One of the sad legacies of our British colonial history is we try to imitate them in all manner of ways – knowing fully well we don’t have the slightest inkling about the substance of what we’re doing. The late, great VS Naipaul railed time and again about the “Mimic Man” – not only in the Third World, but across the colonies of the various European Empires. And yet we wonder why folks from those countries snicker at our affectations – especially when we take ourselves so seriously.
The protagonist in the Mimic Men – Ranjit who decides to call himself “Ralph”, for instance – is struck when sees some Roman homes from Pompeii and Herculaneum in a picture book. He then decides to build one for himself in his West Indian island!! Where, of course, it sticks out like a third leg!! The mimicry is taken to absurd heights (or depths!) with even the Britain clothes he affects. Even more incongruously than the Roman House in the Tropics, they’re donned with meticulous care – even as the sweat rolls down Ralph’s neck in tiny rivulets!!
And we arrive at the latest act of mimicry by Tacuma Ogunseye who once again took up his pen like Don Quixote of yore, who’d pick up his lance to foray into battle against windmills. He insisted they were ferocious giants to be defeated on behalf of his folks.
Ogunseye unnervingly addressed both President Granger as “Comrade” but your Eyewitness wasn’t sure it was from a collegial or communist perspective, but it did sound a tad too familiar!
The ferocious giants Ogunseye invoked this time were the purported issues of “self hate” and “cultural blindness” in the African Guyanese community! Can you believe this? Hinds had earlier made this claim which President Granger soundly rebutted. The problem is, both Hinds and Ogunseye are simply mimicking rhetoric from the US, which has replaced Britain as our standard for imitation. Because of the continued dread condition of African Americans on account of their minority status there, one can understand their point.
But in Guyana?? Jeez!! We’ve had a whole Black Power Revolution in the sixties combined with Burnham ruling for 28 years where he vowed to make the small man the real man, and Ogunseye is still bitching and moaning?? What’s this nonsense that Guyanese Africans not asserting they’re “Africans” as a sign of self-hate?? Is Ogunseye saying our self-confident Prime Minister Nagamootoo also suffers from self-hate because he said he wasn’t “Indian”?
And what’s this “historic disconnect that Diaspora Africans have in relation to African culture as it existed prior to slavery.”
Does he think Africa remained in a time warp?? Wake up Mimic Man!!
Keith Scott’s the Junior Minister in charge of the Department of labour within the Ministry of Social Protection. Makes you think of those Russian Babushka dolls, where there are smaller ones within each, in a seemingly infinite regression, doesn’t it?!! Anyhow Scott got his position – and his $700,000 monthly salary and commensurate perks – because he represents his one-man party the NFA, which is a member of the “five-party” coalition that’s called APNU.
Now Scott, while addressing some kids at a bursary awards ceremony of the GPSCCU, denounced the striking teachers as “selfish and uncaring” for striking for higher wages. Folks wondered if he was smoking something, since him being a Govt negotiator was the reason why the teachers refused him as “conciliator” and demanded arbitration!!
But Scott knows what he was doing – ‘cause he knows who’s buttering his bread!! He’s beholden to Granger, who’d just doled out some “tough love” to his supporters at BV.
Scott was just sucking up to his boss, by imitating him!!
We just hosted the largest Congressional Delegation (CODEL) in the history of Guyana to brief them on our response to the refugee influx from Venezuela’s collapse.
So why didn’t Greenidge join the 11-country meet asking for aid to deal with the refugees.
Did CODEL promise us something?