Monday, July 3, 2023

How British influenced Ajayi Crowther to translate Esu as the Satan

How British influenced Ajayi Crowther to translate Esu as the Satan

Samuel Ajayi Crowther’s character is no different from that of boxer in George Orwell’s book titled ‘animal farm’.

Although usually seen as a hero, Ajayi Crowther was an ignorant man and white apologist that was used and dumped by the British to make head ways into Yorubaland. 

He is no different from the mental slaves today who believe that the only foundation for good human existence in any context is that with the blue print of the west. 

According to Wole Soyinka, ‘There is nothing to choose ultimately between the colonial mentality of Samuel Ajayi Crowther, West Africa's first black bishop, who groveled before his white missionary superiors ... and the new black ideologues who are embarrassed" by African traditions. 

Both suffer from externally induced fantasies of redemptive transformation in the image of alien masters.’

In the 1800’s the British wanted to put an end to slavery, not because they had compassion towards Africans but because they wanted to migrate to Africa as imperialists. 

They needed to rebrand their image from slave raiders to friends in order to mingle with the people and make them comfortable with their presence in the prelude to colonialism of the continent. 

One of their important weapons of mental warfare is religion. 

Every empire building nation understood that the best way to mentally enslave a people is through a religion. 

This is why the Roman Catholic remained a powerful political center for unity long after the Roman Empire collapsed.

Samuel Ajayi Crowther had a unique advantage at the time, not much people had a good mastery of language and translations. 

He translated the Bible from English to Yoruba and through such means, he distorted many versions of Yoruba history in context.  

One example was the translation of esu to devil. 

The biblical version of devil did not exist in Yoruba culture, there was nothing to compare to the devil, so he picked a deity called Esu, god of the crossroads and translated him to be devil. 

Esu does not have hell, he never betrayed loyalty to Eledumare and never at any time led a rebellion of a fraction of heavenly hosts in a coup against Eledumare. 

This was all the imagination of an African bishop on the payroll of his masters from the west.

Ajayi Crowther as the face of their religion at the time and worked hard to convert many of his native kinsmen to the British version of Christianity. 

It was Ajayi Crowther who pioneered the Anglican mission in Onitsha and Lokoja. As a bishop, he groomed 10 native priests to help him in his religious mission. 

After he had successfully built a strong Anglican base, the white priests decided they had no need of him again insisting that Ajayi Crowther and his priests were intellectually inferior and unqualified for the posts they had. 

The first thing they did was to take the Niger mission treasury from his control, they would eventually dismiss all the priests that worked with him to build the missions and ultimately forced him to resign out of frustration in 1890. 

He spent the few months after his resignation as a broken man and died of stroke shortly after (1891) in Lagos.

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