Thursday, December 7


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By Ousainou Mbenga

One must live in order to think! And one must experience certain living conditions not only to understand, explain and analyze the conditions but to change them.

A keen observation of nature since the beginning of time gives us the confidence to conclude that, nature almost never makes mistakes. Therefore, nature’s creation of an upright – brain in human beings as compared to other mammals was no accident, it was intended to accommodate the elastic nature of this brain throughout its revolutionary (evolutionary) development. Ever since the creation of this upright –brain, the quest of human beings has always been to control nature, the same creator of this organ, the brain where the “mind” is hidden and lock up yet to be free. But what happened to the human brain, especially the African brain, the first brain nature created?

In its quest to control nature, this upright human brain throughout its history developed through social relationships; through practice and ultimately advanced into social systems that dictate our lives and livelihood to the present era.

In this article, our quest is to explain and dig deep into the relationship between our environment and the living conditions we create and how they shape our thoughts (thinking) towards each other from the biological family level to the bigger national family level and ultimately planet earth.


Counter –revolutionary attitudes takes you no further than yourself but revolutionary attitudes will last for eternity, creating a lasting national spirit for genuine development.

Social (cultural) and political consciousness is the starting point to develop steel discipline and consequently an attitude considerate of the biological family, the community and ultimately the national family. This task requires only a personal conviction. It doesn’t require a degree or title to develop and maintain an attitude worthy of national development. The prevailing backward and reactionary attitudes we constantly complain about didn’t just drop from the skies and drown our consciousness to the gutter level it’s at. These attitudes were cultivated decades past as our sense of community was gradually dismembered by the tail end of the colonial era into the flag independence era, marking the starting point of the neo –colonial ruling class that sabotaged our aspirations to reach the highest altitude of genuine development for Africa and African people.

We must remember that “it is people, not things, that are decisive”. But in the absence of revolutionary thinking, the opposite will become the truth and on goes the “cart before the horse” planning of our living conditions. If filthy politicians and their equally treacherous “technocratic enablers” convince you to believe in their reactionary –defeatist utterance that, “we are a developing country”, therefore, it’s normal for us to go through this suffocating poverty under the most wretched conditions of living, then you will forever think within those constricting circles of underdevelopment. Underdevelopment is an imposed colonized state of mind in which backward and blatant reactionary attitudes are considered normal and above the national altitude for genuine development.

The way you live is definitely the way you will think. If you live like a tape worm, you will think like a tape worm. A parasite that does not work but attaches itself to one’s intestines and gets bigger while the host remains malnourished. If you accept to live in filthy surroundings with trash and garbage, your brain will adapt to that environment and think within those confines.

It is this brain that adapted to its surrounding that would eat in its car, wind the window down and throw your trash (banana peel, plastic bottle and paper) out into the streets? Littering has become a normal practice. Why would this brain accept a loaf of bread to be wrapped in a dirty newspaper instead of wrapping it in a clean sanitary paper? And why would this brain accept local bread suppliers transport bread from the bakeries in such unsanitary conditions?

Make no mistake, all these backward attitudes that obstruct our return to the sense of community we once enjoyed and the national altitude we aspire to, are all within our reach if we change our wretched living conditions, consequently the way we think. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Voice’s editorial stance.