How The Black Man Became God’s Mistake, A Review Of Kanyinsola Olorunisola’s Chapbook By Micheal Ace

“Why
do you think only things foreign to your body make it beautiful?”
That was the question I asked my sister this
morning. She did not respond and she did not look at me; perhaps she didn’t
want to see something different from what the mirror tells her. Who cares? I
asked again. This time, she dropped her makeup kit on the bed and turned, “How
do you fit into the world being who you are when everyone knows your body is
made of dirt?”
I watched her strip herself of everything black and walked
out into the world with an identity that’s not hers.  

With
the third look at the thematic concept of this collection, I’d say this work
couldn’t have taken the writer more than three month or four to finalize. But
yet if you are not extraordinarily careful, you’ll spend a lifetime on the
Intro alone. What do you do when you see your reflection in text? You sit,
worshipping the imagery.
The
importance of knowing the origin of this war as portrayed in WEIRD
INTROSPECTIONS UPON SEEING THE PORTRAIT OF KUNTA
cannot be overemphasized.
“our
fathers have the secrets to winning this war,
but
they long died selling us to the white man,”

Page | 5
Here,
the writer makes us realize how the war started, proving that it’s as a result
of the misdeeds of our forefathers who ignorantly, perhaps due to lack of
education and enlightenment, took the wrong steps, which eventually makes us
children of two cities— one borrowed, one deserted. And without much analysis
on this, it’s evident in the way a typical black man sees his skin, and also
the way he worships a white man thinking he’s closer to being the image of God
than he does, even when countless of his countrymen have died in the hands of
racism.
“when I kill my first chicken,
the knife grazing against its
throat,
i think of our brothers
slaughtered
across the borders, their heads
hanging
from their necks, a savage
mockery of the American Dream.”

Page | 11
Kayin further
established the fact that even though slave trade has been put to halt in most
parts of the world today, the idea hasn’t really gone extinct, and its replica
is the exact way a white man sees a black. He thinks he’s God’s first attempt
in making human, and of course the worst— His mistake. He thinks everything
within him is darkness, and no amount of light can put it out. HOW TO RUIN A FIRST-DATE has something
on that.
“Tell her that you are a boy from
a lost country, that you
have been looking for love across
borders and she is
your latest attempt to escape the
edge of brokenness.”

Page | 12
The making of slave
is all about engineering, it comprises learning, unlearning and relearning. And
this is the exact way our father’s minds were torn out, remolded into believing
what is not about their existence and consistently teaching these things until
they finally accepted who they wanted them to be. It takes a process. It takes
years of psychological expertise. And to totally unwind that, it will require
the same process, otherwise called reverse engineering.
Kayinsola in his
artistic didacticism and brilliance also brought the renowned
Nigerian
multi-instrumentalist, musician, and pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre into
the picture, celebrating his relentless effort at using his style of music to preach
the gospel of revolution. He went ahead to state his dissatisfaction about the
great man’s legacy on the edge of ruin with his genre of music being corrupted
by modern day musicians.
Afrobeat
was my love but it became something
unrecognisable,
its mouth full of the wrong
languages
[it now has a name for each of its many frivolities]
an
accomplice to the lustful swaying of sweaty bodies
crashing
into one another and birthing a nation of desecrators.”

Page | 14
Lakunle
Alara as Kanyinsola eulogizes himself in the collection did not stop at that,
he further reveals the late musician’s zeal in making things right again,
perhaps continuing from where he abruptly stopped. The being of a revolutionary
is more than the circumstances in his environs, it’s more than what his state
of mind or existence can alter, it’s quite greater than passion, it’s in the
blood, and it’s what he carries about, dead or alive. And this is what happens
in
EXCLUSIVE…WITH
FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI.
“he
begins washing my head with his lathers of music,
says
men like us must learn to be like water,
chains cannot break water, boats cannot
sink water,
so
that if by chance they come again to conquer us
in
our own fatherland with their mother tongue,
we
must become a river – may they never walk on us.”

Page | 20
In my country, we are
all crossdressers. Yes! That’s enough tragedy, because, in Kayin’s word,
we
dwell in bodies not our own, we give our children languages which do not know
how to make home of their tongues. But looking at things from the writer’s
point of view, I think what split his heart into two unequal halves is quite
more than this.
“What
makes an ocean of my
eyes
is the unsuspecting manner in which
we
wear this monstrosity with a dangerous
swagger,
how we have trained our tongues
to
only sweeten at the taste of lands which
will
never see us as anything more than
just
another consequence of conquest.”
Conclusively,
I think it’s high time the black man began seeing himself as the perfect
reflection of God. The white man has done much into making us think black is
dirt, and evil. But in reality, there is more to celebrate and adore in Africa
than there is in other part of the world, only if we’d stop believing whatever
is made of black is hackneyed.
Kanyinsola,
with the description of himself from the height and width of this collection,
is an unrepentant lover of his being and taking that away from this context is
setting a conflict between the creator and his creation.
After
reading this collection, I look at the mirror every morning, hoping not to see
my light skin, but a dark one, bringing me close to believing I’m made of
black, I am everything God is and I am what a white man sees on the screen and
hates his body.  

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First published by ACEworld on August 10, 2018 @ 7:37 am

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