By Musa Hashim; Kano, Nigeria
“We’re broadcasting live from the press center of Kano University of Science of Technology Wudil, where Professor Daniel Olofin, the Engineer and Physicist, who is believed to have put the global warming challenge that has plagued earth to rest by inventing an orbiter that was launched to space over a month ago, is about to address members of the press. The press conference is about to commence, wishing you all a happy viewing,” the reporter said as Professor Daniel took his place behind the podium table with flashes from cameras radiating in the background.
Daniel looked at the translator beside him and the translator made a gesture for him to proceed. Daniel began his speech in Yoruba like he always did when addressing an audience because he couldn’t speak fluent English.
“Congratulations ladies and gentlemen. We’re all safe and sound in 2050 so that makes us survivors of the Covid-19 pandemic but you’re all aware that before the emergence of the Coronavirus, we all had an enemy, a plague and a monster slowly devouring our planet, that monster is known as global warming. The destruction of our Ozone layer by the uncontrollable effect of the sun. Three years ago, I discovered a cure for this enemy in form of an orbiter I named ‘Dahomey.’ Dahomey has been tested and approved by the necessary international space and environmental agencies across the globe. Dahomey was launched into space last month via Roscomos and NASA networks. Today, I’m happy to let you all know that Project Dahomey’s first trial was proven to be a success by the United Nations Environment Program as the irradiance of the sun was successfully dialed down over the period of 48hrs,” Daniel said and thunderous applauses erupted in the conference center.
When the applauses finally dialed down, Daniel looked at the reporters and said, “I will now take your questions.”
“Can you please tell us more about your invention Professor Daniel?” a reporter asked.
“Dahomey is an orbiter which simply modifies and neutralizes the ultraviolet ray of the sun by transmitting radioactive wavelengths to the sun which controls the intensity of the sun rays that reaches the earth atmosphere and surface,” Daniel replied.
“What exactly does Dahomey do Professor?” another reporter asked.
“Dahomey limits the intensity or strength of the sun rays that reaches us on earth,” Daniel replied.
“Can you break it down a little bit to everyone’s understanding Professor Daniel? There are lots of viewers with varying levels of understanding dying to comprehend your invention better,” a third reporter said.
“Basically, Dahomey is a satellite that limits the amount of heat from the sun that reaches us on earth,” Danielreplied.
“Please how old are you Professor?” a fourth reporter asked.
“I’m 63 years old,” Daniel replied.
“What general effect does Dahomey have on all biological life forms?” a fifth reporter inquired.
“Dahomey has delivered us from the doomsday scenario known as the greenhouse effect. It’s the solution Afro futurism has provided to ensure the continuity of all living species,” Daniel replied and thunderous applauses erupted inside the press center.
“I mean no disrespect Professor but the world is dying to know how you, a man with no western education background invented something as advanced as Dahomey. And how you got a doctorate in Physics and became a Professor of Engineering within three years. The world would like to know how Dahomey was born and how you attained such outstanding feats,” an elderly reporter said.
Daniel narrated the back story of Dahomey, “I hail from a small town in Oyo State, southwest Nigeria. My achievements are 3 years old but the fact is Dahomey was born 33 years old. Thirty three years ago I was a lumberjack. One day while listening to a program on the radio, I heard the presenter talking about a phenomenon known as global warming. I didn’t understand what the presenter was rambling about but I gave it my full attention and ended up getting the message. I understood that the sun was becoming hotter and with time there’ll be no living thing left on earth.
“I recalled my late grandma always complaining about how the sun was getting hotter compared to when she was a little girl. She died with the belief that humans should do the right thing by ditching the modern religions specifically Islam and Christianity for the more realistic deities of the past or else mankind was headed towards eternal damnation.
“My dad died from an illness when I was a toddler and I lost my mother at the tender age of 7 so my late grandma became my guardian. She brought me up as a pagan and after her death, I still clung onto some of her beliefs because her words were gospel to me. I had no western education background but my grandma already educated me with folklores of my ancestors, the Fon people of the Dahomey Kingdom in what is now the Republic of Benin. The Fon people were intelligent people who practiced the Dahomean religion of Vodun widely known as Voodoo. Grandma used to tell me stories of the deities known as Orishas in Yoruba. My growing curiosity regarding grandma’s belief about the sun growing hotter and the global warming phenomenon led me on an adventure to explore my lineage and find out if the solution to a global warming might just be as my late grandma had suggested. My primary reason for embarking on an adventure to discover my roots was because life as a lumberjack did feed me but it was boring as hell and I had no family member left to cling to.
“Going by the Dahomean folklores I arrived at a decision that Lisa, the sun god to the Fon people and his twin sister and lover, Mawu, the Moon god might be the gods to appease to lift the curse of global warming. Mawu and Lisa are creator Orishas, occasionally combined as Mawu-Lisa, an androgynous Orisha. Mawu-Lisa created the world and made it orderly, then made plants, animals, and humans; the entire process took 4 days. The 1stday, Mawu-Lisa created the world and humanity. The earth was made suitable for human life on the 2nd day. On the 3rd day, humans were given intellect, language, and the senses. Finally, on the 4th day, mankind received the gift of technology.
“It took me 5 years alternating between blue-collar jobs in the Republic of Benin before I finally located the last surviving Dahomean priest of Mawu-Lisa in a remote location. After listening to my story and how far I’ve come, the old priest agreed to enroll me as his apprentice. It was during my apprenticeship that I learnt that Africa has contributed a lot to the development of the world through the gifts of human intellect and technology that Mawu-Lisa had implanted in their creations. Gifts their creations kept passing onto their progenies. I became the old priest’s successor after he died. I remained in his shrine, locked away from civilization with nothing but the power and knowledge of Vodun I inherited from him. It took me the last 30 years to build Dahomey from scrap and Vodun. I worked as a farmer to sustain myself and spent the larger parts of my nights working on achieving my goal because Vodun was more effective and powerful at night.
“After 30 years, Mawu-Lisa blessed my creation and I introduced it to the world. At first, it wasn’t easy getting accepted because I was the laughing stock of the world when it first surfaced that someone lacking western education was claiming to have solved one of the most difficult puzzles in the history of mankind. I never knew about satellites until I came here to showcase my invention in Kano University of Science and Technology Wudil and Professor Khalil Riruwai from the Faculty of Environment told me I’ve built a satellite that transmits magical wavelengths from a strange power source. Professor Riruwai contacted some of his colleagues from other faculties and they contacted the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA). Dahomey was subjected to some little modifications and Professor Riruwai gave me a crash course in global warming.So here I’m today, a distinguished personality.
“It doesn’t just end here because Afrofuturism still has a lot to offer the world. My fellow Africans, we must not relent regardless of innovations, we must embrace who we were and merge it with who we’ve become because there’s no history with no past and there’s no evil in Vodunbut those who chose to use it for evil. Africa has been sustaining this world not only through our resources but through our culture and ancestral beliefs. It’s time to take our place where we belong, at the apex of the chain.”
Thunderous applauses not only erupted in the press center but also in every living room watching the broadcast on TV and every environment who had radios tuned in to the broadcast across Africa.