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Is Being Black Bad? : The Implicature Of Egyptians’ Story Drowning In The Red Sea


Like Professor Molefi Ashanti of Ghana, I shall also begin my write up with a conclusion that “until the lion tells his side of the story, the tales of hunt will always glorify the hunter”. When I was younger, my grandmother would gather us, her grandkids, together to tell us the tale of tortoise. She would tell us how covetous, how dubious, and how ‘wise’ the animal was in all expeditions concerning him and other animals. To us, story telling was enough a convincing reason not equate our likeness for granny with our innocent grandfather, who took delight only in carrying us on his shoulders, gave us a hard knock on our foreheads to right our wrong and would entice us with bitter kola whenever he noticed our ambushed grudges nursed against him.


Poor man, he never knew that the generation of his grandkids gave credence to stories as told by his wife and contemporaries than having penchant for ethical standards he was trying to instill in us. To many of us, the stories listened to from our grandmother were just mere stories and nothing more. They were tales meant to reduce the burden of contemporary playfulness that people  of our age would indulge in at that stage of their lives. But to some of us who were discernible enough to decipher her motive behind the revelation of such stories, we knew she was just indirectly lecturing us not to be dubious, covetous or diabolical for it carries unbearable consequences than we could possibly anticipate as evident in tortoise endings.


This also applies to every story we ever heard of, they all carry along their messages meant to be decoded by the wise. Same goes the story of the Egyptians, symbolising Africans here, drowning in the Red Sea.


Egypt was said to house some Israelites which a certain Moses was going to liberate. In there, ie Egypt, the things they were well versed in doing were warfare, technology, education, infrastructure and what have you. Including but not limited to human resources like warriors of a kind, seasoned academics of unmatched standards, whose sudden disappearance in historical reference of today questions the originality of the white folks’ documentation of past event. Don’t forget that Socrates who lived about 400 BC came to study in this same Egypt, Africa. In short, Egypt was the then epitome of everything you call progress.


No doubt therefore that these Israelites would have learnt the ways of Egyptians, their secrets of technology, their method of warfare, their style of education and their ways of modernisation. It is just like the southeastern people of Nigeria dwelling in Lagos State. No one would negotiate the fact that the long period of cohabitation with the residents of the place would have got them accustomed to the traditions of the occupants of that geographical location.


Also, it is only an educated illiterate who would throw his weight against the glaring fact that intermarriage between the said Israelites and the Egyptians was an absolute coincidental necessity. So, separating one from the other was going to be more than herculean a task.


Pharaoh, who was the Obama of Africa then, was painted black, reported callous, said to be despotic and more. Every name denoting denigration never escaped the historical pen of Abrahamic religions faithfuls. They failed to tell us that Pharaoh was a loving King, that he was a protective leader, that he was a tactful warrior and that he was also an accommodating person who took in the troops of helpless Israelites’ immigrants like America is doing today, in order to shield them from the attacks of their immediate kinsmen. If this assertion is untrue, why would anyone sell Joseph into slavery in the first place?


I will not be disappointed if my African brothers come here to wail that “God has predicted it”, it will only help in concluding my belief that we still have puerile grown up folks who would believe Harry Potter is real “if God has written that in those books they call ‘holy’”.


Lo and behold, there came Moses, who was in no way different from Osama Bin Laden. Remember that the latter was also a liberator who wanted to rescue Saudi from the claws of American oppression. He was not different from Nelson Mandela of Africa, who didn’t back out until his voice of freedom was ringing loudly in the ears of the global community. What makes him different from Okonkwo who feels uncomfortable seeing his culture washed away in the erosion of alien intrusion? They are all fighters of a course. They painted Moses as the savior of the downtrodden, as a valiant soldier, as this, as that, who would “save” the Israelites from the “dictates” of Pharaoh. They didn’t tell us he was a magician capable of ‘separating’ an ocean of 438, 000 kilometer square long at the strike of his rod. Funny. Tell me what your reactions would be if anyone did this in 21st century and stop being a hypocrite.


Verily, Moses “took” his people away from Pharaoh through the Red Sea whereupon the Egyptians perished when chasing the rebels. Before I go to summarize the implicature of this story, ask yourself: would Pharaoh be as daft to enter into a sea that covers 355 kilometer at its widest, something he has never done before? Of what importance or value would the Israelites have been at the time to make Pharaoh, a King, decide to front a chase war against them, something he would have delegated his warriors to do? Was Pharaoh so blind to the plans of Moses devising to escape that day that such magnitude escape with the troops of nothing less than 1000 people would elude his notice? What was his minister of information doing? If Pharaoh was not privy to this info, who then alerted him that the Israelites were on the move? Such are the questions that should crowd our minds, not the trash can of blind faith.


In war, it is believed that people always go along with their best of everything namely astronauts, engineers, architects, warriors among others. Now the implicature of the story as depicted in the ‘holy books’ is that all the best people that Africa got prior to the escape of the Israelites had ‘perished’ with Pharaoh in the Red Sea while Moses ‘escaped’ to the ‘promised land’ with the best hands. And that, me and you reading this post are products of unproductive remnants in the land of Africa.


Today, the people that make the best of weapons in the world are the Israelites. Best in technology are the Israelites. Best in anything you can think of are the Israelites while Africans are at the other side of the story because their own ‘best’ have perished in the Red Sea. You still think the story is an ordinary tale? Nope, it is not. It is an effort to keep the black family backward the moment they believe it. No wonder that we don’t progress because the god that emanated from this same Israelites is the one my African brothers keep running to for rescue. Can the people who caused the problem be trusted with the solution?


You can keep believing the story of Merlin for all I care, but don’t you think it is best when we also start writing our own?


Wale Oyedeji.

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