“Africa’s Diabolical Entrapment” is the title of the latest book written by Frisky Larr. To simplify the weight of the words chosen for this title, I will first attempt to explain the word Diabolic. Taken from the Latin word “Diabolicus” or the Greek “Diabolikos” or “Diabolos”, it is the equivalent of the English word “Devil” in both languages. Some sources describe the word as depicting activities enlisting the aid of the devil especially in witchcraft or sorcery. A character that is devilish or fiendish. Taken analogically, we will understand that Frisky Larr has set out to describe an Africa in his range of vision that is trapped within the Devil’s den.
Indeed, this title struck me as brutal and wantonly presumptuous. Without recourse to the writer, I was determined to read every bit of his submission to get to the root of this damning title on the reputation of Black Africa.
It did not take me long to figure out where the author was heading when he undertook a journey through history to identify the significance and meaning of witchcraft in other civilizations such as Europe and the Americas. The Celtic roots of the Halloween tradition, the Inquisition of the Middle Age and the grand witch-hunt of Harlem highlighted the understanding of witchcraft as a phenomenon that is not confined to Black Africa.
This is the challenge that is posed to the impatient reader in search of immediate sensation. The scientific-style qualitative analysis with which the author explains that there are believers and followers of witchcraft in Europe today will not make an easy reading for the average reader who has no academic background. Having gone through this analogy with all relevant details, the author devoted his time to identifying the understanding of witchcraft in Africa with a view to highlighting the differences in the cultural accentuation of beliefs. From this point on, the book makes easy reading for all classes of potential readers.
In fact, it was at this stage that I slowly began to understand why Africa was truly trapped in the devil’s den of its own volition. The narrative journey slowly transformed into an exposé on Africa’s pre-colonial past examining myths and fictions and comparing them with modern realities. The myth surrounding the hunger strike of Oba Ovonramwen under the British colonial administration was factually compared with the hunger strike of Bobby Sands of the Irish Republican Army under the democratic iron fist of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The abolition of the practice of human sacrifice predominantly at the West Coast of Africa by the colonialists and the modern-day resurgence of rituals involving human parts in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria etc. clearly highlights the self-entrapment of Black Africa in the diabolical den.
Frisky Larr goes ahead to identify even one more modern incarceration of the mind in the psyche of the Black African. The relationship between dwindling economic fortunes and the breakdown of law and order as crucial factors in the mass shift towards higher acceptance of traditional values vis-à-vis traditional medicine intertwined with witchcraft and sorcery! This is explained in the typical Frisky Larr’s fashion. He further proceeds to identify precisely these hopelessly dwindling economic fortunes as the cause of another paradigm shift. The mass embrace of Christian beliefs often with the parallel but quiet (behind-the-scene) practice of animism! This time though, witch doctors are replaced by vision-seeing self-styled “overseers”, “Bishops” and “Vicars”. The story-telling narrative goes on to portray criminal activities in the name of Jesus much like fake witch doctors and healers roam the African streets.
I have no doubt that committed loyalists of traditional institutions and admirers of traditional rulers and their widely accepted supernatural powers will be clearly irritated by the author’s frank and blunt rejection of these notions as a factor of collective and mass stupefaction. In the same vein, faithful Christians that are stuck to the Gospel as taught by the Bible will have their fair share of irritation in the face of the author’s condemnation of what he describes as materialist Christianity holding believers hostage in Black Africa. In spite of all these irritations though, it will be very difficult to disagree with the author in the face of compelling evidences that truly seem to portray the continent as entangled in a fundamental trouble of mental deprivation. A problem that plays into the waiting hands of incompetent and inefficient political leadership that is not in a hurry to have it solved as long as it impedes the urgent need for public accountability!
The most impressive and fascinating aspect of Africa’s Diabolical Entrapment is the conclusion and projection for the future of Black Africa. The author makes a daring 30-year projection for developments in Black Africa.
A readable work described by the author as a “pseudo-scientific analysis” that is truly worth its while. It contains recommendations that may be useful to innovative political drives.
The book is currently available in Paperback at www.Authorhouse.co.uk, Amazon and several online bookstores. It is yet to be released or launched in Nigeria.