While BOOKS were described and believed to be widely accepted as – “set of written, printed, or blank pages fastened along one side and encased between protective covers which nowadays include e-books and e-journals, RESEARCH were also accepted to entail the systematic investigation into and study of materials such as books and other sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. BOOKS also are said to be the substantive material products or objects capable of being felt, touched or seen, while RESEARCH in the other hand are the adjectival process with procedural elements doable and also demonstrable in key characteristics or words like - study, inquire into, look into, make enquirers, probe, explore, analyse, examine, scrutinize, inspect, review assess and more. However, from the fore goings, it has been apparent that these two great concepts (BOOKS & RESEARCH) remain two giant aliens to a greater population of peoples around the world. Also in the introductory statement in this blog, I posted that there couldn’t be a better time to do research and books than now particularly in the African continent where interests in doing research and books are steadily on the decline. In that post, I also speculated that it is often said that to hide a thing from a black man or woman, it should be hidden inside a BOOOK. However, the truthfulness or otherwise of the speculation or assertion was not actually adumbrated as it was not the main issue for that post.
Meanwhile, if the descriptions or definitions above in relation to BOOKS & RESEARCH are true reflections, why then are these two things aliens particularly to a greater population of Black People, Africans and Nigerians? If books and research have propelled innovations and technological advancement, and continue to determine our current world system, where, how and what are the Nigerians or Black people’s alternatives or replacements? If BOOKS & RESEARCH are coated with non-complex straight summer jackets like, ‘look into, inspect, probe, explore’ - as above enunciated, why are our people still found wanton in issues with regards to these concepts? Answers to these rhetorical differs between ethnicities, races, classes, generations, peoples or groups.
However, for the Black People, African and Nigerians, the reasons for the love or hatred of BOOKS & RESEARCH are wide, varied and complex. Although varied and complex some correlative facts have been identified as to the draughtiness of books- reading and doing research in Africans and amongst black people and are listed below in order of severities of damages caused:
· Defeated Peoples Psyche. Slavery and imperialism have produced great disparity which origins are various and complex. The aggressive exploitation of human and natural resources by the developed ‘WEST/North’ is undoubtedly one of them. The ‘WEST/North’ has over centuries reaped the benefits of a long process rooted in slavery and colonisation marked by use of violence, political, economic strangulation or coercion, while the ‘BLACKS/South’ were left with a legacy of violence, broken cultural, social structures and uneven development. These incursions of slavery, imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism have been adduced to have hampered the black cultural bravery, curiosity, consciousness, discoveries or inventions. After about a combined 700 years of imperialism and slavery, black race are sluggishly struggling for self-recognition or self discovery. Their history, manuscripts, inventions, research, archives and books have been distorted or destroyed. As a result, they have lost interests in contemporary books and research which have relegated and placed their black history in the background or back –seat.
· Absence of Zeal & Zest. Following from the earlier point, the blacks quest for findings and knowledge ideally encoded in books and research become steadily on the decline. As original people that missed out in their originality and in the schemes of affairs, they become constantly rebellious to these foreign items (Books and Research) as products or outcomes of values and concepts that were forcedly imposed and apparently does not run in tandium with their history, development and culture. This presented no lesser impediments towards interest in RESEARCH & BOOKS.
· The- Get-Rich-Quick Syndrome. Consequently, having lost out of order or out of scheme of affairs, and having an inherent need for existence and survival, he developed some corners cutting devices and very unsustainable cheap and quick fixes, Blacks apparently become the fasting race to acquire and lose wealth. Getting riches becomes quite eminent on grounds of easy fixes. Falling back into abject poverty smells also imperative because of lack of knowledge or wisdom to sustain the affluences so cheaply and hastily acquired.
· The Time Factor. Flowing further from the above point, doing RESEARCH and BOOKS for very clear reasons take so much time. In this context, someone who has already lost his position in history and has always been on the edge, where has he got all the ‘TIME’ which is the fundamental prerequisite for doing RESEARCH & BOOKS?? Paradoxically to him, he hasn’t got the time for all these ‘shits’, yet he had spent over 50 years from independence in backwardness, wants, squalor and ignorance.
Thus, so far, no one has fathomed out any or other better alternatives for the Black people in general or Nigerians in Particular, either from the proponents of the above enunciated encumbered ideas or based on the current world system or order. And since the only established way to fight an enemy is to acquire same or better weapon(s) than your enemy, Blacks are enjoined and advised to desist from all the fooling around and embrace their only available tools and hope – Reading strictly in-between –lines and dwelling within BOOKS & RESEARCH not only for scoring even but for total political independent, economic emancipation and his cultural liberation, revival and survival.