The Source Of The Nile Decoded

Sat, 12 Jul 2014 Source: Kwarteng, Francis


Yet again, a possible answer, of course, is not so much a question of merely locating the source of Life’s complexities as utilizing the locational source to tame or domesticate Life, O Great People of the World, if that were indeed remotely plausible. Thus, The Scarab Beetle gathers his scattered friends and leads them on a pilgrimage to The Congo Basin, the largest forest in Africa, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world. Meaning? That implies The Congo Basin finds herself in good company. In hindsight, The Scarab Beetle had wanted his friends to experience the complexities of forest life firsthand. Consequently, they, led by The Scarab Beetle, trip along serpentine paths to the palace of The Iroko Tree, the king of The Congo Basin, for an audience. As it were.

However, in the claustrophobic womb of The Forest they look around timorously with wrinkled faces of skewed astonishment. Suddenly arrows of shock make a dash for the din of their inert hearts, piercing them in moments of indecision. Yet there is no schizophrenia of opinion as regards which direction the sylvan audience should assume. The audience begins in earnest nonetheless. The Dolphin, The Scarab Beetle’s totemic sobriquet, does all the talking. But what King Iroko Tree tells them shocks them to the hilt. “Life is not rosy here in the forest either,” The Scarab Beetle intimates. “Sometimes The Sun does not reach deep into the pundic abyss of the near-impenetrable forest. And that makes Life unbearable particularly for those of our dwarf siblings.”

For far too long, O Great People of the World, The Forest has been a psychological battle-playground for political self-determination. The colonial Lions and Tigers and Hyenas and Anacondas simply did not want to give up their firm purchase on economic and political power. What is more, political scarlet-sins did roam about the place, an already difficult situation not helped by The Brethren’s clandestine collaboration with the vampiric Tigers and Lions and Anacondas and Hyenas to frustrate the untiring efforts of The Scarab Beetle’s aimed at self-determination. It eventually did come, however. So long. Mriamba Bâ’s “So Long a Letter.”

Then, opportunely, Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” a literary-sister of The Scarab Beetle’s juggernaut-mouthpiece “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology Decolonization,” fatefully materialized on the eve of the momentous arrival of Mariamba Bâ’s belated “So Long a Letter,” in 1957, Africa’s belated spiritual birthdate. In point of fact, the vampiric Anacondas and Tigers and Hyenas and Lions, bestial as they were, turned themselves into blood-sucking Eagles and Crows scavenging for the living- and walking-carcass of The Scarab Beetle’s ethno-animal people to devour during those turbulent moments of self-determination! In those days, just before the advent of The Scarab Beetle’s political and organizational rootedness in the native soil of the Gold Coast, clouds soaring higher and higher over The Forest perennially appeared tantalizingly sanguine, a harbinger of gloomy tidings.

Yet, O Great People of the World, The Forest, a cloudy jungle, housed selfish political animals, the likes of which was The Brethren. That was The Forest then. But The Forest still lives on today as George Orwell’s Animal-Farm in the body politic. Of the Gold Coast, a land of man-made poverty in the abundance of wealth. Those wraithlike reminiscences convulsively coursed through The Scarab Beetle’s stilled yet heavily trafficked conscience, O Great People of the World, even as he delivers another apocalyptic punch line?as if on choral cue. He spews a verbal holocaust: “Occasionally we do have dangerous plants, floral or terroristic guests, as we call them, in our narrowly claustrophobic midst. From nowhere. Apparently. These wicked plants choke native citizens of this forest, The Forest, to death. At random. Though. More to the point, though, we are needlessly blamed and criticized whenever we complain of strange incursions into our forest. ‘Xenophobic bastards’ they have labeled us.”

Hey, wraithlike reminiscences, O Great People of the World, you mean? Where is Heathcliff, the Byronic hero of Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”? Wraithlike reminiscences! Inferiority complex! Psychological, cultural, spiritual neo-colonialism!

Wraithlike reminiscences, more like Charles Fuller’s “A Soldier’s Play”! In other words, was The Scarab Beetle not the Charles and David of Charles Fuller’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Snatch: The Adventures of David and Me in Old New York,” with ‘Freddie Johnson’ taking on the figurative role of colonialism, of slavery? And ‘Snatch’ of the slaver, of the colonial master? What a coincidence! In no time the cold hands of pandemonium give under the crushing weight of silence. No hubbub of questions. No storms of protest. No oceans of lachrymose pretense. Just a twinkly blanket of unvarnished silential autocracy. Just flowing tears of naked gaiety. Surprising? Not so evitably! Something must always give, if you like, in The Scarab Beetle’s conspicuous presence. The Greatest Gift. The Prophet…Expectedly. Audiencial rhetorical foibles dissolve into a knifelike sharpness of uninhibited spoken community of animality, of animalness. Before long.

Ideally de-colonialism has long been spoken for in the vanishing distance of intellectual and political actualities. Undoubtedly. How so? Let us go on! The palatial audience continues. The Scarab Beetle’s perorational narrative goes like this: “Our detractors criticize us for what they believe is floral xenophobia, a legitimate, moral grievance, of course, which they believe is no different from America’s anti-immigration policies, xenophobic biases. In fact, exogenous floral guests have turned our floral hospitality into a National Liberation Movement-like slaughterhouse, consequently snuffing the lives out of our floral siblings, our patriotic floral citizens. Exogenous guests such as Giant Hogweed, Garlic Mustard, Invasive Knotweed, and Tansy Ragwort?to name but a few examples?are the major culprits.”

Wait. Listen up: Giant Hogweed; General Akwasi Afrifa. Garlic Mustard; K.A. Busia. Invasive Knotweed; The National Liberation Movement (NLM). Tansy Ragwort; J.B. Danquah! The redoubtable National Liberation Movement (NLM)! Poison ivies. Poisonous invasive plants making the usual Machiavellian rounds in the vaginal embrasure of The Forest, a colonized Gold Coast of yesteryear. The emotive stillness of moral stupidity in the sliding motion of mental subnormality. The Brethren’s contrived tangentiality of exponentially expanding self-importance dangled on the precipice of de-personalized self-defeatism. Ernest Hemmingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” caught between the CIA’s femmes fatales and the National Liberation Movement (NLM), the blood-sucking godfather of the Nation of Poisonous Plants (NPP). The Scarab Beetle would have wished The Brethren had closely taken a second look at William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.” Obviously death and bloated self-importance are immiscible in the crucible of phenomenology. And what if they had seen Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”? Call it what you want!

Anyway, who was The Iroko Tree if not The Scarab Beetle? That probably constitutes the fuzzy temperament of The Novel, a psycho-emotional symbol of a nation’s character. Yes, the infamous integral misbehavior of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) enjoys a similitude of thematic current with Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather” and “The Sicilian,” its literary sequel, with K.A. Busia playing Marlon Brando (Vito Corleone) and J.B. Danquah Al Pacino (Michael Corleone). Well, the Mafia, a socio-political tattoo of terrorism. Organized crime. As well, those two diabolical characters, Danquah and Busia, came across as the CIA’s high-profiled femmes fatales, anti-heroines, if you will. Yet again, the Danquah Institute’s none other than Tony Montana’s “Scarface,” the Corleone Family, that is. “Why have you not introduced a version of ‘Preventing Destruction of Africa (PDA)’ or “Preventing Destruction of Animals (PDA)’ into your floral kingdom to root out the terroristic guests?” asks The Scarab Beetle, The Novel.

Just quiet, King Iroko Tree. “A Time to Kill.” “The Chamber.” “The Pelican Brief.” “The Client.” “The Runaway Jury.” “The Testament”…Titular delineations of the National Liberation Movement’s diabolic activities. Where is John Grisham? Grisham’s “The Brethren” assumes a triumvirate of subversive personalities, of quislings: General Akwasi Afrifa, K.A. Busia, J.B. Danquah…The Brethren, the so-called evil, callous, irresponsible chiefs and kings in Ayi Kwei Armah’s “Two Thousand Seasons.” Kingly selfishness. Royal opportunism. “Two Thousand Seasons!” so saith Ayi Kwei Armah, a profound writer known for his creative literaryism. Two Thousand Seasons, the number of political scarlet-sins committed by way of the National Liberation Movement’s millenarist terrorism.

Suddenly. Just talkative, King Iroko Tree. “It is either ‘Preventing Destruction of Africa (PDA)’ or “Preventing Destruction of Animals (PDA),’” King Iroko Tree replies, adding: “But since we are neither ‘Africa’ nor ‘Animals,’ what exactly do we do then? Besides, the terroristic floral guests will always complain about the PDA’s implementation and subsequent execution. The Brethren…Opposed it every step of the way…A political ziggurat of sorts!” The Scarab Beetle, King Iroko Tree. Which is which? D.H. Lawrence writes of The Brethren: “But they had no daytime ambition, and no daytime intellect. They avoided, really, the rational aspect of life. They preferred to take life instinctively and intuitively.” Life. The Life here again! Death. The Death, where is it? Daytime intellect, a flagrant absence of critical thinking, of clear thinking, of progressive thinking. On the part of The Brethren. Sinister cognition, of J.B. Danquah, K.A. Busia, General Akwasi Afrifa!

As usual, the palatial audience continues after momentary conversational interregna. On the other hand, someone hints at PDF. “Preventing Destruction of Fools.” Rather than at “Preventing Destruction of Flora.” The latter being The Scarab Beetle’s brainchild, but instead gets ignored. Even rubbished. The history behind the PDA is an interesting one. Of course. As a matter of confused irony, The Feudal Dictators who immediately assumed the office of presidency after having demoralized the nation via their so-called sickly bombast of seismic pretense, had, as it should be expected, early on, blamed the progressive presidency of The Scarab Beetle for introducing the PDA in the new nation to counter, to curb, sort of, their mental backwardness, though, admittedly, it was Chief Justice Sir Kobina Arku Korsah, the Queen of England’s representative, not The Dolphin, The Scarab Beetle, whose legislative acceptance of the PDA via royal imprimatur had imbued the PDA with explicit constitutional impetus.

It is also widely acknowledged that “the sickly bombast of seismic pretense” was the handiwork of the Conmen In America (CIA), a powerful organization headed by the Great Kweku Ananse. Importantly, The Dog, J.B. Danquah’s totem, headed the local CIA chapter in the then-Gold Coast. It is also quite clear that Busia and Danquah had miserably lost their rusty case in the famous “What Kwame Nkrumah Stole from JB Danquah!” trial, because, again, manifestly, they had spent most of their political time sexually frolicking with the CIA, rather than with doing quality research, a solemn undertaking that should probably have stared them boldly in their facial caricatures with the historic truth, that, among other things, the 1951 Gold Coast Cocoa Marketing Board (Amendment), enacted under the able presidential chaperonage of The Dolphin, The Scarab Beetle, namely, had long since overthrown the hegemonic ignorance of the 1947 Danquah-esque Cocobod, possibly, an orthographic contraction of “cocooned body,” a vivid expression describing Danquah’s inferiority complex.

The end result is that socio-cerebral hemorrhage and politico-cognitive tuberculosis became the shadowy perquisites of Busia’s and Danquah’s socio-political promiscuity, intellectual dwarfishness, and emotional tomfoolery. Yet, when the Nation of Little Conmen (NLC), Busia’s subversive, umbrageous client, took over the reins of government they immediately replaced the PDA with the Preventive Custody Decree (PCD). Sadly if ironically, three men, Magnus George, MO Kwatia, and EA Maclea, all members of the Conscientious Party of Patriots (CPP), died in the wake of the political implementation of the Preventive Custody Decree. In fact, Busia’s party, or government, otherwise called George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” would openly admit on October 1, 1969, that the Conscientious Party of Patriots (CPP), led by the visionary leader The Scarab Beetle, had 1377 political prisoners via the PDA as opposed to the Nation of Little Conmen’s 1850.

The Hippocrocopig, Busia’s totem, even reportedly labeled his rubber-stamp parliament “February 24, 1966—Ghana’s and Africa’s Day of Shame.” The other confused irony is that, contrary to revisionist propaganda, K.A. Busia, R.R. Amponsah, and Modesto Apaloo, proactive animalized members of the main opposition party, an “Animal Farm” clade, had also been members of the parliament that passed the PDA, this, according to Dr. Kwame Botwe-Asamoah; a well-respected international Nkrumah scholar; a Ghanaian political historian. Dr. Botwe-Asamoah even writes in a book “The Noble Lies of Animal Farm Politicians”: “And if the PDA had been an undemocratic, dictatorial and tyrannical act, the Governor-General would have thrown it out, and probably dissolved the parliament and dismissed Nkrumah as Prime Minister. The Danquah-Busia gangsters were aware of the constitutional powers of the Head of State, but they simply ignored it in order to blame Kwame Nkrumah and his Government, other than themselves, for the PDA.” Unfortunately this rich history is lost to posterity forever. This rich history is called “The Mousetrap”…Where is Agatha Christie?

Now to important matters of today, the palatial audience! The Seven Animal Friends soon realize that Life is not easy anywhere. They bid King Iroko Tree and The Forest goodbye. And take leave of them. Then, O Great People of the World, they retire to The Scarab Beetle’s littoral existence where Apartheid, a Pride of Lions, has been anxiously waiting for them. The word “Pride” means “white supremacy” in Afrikaan, a language spoken by “Boers” in South Africa, a word whose existential etymology feeds on “Boa” constrictors. That makes Apartheid a mongrel of Snakes and Lions, a shady team of Busia- and Danquah-esque elements known for its political and intellectual paedomorphism. The Beetle Scarab tells them, The Seven Animal Friends, his own Life Story:

“Ancient Egyptians adored me and worshiped me as a deity,” he begins. “In ancient Egypt they worshiped me as a spiritual symbol of regeneration, of rebirth. Or The Circle. Do you have any idea why beetles do not die?” No response. He continues: “In other words, I am the source of reincarnation, of Life itself. Life with me is like The Circle and The Straight-Line I drew on the coast. Both have no beginning. And no end. Indeed that source has kept my legacy alive.” The Scarab Beetle then goes on to explain how industrious beetles generally are, even going to extreme extents to bear fecal weights heavier than their weighty selves, undertakings Hercules or Sisyphus could never have dreamt of accomplishing in their lifetimes. “Yes,” he continues, explaining further: “We ‘eat,’ as in the ‘E’ of Nile, of Life; we eat dung; we also use dung as egg-laying brood chambers. Egg is Life. Which is represented in both Nile and Life as the letter ‘E.’ We also help Human Beings clean their environments by getting rid of their feces and, directly or indirectly, we contribute to positive health, private and public. Longevity is a natural byproduct of such salutary activities, you know.”

“I heard you say ‘I am the source of reincarnation, of Life Itself,’” Apartheid recalls, asking again: “And if I may ask, is there any relationship between the ‘source’ in ‘I am the source of reincarnation, of Life Itself’ and the ‘source’ in ‘What is the source of the Nile?’”

“That is a simple answer!” says The Scarab Beetle. “’What is the source of the Nile? The source of the Nile is the tributary-letter N.”

The room implodes into rhetorical quietude yet again. “What about it?” asks The Cobra, P.W. Botha’s totem. There are shuffle of feet, snap of fingers, gnash of teeth, and clang of cutlery set. “What is the letter N for?” The Cobra rephrases his question, looking squarely into the watery eyes of The Scarab Beetle.”

“Name. Good Name. A good name comes in a complete package: ‘I’ for “insight,” ‘intelligence’; ‘L’ for ‘love’ or ‘willingness to listen, to ‘learn; ‘E’ for ‘equitable,’ ‘etiquette.’ Always remember that Nile is water. And water is Life. Thus, the source of the Nile is simply Good Name. Go for it!”

“A good name does not come cheap!” says The Fox, the shadow of The Scarab Beetle. “It comes in a complete package—hard work, selflessness, critical thinking, philanthropy, condonation, self-reflection, foresight, intellectually bravery, moral uprightness, focus, patriotism, self-love, good attitude toward people of all races, religions, ethnicities, comity, progressive cultures…”

But? But what? But “good name” does not define the moral idiosyncrasy of the sovereign trajectory of today’s leadership, Africa’s. “Good name” is everything. Holistically everything. Good name is life and death. Life. The Life. Death. The Death. Hopefully, so to speak, “good name” should not be permitted to translate into a psychological bugbear in the cartilage of human socialization…Admittedly Geronimo Akwasi Afrifa is not such a “good name.” The name “Geronimo” is a solid symbol of social justice, not of thievery, of ethno-racial inferiority, of senseless greed, of intellectual kwashiorkor!

“Then,” begins The Scarab Beetle, adding: “what is in a name?”

The Novel. Ama Ata Aidoo. Juni’chiro Tanizaki. Cheikh Anta Diop. Wole Soyinka. Toni Morrison. Molefi Kete Asante. Shakespeare. Buchi Emecheta. Ayi Kwei Armah. Kofi Awoonor. Dennis Brutus. Jane Austen. Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Head Bessie. J.M Coetzee. Tsitsi Dangarembga. Christopher Okigbo. Leo Tolstoy. Chinua Achebe. Herman Melville. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Derek Walcott. Charles Fuller. Lao Tsu. Maya Angelou. Richard Wright. Alexander Pushkin…The greatest writers of all time! The Scarab Beetle!

The Novel. Zeami Motokiyo. Taban Lo Liyong. Catherine O. Acholonu. William Faulkner. Ralph Ellison. James Joyce. WEB Du Bois. James Baldwin. Senghor Sedar Leopold. August Wilson. T.S. Elliot. Gwendolyn Brooks. Alice Walker. Cyprian Ekwensi. Charles Dickens. Peter Abrahams. J.P. Clark. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Ishmeal Reed. Joyce Carole Oates. Frantz Fanon. Naguib Mahfouz. Leopold Sedar Senghor. bell hooks. Edith Wharton. Homer…The greatest writers of all time! The Scarab Beetle!

The Novel. S?seki Natsume. Sembene Ousmane. Ezra Pound. Amiri Baraka. Oscar Wilde. Kahlil Gibran. Ernest Hemingway. Isaac Asimov. Nadine Gordimer. Marcel Proust. Emily Dickinson. Nuruddin Farah. Alex La Guma. Franz Kafka. Ben Okri. Alexandre Dumas. Julio Cortázar. Thomas Mann. Mariama Bâ. Geoffrey Chaucer. Salman Rushdie. Emile and Charlotte Bronte. Victor Hugo. Orhan Pamuk. Camera Laye. Langston Hughes. Kofi Anyidoho. George Orwell. Agatha Christie. Carlos Fuentes. Ayn Rand. Amos Tutuola. William Wordsworth. Virginia Woolf…The greatest writers of all time! The Scarab Beetle!

The Novel. Pablo Neruda. Zora Neale Hurston. Machado de Assis. Edgar Allan Poe. Okot p’Bitek. John Updike. Samuel T. Coleridge. Yvonne Vera. Edward R. Braithwaite. George Eliot. Mark Twain. Sophocles. Albert Cadmus. Mario Vargas Llosa. Toyin Fabola. Francis Marrash. Samuel Johnson. Walter Mosley. Ralph W. Emerson. Paulo Freire. Cao Xueqin. Lu Xun. William Hazlitt. George Bernard Shaw. Juan Rulfo. Vladimr Nabokov. Tu Fu. Cheikh Anta Diop. Noam Chomsky. Walt Whitman. Voltaire…The greatest writers of all time! The Scarab Beetle!

Question: The greatest writers of all time, who is he? Or she?

Answer: The Novel, The Scarab Beetle. A harmonious community of ethno-animal humanity. The Organization of African Unity. Ubuntu. The African Personality. The African Union. The Avoidance of Discrimination Act! Period!

Then! Then what next? The Japanese “haiku,” The Scarab Beetle’s strategic if economic dispensing with emotional outbursts; an ethno-animal man of clear thinking! The Japanese “kanshi”…Africa’s oral literature. Pio Zirimu’s orature. Literary oneness. Africa. Asia. Australia. South America. Europe. North America…An unbroken continuum of interlocking consciousness…”The Alchemist.” “The Pilgrimage.” Where is the world-famous Brazilian writer, the orphic literary-ballpen called Paulo Coelho? Coelho’s “Manuscript Found in Accra.” Coelho’s “The Greatest Gift”…That? The Greatest Gift, The Scarab Beetle…Siamese twins…And so with Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet”? The Prophet, The Scarab Beetle…The Novel.

“What is in a good name?” bellows the unpoetic, prosaic voice of Chinua Achebe, of The Scarab Beetle. Chinua Achebe, a protégé-child of Kahlil Gibran, of Lao Tsu, of The Scarab Beetle. “Ah ha! And here it comes, The Voice.” It was, even still is, consciously interesting to observe the emotional cyclosis of animate-voice resolve into something else, the vaporific spoken rhetoric of coarse humanness. The Voice of The Scarab Beetle is the authoritative voice of incontinent creativity. The Voice, The Novel. The Scarab Beetle?simultaneously Gibran’s “The Prophet,” Coelho’s “The Greatest Gift,” The World’s “Greatest African,” Millennium Excellence Foundation’s “Personality Of The Century,” Lao Tsu’s “The Way Of Life”…Yet John Grisham’s The Brethren, the three CIA’s femmes fatales, namely, the political yahoos?General Akwasi Afrifa, J.B. Danquah, K.A. Busia?hates The Voice of D.H. Lawrence:

“And this is because we have frustrated that instinct of community which would make us unite in pride and dignity in the bigger gesture of the citizen…” Where? D.H. Lawrence’s essay “Nottingham and the Mining Countryside.” Exactly. The abysmal pit of daytime-intellect thinking. Of General Akwasi Afrifa. Of J.B. Danquah. Of K.A. Busia. Collier-thinkers at best…The Brethren. What intellectual niggardliness! Meretricious intellectual and political amanuenses with no jot of moral economy flowing in the blue-blood of their obstipated collier-mindsets…What a tragicomedy! Let all ethno-animal humans, particularly ethno-animal political humans in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” read The Novel, the corpus of written works by The Scarab Beetle.

We shall return…

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis