(henryezeokeke.com - Illustrator and cartoonist based in Lagos, Nigeria)
(henryezeokeke.com - Illustrator and cartoonist based in Lagos, Nigeria)


By: Ogeryath Oger

Peace was our symbol and respect was our culture and togetherness was deeply enacted in our blood. Together we managed our affairs without the ministry of justice but at the end justice prevailed, no one demanded respect but it was always paid to all no matter the age and size. Ancient Africa was heaven.

The elders ruled our communities without the power of guns but with knowledge and wisdom not obtained from schools but still our communities were disciplined and so calm and brave. We didn't sit in courthouses to accuse one another nor did we have lawyers erasing our crimes. Under the tree's shades problems were settled, punishments administered with justice and decisions were honestly made. Ancient Africa was heaven.

To the farms we walked together and shared the tools to cultivate, even to the rivers we walked together and fetched food with no restrictions. In case we downed an elephant we always shared it together. Ancient Africa was heaven.

We didn't wear shiny and attractive clothes nor did we have shoes to protect our feet but still we still enjoyed life together with humility. Half nakedked and naked we lived without shame and embarrassment. Ancient Africa was heaven.

During death we mourned and in the times of marriages we celebrated together without jealousy and luxurious gifts. At the moments of birth we rejoiced and thanked the gods since they were our hospitals and nurses. Ancient Africa was heaven.

Our houses had no fences nor did we have land titles. We lived where we wished to be close to one another. Together we built our houses with songs and hymns and celebrations. The children crossed from one house to another without quarrels and none could be poisoned. Ancient Africa was heaven.

Ancient Africa was heaven indeed. Freedom we didn't know but we had it in purity and peace was ourselves. Justice was part of our culture. Our elections weren't secret and we didn't have ballot boxes but under the shades of the trees we elected and demoted honestly.

To the gods we talked directly and happily. For rains we could ask and they gave and for good harvests we prayed and they answered. But our gods haven't for once threatened us with hell fire or damnation. Even in the graves we talked with them. Ancient Africa was heaven.

Where did the devil come from with fague democracy, land ownership, peace agreement and evil justice yet the devil didn't live in our communities. We have been invaded openly and badly and therefore we must take up the holy spears of the ancestors

Ancient Africa was heaven. Nowadays my land has been raided, my culture erased and my pride taken. Even when I try to ask the gods they can't answer me because they are annoyed with me. The animals I no longer own, even a piece of land is denied to me something I haven't seen before.

Ancient Africa was heaven. The sun's rays were our strength and light even during the absence of the sun's rays,the moonlight always accompanied us. The stars as well brighten our paths.

Ancient Africa was heaven. The elders could gather us to transfer their knowledge and wisdom freely with no pens and books yet we always kept their promises and learnt their ideas.

Ancient Africa was heaven. Modern Africa has been raided. Today I hear of famine, poverty, diseases, conflicts and tribalism, things we didn't have in the ancient days.

If modernity is tribalism, diseases, land grabbing, conflicts, famine and poverty, then modernity is the curse that our gods always alerted us about. Modern Africa is raided.