Africa’s Age of Enlightenment.
Throughout generations, societies have moved forward, made progress and created new system when thinking people begin to ask questions, interrogate existing facts, realities, practices and cultures.
So it was in Europe between the period of 1685 – 1815. This is preferred to as the Age of Enlightenment
Thinkers, philosophers and some people dissatisfied with the overbearing role of the church and state across Europe began to ask questions and revolt over certain issues. It was a period of awakening that set dissenting churches against establishments and trumpeting the right of dissenters to worship as they pleased without state interference.
The Age of Enlightenment preceded the Renaissance. The Age of Enlightenment helped society to develop social culture.
That was a period when thinkers and intellectuals recreated the social, political, educational and cultural norms of Europe, which prepared then to come over to dominate Africa.
As an intellectual, I want to posit that it’s about time to begin Africa’s Age of Enlightenment.
With the demise of Queen Elizabeth 11 and the emerging divergent reactions over her death vice-a-vis the role of Britain in the colonization, domination, impoverishment, and development of Africa, it’s about time African thinkers begin to re-evaluate certain issues.
We need to re-interrogate our identities as a people, our values and cultural distinctiveness, our political relationships and power struggles, our ethnicity diversities and relationships.
We need to re-interrogate our proclivities to material acquisitions against our professed religious beliefs and practices.
I do understand that it’s only people who are not attached material acquisitions that can effectively and devotedly take the recluse to engage in such intellectual explorations. The Age of Enlightenment in Europe saw the writing of many books and the production intellectual products that helped reshape Europe.
Can we reshape Africa? It’s only possible through thorough intellectual engagement.
Let the thinkers and philosophers of our time to take necessary recluse while they engage themselves in deliberate interrogation of the issues I have raised, and more.
There’s a way to think. You don’t think by being rancorous. Thinkers are not known to be populists. Africa needs thinkers in this age. Nigeria needs thinkers in this season.
We need to question a lot of things about our heritage, about our diversities and why it has become an albatross instead of strength for our collective development! We need to interrogate religion has become a source division in our country? We need ask questions about how we received our constitution and whether that constitution serves the interest of Nigerians or not.
Nigeria needs thinkers to help reshape our collective values towards politics, economy and social interaction.
For now, I declare the year 2022 as the start of Africa’s Age of Enlightenment.
Let the thinkers get to work!