I have always been asking myself who is an African warrior? What are the qualities that African warrior needs to express in his or her society? Through out ages of African tribal communities what made the African warrior different from the other members of the African community? Today many African Americans and Africans from the Diaspora claim to have inherited the African warrior culture and tradition through martial arts, dances, traditional healings and spirituality to mention some few aspects of it. Actually I’m not well qualified to give my opinion on the subject but with my little notion I have I will like to developed some points of view which reflects my vision of African Warrior concept.
In the past in the African villages or tribes warriors were defenders of the people and king or the chief: trained fighters were guardians of the people. Modern day African warriors are those who defend the culture, traditions, thoughts, and rights of African people around the world. In the modern day society we live in the cities, in the big towns, our black communities must be defended not through violence but through love and positive action for our people.
1. Skilful fighters/ hunters
Everybody is aware that to be a true warrior you must be a skilful fighter and hunter. In times of war we had to fight to save our people and in time of peace we had to hunt to feed our people. Our people trained in wrestling, stick fighting and many other forms of fighting close to modern capoeira and other forms African martial arts. African warriors were martial artists in which they had a code of honour. When you are learning to fight, you fight against yourself. Your first true enemy is you. A warrior must defeat himself, fight against his fears, his drawbacks, his weakness, his limitations and his deeper self. True martial arts teach you to find the true man in you, the true warrior in yourself.
2. Music and dancing
Through out Africa and in general in all the African Diaspora communities around the world, music and dances have been parts of our cultural and traditional heritage. All true African warriors are good dancers. We can see that through capoeria and traditional African wrestling. Before going to war our warriors danced before our ancestors and God for the blessings. When there were victories our warriors danced with joy, even with defeat we danced. Music has been part of our African warrior heritage singing and playing instruments like drums. Music and dancing is form of corporal emotional expression in which we become one with our inner self bringing out the best of ourselves.
3. Nobility and respectfulness.
All true African warriors are noble and respectful to the community they live in. We respect our elders and we show the true example to our younger ones. In the past warriors were respected, feared and honoured. They were models in the society. Every young man wanted to be like them. They were generous helping out the community: Giving good advice and examples to the youth. It is a pity that in modern society many Africans have lost that nobility and respectfulness in their community. They use their money and power to exploit the youths and disrespect their elders. They have become negative examples to the black people around the world. When will we understand that we African people must regain our nobility and respectfulness?
Surely people will be asking what sex has in relationship to warrior African concept. In the past many African warriors had several wives and children. In that time a man was respected for the number of wives and children he had. And warriors were no different. A true warrior was a great lover: Expert in love making. They knew the science and arts of lovemaking. Stable and balance man is he who has a woman in his life. In modern day society I’m not asking African warriors to be unfaithful but to respect their wives and truly love them. Protect them, listen to them and guide them. A true warrior must find the true woman who is part of him, she who reflects the other aspects of him. I will not like to create division but for me an African warrior was not a homosexual for he had the obligation for the continuity of the existence of their clans, tribes and ethnic group with birth of their children.
5. Traditional healing/herbalist
In every society and culture the African warrior had to learn to care of himself especially when they got hurt in wars, hunting or got sick in an expeditions or journeys. They had to know the secrets of the African forests which types of plants had medicinal powers to treat themselves. Some of them became herbalists. Also African warriors knew different types of massages and techniques of putting in place broken bones and torn muscles in their bodies. They knew different types of poisonous plants. He who had the knowledge to save also had the knowledge to kill. African warriors were traditional healers who took care of the health and wellbeing of the community.
6. Mystic powers and spirituality
African warriors were known for their knowledge of the unknown. Using mystic powers to protect themselves and win their battles. They were in close relationship to their ancestors. They respected traditional beliefs and practices certain rituals. They lived in harmony with nature respecting it laws. Knowing that evil we do to others always turns back toward us. With modern day society many African warriors still keep the legacy of their traditional spiritual beliefs in respect of the beliefs of others.
7. Faith in God What makes the particularity of most African warriors is their faith in God the creator of all things. For it is God who gives man his strength, courage, skills and techniques as true warrior. It is God who truly protects the warrior and inspires him in all his action. A warrior who does not believe in God is not a true warrior. There is no true African warrior who is atheist. Believing in God is just like believing yourself, believing in God just like believes in your people. African warrior teaches his people to fear God and respect the laws of God.
Some people will criticise me for my personal points of view on the subject but it was important for me as an African man and a martial artist to give my view on the subject. Many people who claim to be African warriors don’t even respect the least ideas I mentioned above. The most important aspect of being an African warrior of today is too unified our black people together in a common goal of peace and loves and brings back our lost African heritage dignity. We cannot continue to watch the negative image that some of our black brothers and sisters are portraying today.
Article by Aurélien Henry Obama