A Pan-Africanist Fable by Jomo Kenyatta

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

You go along to get along
With a song of forgiveness
A strong people would fight wrong
But you go along with it.

— Onitaset Kumat in “Maroon and Build For Self”

A bird prefers the trees over the grass to lay its eggs because the trees are less accessible by predators. This mirrors the European’s view on Power: it must be inaccessible to the African (also mirroring how we should view our eggs [children] with respect Europeans.) No matter where on Earth you go, wherever the European and African cohabit, the African is virtually Powerless; this is controlled, strategic but also reversible. The reversal starts with realizing the European will never accept the African. It’s the belief of an eventual change of heart which makes Africans “go along to get along” and thereby cede Power as the European impedes Power. However the European will eternally Reject the African. He always has and always will. In this way we should “fight wrong” and reacquire the ability to protect ourselves. This is a message in “Maroon and Build For Self” and the message in the following Fable. The author, Jomo Kenyatta, was a Pan-Africanist during De-Colonization who published “Facing Mount Kenya,” an anthropological study on the Kikiyu, in 1938 and became Kenya’s first Prime Minister in 1963. He wasn’t perfect, but this Fable is instructive. Kenya earned its Liberation; many Kenyans earned it. “Peace is the fruit of activity, not of sleep.” Subscribe, share, love.

A Pan-Africanist Fable
By Jomo Kenyatta

Once upon a time an elephant made a friendship with a man. One day a heavy thunderstorm broke out, the elephant went to his friend, who had a little hut at the edge of the forest, and said to him: “My dear good man, will you please let me put my trunk inside your hut to keep it out of this torrential rain?” The man, seeing what situation his friend was in, replied: “My dear good elephant, my hut is very small, but there is room for your trunk and myself. Please put your trunk in gently.” The elephant thanked his friend, saying: “You have done me a good deed and one day I shall return your kindness.” But what followed? As soon as the elephant put his trunk inside the hut, slowly he pushed his head inside, and finally flung the man out in the rain, and then lay down comfortably inside his friend’s hut, saying: “My dear good friend, your skin is harder than mine, and as there is not enough room for both of us, you can afford to remain in the rain while I am protecting my delicate skin from the hail storm.

The man, seeing what his friend had done to him, started to grumble, the animals in the nearby forest heard the noise and came to see what was the matter. All stood around listening to the heated argument between the man and his friend the elephant. In this turmoil the lion came along roaring, and said in a loud voice: “Don’t you know that I am the King of the jungle! How dare anyone disturb the peace of my kingdom?” On hearing this the elephant, who was one of the high ministers in the jungle kingdom, replied in a soothing voice, and said: “My Lord, there is no disturbance of the peace in your kingdom. I have only been having a little discussion with my friend here as to the possession of this little hut which your lordship sees me occupying.” The lion, who wanted to have “peace and tranquility” in his kingdom, replied in a noble voice, saying: “I command my ministers to appoint a Commission of Enquiry to go thoroughly in to this matter and report accordingly.” He then turned to the man and said: “You have done well by establishing friendship with my people, especially with the elephant who is one of my honorable ministers of state. Do not grumble any more, your hut is not lost to you. Wait until the sitting of my Imperial Commission, and there you will be given plenty of opportunity to state your case. I am sure that you will be pleased with the findings of the Commission.” The man was very pleased by these sweet words from the King of the jungle, and innocently waited for his opportunity, in the belief, that naturally the hut would be returned to him.

The elephant, obeying the command of his master, got busy with other ministers to appoint the Commission of Enquiry. The following elders of the jungle were appointed to sit in the Commission: (1) Mr. Rhinoceros; (2) Mr. Buffalo; (3) Mr. Alligator; (4) The Rt. Hon. Mr. Fox to act as chairman; and (5) Mr. Leopard to act as Secretary to the Commission. On seeing the personnel, the man protested and asked if it was not necessary to include in this Commission a member from his side. But he was told that it was impossible, since no one from his side was well enough educated to understand the intricacy of jungle law. Further, that there was nothing to fear, for the members of the Commission were all men of repute for their impartiality in justice, and as they were gentlemen chosen by God to look after the interest of races less adequately endowed with teeth and claws, he might rest assured that they would investigate the matter with the greatest care and report impartially.

The Commission sat to take the evidence. The Rt. Hon. Mr. Elephant was first called. He came along with a superior air, brushing his tusks with a sapling which Mrs. Elephant had provided, and in an authoritative voice said: ‘Gentlemen of the jungle, there is no need for me to waste your valuable time in relating a story which I am sure you all know. I have always regarded it as my duty to protect the interests of my friends, and this appears to have caused the misunderstanding between myself and my friend here. He invited me to save his hut from being blown away by a hurricane. As the hurricane had gained access owing to the unoccupied space in the hut, I considered it necessary, in my friend’s own interests, to turn the undeveloped space to a more economic use by sitting in it myself; a duty which any of you would undoubtedly have performed with equal readiness in similar circumstances.”

After hearing the Rt. Hon. Mr. Elephant’s conclusive evidence, the Commission called Mr. Hyena and other elders of the jungle, who all supported what Mr. Elephant had said. They then called the man, who began to give his own account of the dispute. But the Commission cut him short, saying: “My good man, please confine yourself to relevant issues. We have already heard the circumstances from various unbiased sources; all we wish you to tell us is whether the undeveloped space in your hut was occupied by anyone else before Mr. Elephant assumed his position?” The man began to say: “No, but_” But at this point the Commission declared that they had heard sufficient evidence from both sides and retired to consider their decision. After enjoying a delicious meal at the expense of the Rt. Hon. Mr. Elephant, they reached their verdict, called the man, and declared as follows: “In our opinion this dispute has arisen through a regrettable misunderstanding due to the backwardness of your ideas. We consider that Mr. Elephant has fulfilled his sacred duty of protecting your interests. As it is clearly for your good that the space should be put to its most economic use, and as you yourself have not yet reached the stage of expansion which would enable you to fill it, we consider it necessary to arrange a compromise to suit both parties. Mr. Elephant shall continue his occupation of your hut, but we give you permission to look for a site where you can build another hut more suited to your needs, and we will see that you are well protected.”

The man, having no alternative, and fearing that his refusal might expose him to the teeth and claws of members of the Commission, did as they suggested. But no sooner had he built another hut than Mr. Rhinoceros charged in with his horn lowered and ordered the man to quit. A Royal Commission was again appointed to look into the matter, and the same finding was given. This procedure was repeated until Mr. Buffalo, Mr. Leopard, Mr. Hyena and the rest were all accommodated with new huts. Then the man decided that he must adopt an effective method of protection, since Commissions of Enquiry did not seem to be of any use to him. He sat down and said: “Ng’enda thi ndeagaga motegi,” which literally means, “there is nothing that treads on the earth that cannot be trapped,” or in other words, you can fool people for a time, but not forever.

Early one morning, when the huts already occupied by the jungle lords were all beginning to decay and fall to pieces, he went out and built a bigger and better hut a little distance away. No sooner had Mr. Rhinoceros seen it than he came rushing in, only to find that Mr. Elephant was already inside, sound asleep. Mr. Leopard next came in at the window, Mr. Lion, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Buffalo entered the doors, while Mr. Hyena howled for a place in the shade and Mr. Alligator basked on the roof. Presently they all began disputing about their rights of penetration, and from disputing they came to fighting, and while they were embroiled together the man set the hut on fire and burnt it to the ground, jungle lords and all. Then he went home, saying “Peace is costly, but it’s worth the expense,” and lived happily ever after.

7 thoughts on “A Pan-Africanist Fable by Jomo Kenyatta

  1. I love this tale. It is also lays bare the fact that once the supposed ‘lords of the jungle’ know that you will capitulate easily, they will continue to take advantage. That is, until you take matters into your own hands. Black people have millenia of evidence that makes it clear that whites will never act civilized when it comes to us, yet we continue to delude ourselves.

    1. In Ancient Carthage, whose Responsibility was it to impede the Roman threat, the Civilians or the Soldiers?

      A Nation comprises three Roles: Peace Seekers, Possession Seekers and Consciousness Seekers. African Nationalists must coordinate themselves toward protecting their Peace, Possessions and Consciousness. However, Africans at large are not African Nationalists; not yet. That puts the responsibility of African Nationalism on those who are African Nationalists, not the masses. So, for instance, securing African Peace is our duty, and that security comes through proper Organization. That’s why the African Blood Siblings isn’t a redundant Organization but a novel and necessary one.

      We can’t continually put Responsibilities on the unaware. We must Protect ourselves through Ancient Tactics of Self-Protection. Spread the message of the African Blood Siblings. With more Units of Organization, African Liberation can come. It’s the Organized Force which has Power not the Disorganized Masses.

  2. Heartwrenching but that’s what’s happening now where I am in Azania (SA). Said part we’re so mis-organized to be fit enough to alleviate the problem. Too many darlings of the system from us

    1. An Army seems impervious to a Civilian but seems vulnerable to another Army. So which is the Army, Impervious or Vulnerable? Your perception is a quality of your preparation. With the Ancient Knowledge we ruled others with, others rule over us. So what will our Ancient Knowledge do for us?

      The Ancients said, “Organization is impossible unless those who know the laws of harmony lay the foundation.” This is exactly what the African Blood Siblings implements in its Units of Organization. Using Universal Laws and Ancient Knowledge, we formed the most effective 13-person group of our time. With 13 people Marcus Garvey started the UNIA. There’s no need to discuss the mis-organized Masses; that’s fine. Civilians don’t Keep the Peace, Soldiers do. However, there is a need to Organize. A Soldier can vie with another Soldier; and a well-armed, well-trained, well-organized Soldier can win most confrontations.

      Push our people toward Organizing with the ABS. Push yourself too. Then you won’t need to worry about the battlefield or the outlook. We’ll win the War.


  3. This is a very classic example of how the West visited Africa and offered Africans a hand of friendship. For the people Africans were; cultural, hospitable, receptive and kind hearted they accepted the idea of making new friends with little or no scepticism at the least.

    Despite the differences in culture and almost everything, you will find that Africans generously and wholeheartedly accepted the Europeans/Westerners with an open arm and offered them everything they needed to function in Africa. They came into Africa in the name of religion and offered Africans education and a lot of western civilisation which Africans never knew of and were happy to embrace.

    However, it did not turn out as expected by Africans because the West now turned against Africans by taking over their land and depriving them of their own human rights in their own land. This was a very critical period for all Africans because Africa had lost control of their own destiny at this point and there was little resources at their disposal to redeem themselves.

    The West formed its own laws and its own system to suit its own selfish ambitions. They secluded Africans from being part of the system they built because Africans were supposed to be unintelligent, incompetent, simply uncivilised and not able to contribute sensibly towards anything. The West was in absolute control of Africa at this point. Africans had lost control of their own land and the question that was left was how to get Africa out of this ordeal.

    The Redemption came from within not without. This was the most pivotal time for Africa and something had to be done. This was when Africa took its destiny into its own hands and decided to go for freedom and nothing short. This gave birth to Freedom fighters (e.g. Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, and so many others) all across the continent and all the Western Countries (Britain, France, Portugal) involved in colonising Africa realised that oppressing a people in their own land was more trouble than it was worth.

    This fight for independence started sometimes in the 1950’s but until the 1990’s when Nelson Mandela was released from Prison and elected first black President of South Africa, Africans were still victims of oppression, racial discrimination and slavery right in their own backyard.

    1. Peace,

      And it continues to this day. The races were made separate and should be separate. Due to the difference in nature, the races (Africans and non-Africans) have been at war from time immemorial and will be at war until one claims absolute victory. As one so fortunate to be African, I want that victory for our people. Our defeat is not only the defeat of us but the defeat of the earth and no one should espouse that! We mustn’t think the war is over. We still do not have homeland and we are still in the lowest strata of every society in this world.

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