A Cameroonian soldier once requested to be painted white while on parade with German forces during WWI. Unfortunately for Zampa, his thick lips and dark eyes beaming through his masquerade posture betrayed him and surprised the German officer inspecting the brigade. Today, 'Zampaism' has taken a new form. It is the feeling of being inferior to other races as to want to become like them.
The two epochal events of slavery and colonialism dented the self-worth of Africans. They not only conquered our lands, they also laid seige to their mindsets. We have since come to associate whiteness to purity and superiority. Today's generation are Zampas - they want to speak the Queen's English by twisting their tongues in horizontal trapezium dimension.
We have come to associate being formal with western wears, even lawyers and our beloved Doctors can't seem to differentiate whether the temperature is hot or not. They sweat with delight, the gentleman sweat in 40°C.
Even the very nature of the black skin no longer appeals to some. Bleaching creams are now a common thing in the market place. Many black women especially get tinted with these expensive lotions that give them a multi-colored 3D yellowish white combo. Simply amazing! Little wonder, the legendary king of pop himself, Michael Jackson had to get a Zampa treat by becoming white to look acceptable despite the health implications. Forgive me, it is called choice these days, a liberal narrative to people's excesses and even Africans are buying it, yet again.
Thought pattern, beliefs, religion and now secularism, what is white at any given moment in history seems to be the perfect thing for modern day Zampas.
I once vacated my sit inside a public transport for an elderly woman who was standing because there were no more space to sit. A lot of folks would not mind. We lost the African values of respect, honor to be clothed with freedom to do and undo - to walk on the walkway nude, to embrace homosexuality, to adore divorce and venerate individualism. We lost the community, and as Chinua Achebe described it, we're no longer at ease or better still, things fall apart. Blackness is more than color, it's an attitude.
Header Image Credit: bbc.com