This photograph of a lone fisherman has come to symbolise for me that African who constantly paddles against the hostile tides of nepotism, corruption, apathy, despair, visionlessness and logic-bending prejudice.
I meet this African everyday. Sometimes, he went to Oxford and Cambridge and all those great schools of the world. Sometimes, he is semi-educated, uneducated, badly educated.
I meet this African in Lagos and London and Amsterdam and Accra and Kampala. I meet this African everywhere. I meet this African in market places, powerful places, hostile places, positive places but they always live in a lonely place.
This African no longer fits in their clan; they are bored hearing the same old Ananse stories. They are tired hearing about hoes and cutlasses and fat women’s assets. This African has a new story of fresh inventions, solutions, reformations, transformations, simulations, stipulations, manifestations, alterations, postulations, revelations, revolutions… Salvation.
This African was born alone, left alone, lives alone, will die alone- a lunatic, a villain, a traitor, a dreamer- one the family must quickly forget because she dared to fit out.
Out in the open fields, Mother Earth will hug his discarded body, soak in his blood and tears and stains from the whips of those who sought his ruin and everything will be gloomy for a long time… until the fresh scent of virgin rain tickles its way through the unyielding dark clouds and finally kisses the forehead of Mother Earth.
Then the spirit of this African will yield many many young Africans- just like the seed that fell, and her seed shall decipher the pyramids, reclaim their dignity, buy back their gold, restore their palaces and resurrect their kings.
This lone African today… paddling alone against the tides… will soon become the only African. The one we see everywhere. But now, this lone African, must stay, the sacrifice he is.