Why Africans are toppling the statues of Jesus

And it came to pass, that on the first day of His Second Coming, while He was taking a walk along the banks of the confluence where River Niger met River Benue, the multitude beseeched Him, yelling, “Son of God, Son of God, why do you look different from the picture of yours in all the calendars in our parlors.” Others shouted, “Son of God, Son of God, why do you look different from your statues in front of our church, and by the entrance of our parsonage?”

Others shouted that His carved images on their church windows and doors did not look anything like him.

And he sat them down by the slow-flowing river and told them the parable of one Prophet Muhammad who came after him. And how the prophet had forbidden his disciples from making his image, not in drawings and not in statues.

“Beloved, do you know why he did that?” He asked them.

“No,” the multitude answered, shaking their heads.

And He said unto them. “It was to avoid questions like these that you are asking. He wanted everyone to see him in themselves whether they are man or woman, black or white, tall or short.”

One Ahmadu the son of Bello who was just passing by on his way back to Sokoto asked, “Teacher, did it work for Muhammad?”

And he said to Ahmadu, “You should know the answer, Ahmadu. If it worked, would your children have demanded that M.K.O. Abiola should pick a Muslim from the North as his Vice Presidential candidate? Would they have done so, if his own Muslim was good enough for a balanced ticket?”

And Ahmadu walked away without saying another word.

“Repent ye, for it is written,” He said, “Blessed are those who know how much they need to know before they know how little they know.”

One Dora, the daughter of Edemobi, married to the son of Akunyili, asked him: “Master, what are we going to do now? Even when I’m filled with the Holy Spirit, I still see you as a blue-eyed blonde white man with nose pointed like Massa’s pen while I am just a descendant of Simon of Cyrene, the one who carried your cross.”

And from the back row, Fela the son of Kuti, shouted, “Joseph pikin, we still dey carrying your cross- this time no be the Romans dey make us do am, na due to things wey brainwashing don do to us. Still, we no get anything to show for am. Why?”

And He looked up to the heavens, His head buried deep in the clouds. When His head came down, He said unto them: “I am who I am and not what those first Fulani-herdsmen of this world made of me.”

And the multitude was confused. Who are the first Fulani-herdsmen of this world they asked each other?

And one of the elders, Chinua the son of Achebe, explained to them that the first Fulani-herdsmen of this world were white people. He described how white people went from one continent to another killing indigenous people, destroying their lands, their languages and their environments, enslaving them, and taking over their lands.

“They did it to the Indians in America, the aborigines in Australia, the Mayans of Mexico, the First Nations of Canada, and many others,” Elder Achebe narrated. “In few places where they did not wipe off these indigenous people, they locked them up in a reservation, never to be heard from again. They would have completely destroyed us in West Africa if not that soldiers of our Second Division, mosquito regiment put up a strong fight on our behalf.”

The Son of God overheard what Elder Achebe of the Lower Niger was saying unto them. He wiped his brow and said: “Do not despair, my brethren, for I am because you are and you are because I am.”

But Diepreye the son of Alamieyeseigha, asked: “Maverick, why is the devil depicted in my image, a black man who looked like a buffoon?”

“Yes,” the multitude shouted. “Why is that? Why is that? It is unfair. All these injustices perpetuated under your name by those who profess to follow your teachings have messed up our brains. It has made them think we are lesser humans. It has made us think less of ourselves. Why? Why?”

With sympathy in His eyes, He turned to them and conceded that He made a mistake. He said that He thought Moses’ Second Commandment was enough for the people He left behind on his First Coming, not to make an image of Him. He said that if He had known, He would have specifically forbidden them from making any picture or any statue of Him, just like Muhammad did when he saw the damage it had caused.

“So what shall we do now?” Alamieyeseigha asked Him.

“Go ye and destroy all the images of mine that you have,” He said unto them. “If anyone should ask you, tell them that you have seen me and I am not anything like what those statues and pictures depict.”

And the multitude became excited. As they filed out, they each brought out their phones and took a selfie with him.

For one last time, He said unto them, “While you destroy those images, seek me not for I will go back to my Father for a quick consultation.”

Benson the son of Idahosa was not happy about what he heard. He whispered into the ears of the man next to him, “That was what He said the last time He came. And it took him over 2000 years to come back.”

Benson immediately regretted it. He hoped the Son of God did not overhear what he had said.

Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo is the author of "This American Life Sef."

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