By Bisi Alimi
Let us talk about Mark Zuckerberg picture of eating African food with his hands and the applause he is receiving from Africans, both from the poor and the elite.
It saddens me that in 2016, a white person eating African food will receive such accolades from Africans.
I have been living in the UK for 9 years and I have travelled around many white people’s countries. I have been at dinner tables with many white people. I have eaten white people food with white people cutleries and never, never have I seen any surprise on the faces of these white people that I can eat like them.
Do you know why? Becuase white has been set as the standard of how the world works. When a white person speaks any African language and post videos online, that video will go viral among Africans. Even with the worse attempt at speaking the language or with horrible accents.
But I remember how many times black people have been called out by white people for their accent or the poor attempt at speaking white people’s language.
Not only that, I am yet to see white people posting videos of black people trying to speak Spanish, Italian, English or German and seeing that video going viral among white people.
The madness that comes with Mark’s visit and his eating of food with his hands, has his unintended consequences in the way black people are perceived and treated by white people.
Would it have been a pleasure to meet Mark? Yes, indeed it would have been. Would I have melted in his sight? NO, I won’t.
The reason is, Mark is one of the many examples of a good system. A system where things work. A system that builds itself on the endless possibility that the mind of man can achieve.
There are many Marks in Nigeria and many of them are trying, but we will celebrate them. This is because, without white endorsement, black talents is nothing but the waste of time and space.
Mark didn’t develop facebook by praying in a church on Monday to Sunday, nor was he and his friends able to develop the largest social media platform in the world because they pray five times a day in a mosque.
No! it was not about how religious they were. It was about how visionary, coupled with a system and a government that have his people at the heart of governance and not how many wives and concubine, nor how many houses and wives.
Black people, your future is bleak, a very very bleak one. Yes, we can hold white people responsibility, but it is as far as we can. They are not responsible for the bullshit we buy from ourselves.
We have created heroes out of Pastors, Imams, and politicians, while our talents and creatives suffer.
We have allowed white standard as a benchmark for our lives, while we are doing catch-up, a catch-up that will never catch-up, simply because, we are not white people and no amount of bleaching creams we use, we will never be white.
No amount of white western education we have, no amount of white western food we eat, no amount of white western friends or lovers we have, we will never be white. We will never meet and beat the benchmark.
It is time to rethink and restructure the benchmark, shift the goal post, rearrange and reaffirm. Let us look within.
So that when the next Mark Zuckerberg eats amala with his hands, it becomes the norm and not some angels among mere mortals.
- Article appears on Bisi Alimi’s Facebook Page