By Basil Chiji Okafor
“For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the
laughter of the fool: this also is vanity.” – Ecclesiastes 7:6
“O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me.
Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a
thread.” – Bhagavad-Gita 7:7
“Then lo! Ye, the erring, the deniers,
Ye verily will eat of a tree called Zaqqum…
And thereon ye will drink of boiling water,
Drinking even as the camel drinketh.
This will be their welcome on the Day of Judgment.” – Surat Al- Waqi’ah 56:51-56
This year marks the beginning of a period of restitution…and retribution, thereof, for the ‘season’ has come full circle. So, happy Kwanza to everyone, especially to those who recognise the transience of this world of gross matter and the supremacy of the Creator, in whom all power, is vested.
It had been blowing in the wind itself. From midnight, December 22nd, 2009, when the sun took a bow for its next solar cycle and ‘rebirth’ at winter solstice, one didn’t need to be a Nostradamus to ‘feel’ that this was no ordinary cycle for the locusts have been at their destructive best for too long. Whilst in flight, after all, a projectile’s trajectory having attained its summit has only one more direction to point – it begins a dip. That is the LAW.
By the way, Kwanza, for the African world, is a celebration of rebirth – a new beginning. In the Black world, every end of year by Gregorian calendar, for one week, beginning December 26th to January 1st, African-Americans and particularly the rest of the Black Diaspora, celebrate the Kwanza, a word derived from the Kiswahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza”, meaning, first fruits of the harvest.
Beyond the festivities, Kwanza has a much deeper meaning for Africans. It celebrates the virtues of family and unity as inherent in ethnic African cultural values. Kwanza is committed to the seven principles of Self Determination; Collective Work and Responsibility; Cooperative Economics; Purpose; Creativity; Faith and Unity. But so far, how have modern African leaders steered the ships of their respective states towards the time-tested values of their forebears? What is the attitude of the average Black man, generally, towards his own brother African?
Over the years, dog has continued to eat dog on this African continent, particularly here in Nigeria. It has got so bad that now, everything has been re-baptised dog so that they could have the right names to be made meals of. Even the Almighty Himself has not been spared in this madness. His holy name has been commercially spelt backwards – from God to dog – just so that it could be made a good meal of. But mere mortals can only come thus far.
For too long, people in this country – the powerful, the not so powerful; the rich, the not so-rich; the boss, the employee; the pastor, the laity; the old and the young, too many people – have done all manner of havoc with impunity. Consumed in the passion of their recklessness, many have carried on in the belief that “nothing would happen”.
It is in this Nigeria, for instance, that a group of Boko Haramists – supposedly God’s people? – unprovoked, attacked, raped and subsequently murdered an innocent daughter of a poor widow on NATIONAL SERVICE, because “nothing would happen”. The sins are many. The people have had enough. It is equally in this country of ours that government is run like private enterprise and the entire citizenry is treated with utmost levity, the same manner an employer or boss would treat his subordinates or employees; a university lecturer, his students, or even a parent, his or her own child – because “nothing would happen”.
Well, this is the beginning of another cycle, a totally different cycle indeed. From this ‘season’, all the elements shall kowtow before the LAW because the rhythm of two and one, have conspired to force the serpent’s tail in its mouth for death and birth are but two sides of one and the same coin. Those who have forever enjoyed taking the long-suffering people of this country for granted should be very careful this ‘season’ because doom awaits those who trifle with the destinies of land and individuals, alike.
Their fate shall be like that of the once powerful Egyptian warrior-king, Araxes, in the hands of his inappropriate but delectable mistress, Ziska-Charmazel, of Marie Corelli’s unforgettable occult classic. In the first epoch, King Araxes terribly abused the unalloyed love and devotion of this exquisite and dotting beauty, then, in a fit of rage, went ahead to slaughter her in cold blood because “nothing would happen”. And it did, in fact, appear as if nothing happened.
But the soul of Ziska-Charmazel found no rest at all and thirsted for vengeance and for justice. In another incarnation, another time, another flesh and blood, but in the same Egypt, the now Princess Ziska finally fished out the almighty King Araxes of yore, now reborn in the flesh of Armand Gervase, the celebrated French painter. Not even all of the waters, of all of the world’s oceans, could douse the fire of vengeance that seethed in her soul, through the ages:
“Araxes!…Araxes! Thou art here – and I pursue thee! Through life into death; through death out into life again! I find thee and I follow! I follow! Araxes!…”
However, those who have serially wronged Nigeria and its many ordinary people would, in their self-righteous indignation, nonetheless, try to swim up an impossible current, even at this turn of the ‘season’. This period, they would try to fight their last-ditch battle and drag with them, many innocent souls to their untimely graves.
But their time is finally up! At this turn of this ‘season’, those who refuse to hearken to the voice of reason; who choose to waltz with the gods in un-girded loins; those who defer not to the authority of the Most High God, are fated to go by the sword of His divine justice. That is the LAW.
And so shall it be with this new beginning of the serpent that devours its own self as the sun takes a dip, to return in scorching heat.
Happy Kwanza, once again!
FROM MY ARCHIVES
I first published the article you have just read in the defunct ‘National Life’ newspaper, to usher in the New Year of 2010. I repeated the same article in the first edition of the same weekly on January 9, 2011, in the Chiji Okafor column. That cycle has since ended and things have come full circle and we are now at the beginning of the 2020s decade.
To the casual observer, this is just a leap year but to the student of numerology and our traditional African heritage and religion, or even just the curious, it runs deeper than that. In our traditional Igbo mode, the figure that most connects with Divinity is 2. Therefore, any gift destined for the gods, (the messengers and ministers of Chi Ukwu Okike Abiama, the Almighty) must be 4, or 8, multiples of 2.
The year 2020, is a year of the gods, as you can see (2 and 2, being 4). But the vibrations of what the year has in stock do not begin to manifest until the last month of its first quarter (March) by the Gregorian calendar, which starts from the night of the day, 19/03/2020 and peaks today, 21/03/2020, whose sum total, 2+1+3+2+2 = 10, or 1, in numerological parlance, incidentally the beginning of the spring equinox.
Today is thus, the first day, of the New Year, of the year of the gods. This month of March (Gregorian calendar) has four dates, namely, 01/03/2020, 12/03/2020, 21/03/2020 and 30/03/2020, which numerological sum totals come to one, or the unit, (or beginning) but it is on this day of the spring equinox that we must begin the New Year of the gods — again notice that the unit days are 4!
This year is a harbinger of a season of CHANGE, which actually began some 10 years ago, just like I wrote in the piece, in 2009. Just like then, everything about this year, from its configuration, is about balance and equilibrium, just as is the case with the scale of justice. The rhythm of this year is poetry itself, in motion. In the course of its season, it shall do restitution, just as it is ready to exact full penalty, whilst doing justice.
Like I have already said, in our traditional African religion, any sacrifice or gift destined for the gods is usually in multiples of two that is 4, or 8. Four is also a very important figure in all of the world’s various cultures, religions and mysticism.
It is the basis of Judaism’s Tetragrammaton. Duality is Taoism’s Yin and Yang, just like it is symbolically depicted by the Egyptian Ankh or Crux Ansata. In Christendom, duality – light and darkness – and its multiple, four, echo at the Creation, in the Book of Genesis and 4 is the number of the elements at Creation, namely, Earth, Wind, Water and Fire. Duality is also the true meaning of the Christian Cross – death and resurrection – just as it is depicted in Hinduism’s Dance of Shiva, and so on.
The rhythm of this year, similar as it is, to that of the end of the last decade, is not a mere coincidence. Time has come full circle from the last decade when this journey began. The serpent is about to devour itself again from the tail, according to the LAW and this must bring about its CHANGE.