Subject: [globalization] African narratives
Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 15:05:11 -0700 (PDT)

To: "Globalization E-Conference"


Dr Barasa's perspective is in line with what has been referred to as "glocalization" -- obviously a problematic term, but which attempts to revise the notion of centrism in its forerunner, "globalization".

Identifying, developing, and applying frameworks of knowledge that are friendly to and accommodate local voices remain the challenging tasks for Africa. I call them "tasks" because they are responsibilities. It is not enough to stage protests against globalization, or to attempt to "write in" what has become a dominant ideology supported by economic and technological supremacy.

It is the march of civilization in which it is simply not enough to be a complainer. Those who promote globalization know that it is a cultural and economic expression of the silent wars in the march of civilization. Africans and other victims of globalization need to be fully aware that they themselves construct and narrate their own victimhood.

Let's face it: why should the dominant powers in the world not want to impose their frameworks of domination? Just consider the slave mentality of even those we elect to lead our countries. We protest and hanker after democracy because we have been told that it will guarantee equal rights, and we make no serious efforts at even attempting to reconcile this democracy and indigenous political practices/ideologies.

Our democracy does not know what to do with those indigenous traditions; or it pretends to know, pretends to befriend them, so as to destroy them, to "kill" them softly. Our democracy only produces errand boys for dominant global powers whose idea is that only this type of government is good for everybody everywhere, even when it almost means replacing one form of brigandry with another.

Democracy is a province of globalization, which also needs to be watched, especially the way it spends or borrows money and the way it treats indigenous heritage.

It is not at the World Bank meeting that we should stage our protests. We should stage our protests in our perceptions of our inferiority; we should stage our protests at the bus-stops of our slave mentality; we should stage our protests at the small doors of incipient mental laziness; yes, we should stage our protests by scolding ourselves first.

And after those essential beginnings, we stage a protest against not recognizing that when we begin to live like Unoka, the character in Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart", we must be ready to return to the evil forest with only a useless flute in the hand and a sorry history behind.


Obododimma Oha,
Universite Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis,