THE SINS OF MARY SLESSOR – A TWISTED HISTORY
[The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they aren’t true, but they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie]
Whatever you have read in the history book about Africa, is not the absolute truth. History is completely biased. It is emotionally crafted in a manner to portray bravery in the face of fierce adversity, and there is only one group the vain narration is meant to glorify – the writers of the history.
All the ancient books about Black Africans were written by the slave masters. The tales were exaggerated and totally buttered with falsehood for selfish gratification. These fictitious accounts took away the milk of humanity in Africa, and placed us slightly beneath the savage beasts of the wild. History was never fair to my fathers and that same history was inherited and believed by you and me.
As the consumers of these lies called the ‘African History’, we accept totally the horrible fictions and concur that we are from the lineage of terrible demons, this I stand to challeng today: Those lies are from the pit of hell, malicious deception. We, the black race, are not the descendants of monsters.
BEAR THIS IN MIND, I do not come to abolish the history; No, I come to make the crooked way straight.
I am a son of a Sunday School teacher; in the 80s and early 90s, when we were small, the church in those days did not only teach the scripture, they glorified the white missionaries while they demonized our fathers. They repeatedly told us of the horrible things our fathers did and there was no single story – not even one – to prove that our fathers had something called emotions. We believed in the absolutism of their stories and accepted that our fathers were evil.
My generation was caged by the lies spread by the church, we were forced to accept that if not for the White man we would have perished. The church sang the killing of twins as an anthem – even before I was born, while I was still in my mother’s womb, I heard the stories of infanticide of twins. So I grew up believing that every good thing was done by the white man as my forefathers were busy eating human beings and killing twins. Funny.
We were told that our fathers were killing their babies until a white Messiah whose name is Mary (but not the virgin) came and SINGLEHANDEDLY forced people from Calabar, Uyo, Abakiliki, Okigwe, Nri, Otukpa, Udi, Oguta, every part of Nigeria to stop the killing of twins.
Thank you very much, Mary.
So if I give birth to a set of twins, I would tell them that if not for Mary, I and my kinsmen would throw them inside an evil forest.
What a record: Full of lies. The killing of twins was not practised everywhere in Eastern Nigeria. It was a very unpopular custom of the land that was challenged by the people. Most Igbos of the old hated that custom and criticized it; but then, there were the Priests of the land who wouldn’t want to anger the gods. People were against the killing of twins, this fact would be shared in my next article.
(Whenever you are in doubt, ASK.)
Some years ago, I was at the Marina Beach – I visited the Slave Museum – on the shores of Calabar. The Island of Mary Slessor’s haven (where she kept the rescued twins) is visible from the shores. The Beach is infamous for warehousing thousands of kidnapped Africans before transporting them to slavery. The beach is Nigerian’s version of ‘The Point of No Return.’ And on that Beach was Mary Slessor’s muster point.
Have you ever asked yourself what happened to the hundred of twins Mary rescued?
Did she send them back to their parents that forbade twins, or were the Twins taken to London and enrolled in the best schools to be groomed alongside with the children of the Lords?
Is it possible that hundreds of twins were saved from our fathers and waybilled to South Carolina in a Ship with mature slaves chained below the deck?
The young shall grow and so would the twins, and two slaves are better than one.
No matter what became of the rescued twins, I admit that Mary saved their lives, but let History be a liar if it says that Mary Slessor saved the twins alone. IT IS NOT TRUE – there were people of Calabar that helped her in the dangerous mission. What are their names? Why were they not recognized?
History would never tell you about those kind-hearted Calabar men and women that helped Mary Slessor. The truth would reveal that among those black demons in Africa were humans with fleshy hearts in the left part of their chest. Once the true story of the abolishment of the killing of twins is known, and every member of the team identified, then Mary’s achievement would not appear as magnificent as it is; her glory would not be hers alone.
Therefore, it is a crime to give a little credit to those that assisted Mary, that is why History preferred to say that Mary Slessor alone stopped the killing of twins in Africa. Yes, she did. She marched into the camp of cannibals and with a folded fist, and reddened eyes, she stopped the infanticide of twins in Nigeria.
In my opinion, Mary has received enough praise for the good work she participated in. From now onwards, let’s thank the other members of the team that made it possible – the Calabar Indigenes.
Africa stopped the killing of the twins, Mary Slessor did not. We were not enjoying the custom and we wanted to stop it by all means. Stick around and I will share the whole detail.
So when next you talk about the abolishment of infanticide of twins in Nigeria, appreciate the fact that it was a communal effort. One person couldn’t have abolished such custom; Mary did not.
Every African needs to ask him/herself this question, Why did our fathers – from some part of the continent – kill twins?