brain. The rational forces think more with the objective part of their brain. The “irrationalists,” who look at human sacrifice from within the soul of the African culture, are in the majority. The “rationalists” (or the realists), who gawk at human sacrifices within high morality, humanity, the criminal justice system and locate human sacrifices in the conditions of peoples’ lives, are in the minority. The irrational forces win because they have power. As the Uganda human sacrifices issues revealed, African Big Men arm-twist the objectivists (the police, the criminal justice system), hoodwink the justice system and terribly weaken the prosecuting of the perpetrators of human sacrifices to serve as a deterrent to others.
The anti-dote to Africa’s worrying human sacrifices is greater democracy! With its tenets such as the rule of law, human rights, social justice, freedoms, and liberty, democracy will throw greater light into the dark recesses of the African culture and free the African from the predatory Big Man.