Dr. Toyin Falola, an intellectual historian most recent book called ‘Decolonizing African Studies’ gives an insight on decolonizing African mind with regard to European psychological conquest of the African mind. Below are the words of Falola (excerpts ) as he talked to consersation.com
Falola in his words:
“If you tell a story or the history of a people from a wrong perspective for too long, people will come to accept it, regardless of how untrue it is, while disregarding the other perspective or even believing that there cannot be any other perspective than the one they have been told.
For a long time, there has been a lot of westernisation of African history, and in return, African perspectives have been neglected or deemed nonexistent. It was not until after the Second World War that African writers began to decolonise African history. So, yes, if you say there has been a misrepresentation of the continent, I wouldn’t deny it, but at the same time, we are already creating new narratives. We now have people strongly and tirelessly correcting this misinformation and replacing them with our truth.
I think we can both agree that the side of the narrative preferred by the western world is not that which entirely favours the best interest of Africa. Though the colonial masters have been gone for decades, they left behind intellectual legacies that are not so obvious to many of us in Africa. Such legacies include those that reflect in knowledge and how we acquire it, legacies that permeate the operations of our institutions and have an effect on the means of development of our continent. These are the legacies we are making positive efforts to remove through decolonisation.
My book is one of the materials that help set things straight about decolonisation. I know there are many materials out there, and there are many more that will come from scholars across Africa who understand the patriotic assignment of decolonising knowledge production. But this does not stop here. There is also sensitisation going on across Africa. Seminars and think tank assemblies are being held to develop strategies for fastening the grip on decolonisation in Africa.
An important mission is to integrate indigenous systems into the formal western-education style. What is ours? Our languages, ideas, crafts, stories, including festivals, ceremonies, useful knowledge from elders, and many more. And we must put what we have learned into practice as we play, interact with one another, and build purposeful communities.”
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