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The Gentlemen of The Jungle.

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The Gentlemen of The Jungle.

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  • September 25, 2003
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Each and every person must take his or her own bit of wisdom from the land of Africa, wisdom scattered generously by Mother-Africa to her children. These were the ancestors, the chiefs, the scholars, the bush men and women, the weak, the strong, and the brave. Let us examine such work of wisdom by Jomo Kenyatta in his short story: "The Getnlemen of The Jungle." As a Pan-African and great political leader, Kenyatta became the first president of independent Kenya back in 1963. His wise story, pulsate with humor, for all the so called Gentlemen were animals, reminded me, at my first read, of the Africa my grandparents encountered. I had to apply various thinking techniques to enable me pinpoint the main idea of Kenyatta's theme of the story. For some, the story may look like a funny-tale, however, on the contrary, provided you know the history of colonial Africa, it provides some hidden facts, an answer to how Europeans colonized the continent.

"Once upon a time an elephant made a friendship with a man. One day a heavy thunderstorm broke out, the elephant went to his friend, who had a little hut at the edge of the forest, and said: "My dear good man, will you please let me put my trunk inside your hut to keep it out of this torrential rain? "

We can easily visualize the normal form of mutual relationship the elephant requested from his friend in the above passage, who, in this case, happened to be a human being. Such was the request of Europeans when they first came to Africa. They came as missionaries, and later, traders. They were eager to reside along with the African people, although their experiences, culture and beliefs were in total contrast with that of the African people. Obviously, the concept of an elephant and a man presented here was to give us a hidden message, and thus somewhat an anecdote of reality.

"The man, seeing what situation his friend was in, replied: "My dear good elephant, my hut is very small, but there is room for your trunk and...