Black lives matter: A wake-up call on African leaders

THE term, “Black Lives Matter” has become a global movement. Although it calls for change in the way Black people are being treated globally. The movement is also a wake-up call on African leaders as well.

As Nigeria marked its 60th independence anniversary, there is the need for a rethink of the Nigerian project towards a country where  lives matter and are properly protected within and across the globe, which is what inspired my book, Finding Gold.

Set in Malaysia and Nigeria, it is a coming of age story about migration, survival, money, and pop culture.

Blacks are in a deplorable state globally.  Blacks ought to take over their resources and so many other artifacts designed as a relic of cultural importance and our channels of talking to God, like the Benin Masks, that were carted away many years ago.

We are beginning to lose some of our cultural ceremonies, like pouring libations, masquerade dance, tales, and moonlight dance to mention but a few in the recent globalisation. They are now being demonised. But our culture is our strength, not just our identity – if we lose it we lose ourselves. And it begins with the way we think.

Let me tell you about the mind and the body. If the mind is taken then the body is useless. Anatomically, the body is the strongest element on earth, but the mind is feeble, if one’s mind is taken out of the body, one will become incapable of doing something reasonable. The mind tells you when you are in pain, weak, sick, and emotionally drained. So beyond the physical, it is a battle of the mind. And so, slavery starts from capturing the mind; and in this context, culture begins from the mind.

Consequently, Black people must fight, protest, and protect their cultures. Many Black heroes have been jailed, killed, and condemned. But history does not forget. But violent is never a solution to oppression, but wisdom can be.

Black lives matter

Black is peace

Black is strong

Blacks never degenerate

Black reigns

Black lives matter. Blacks are strong, intelligent, and energetic, committed people of value globally. One has to choose to continue the struggle. I have chosen art instead of violence. Have you seen the Black lives matter statue of Jen Reid by Mare Quinn, a spot reserved many years for Edward Colsten? That is the work of time. From renowned contemporary artist, Aniekan Udofia – muralist (USA) and his “Black Heroes” murals to the works of the Sculptor Phillips Nzekwe, the story has to be retold.

We must have to break the pattern, rise above hate and every form of prison that holds us down. So even when they try to write us down; we rise because “Black Lives Matter”.


  • Mr Godwin is Nigerian writer/artist and social critic, who lives and works in New York

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