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You Are Living A Double Life And You Might Not Even Know It

One of my favorite songs is Fela Kuti’s “Zombie.”

The rebellious pioneer of Afrobeat released the satire of the song, taking lyrical shots at Nigeria’s military elite.

Only a few had the audacity to speak up against the brutal military regime. They stopped dissent by any means necessary.

Disappearing journalists and other freedom fighters with scare tactics, ass-whooping, and letter bombs.

In the song, Fela used his storytelling to match the cadence of sharp trumpets similar to the ones heard during synchronized military marches and parades.

He mocked the willingness of soldiers to follow orders without question.

Album cover of Fela Kuti’s Zombie

These same soldiers came to his house, burned it down, and threw his aging mother out from the balcony.

The brutality continued.

Happy Saturday, btw! 

What did you think a military dictatorship looked like? Peaches and roses?

Oh, Sorry! Your Tenderness! Didn’t mean to upset you.

Let me get to the point, you see, military dictatorship as a means of oppression and maintaining order is very clear.

You know exactly what you’re dealing with.

Did you know that similar to the military zombies that Fela was taking a musical shot at, a lot of us are moving like Zombies too?

Unlike the clear chain of command in the Military that forces orders to be acted on, we have accepted invisible orders and most of us are not even aware of it.

Just cruising, dude!

We want freedom but most of us have a fear of freedom.

Freedom comes with responsibility.

You have to be comfortable with accountability and that requires discipline – something that a lot of us don’t have.

We would rather outsource this decision-making so we can keep things in cruise control and not address the elephant in the room.

Our duality of wanting to make a change, on one hand, and keep it cool, on the other, has caused complacency.

You’ll hear things like:

“I don’t agree with what my company does, but hey it pays the bills.” “We need to rise up against the system, but let me take a quick nap first.” “These challenges are too much. It wouldn’t be solved in my lifetime. So why bother?”

The tools of oppression have been embedded in you.

The inception is so deep that you don’t even realize it.

The reality is that most of us house a dual consciousness – the person that wants to be free, and the consciousness that wants to be like the oppressor.

In an attempt to preserve the order, some of us surprise one another when we decide to protect the oppressors.

A collective Stockholm syndrome.

We preserve order with our support and more deadly – with our silence.

The harsher reality is that we don’t even know how this happened.

It started with our education system and the hidden agreements that we signed with one another.

Without this awareness, you’ll continue to act against your own humanity

You have been culturally invaded. That’s why you’re living a double life.

4 Tools of Sneaky Cultural Invasion

Understand that you most likely have a duality within you. If you have never thought about this, then you most certainly have it. 

Until you acknowledge that you house the consciousness of both the oppressed and the oppressor that you resist, you will continue to make decisions and not realize why they seem to go against what you “claim” you want in life.

The sooner you understand this, the quicker you can bring the appropriate self-awareness to your life to make decisions in alignment with your belief system.

When you understand that you’ve been culturally invaded, you’ll understand the duality in yourself and give yourself more grace.

You’ll be able to recognize the duality in others and be more compassionate.

You will understand the sense of the burden you carry and the type of liberation needed to make a change.

Here are 4 things you should know about your cultural invasion.

1. The Jargon You Know

Jargon is used to fix reality and oppress people.

In the first class, I heard someone talk about revenue being “cannibalized” by some other activities.

I looked through my case study “Cannibals?” I thought. “I didn’t see anything about people eating people”

I didn’t admit this thought. I kept it to myself.

I walked up to the professor afterward and said “I don’t think I should be in this class”

He said: “You’re an engineer right?”

I was like “Yeeah”

“Don’t worry,” He responded. “Engineers do well in this class. Most of these people are just reciting jargon to stay in the convo. Half of them don’t really understand the core concepts”

I later learned that the use of jargon is the way some people use their “certainty of a fixed world” to gate-keep others out.

It does not endear dialogue. It is a tool used for conquest.

The oppressor presents the myth that the world is already labeled by them and is fixed.

It keeps the oppressed separated from their roles as agents of transformation.

This anti-dialogue mode of operation is encoded in myths that we collectively agree on

“work hard and get rich” “We live in a free society” “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” (But I ain’t got no boots, sir)

All these myths are imposed by the oppressors, not as a problem or a challenge thrown forth for examination but as a fixed thing that the oppressed have to fit into.

“It is necessary for the oppressor to approach the people in order, via subjugation, to keep them passive. This approximation, however, does not involve being with the people, or require true communication. It is accomplished by the oppressor’s depositing myths indispensable to the preservation of the status quo: for example, the myth that the oppressive order is a “free society”

~ Paulo Freire, The pedagogy of the oppressed.

What jargon are you using to block people out of our shared reality? You might just be tapping into your oppressor’s strategy.

2. The Yuppy Suppression

There’s the illusion that you are connected on social media.

That you have a direct link to the profile pictures, LinkedIn posts, tweets, and DMs.

The mere exposure effect sets in.

You have access to all this at your fingertips. 

These connections live on your phone. They’re right there.

The reality is there’s something huge between you and what you think is a connection in your pockets.

A huge tech company that is serving its own pockets for profits at the expense of your goals.

And this is just one of the manipulations that is used to distract the people, especially yuppies in the big cities – with our cool gadgets, living in urban areas.

Manipulation is the tool of conquest here.

It is the use of this myth: the persistent possibility of ascent and personal success.

The “American dream” sums this up the best.

This manipulation can only work because there is a pact between the dominated and the elite to maintain the oppressive order.

The only thing that can stop this is the dominated group recognizing their emergence in the historical process.

This will come through critical thinking and dialogue which will cause a rise in the critical consciousness.

But wait!

They do not want this to happen.

So they submerge the urbanites with work, ping after ping, there’s no time to think about anything else.

This is achieved with mass media communication. Waves of information to keep you constantly flooded.

“Prior to the emergence of the people, there was no manipulation (precisely speaking), but rather total suppression. When the oppressed are lost completely submerged in reality, it is unnecessary to manipulate them”

~ Paulo Freire, The pedagogy of the oppressed.

Have you been submerged or manipulated? How many times do you ask “Why is reality the way it is?” That question might be the beginning of change.

3. Accepted Agreements

You have been culturally invaded and you have accepted it because you fear freedom.

I can speak English better than I speak Yoruba – that’s my mother’s tongue.

6 centuries ago my ancestors didn’t speak English. We migrated out of the Bantu-speaking lines. Yoruba is one of those languages.

The English I currently speak, my communication mode of choice, filled out my textbooks.

I learned the grammar. I learned about the great men who used the language to go far and wide. My mind was culturally invaded and the unlearning is hard in a world of fear and status.

Cultural invasion is the last leg of the conquest. The dominant invades the culture of those they choose to dominate.

They impose their worldview, so the world seems alien to the oppressed.

They do this to limit their creativity and self-expression.

This is violence disguised as order.

For this to happen those who want to invade, have to study the culture they attack.

To accept this, the dominated most accept that their way is inferior to the “dominating” culture that has invaded, where they value the things within that culture because they’ve lost theirs.

Question the accepted norms that you do on a day-to-day basis. Where did they come from? Did you actively ask for it or did you just accept it because “it just is”. 

4. Only One Group Unites

The oppressors are the only ones that get it right – they know how to unite. 

Everyone else doesn’t. 

Why? The united oppressors know the answer.

Africa has 54 countries, chosen in Berlin by a handful of European men.

When one of my former classmates asked me “What’s wrong with Africa?”

I was stomped, I didn’t have an answer. Where do I start? What do you mean by “wrong”? She couldn’t investigate that we built this world together.

It’s the same way European Americans ask me about racism. 

Like they don’t understand it.

They say “Hey Nifemi, tell me your experience with racism”

I’m like “Errrmmm, you tell me your experience with racism

We are all steeped in it together. It’s not isolated.

It’s built to divide and rule. The main thesis of the oppressor.

Any organization and unity of the oppressed is seen as a challenge to the status quo.

Even when leaders within the oppressed class emerge, they are quickly “promoted”. Pulled out of the community to learn the ways of the oppressor.

When the “promoted” comes back to their communities, they realize they are no longer with the community.

In order to retain their leadership position, they resort to the manipulation games just like their oppressors.

The oppressor does not encourage the education of a new collective of leaders.

They’d rather pick out a few and get them on their side to keep the status quo.

It’s easy to divide the oppressed because of their insecurity.

They house the dual consciousness of oppressor and oppressed, so they find it hard to come together.

The elite know this. 

They, on the other hand, are always united.

They might go against one another, but once they see a threat from the oppressed, they unite to keep the status quo.

They then hand out charity to ease their guilt.

This messianism and savior complex is another tentacle of their oppression.

Because real salvation can only happen with the people and not for the people.

If you find yourself always in arguments.

Always canceling someone. Another group you don’t agree with.

It’s divide and rule. You might just be falling for the ploy of the puppet masters. 

Final Thoughts

You have been made to not engage in dialogue, you’ve been manipulated and submerged.

Your culture has been invaded. 

Once you adopt a foreign culture, one that is not self-directed with the people you are about, you are made to think yours is inferior.

It isn’t.

Engage in dialogue and break away from unaware manipulation. You don’t have to march to the zombie anthem.

Question what you know and why. Reflect on your reality. That’s the only way to break out.

Who is Nifemi?

Hey I’m Nifemi of NapoRepublic

I help busy people fit in a creative practice to bring to bring order to their reality and help them live a more meaningful life through writing and reflection.

Sculpt your story

Know thyself, build a second brain, and unleash your creativity with writing. All in one journaling, note-taking, and dots-connection method that fits into your busy life.