By Charles Leyman Kachitsa
Most stories from long time ago about the history of the human race were passed between and through generations by word of mouth. Although the advent of writing on scrolls or paper meant stories, folk-role and factual happenings including cultural practices can be kept for much longer time to perpetuity, the use of word of mouth as a vehicle to pass such from generation to generation still remains the most powerful. The recent fire that gutted a museum in Brazil containing artefacts as far back as 8,000 years ago attest to the fact that written records can be destroyed sometimes inadvertently.
The usefulness of making sure the process of passing stories down to newer generations is expressed more in the holy book, the Bible. The Bible remains the most popular and record seller of all books in all generations coming during and after its publication. It shows through its stories that most things that we see happening today in our modern times, have happened before and have been there before. Talk of national leaders and compare with stories in the Bible especially, one will see there have been leaders or kings before resembling some of those we have today. There have been leaders just like we have of different calibre facing various opposition and challenges which they had to deal with. There have been events that were shaped dependent on the leadership of the day which again is our present predicament on several world affairs. Each story tells how the subjects treated their leader and what this meant to the prosperity or demise of their nations which is also something we should learn from if we are wise.
In this week’s quotes we take a look at some of the quotes from a book that has been compiled based on such accounts some of which were preserved through the word of mouth with the stories being passed from one generation to the other. I am reading this book and I found that its content and knowledge are very useful in understanding the world happenings today. Read and enjoy, I am sure you will agree with my assertions above:
“The original Apostles (and Disciples) later did fan out across the world from their base in Jerusalem, some went willingly, others were forced to leave because of persecution by the Roman Government. The twelve Apostles of Christ became the main leaders and teachers of the Apostolic Age of the Early Church. In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, St Luke tells only part of their story, with an emphasis on the extraordinary missionary work of St Paul. By 100AD the Apostles assisted by many other new Jewish converts, had spread the Gospel far and wide, and established churches in parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.”
“The Roman Empire existed as a ‘Democratic’ Republic, for over five hundred years before it officially became an Empire in 27BC under the controversial soldier and politician, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (the first Emperor); who took absolute power and then became known as ‘Augustus’. He became Dictator for life in 44BC. The Empire retained much of the same government and structures as the Republic (Principate) before it became ‘Imperial’ in its later stages (Dominate).
“St Peter is a major leader in Christian history and the main leader in the Apostolic Age of the Church, but there are disagreements as to the role and authority of his successors. Roman Catholics claim his authority and leadership is passed down through the Bishop of Rome (Pope). Most other ancient churches accept only a position of ‘first among equals’ for the successors of St Peter. Most Protestants including the Evangelicals and Pentecostals do not accept the leadership and the authority of the Bishop of Rome.”
NO LONGER AT EASE – THE AFRICAN TRILOGY by Chinua Achebe
“Everything you have said is true. But there is one thing I want you to learn. Whatever happens in this world has a meaning. As our people say: ‘Wherever something stands, another thing stands beside it.’ You see this thing called blood. There is nothing like it. That is why when you plant a yam it produces another yam, and if you plant an orange it bears oranges. I have seen many things in my life, but I have never yet seen a banana tree yield a coco yam. Why do I say this? You young men here, I want you to listen because it is from listening to old men that you learn wisdom. I know that when I return to Umuofia I cannot claim to be an old man. But here in this Lagos I am an old man to the rest of you.’ He paused for effect. ‘This boy that we are all talking about, what has he done? He was told that his mother died and he did not care. It is a strange and surprising thing, but I can tell you that I have seen it before. His father did it.’ …….. There was excitement at this. ‘Very true,’ said another old man. ……. ‘I say that his father did the same thing.’ said the first man very quickly’ lest the story be taken from his mouth. ‘I am not guessing and I am not asking you not to mention it outside. When this boy’s father – you all know him, Isaac Okonkwo – when Isaac Okonkwo heard of the death of his father he said that those who kill with the machete must die by the machete.’ …….. ‘Very true,’ said the other man again. ‘It was talk of Umuofia in those days and for many years. I was a very little boy at the time, but I heard of it.’ ….. ‘You see that,’ said the President. ‘A man may go to England, become a lawyer or a doctor, but it does not change his blood. It is like a bird that flies off the earth and lands on an antihill. It is still on the ground.’