The second mental Darkness

The second mental darkness and its impact

The second mental darkness, which occurred after the African mind-set was switched-off in connection with endogenous-led development, prevented sub-Saharan countries from recognising the path out of underdevelopment and/or pursuing it with firm determination.

The cause

The causes of the second mental darkness are traceable way back to slave trade! Briefly, slave trade shipped tens of millions of able-bodied Africans out of the continent, and thereby robbed Africa of a critical factor in development, namely productive labour. Yet, it was not through the loss of productive labour that the slave trade participated effectively in pressing Africa’s ‘retardation’ button with regard to development. By reducing people to tradable commodities and by treating them as less than human, moreover over a period spanning more than 400 years, slave trade ‘eroded’ the African’s self-esteem and self-belief. During the same period, slave trade successfully sowed the ‘seed’ of self-doubt in the African mind.

After the slave trade came colonialism. The colonial discourse devalued all meaningful contributions of pre-colonial Africa, selling historical Africa as inconsequential in everything. To the extent it devalued African achievements, traditions and values, is the same extent it promoted the superiority of anything European. In this and other ways, colonialism worsened the negative impact of slave trade on the African mind, giving rise to inferiority tendencies or self-debasement that still emasculate Africans today. This ‘onslaught’ on the African psyche failed the African mindset from growing the attitude towards endogenous-led development, giving rise to the second mental darkness in connection with development.

Its role in the inability of your country to get out of underdevelopment

In Keita L. ed, (2011), Prah[1] wrote, “It is the absence of cultural relevance and the need for cultural adaptations of external inputs into African development planning that constitute the major obstacle to success in development planning and implementation in Africa.”

Prah was essentially rephrasing the second mental darkness that, as already pointed out, prevents sub-Saharan countries from recognising the path out of underdevelopment and/or pursuing it with firm determination.

[1] Prah K. K. 2011. Culture: The missing link in development planning in Africa. In Keita L. ed, Philosophy and African Development. Theory and Practice. CODESRIA, Dakar

Helping your country overcome this challenge

This book has been specially prepared to improve the quality of career guidance for learners in Years 3-4 of secondary school. In the process of strengthening career guidance however, the book rebuilds and promotes the self-esteem, self-belief and self-confidence of Africans, but in the upcoming generations.

At the end of the book, learners are linked to three complementary e-resources. First resource is for learners who want to study up to university; it avails them a range of courses in their potential area(s) of interest. Second and third resources are for learners who want to join vocational or technical institutions; the resources help them in identifying the skill to train in and where to train from.

Significance of your contribution

Proceeds from selling you the opportunity for remembrance, described in the  video here, are largely for (i) revisiting the developed complementary e-resources so that they acquire meaning and relevancy in line with your country’s education system (ii) offsetting the production costs.