In the book, “The Sankofa Movement:ReAfrikanization And The Reality Of War”, by Kwame Agyei Akoto and Akua Nson Akoto, there’s an instructive and never to be forgotten analogy that reflects the history and current condition of the Afrikan world. In the analogy, seven Afrikan warriors were returning from a prosperous hunt , each carrying their respective weapons and a share of the kill. As they make their way back to the village (where the clan awaited their return) on a “narrow and worn path), they pass herds of multifarious groups of dangerous wild animals. As they traverse the path, “they walk intently and purposely without distraction. They breathe and step in unison, in a trot, fully and rightfully confident of their strength, and their place in the balance of things”. The path they walk is the path created by their ancient Ancestors, as well as the deities of the clan; and as long as they remain on that path they remain immensely protected by their Ancestors and Deities.
The turning point of the analogy is marked by the youngest of the warrior-hunters being distracted by the “romp and play” of some the nearby animals, and he broke formation from the group, disrupting the “rhythm and pace”of the collective to engage the animals. The order, the balance and the structure of the ancients was violated! His group of comrades warn him of his deviation from the path. His comrades leave the path to protect him and to assist his return, but too were distracted, resulting in everyone losing their way back to the path, and ultimately the path itself. Sure they could defend themselves, but they have created an immeasurable amount of “disorder and chaos” in their lack of displace and vigilance. They engaged all of the dangerous animals in a setting propitious to the dangerous animals.
This analogy epitomizes unity! This analogy profoundly elucidates the inability to value, internalize and understand the order and structure of tradition. These men were required to leave and return to the village with objective of procuring food/resources for the clan. These warrior-hunters were representatives of the collective (the clan), sent out with the responsibility of purveying for all. The entire clan was dependent on their success and survival, but everything was completely jeopardized by their selfishness; their misjudgments;their self-indulgence; their self-centered impulsiveness endangered their well-being and survival individually, and most importantly, the well-being of the collective–the clan in its totality.
It is unacceptable for us (Afrikans) to allow anyone other than ourselves to define what unity means to us, for we have traveled down that road many, many times before. We have to stop making the same mistakes over and over again, we have a vast amount of ourstorical knowledge, as well as numerous contemporary examples to guide us on the path. The path that our Ancestors and our Deities created for us; the same path that they continue to provide us with their encompassing protection. we MUST prevail against all odds, find our way onto that path, stay on it, unite ands succeed! Everything is at stake, but “Pamoja Tutashinda”, which means “together we will win” in Swahili. Together we must build a deep level of committment and trust so that we “CAN” win, because in valor there is hope.
BY VICTOR “OWUSU” SAWYERS
Victor “Owusu” Sawyers is an activist, a co-founder of ONE HOOD UNITED, a member of the ONE HOOD UNITED YOUTH COMMITTE and a member of the HUMAN RIGHTS COALITION