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ETHOES, ETHICS AND TABOOS OF AFRICAN SPIRITUALITY (Myk)
By NAIWU OSAHON
The principal reason why we are not able to forge a unified nation for ourselves, a unified race, is because we allow foreign religions and their divisive ideologies to tear us apart. They turn us into North vs. South, Christians vs. Muslims, as we fight their stupid, myopic wars for them, loosing self-confidence and respect for what is ours and native to us in the process. We loose sight of our oneness, our African essence, which makes us brothers and sisters and to correct this, all Africans must return now to our spirituality to confront our problems together as one unique people whose ancestors pioneered civilization and who are poised to take back the leadership of the world in every endeavour.
Our ancestors laid down the rules for all humans to live by, and the rules that govern the Myk. In Odu Ifa, we are told that humans are divinely chosen to bring good in the world, and that this is the fundamental mission and meaning of human life. Because we are the origin of the human race, this law applies more seriously to us than any of the other races we sired. Africans were specifically and peculiarly given the responsibility to care for the world from the dawn of human history, by being the first born.
The human race lost spiritual direction when we were forced, two thousand years ago, to drop our nurturing responsibility for the earth. Our new-age, greedy, self-centred ‘extended family siblings’ or cousins, turned the earth into a blazing hellhole of misery for all that live in it, humans, the echo system, everything. Idu Ifa implores us to take back our responsibility and do good for the world because doing good is the best expression of character. The Serudj ta concept, implores us to restore, repair, and renew the world, making it more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. Inherit in the sense of healing ourselves and each other as well as the world. Queen Hatshepsut added that we must supersede what was formerly done. “For I want it to be said by those who come afterwards, how beautiful is this which happened because of me.”
Our ancestors insist that we think of eternity and plan for the future and for those who will come after us. We must leave them a legacy of good. Husia claims that the wise are known for their wisdom but the great are known by their good deeds.
Odu Ifa says, let us be exalted by the good we do, the good, heaven and history have chosen us to do. And even as we are chosen, let us choose to be chosen, not over and against any other people, but chosen with all other people to create, increase, and sustain good in the world. And in this choosing, let us always choose life over death, justice over injustice, freedom over oppression, self-inflicted or imposed, peace over war, love over hatred and truth over lies in any form. In this then lies the moral meaning of our lives to choose to do good in the world and to do it not only for ourselves, but for the world.
According to Odu Ifa, we live in a world and web of interdependence. Anyone who does good does it for herself and anyone who does evil does it to himself. The greatest good comes from our gathering together in harmony whether in family, friendship, community, society or the world. Husia says, I did good for my community. I spoke truth, I did justice. For I knew the value of doing good. It will be a storehouse for those who come after us.
Husia says we are given wealth so that we can do good with it. Idu Ifa adds that surely everyone deserves and has a right to the good and goods of and in the world, and confirms that anyone who cultivates the disposition for doing good especially to the needy, this person in particular, will never lack happiness.
Harwa, the chief of staff of Amenirdis, the Divine wife of Amen, says in Husia that we are to be a refuge for the poor, a raft for the drowning, a ladder for those in the pit (of despair), a shade for the orphan, and a helper for the widow, that we should be one who speaks for the wretched, assists the unfortunate, and aids the oppressed by excellent deeds, and that we should give food to the hungry, and clothes to the naked, (and be) one who removes pain and suppresses wrong doing, and who sustains the aged and eliminates the need of the have-nots. Harwa concludes: “My reward for this is being remembered for my virtue, that is to say, for the good I have done in and for the world.”
Odu Ifa reveals that we do damage to the world, ourselves, and each other, in varied ways. We do damage when we fail to follow the best of our ethical and spiritual teachings and instead use religion to disrespect and impose on others to justify unjust wars, to seize and occupy other land, and to claim a special religious and racial status above and beyond all other people in the world. We do damage when we turn a blind eye to injustice, a deaf ear to truth, and an uncaring heart, away from the suffering and pain around us and throughout the world.
Frantz Fanon urged us to start a new history of humankind with other progressive people in the world, bring into being a new world and new man and woman who will cherish, respect and reaffirm each other, sustain the good world and pass on this good and legacy to future generations.
Let us go forward then, implores Kwanzaa, in and with unity, self-determination, cooperative economics, collective work and responsibility, purpose, creativity and faith in striving to embody and live the life-affirming, and life-enriching values of our ancestors that represent the best of what it means to be African and human in the world. Let us always strive to be a powerful presence for good in the world and constantly work for the good life of every person and people as bearers of dignity and divinity demand and deserve.
African spirituality is the most potent spirituality in the world; the highest level of science for humankind. It works for both good and evil as is with other sciences. If used for good only, as was practiced by our ancestors, civilization gallops in leaps and bounds. That was what gave us Egypt. Our spirituality must, therefore, be used only for the good of mankind as was intended by our ancestors. No one, from this day on, is allowed to use our spirituality to do evil. It must not be used to hurt, kill or destroy third parties. Diviners and their clients who use it to attack others, under any guise, commit grievous, unpardonable sin, and should be exposed, ostracized and punished legally, physically and spiritually by society and cursed by our Gods.
The Sacred Law of OoTAF: No body is allowed to use the power of African spirituality to do evil. Traditional rulers, Obas, Emirs, Obis, kings, heads of African hamlets, communities, villages, cities or towns, are each to set up a branch of the Organisation of African Traditional Faiths, to come together at the community, town and national levels of every African country as (OoTAF). OoTAF brings together, properly trained and skilled priests of African traditional faiths in each African country; makes rules for the training of new members; establishes a hierarchical structure for all the faiths (combined as one) at branch and national levels; regulate practices of the different faiths; reward excellence and good practices, and sanctions members involved in untoward practices. Depending on the gravity of the sin, members practicing evil could loose membership of the organisation and be stopped permanently, spiritually and otherwise, from continued practice in the faiths. A similar organisation, the first, has been set up in the Rep. of Benin by the government. All other African and Black countries and communities of the world are to follow suit.
The extended family tradition is unique to Africa. All Africans must practice it and extend the tradition beyond blood relatives to all Africans and peoples world-wide.
(1) Respect for elders is a strong African tradition that has a stabilizing influence on the African family and home. Children of the Myk must respect their parents and all elders at all times. Children or youths must be humble and must diligently listen to their parents’ or elders’ instructions and argument and even when they disagree, must show reverence and good manners. Youths must greet elders first at all times and in all circumstances and with great courtesy. Every Myk child is a child of the entire Myk community and must be treated the way every good parent would treat their own child.
(2) Foundation of each home and family should be built on mutual respect, sincerity, and loyalty. Even then, in every situation there must be a leader. Fathers or husbands are the traditional breadwinners of the family and must strive always to fulfil this role unless incapacitated or helpless. The father or husband is the leader in the African home. Not a dictator, but one whose respect derives from his transparent love for his family and attention to details of their needs.
(i) The wife is not a beast of burden. She is entitled to develop her skills and apply them to the limit of her abilities, although mindful always of family cohesion.
(ii) There must be equal opportunities for children regardless of gender. Female children must be given, at least, equal opportunities as their brothers to develop to their maximum capacities.
(iii) Children must strive to go to school and remain and finish school. Every child must reach for a university degree, at least, and definitely must not drop out of the education system by choice or from selfish pressure from parents or third parties. Myk children must strive to be the best in their classes and in whatever careers or professions they finally embark upon or settle for.
(3) The number of children per family should be kept to manageable proportions to enable them to be provided for adequately in education and development. Black families cannot do this if they let themselves have more children than they can afford.
(4) Myks can circumcise male but not the female. Under no circumstance must a female be circumcised. It is a wicked tradition that offends social norm, degrades our best human qualities, and encourages men to be promiscuous at the expense of the female.
(5) Myks once married must make serious effort to remain married to their spouses especially if a child or children is or are involved. Therefore, marriages should not be rushed into. Both families of the couple and the immediate Myk community must be involved in the marriage process so that breaking it becomes the concern of both families and the Myk community. There is no word for divorce in the African spiritual firmament. Before a marriage becomes irretrievable, elders in both families are to be invited to come together to counsel the couple and try to salvage the marriage.
Myk’s elders’ council should also be given a chance to counsel the couple. If separation or divorce is inevitable, partners must continue to carry their full responsibilities financially, physically and spiritually, for the up keep of the family, so as to ensure reasonably balanced mental and psychological development of their children.
(6) Myks are hard working people. They love work and hate being idle. They believe nothing comes easy so they put in everything they have, energy, brains and resources, to excel. At work, Myks put in their best efforts as employees and are loyal and committed to their jobs. Rather than become disloyal, they change job. They do not take bribe to do the job for which they are being paid, whatever the pay. They strive always to be the best in their jobs or professions, and take pride in their jobs regardless of status. As employers they provide a peaceful caring work atmosphere for their employees.
(7) Myks must respect constituted authority whether as between management and staff or the ruler and the subject and if it is necessary to try to change or challenge applicable laws, legal and constitutional means must take precedence over anarchy.
General: Members of the Myk do not smoke, use or deal in dangerous or illegal drugs in any form. People who do, certainly cannot be leaders in any capacity or level in the Myk or the Pan African Movement. If after being cautioned they persist in their habits, they should be dismissed from the Myk. People who cannot be seen as role models by others in the Myk, or are morally deficient in anyway, or have anti-social habits that seriously offend popular norms, natural and African traditions, cannot join the Myk and definitely cannot lead in any capacity in the Myk or the movement. Those falling into this category must first obtain clearance before joining or seeking any leadership position in the Myk from the International Secretariat of the movement.
Myks can bear any name but preferably African names, including first, others, and last names. The choice of name/s rest principally with the adult individual or recognized parents or guardians of the child.
Myks are free to dress how they like but would be considered appropriately dressed, particularly at Myk ceremonies, in African influenced or traditional costume.
Myks must all wear a symbol of the movement at all times, such as a finger-ring or broach for the purpose of quick universal identification.
Taboos: Lying, dishonesty, insincerity, betrayal of trust, cheating, crookedness and fraudulent practices of any sort are totally unacceptable behaviours within and outside the Myk. People involved in any of these evils are misfits and their actions negate the social cohesion the Myk represents.
Egocentrism and insensitivity are grievous sins in the Myk. They violate the spirit of oneness, sharing and give and take, which constitute the bedrock of the Myk cosmology. Stealing or thieving of any kind portrays idleness, laziness and indiscipline; denies others of the fruits of their legitimate labour and is parasitic on society.
Fighting and murder downgrade human worth and destroy the basis of communalism. No one has the right to injure, maim or take life, which is the most precious gift of nature. Adultery demonstrates gross lack of self-control and is indicative of disrespect for societal norms. Incest is an abomination that poisons the family unit with an ignoble virus that weakens human survival.
Lesbianism or homosexuality is a serious crime in African traditions. It is anti-humanity, anti-nature and worst than bestial because it is unrecognized in the rest of the animal kingdom. It represents the highest form of societal rot, decadence, and spells self-enfranchisement from the African family, and should be treated as such. If any race or group of people wants to self-destruct, may be that is their curse after centuries of exploiting and dehumanizing other racial groups. Now that they are marrying same sex, dogs and donkeys, they have obviously reached the dead end of moral decadence, and there is nothing hip about self-imposed racial annihilation through homosexuality and deviant sexual degeneracy. Nothing in it to imitate since the Black race must survive to restore virtuous civilization to the New World of the new millennium.
Generally, those who resist falling foul of these taboos can join or remain in the Myk. No one can be a Myk and practice any of the taboos. Any member contravening any of the taboos or is found to be betraying the movement in any way, is to be tried by the Elders’ Court (MzeeKuposa) of the Myk and if found guilty, publicly humiliated, punished, suspended, fined or dismissed from the movement and the Myk. Once dismissed, the fellow can never again re-join the movement anywhere in the world and members of the guilty person’s family may also be so affected, depending on the judgment of the Elders’ Court at the time of the new application. All dismissed fellows forfeit their rights and entitlements, cash or kind, in the movement and the Myk.
NAIWU OSAHON Hon. Khu Mkuu (Leader, World Pan-African Movement); Ameer Spiritual (Spiritual Prince) of the African race; MSc. (Salford); Dip.M.S; G.I.P.M; Dip.I.A (Liv.); D. Inst. M; G. Inst. M; G.I.W.M; A.M.N.I.M. Poet, Author of the magnum opus: ‘The end of knowledge’. One of the world’s leading authors of children’s books; Awarded; key to the city of Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Honourary Councilmanship, Memphis City Council; Honourary Citizenship, County of Shelby; Honourary Commissionership, County of Shelby, Tennessee; and a silver shield trophy by Morehouse College, USA, for activities to unite and uplift the African race.
Naiwu Osahon, renowned author, philosopher of science, mystique, leader of the world Pan-African Movement.