Bowed Men Behind Boundary Intrigues: (2) 1885 Rampage Avenue


Imperialism in many ways led people who had a say in their lives loose their say and control of their world, as power, influence and deceit pressed them like a nightmare and squeeze their existence before their eyes. New means follows determining new boundaries.

Our teacher DJ., great admirer of materialist explanation of history always beautify the system of the east as better than the west. But the fact he ignored was that both were on the same privileged rampage avenue of exploitation and supremacy over underdeveloped Africa. Being or not at the conference is not the issue as many things denoting sameness took place thereafter.

As a student would always point out to DJ:, imperialism is the same. Imperialists are buccaneers. Among buccaneers, there are always ‘leaders of the consortium’ – “oga on top”.

Harsh and destructive stories of Belgium Congo is an archetype while imperialist types run through other peoples. Types and archetypes hair splitting often are descriptions that do not alter the essence. Introspectively, the difference is ‘chaque domination externe’ of a scholar may not fit into every bit of conceptual acrobatics and orbit of another scholar assuming a gatekeeper on the subject.

The maxim remains: Azu karia azu, obulu azu rie . A bigger fish would tend to eat the smaller. This has always been at play in games nations play, especially at the international level. Adjustment and consensus are easier when the fish to be eaten is “azu onye ozo” in isolated waters. The fish may be small or “big for nothing” which makes it vulnerable to be eaten

The effort to eat the big fish eventually brings all kinds of behaviours to the table. It can include sharing or scramble for the fish, soup or useful bones for the dogs. It could initiate new strikes and injuries as power politics and politics for power are always marked by ingredients of struggle extraordinaire.

After ‘independence’, meddling in the left over affairs warily devolve to neocolonialism.That is the story of Africa since the last quarter of the 19th century culminating in its scramble, partition and underdevelopment.

Fall out of this conquest is resounding in African politics, economic and social cleavages. The present is drawing from the process rather than a conference of 1885. It is also dawning on many that old hands of imperialism are always renewed or dressed and empowered to wrought endemic decay while ‘internal colonialism’ as a specter alarmingly holds sway.

But all these come from a consensus! Consensus with whom? Is consensus not said to be a language of sharing usually proposed by the master? Consensus is a-times a word ploy and lullaby to capture unsuspecting weaker opponent. Often, the master will deceptively play to remain on top of the game with bigger and better pie!

Is there any data to support the assumption that internal migratory pattern began to deepen or lessen with the coming of Europeans? The story is not uniform in all parts of Africa.

Take a look at points of berth, from the Cape to Cairo, Atlantic Ocean to the hinterlands and meeting other imperialist movements. At some point, imperialism stopped various “push”. In other places, the new association created a new form of push along with containment. What is visible are patterns not traditional to many of the peoples.

New boundaries by fiat started to emerge, indeed, a new process not governed by early arrival at a location, demographics or language uniformities.

Western education and political edge determined new boundaries, putting to disadvantage late contacts to these new determinants. Forthwith, colonial judgements were no longer based on traditional boundary systems as the new enforced – so-called autonomous communities. What can be farther from the condition or unity of the past?

Entrance of a powerful third party – Europeans foisted new status of arbiters on international boundaries, and generated internal contradictions. The methods and governance of new areas provided leeway to new boundaries for administrative conveniences, politics of greed, overarching economic control, nepotism, and issuance of diktats designed to elevate supremacist agendas rather than equity and unity.

Strangely though, internal contradiction and boundary issues at the outset of independence led only to few external boundary skirmishes in Africa. But internal politics will later ignite wild fire of internal boundary issues, altercations and commissions.

A perceptive reader would wonder why this discussion is bereft of examples both old and new. It is for a reason.

Read on for Africa is still a foundling.

It can be attested that “morning is still on creation day”after half a century. Moreover, upheavals undermining notions, concepts and theories are upswing, therefore, attention on the new will make sense to move forward.

Supra-national world in a world of boundaries should capture our attention.

To be continued.


1885 Rampage avenue
Azu karia azu obulu azu rie
Azu nwa onye ozo
Africa is still a foundling
Chaque domination externe
Consensus as a word ploy and lullaby to capture
Endemic decay of internal colonialism
Power politics and politics for power are marked by struggle and deceit extraordinaire
Internal and external boundary wars
Types and archetype