Spirit of Kanembu

July 14, 2012
In the small African village of Kanembu, Elder Wood, the village leader, called together his people for the annual pre-harvest recitations from the past. Elder Wood spoke often of the days of old, during which time the Pale Men came to the region.

Kanembu was a fighting force against the Pale Men, and Elder Wood was a young boy when Kanembu was victorious over the Pale Men.

The tattered hut of Elder Wood was jam-packed in and out with the nearly one hundred people of the village, all eagerly waiting to hear Elder Wood’s story.

“Welcome,” Elder Wood said, and sat in his large, intricately carved mahogany chair, “I shall tell you the story of the Pale and Dark Leaders of old, and why Dark triumphed.”

The hut was dead silent. Not a sound could be heard. Everyone was intently grasping onto each and every one of Elder Wood’s words.

“Six dozen years ago, the Pale Men came to our village. They demanded much of our crops, our tools, and our women. It was with much difficulty that our valiant leader, Blue Spirit, attempted to negotiate with the Pale Men to simultaneously live together in peace and harmony.

“Blue Spirit met with the Pale Men’s leader, a large man named William of Britain, on several occasions, in attempts to maintain peace with this foreign race. Blue Spirit was calm, composed, considerate, but firmly willing to fight for his people. William of Britain was discourteous, egocentric, impatient, and did not demonstrate much care for his white men.

“William of Britain found our sacred gold supply for the sun-God and demanded that we relinquish it to him. Blue Spirit, naturally, refused. Without the gold, Kanembu would suffer the consequences of the sun-God for losing His precious sacrifice.

“Blue Spirit patiently explained to William of Britain that if the gold was to be moved, Kanembu’s people would suffer. The next day, William of Britain stole the gold and for three months, the people of Kanembu experienced starvation, dehydration, and a mysterious fatigue. Blue Spirit tended to as many of his people as possible, praying for their recovery, and lifting spirits. Blue Spirit’s inspiration and optimism galvanized the people of Kanembu to retaliate, and on the eve of the harvest, Kanembu declared war on the Pale Men.

“William of Britain disappeared and never showed at the battlefield. Blue Spirit led fifty strong men across the field and attacked the Pale Men.

“Without proper leadership, the Pale Men had no strategy, tactics or motivation. Because of Blue Spirit’s renowned warrior status and complex, well-communicated battle strategies, every last one of the Pale Men were slaughtered on the battlefield. William of Britain was never seen again, nor was the sun-God’s sacred gold.

“But alas, the following harvest brought the largest bounty of maize, rice, and yams than ever before. Under Blue Spirit’s determination, gold was discovered in the Northern Fields, replacing the lost gold of the sun-God.

“I was but a boy when Blue Spirit led Kanembu to victory over the ‘powerful’ Pale Men of the North. Now I tell the story of his bravery to you. Remember this, my people, no matter how powerful a group may seem, they are only as strong as the leader who leads them.”

Elder Wood finished his story and stood up. He beckoned with his arms to the skies in a gesture of appreciation. Kanembu’s people returned the gesture, and gradually departed from the hut, the bravery and valor of Blue Spirit rushing through their veins.

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