Five years ago, I met a man in Accra who nearly made my ribs burst with laughter when he said: "If God had given Black women beards, they would put extensions on them".
The man was serious. "Look at the Black woman of today," he said. "She puts extensions in her hair. She puts extensions in her eyebrows. She puts extensions on her fingernails and toenails. Thank God, he did not give them beards. They would have put extensions on them too."
Poor Black woman. The point the man was making is what others describe as the 'inferiority complex' among the African/Black people, which makes us run away from ourselves, from our God-given endowments, and embrace other peoples' attributes.
Thus, if we don't mimic the European, we feel we are not human enough. Everything European or American must be better than ours.
So we take European names as our first names to feel posh. Otherwise we think we are damned. Or if we don't dress like the European, in a suit and tie, we feel not properly dressed. In much of Southern Africa, suit and tie have become the national dress, which gives people an inflated sense of self-importance.
And woe betide you if you don't dress like that if you are an official in government or even in the private sector. And the woe will still betide you regardless of the heat of the day. Imagine, in Africa's notorious 30 to 35-degree heat, you must still wear your suit and tie to feel important, otherwise people in offices will not take you seriously.
In fact, in some African countries you cannot see the President in his office without wearing a suit and a tie. Imagine, the African cannot go and see his President in the State House, the man he voted for, without wearing European attire. Pure madness, if you ask me.
Yet the European settlers in Southern Africa who should make a fetish out of a suit and tie actually eschew that type of dressing. They like their simple shirts and shorts and the fresh air that comes with them. with hats or caps on their heads, they devote themselves to their huge farms and bank millions of dollars at year's end. The African envelopes himself in a suit and tie, forgets all about fresh air, pushes pen and paper, and banks almost zero at the end of the year. No wonder our women have become walking extensions.
Do I pity those women, especially the ones who have added skin bleaching to the nonsense? You bet. Like Mrs Thatcher who said, "I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and...