The Transformation of “African Mentality” as Fundamental to the Development of African Societies
Okpalike, Chika J. B. Gabriel

This paper seeks through the prism of various brands of “African Mentality” proposed by earlier writers to expose the African Mentality that works against true development in Africa. “African Mentality” is the summation of the basic African pattern of thought or frame of mind with which Africans grapple with issues. Chinweizu (1978) dubbed the process which engineered the African mind into the loathsomeness of “African Mentality” as “Re-tooling” and “Miseducation”. Soyinka understood Chinweizu and others as those African intellectuals ravaged with slave mentality. Soyinka (in Frederick, 2009) understood this ‘Slave Mentality’ as hindering the progress of African literature because most writers seem to be laboring under the yoke of western enslavement in their works; engaging in the enterprise of shifting blames. Achebe (1983) proffered that one of the problems of African leaders is ‘Cargo-cult Mentality’ which interprets why they keep waiting for an illusory Messiah across the shores for the solution of the African problems. These brands of African mentality make an average African unwilling to identify with “African Mentality”. The paper then suggests models of social structures the African may connect with, in lieu of arriving at a transformed African mentality.=

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