People of Colour and The Supremacy Battle – By Paul Olarewaju
Inquisitive little Abike walked up to me and asked, “uncle, who are those referred to as people of
colour?” I replied, blacks, people like you and I who are dark skinned – Africans to be precise.
Not a bad response I guess, but I noticed a surprise brow held in place for a few seconds on her
forehead, with the rest of her face uninvolved. As typical of Abike it was an emblem of doubt, which
means more questions awaits me.
As expected of a curious mind such a hers, Abike wasted no time before hitting me with another
question. “But I was told that those people we call ‘Oyinbos’ are white people, is white not a colour
too?” I paused for some seconds and responded, yes white is a colour.
Few minutes later, I thought to myself, is little Abike trying to pick my brains? O well, she is right after
all. Black, brown and white are all colours, so all humans are people of colour, our true nationality is
mankind, we are just of different complexions.
I was super impressed with Abike’s intelligence, and felt like a pupil under her tutourlage for a while,
until she gave me an opportunity to feel like uncle Paul again.
The inquisitive lass asked me why the whites are superior to blacks. I smiled, walked into the kitchen,
and returned to her with two clean water bottles, one white and the other one black. I gave her the
black one and filled both bottles with clean water, then I told her to use the content of her bottle to do
whatever she feels right while I prepared some yummy noodles in the kitchen with the content of my
A few moments later, Abike called for my assistance in the sitting room. When I got there, I discovered
she had made a mess of the whole place with the content of her bottle and had just a little water left in
it while she struggled to tidy-up the living room, so I assisted her in cleaning up.
Yee-haw! My yummy noodle is ready. So I invited sorry looking Abike to join me in demolishing it, my
invitation sounded like music to her ears as she beamed almost immediately. Could there be a better
time to answer Abike’s question about the supposed superiority of whites over blacks? I doubt much.
I asked if smart Abike was ready for the answer to her question, and as expected she said yes. So I told
her to pour the remaining water in her black bottle into the clean glass cup in front of her. After she had
done as I requested, I poured the little water in my white bottle into another glass cup and asked if the
content of both cups are different in colour or taste. After taking a close look at both glass cups and
sipping from them, she replied “no”.
I smiled and explained to Abike that the black bottle given to her is a metaphorical representation of the
black race, while mine which is white represents the white race. Both bottles were filled with clean
water, and irrespective of their colour the quality of their content remained the same. This translates to
the fact that the colour of our skin (container) has nothing to do with the quality of what we carry or
have inside of us. I said to her, never think anyone is superior or inferior to you because of the colour of
their skin (container).
Seeing how intrigued my little niece was, I further demystified my allegory. I told Abike that she
represented the leadership of the black race while I represented the leadership of the white race.
Although the content of our bottles (talents, natural resources et al.) were the same, we managed it
differently. While I put mine to good use for the good of all, she managed hers poorly, and needed my
assistance to put things in order. I told her the same applies to the case of blessed black nations such as
Nigeria where leaders manage the abundant resources at their disposal poorly due to various selfish
reasons and end up seeking assistance from the ‘Oyinbo’s’ who have put the little or same amount of
resources they have to good use.
If we were to select the richest, most intelligent, creative, imaginative, industrious, and energetic third
of mankind, all races would be present. But Africans are yet to learn the art of uncompromisingly putting
a round peg in a round hole.
Abike looked deep into my eyes and nodded in agreement.
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