Is evolution more significant than a revolution?
By Colin Stanley
Last year was one that has rocked us up left, right, and center. In Africa, the virus is not as rampant as it is in other parts of the world. For instance, in the streets as majestic as Paris, there is little to no activity in its once populous roads. We all hope the Covid-19 hardship will one day be a bad memory where we tell our grand children “Once upon a time…”. I imagine a time where I would be telling my grand-kids of a time people across the world died like cockroaches. That is what the pandemic is bringing to the table, a deadly steam of mass deaths across the world.
With the shutdown of major operations in government, people are beginning to see the realities of their societies, real shadows that have been hovering around us like ghosts. I would assert that governments across the world are hiding behind the economy clause to misappropriate money allocated for PPE’s. With such drastic corrosiveness of the pandemic, one would really wonder whether the world would recover.
With the enforcement of curfews and lockdowns, police brutality has surged in places across the world. Like in Nigeria, there were youths barricaded by armored vehicles who then rioted and threw stones at the cars with the enforcement bodies returning fire with their guns. I would discourage the youths in Nigeria from disunity and focus on being more united and steadfast in the same spirit they barricaded the roads in Lagos and other major cities in Naija. It could resemble the notion of a revolution: The youths against the police and the government. However, we have seen this very stance in European countries such as France, England, and the United States, the same rioting taking place in the plight of equal rights for gender, LGBT rights, the black community, monopoly of power, and corruption. It is what drives them to pursue funding and champion for the inclusion of the youth in their routine government forums. We being in the youthful stages of our lives should hold the torch in our hands and shine the light. On the other hand, could this be the meaning of the saying of us the youth being the leaders of tomorrow? Think about it, there is no way a society could shift levels when we reach the mid-thirties or more so the forties. Those in leadership today must have started their journey when they were in their late twenties and early thirties.
The story of evolution circles round the notion of humans morphing from monkeys then into several forms before attaining the ultimate Homo sapiens. History books credit Kenya to being the region to inhibit the earliest form of human order at a place known as Olduvai Gorge. Evolution dictates that life forms change in accordance to their surrounding environment over a long period. It is in this understanding that evolution is deep in that food too is a factor necessary in the evolution of a human being. In the study of early man, teeth were used to determine the age of the fossil. In the story of evolution, both flora and fauna advanced and man knew what was poisonous and what was not. I could bet that animals were used to determine which ones were edible and those that were not. Men being the most intellect, he learned through the climate changes on how they either could slightly or massively change their order with an aim of survival. Looking at polar bears, they hibernate for quite some time keeping away from the cold. In the process of hibernation, the bears eat close to half an elephant before burying themselves in ice for months. One could say that with evolution, there is an ordinary nature of events as opposed to revolution where things are rushed catapulting chaos and police barricades.
The Homo sapiens would see this as an odd feature in comparison to their straight backbone. Nonetheless, if the early man was asked, he could have said nature abetted in his survival and independence in his days on earth. From skinning game and cutting meat, stones were the primal tool. In addition, We know the story of dinosaurs and other gigantic animals and birds. The food chain included carnivores and herbivores that had a heavy appetite. However, at this time, I believe we were still in the process of evolving from our cousins the apes. The good thing with evolution is that the start is hectic where all hands-on-deck are paramount in the creation of better things meant to come later. Revolution on the other hand involves going against current norms with no clear plan of what would occur next if the revolution were deemed to have achieved its purpose.
An issue with a revolution is that it is noisy and disruptive. The orchestrators of the revolt intend to actualize their ideas, which they deem would be fit for the citizens of a nation. Looking at some African countries, such revolts would lead to disaster with innocent citizens perishing and others being maimed in the process. Mind you, these very same citizens who believe in the power of casting a vote. With an idea that would free them from the masters of oppression, only for them to realize that the leaders of the rebellious groups do not conform to authority leading to catastrophe. Talk of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire! More so, many African States are on matters development behind this clause. We tend to go in circles claiming we need this and that yet, the very same advocates of justice and equality swallow massive funds donated by Western organizations and governments, who in their justifications, are helping an African States.
We in the resource-untapped Africa of ours should realize that working hand in hand is what will work. We need to evolve from this story of slavery and realize that we could learn a thing or two from the African Americans. It is quite selfish to sing to the tune of slavery yet the descendants of the slaves are dominating industries in the United States and other parts of the globe. We had the likes of Muhammad Ali who conquered boxing inspiring the likes of Mike Tyson to brace the ring and succeed to international status. Music moguls like Jay Z, Dr. Dre, and the late DMX have proved that they could live their dreams regardless of them being given the labels such as nigga and black monkey. We as Africans, especially in this era of globalization and IoT should learn from our brothers and sisters in the States and other parts of the world on the value of solidarity despite the odds. If we could do this, the African culture will begin to ooze into other global cultures; thus, gaining a positive identity of its own. In addition, the Africans could learn a thing or two on matters to do with development and governance. They forgave their oppressors who are now neighbours in the estates and they started families. More to this, they forged the identity of the African American and with this pride and heritage; their fruits bore them a first black president Barack Hussein Obama.
Evolution comes into play in the algebra of the African American. Morphing the movement from cotton fields and slave ships to riots led by the likes of Martin Luther King, Barack Obama, and Malcolm X, to multi-millionaire labels in different industries especially music labels. These artists started getting their skills from churches in choirs before the rigid systems of the then U.S governments imposed on the black communities. Looking at the same black communities today, admiration is the first stance they get and such evolution is the remedy we need to solve our problems as a continent with the negative thoughts of slavery, oppression, and malice put behind in the history books. We should develop our African culture based on the massive number of tribes in our numerous nations. Revolutions are messy and with this Corona pandemic at our necks, recklessness is not allowed for the sake of our children’s children. We should evolve from the huts, the female genital mutilation, early marriages, inter-community clashes, and the economic cold wars that slow down our surrounding environment. With these tools, room for better and efficient for current demands like education, family planning, and adopting homes for the elderly surges and bores a functioning community. Us as the African people should adopt evolution in our routine operations from top government officials to the women who sell us fresh groceries in our markets. With this and the synthesis of the true African spirit, there will be positive development in fundamentals of the African Culture. I would bet our African Americans brothers would be pleased and honored if we followed this and incidences such as the public murder of George Floyd would be well advocated and justice could prevail. It is time we evolved!