Monday, 26 September 2016

UK based Author, Ola Osibodu reveals dirty secrets of Slave trade era in new book, Kings and Not Slaves + Why his book is controversial

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Once again, the dirty lines that dotted the view points of the historical 18th century slave trade era that saw a mass of African people turned into cheap payloads of exchange in the hands of the white racists who used them to develop their Agro-economic industry has come to view in a new book, Kings and Not Slaves written by a brave pan African writer (Afrikanist) in the person of Ola Osibodu. Ola Osibodu is a young man filled with a rare passion and energy to re-write the history of Africa and influence new wave of thinking.
 He is a Pan Africanist whose chief dream is to re Africanize his lost brothers across the world. Speaking with him on few occasions revealed a ‘head filled leader ready to unleash a new wave of renaissance among his cheated kinfolks’. Ola Osibodu is much more a reincarnation of Kwame Nkrumah even though he is a Nigerian by birth.
Ola Osibodu who started writing while studying business information technology at London Southbank University moved to Lagos in year 2011 to pursue a career in software technology. Having worked in the United Kingdom for several years, Osibodu’s dream was to liberate his black race through creation of jobs and deliverable opportunities.
He soon established Parity Global Resources Ltd, a publishing company that provides a global platform to highlight African voices. Osibodu who is equally a life coach enjoys helping others to reach their goals.
But one goal he cherishes most, is to help Africa as a continent to realize her potential in the comity of nations and help an average man of color (Black Man) re-discover his ability and capabilities by stop seeing himself as an inferior brand. The answer to that decision was ‘Kings and Not Slaves’ which imprisoned Osibodu in trance of literary search for 7 Years
Osibodu, a Nigerian by birth loves to write Africa like this—Afrika. He thinks the letter ‘C’ in the name connotes ‘Commoners’, he will rather have the name written with letter ‘K’ which connotes ‘Kings’ or ‘Kingship’.
Right now, his book which is making wave on Amazon is rated ‘Controversial’ by some analysts due to several unheard secrets unveiled in the book.  
You will find out his reasons for all this in this world exclusive interview with your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika.  Enjoy the excerpts      

Sir, your new book, Kings and Not Slaves is making waves across a section of the world and on Amazon, how did you get the inspiration to write such an insightful historical work?
Kings and Not Slaves was inspired by questions I pondered for years: Why is Afrika the richest continent in terms of natural resources yet several Afrikans are poor? Why are Afrikans not able to celebrate and share their unique local content with the world, instead accepting all foreign methods as standard, some of which contradict who we are? Is the Afrikan man a lesser being like some have famously theorized? These are the kind of the thoughts that inspired the story, Kings and Not Slaves.

The book is a narrative of the pains and misfortunes of black slaves in the hand of 18thcentury white racists who captured and used them for the development of their plantations and agro-economy in the new world; do you think this action affected the African continent in any way?
I agree very much that the years of slavery and subjugation have caused a setback for Afrika and Afrikans. Personally I believe that the Afrikan slavery experience is the darkest period in recent human history. I hope our world never witnesses such evil again. Forgive me if evil sounds a bit extreme. Almost two hundred years after abolishment, the poignant scent of slavery still lingers. Although some have tried to ignore it like it doesn’t matter, called it a cliché, evaded questions on it, and tried to bury history; what we must always remember is that the enslavement of Afrikans is too big an event to be swept into oblivion. Slavery is the reason why we still have foreign influences dictating the affairs of Afrika on the global stage today. There is a saying, “What you don’t resist has a right to remain”. The slavery era was a time when we Afrikans submitted our free will to foreigners to trample over, indirectly accepting them as higher beings as it seems today. This is the reason why Afrikan Countries, even after republic formations, are still engrossed in internal wars and struggles with foreign concepts such as religion and democracy. Though the shackles are off the hands and feet, mental slavery is the new form Afrika witnesses today.

From the narratives of war among strong personalities like Yamuna,Shankeke and Karanja in a vile battle to take over kingdoms and harness destinies, do you agree that the Blacks equally gave themselves away to the racists invasion of the 18th century? Do you think the blacks were equally disorganized and lacked social cohession to stop the imminent invassion and emotional terrorism?
I like to think that Afrikan kingdoms of that era had conspicuous fortification and expansion agendas; the foreigner seeing this, he was able to prey on our greed and needs thus turning our kingdoms against one another. What Afrikan Kingdoms didn’t have on the other hand to maintain the necessary equilibrium was a foreign agenda towards curbing foreign invasions because a foreign agenda would have meant truce and unity between conflicting kingdoms. A foreign agenda at the time would have meant Afrikan Kingdoms passing laws and treaties to respect each other’s boundaries. This is what the foreign powers at the time knew and moved fast to prevent. The effects are still seen all over Afrika till this day.
Your book seems to equally reveal some of the element of the dark ages which was responsible for the falling of Africa as a civilized continent, from the battle of TSANGU in the hand of his Captives abroad and his terrible fate at home where his father’s rival was butchered to death and his clan almost raced down, what can you say was the real problem of the man of color? Is it his crave for political dominance or his fear for self discovery?
I do not think the problem is self-discovery because the “man of colour” (not a way I like to describe Afrikan) discovered himself earlier than any other race. Neither is a crave for political dominance peculiar to just Afrikans alone; we read of political revolutions all around the world. What I think the real problem was and still is, is the Afrikan man’s focus on differences instead of similarities. Because we kept seeing differences, Afrika became a cracked wall that entertained lizards. Similarities would have meant unity. Unity means strength. Ask yourself the question; why is it only in Afrika that tribal clash are still rampant? Is it that there are fewer tribes in other parts of the world? The ability to see similarities could only be brought about by leadership. Good Philosophical leadership. Not hypocrites that have houses and bank accounts in Europe.
Sir, you are reputed to be the first black author to write the story of African slave trade era from the African point of view, where did you get the discipline to carry out this expensive research?

“For me, I am just a man trying leave a legacy when I pass away. I take interest in making sense of the complexities of life more than most of my peers.In fact, I feel I act like an old man. Sometimes I think I am an incarnate of an old man. I love things old people love –  their music, clothes etc”

I like to think there have been very few writers before me who have told of the Afrikan Slavery experience from the Afrikan perspective. However what I am not sure of is if there has been any Afrikan who has told the story of slavery on the global stage. All the notable books on Afrikan slavery were told from western perspectives. I think that the discipline to complete this feat stemmed from certain things I had seen and I strongly did not agree with. For instance, I am a proponent of Afrikans being careful and sensible with what they accept via religion. I also believe Afrikans must never lose their natural heritage. And so when I noticed that the Afrikans around me carried a faulty mindset, it dawned on me that it was time to shine a little light. That decision to write consumed seven years of my life, but today I count it all joy.

From your horrible illustration of sudden and momentary killings of black slaves on the evil ship, Margaret Scott and the forceful usage of their strenght coupled with the attendant demoralization on the Aldershotstobacco plantation in Suffolk, Virginia, do you think late Chief MKO Abiola the Nigeria business mogul turned politician was right to have asked the whites (Europe & America) to pay a fee (Reparation) to the black race for all the evils of the slave trade era?
If the Jews got paid for the Holocaust why not Afrikans?; the challenge we had is that not all Afrikans supported the late MKO Abiola’s cause. This is the reason why some of us are echoing the words of our father - Kwame Nkrumah - as we call for true Pan-Afrikanism. I encourage pan-Afrikanism because I believe it is the only hope Afrika has if she must compete with other regions of the world, after several years of rape by her sons and neighbors’ sons. Only through a pan-afrikanist ideology can Afrika make her demands and get global attention.

Your book, Kings and Not Slaves is rated as an all revealing literature on the evil of the white race against the black race during the slave trade era, are you not afraid you might be a target of CIA agents in the West?
Let me state very clearly for the record, my intention, from the day I started this work, Monday 20th April 2009, was never to aggravate tension between the Caucasian and African races— I think the world has seen enough of that already. Rather, this work is my little contribution to encourage better racial unity, equity, understanding and perceptions. Let me state clearly that I do not hold a present day white person responsible for the actions of an 18th century slaver, neither do I blame Afrikans whose ancestors collaborated with slavers. The culprits are long gone with those days and I have learned to put things in their proper perspectives. In the words of Bob Marley “Let’s get together and feel alright,” we beautiful creations of hue. As for being afraid of being a target of the CIA, well, I have no anti-American or anti-western agenda. Neither do I belong to any outlawed group or sect. I am not a communist or political fighter. I am just a young man with an opinion, trying to make sense of things.

The name Tsangu and the location Yakunda seems strange from your African Yoruba place of birth. Which country did you have in mind as a plotting location? Is the story a compendium of the entire Africa’s misfortune in the hands of white racists or just a portion of Africa?
While the story is based on historical events, all its characters are purely fictional and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. The village of Yakunda and all the African names are things I made up, but going by a map of Africa, Yakunda will be in today’s Cote d’Ivoire. The story represents a snapshot of the Afrikan man’s struggle as he finds his way out of the mire of physical and mental shackles.

“The average young Nigerian doesn’t know his left from his right. He is easily swayed by his emotions. He is not a man of philosophies and principles. He will change his tone at the slightest instant. He has no mind of his own. He wants to get rich quick with no foundation, except the wishes of building his castle in the air. He is physically strong, but mentally lazy. He calls on God where he should be acting”.

How were you able to source your material to make the story compelling and revealing?
Libraries, movies, slave books and credible websites

How can thousands of African Youths especially those studying history and political science get a copy of the book and read the story of their ancesstors?
I am extending copies of “Kings and Not Slaves” to notable bookstores nationwide in a month. In the mean time anyone who needs a copy can contact me through or on twitter @Olaosibodu1 or 08090798668. Promo copies can be downloaded from my website www.olaosibodu. I can also be reached via Facebook.

Do you feel threatened that you have revealed more than expected?
No. This is no more than book.

You studied business information technology at London Southbank University, where did you get the knowledge and talent to write?

Writing is not something I was born with. I think writing came out of a determination. Before this book, the only serious thing I had ever written was my dissertation and the subject was on Artificial Intelligence in Automobiles. Nevertheless I always felt I had a strong imagination. So at the time I got inspired with this story, it was only a matter of stringing the right words together. Of course that didn’t come easy.

Who is Ola Osibodu?

As easy as this question seems, it’s quite difficult to answer. To some I am a complex being, too strict or too uptight. To some I give light. For me, I am just a man trying to leave a legacy when I pass away. I take interest in making sense of the complexities of life more than most of my peers’ .In fact; I feel I act like an old man. Sometimes I think I am an incarnate of an old man. I love things old people love – their music, clothes etc. I am the sort of individual who takes so much pride in the things I do, so much that several people mistake this for arrogance. I wouldn’t say I have been a perfect individual. What I would say is that I had to make tough and conscious choices as to how I wanted my life to look.

Can you share the story of your humble beginning with us? Are you from a polygamous family or a straight one?
I come from a monogamous family, not rich but also not poor. Growing up, I think the ups and downs experienced by the family have shaped me into becoming who I am. But I am most thankful to God and my Parents for having a good education. I remember how my four-year stint (2000 – 2004) in Lagos State University felt like a waste and my Parents decided I school abroad. They didn’t have money stashed in a bank account, besides there were other siblings to take care of. Then came a time to make my own choices and part of this was to work hard to pay my tuition through University. Today, I give God the glory because not only am I a writer, I also work with a Technology multi-national.
What do you think is the problem of an average Young Nigerian and what do you think is the panacea?

The average young Nigerian doesn’t know his left from his right. He is easily swayed by his emotions. He is not a man of philosophies and principles. He will change his tone at the slightest instant. He has no mind of his own. He wants to get rich quick with no foundation, except the wishes of building his castle in the air. He is physically strong, but mentally lazy. He calls on God where he should be acting. He mistakes the roles of faith and action and expends energy where he ought not. He is inspired by the wrong things such as the music he listens to and the make-believe videos he watches. The panacea I see for the Nigerian youth is leadership. Great men such as the late Lee Kuan Yew with their philosophies inspired youths who ended up building Singapore. Most Nigerian youths on the other hand want to “Hammer”.

Which countries in Africa are you working on spreading your literary work, Kings and Not Slaves?

Yes, I have a dream of having my work read across the Afrikan continent. However, I believe in a process. Sometimes, it’s a case of capacity and then one must find trustworthy partners to help spread and replicate over territories.

You used very creative English words and nice pure literature in dispensing your story? Where do you get such a talent? Whose work do you read most among the giants, Wole Soyinka or Chinua Achebe?

Chinua Achebe all the way. I must have read “Things fall apart” like ten times for me to be able to get into the ancient Afrikan mindset. One of the things I learnt in my early days of writing is the power of “Point of View” (POV) and I think this is one of the things I harnessed well in my book.

How do you think Government can restore the quality of education in Nigeria?

First Nigeria needs philosophical leaders that can restore a sense of pride in their people. A set of leaders who would confront the educational system and tell the teachers to stop teaching our kids that Mungo Park discovered the River Niger. It is from this sort of independent thinking that people begin to find a sense of belonging. From a sense of belonging comes a crave to know your own history. This is why the mind of Chinese and Indians have not been penetrated by Western influences that pervades our world today.

If you are to find yourself in a forum with one million young Nigerians, what will be your chief advice to them?

Discover the African in you. Don’t try to be who you are not.

Are you married? If yes, tell us about your family and if no, anybody in the camera and when is the wedding bell going to ring?

This is a private question and I like to keep my private life away from public discuss as much as possible.

Who is your role model?

Obafemi Awolowo, Abraham Lincoln, Barrack Obama, EmekaOjukwu, Fidel Castro, Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Harriet Tubman, Gordon Brown. I am inspired by what these people stood for at different moments in their lives

What are your other hobbies aside writing?
Sitting alone quietly, trying to make sense of my environment
Why did you return to Nigeria in 2011 to pursue a career in software technology, why didn’t you seek greener pasture in the UK after studying?
I actually worked in the UK for a number of years after my Graduation. I was fortunate to work with reputable organizations. Nonetheless, a part of me always felt I should return home. I am the sort who believes that prosperity comes from above and not from abroad. There are many Nigerians abroad who live like slaves just to earn foreign currency and I wasn’t going to be one of them. I felt I could become something in my country that living in the UK wouldn’t allow me become. Besides, who says there are no green pastures in Nigeria? You’ve just got to find them.

How do you think Nigeria and African Government can use history as a basic tool to liberate the continent from intellectual paralysis?

Let look at that word “History”. It is made up of a prefix and a suffix – HIS STORY. Whose story? He who was powerful enough to tell it, any serious country must care about its history. Nigeria and Africa at large must start telling its own stories from its own point of view. When we refuse to tell our own stories, another man will tell them to us. When another tells you your own story, then you have a major problem. For instance I believe the subject of slavery is something we must never stop talking about in Africa, of course consciously with a tongue of hope and not of dismay. When Afrikans agree to bury around 400 active years of a pertinent history, we rob ourselves of the chance to ask questions such as “who are we?”Afrikans must continue talking about slavery through our stories, media, culture, art; schools etc .Remembering what our forebears suffered will give us the drive to reposition our continent as a bastion of promise and hope. Another likely outcome such persistence will have, if expressed maturely, is better respect from other cultures of the world. Our History would make us stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone without feeling inferior. Just as Winston Churchill saved the British in trying times, are we saying Afrika didn’t have heroes who did likewise? But Afrikans would rather read about Winston Churchill than they would Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe and Ahmadu Bello.

Lastly, who among the African heroes do you think really liberated his people: Mandela, Kenyata, Awolowo, Nyerere, Nkrumah, Ojukwu or who? Tell us the story of your favorite African hero?
All these men mention are all heroes and their names must be enshrined within Afrikan education curriculum. But I think my favorite Afrikan hero would be Nkrumah because of what he stood for. Although I felt he lost his cause towards his latter days. His drive for pan-Afrikanism should never be forgotten. In fact we ought to build on it. This is a man who wanted Afrika to be truly independent. I can go on and on, but Afrika has not developed because we lack men of philosophies such as Nkrumah.

To Get a Copy of the new book ‘Kings and Not Slaves’ reach Ola on or write him on or follow him on Facebook!

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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