This following post looks into the origin and history of NBM. However, this is by no means an objective history of NBM. This is the history as remembered and written down by one of the founders, Nicholas Idemudia aka Lord Ibn Godidi de Saddest, as well as other early members. Therefore it suppresses some aspects that could be considered relevant by non-axemen but goes into great detail in others. Be warned that the average axeman does not believe in the fine art of using few but concise words….
“Principles of our Founding”
At the beginning of the 1977/78 session at the university of Benin issues arose between the pyrates confraternity at the university of Benin and a small group of about six students at the university which included my humble self. This group also included the Axe-men who later came to be individually known as Ogbuefi the wise, Ogbu the dreaded, Bazi Bagada, and Ibn Godidi ( the saddest). As at the time issues arose we were just a group of students without a corporate identity. At about the same time issues arose with our little group, unknown to us at the time the uniben pyrates were also having beef with another group of students which included the Axe-men who came to be individually known as Da-Faya and Ata de Butcher. This second group consisted of over ten students including some members of the pyrates confraternity and was ably led by a Gentleman whom i shall simply call Toks B. As one of the most angry members of the first group, i kept a sharp look out for students i could recruit into our group to make it a formidable one and it was in the process of trying to recruit one of my course-mates (Da-Faya) that i was made aware of the existence of this second group of students. I did not discuss the matter with my close friends none of whom knew what was going on. ( Remember my comments at the first European conference where i said you do not plan an insurrection with your friends).At the same time as this was happening, i made the acquaintance of another group of students some of whom like me were members of the palmwine drinkards club, as well as course mates who were interested in setting up a new campus magazine. They agreed to be a part of our plan if it would accomodate their dream magazine. This group included the Axe-men who came to be known as Waziri Zako, Holy-Pagan, Kura and others. My initial plan as originally discussed with insiders in my group was to contact the Buccaneers at the university of Ibadan with a view to setting up a Deck in Benin or failing that set up a local alternative loosely modelled on the ideas of the U.I Fraternity. To accomodate the second alternative i prepared a draft constitution loosely based on that of the students union and named our proposed organisation The Brotherhood of the Baraccans.The BARACCANS were a notoriously fierce group of sailors who terrorised the Agean sea. My idea was confront like with like. If the uniben pyrates were tough cookies then intrying to check their perceived excesses we were going to be even tougher baddies. The Baraccans were also to be alternatively known as vikings who from folk- lore we all know used AXES as their fighting weapon of preference. It was in a attempt to help the oher groups who subsumed into what became known as the BLACK-AXE MOVEMENT accomodate these ideas that the names vikings and baraccans were dropped and the term Axe-men coined( more on this later).Following my discussions with the members of the third group i felt it was time to bring all the groups together and called a meeting of the three one sunday afternoon in my room at the Ekenwan campus. The Black-Axe(Neo-Black Movement) was the end result of that meeting and came about because all present at the meeting wanted to contribute ideas, and felt that the Brotherhood of the Baraccacans was my own idea which they were unable to contribute to since everything had already been written. They wanted to make individual contributions to ideas in order to have a sense of corporate ownership. I was the youngest student present and looking back now i do not regret the position i took but cannot help feeling that some of the older students who were already in their late twenties did not like the idea of being lectured by a teenager. I was eager to ensure that something substantial came out of the meeting and so did not take an entrenched position. An attempt was made to accomodate most of my ideas and these can still be seen in the movement today especially in the areas of Regalia, Ceremonies including initiations, the foot-ball, kokoma, Janet, and in the mode of salutation AYE. AYE is a response of sailors to an order given by the captain. in full the response is Aye sir or Aye captain. Check out the Black trousers tucked into yellow stockings or the tying of Black bandanas round the head this is pure sailors attire. AYE MY HEAD Letme stop here for now as other duties call.
AYE AND OUT.IBN GODIDI ( THE SADDEST)
AYE! AXEMEN !!!
I STOPPED MY NARATIVE YESTERDAY AT THE POINT WHERE THE THREE GROUPS WHICH SUBSUMED TO BECOME THE BLACK-AXE CONVERGED IN MY ROOM AT EKENWAN CAMPUS. WHEN THE MEETING STARTED I WAS ASKED TO PUT FORWARD MY PROPOSALS AS THE CONVEYOR OF THE MEETING. I INTRODUCED THE IDEA OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BARACCANS WHICH WAS GOING TO BE A BODY COMMITTED TO FRATERNITY, DISCIPLINE, INTELLECTUAL RADICALISM AND PROGRESSIVE STUDENT UNIONISM. AS EXPLAINED PREVIOUSLY ALL THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES FELT THE NEED TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION TO THE CAUSE. TOKS. B WHO CAME LEADING A FORMIDABLE GROUP WHICH INCLUDED ONE PYRATE(SOLO EJUKORLEM) TALKED ABOUT BLACKISM AND THE DEPRIVATIONS EXPERIENCED BY THE BLACK MAN WORLD WIDE. HE FELT STRONGLY THAT OUR ORGANISATION TO BE, SHOULD TAKE A LEAD IN THE DEFENCE AND PROTECTION OF THE BLACKMAN. THIS POINT WAS ROBUSTLY DEBATED. MOST OF THE PARTIES BELIEVED IT WAS A NOBLE IDEA WORTH PURSUING.WE EXAMINED DIFFERENT BLACK ORGANISATIONS INCUDING THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. THE BLACK PANTHERS WAS A GOOD REFERENCE POINT AS THEY WERE MILITANT, DISCIPLINED AND ACTION ORIENTATED. WE WERE NOT INTERESTED IN HAVING A BLACK ORGANISATION THAT ONLY PASSED RESOLUTIONS AND CHANTED SLOGANS. WE WANTED AN ORGANISATION THAT WOULD BE AS MILITANT AND ACTION ORIENTATED AS THE BLACK PANTHERS. AS THE IDEA DEVELOPED OUR PROPOSED ORGANISATION BECAME THAT WHICH WOULD LEAD THE BLACK RACE OUT OF SERVITUDE. OUR ORGANISATION WAS GOING TO BE THE VANGUARD IN THE MOVE TO CREATE A NEW BLACK NATION. WE WERE TO SEE OURSELVES AS LEADERS OF ALL BLACK MEN WORLD WIDE. FROM BENIN-CITY THE CLARION CALL WAS TO GO OUT THAT NEVER AGAIN WOULD ANY BLACK MAN BE FORCED TO EAT HUMBLE PIE ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD.AN ORGANISATION WAS BORN TO DEFEND AND PROTECT HIS INTERESTS. THIS WAS HEADY STUFF, AND WE WERE ALL EXCITED. IDEAS WERE FLOWING FREELY. WE DECIDED THAT BLACKISM SHOULD BE THE IDEOLOGY UNDER PINNING OUR ORGANISATION. COMBINING THE AXE WHICH I HAD ALREADY CHOSEN AS THE PREFERRED WEAPON OF CHOICE WITH BLACK WHICH STOOD FOR THE RACE BECAME A LOGICAL STEP AND THE NAME BLACK-AXE WAS UNANIMOUSLY ACCEPTED AS THE NAME FOR OUR NEW ORGANISATION. THE ISSUE OF THE UNIBEN PYRATES WAS EXHAUSTIVELY DISCUSSED.IT WAS AGREED THAT THERE WAS A NEED TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE PYRATES TO WHOM TOKS-B GAVE THE NAME BATS. IT WAS AGREED THAT OUR ORGANISATION WAS TO PLAY THE ROLE OF THE WATCH DOG. OUR ORGANISATION WOULD THEREFORE SERVE A TWO PRONGED PURPOSE. ON CAMPUS IT WOULD KEEP THE PYRATES IN CHECK. IT WOULD DO THIS BY OPERATING IN A SIMILAR FASHION . THE BACK-AXE WOULD DO THIS BY BEING SECRETIVE, SHADOWY, LITTLE TALKED ABOUT BY ITS MEMBERS, ENLISTING CODES, SIGNS,SECRET RITUALS, INITIATIONS,MEETINGS AT ZERO-ZERO, MILITANCY, ACTION ORIENTATED AND DISCIPLINED. OUTSIDE THE CAMPUS IT WOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE DEFENCE AND PROTECTION OF THE BLACK MAN. OVER TIME IT WAS HOPED THAT THE OUTSIDE CAMPUS OBJECTIVES WOULD BECOME THE MAIN FOCUS OF THE ORGANISATION.
AYE AND OUT.
“First NBM Jollification”
Following practice sessions which had been held in the Art studio of Ekewan campus, we set a date when we were going to have our first outing. We had rehearsed the songs, prepared the regalias and brewed our BlackRum ( KOKOMA ). The first available date on the BlackCalendar for an outing of this kind was the anniversary of the SHARPVILLE MASACRE during the 77// academic session. We needed a well known historical date to convince the students affairs office to enable us to hold the event as it was to commence at the ZERO -ZERO hour with JUUS being warned in several adverts and hand-outs to keep off the MOURNING GROUNDS which constituted the whole of the Ekewan campus.
This warning was sent out not to intimidate the general student body but to make sure that the BATS did not not disrupt the event. A poster was prepared and displayed in the cafeteria declaring the intention of the NEO-BLACK MOVEMENT to mourn the events of the sharpville. The mourning session would be DREADFUL as the Axe-Men would be in no mood to entertain jesters or other ill minded individuals set on disrupting the proceedings.
The JUUS were to keep off the MOURNING GROUNDS as the SPIRITS OF THE ANCESTORS would be in attendance and it was not a good night to be out and about. Let the discerning understand. To understand what the Axe-Men were proposing simply look to the Yoruba Culture and think of ORO NIGHT, a night when it is forbiden forthe uninitiated to be seen outside. We actually had about Fourteen members on our registerat this time but on the proposed night only TEN of us showed up.
We met in front of the FINE ART STUDIO and set up theSHRINE. From the Zero- Zero hour we went into a time of devotion led by KURA and the HOLY PAGAN aided bycopious amounts of BLACK RUM ( Kokoma). My Lord Ogbu has gone to his village to get BULL-ROARERS but we did not know how to use them and so could not get them to roar but we did our best with the unfamiliar tools. We then marched round the campus with different Axe-Men echoing various sing-songs. The popular sing-songAS I DEY COME FROM CLASS ONE DAY I SEE SOME PEOPLE GATHER ROUND; WHEN I ASK THEM WHO DEM BE; THEM SAY NA AXE-MEN DEY MOURN TODAY ————— AYEEEE EH ——-.
This song was tought to the rest of us by TOKS -B and these years later is still very popular with the Axe-men.
We had a very successful outing, the only tense moment being when some students suddenly appeared behind us as we moved from the side of the Bookshop into the main road preparatory to our major movement round the campus.
My HEAD WAZIRI ZAKO immediately took charge of the situation ordering all Axe-Men to maintain their position and remain focused while THE BUTCHER ATA was to keep an eye on our strange companions.
The students disappear as mysteriously as they had appeared and we continued with the night´s activities. The only other event of note was when I went into one of the class rooms parallel to the administration block, where l met a student reading who on seeing me in mymask and BLACK OUTFIT fell down on his knees and started begging me. He was a new student and had actually been one of my seniors at EDO COLLEGE but there was no way he could have recognized me that night. After observing him for some time I sternly warned him never to defy the spirits again. He thanked me profusely and fled the classroom while the Axe-Men continued their DREADFUL MOURNING outside.
This individual became an Axe-man sessions later and rose to a very prominent position in our great movement. He never knew l was the SAD – AXE he met that night when he became a member. It was importantthat we held this outing as without it, we would never
have got started. A lot of time and planning went into the event and all the members at the time need to be credited for the success of the activity at the time. It was difficult for us at the time to have any clear cut idea of what we were doing, as we had to make things up as we went along. I remember how we had to fabricate expressions and improvise in a bid to make the proceeddings more meaningful. This mourning for sharpville and the publication of the first BLACK-AXE magazine marked the crossing of the Rubicon and the point of no return and established us in the minds of members of the university community as an organization with a message.
NBM ORIGINS, OBJECTIVES AND IDEOLOGY – Ibn Godidi de Saddest
The Neo-Black Movement was formed by nine undergraduates at the University of Benin in the ancient city of Benin Nigeria in the 1977/78 session. It was formed by students who were concearned with the plight of the Black man worldwide and were inspired by the lives of such men as Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela as well as those of the Acient African Kings like Sundiata Keita, Shaka de Zulu, Ewuare the Great, of Acient Benin Empire and others too numerous to mention.
The Pan – Blackist philosophy of such musicians like thelegendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Bob Nesta Marley, Peter Tosh and other great Rastafarian musicians also influenced the ideological thought patterns of the Founding Fathers ( FF ) of the Neo-Black Movement, known to it´s ealiest members asthe ” BLACK AXE MOVEMENT “, it was given the name, “NEO – BLACK MOVEMENT ” by a prominent University professor at the University of Benin ( UNIBEN ) who served as the first Patron. The Black Axe was the name of the quarterly News Magazine published by the Movement at the time to articulates it´s views. Members were known as AXE MEN each being presented with a symbolic Black Axe on joining the Movement. The Organisation had noble objectives and the founding fathers were moved by the need to start the process of creating a fairer and better World where Racism, Apartheid and other global ills would be a thing of the past This was to be done by confronting these problems through radical action and creating the Neo-Black Man who would be desciplined, Focused, Purposeful, Industrious, Fearless and the equal of the best men all over the world. The Black Axe Movement was committed to Racial Equality, the Brotherhood of Man and World Peace, Perhaps it was inevitable that such a Movement came out of Benin City which had served as the capital of the Ancient Benin Empire renowned for it´s culture and civilisation, Valour in war, Art, Craft and Esoteric Knowledge.
THE INITIAL OBJECTIVES OF THE MOVEMENT WERE THE FOLLOWINGS;
1 ) The Redirection of all Minds towards Black Realism, Determinism and the Inculcation of descipline in the individual, both in mind and body.
2) The prevention of all acts that seeks to tarnish the good image of the Black People all over the World.
3) To study and conduct research into African Traditional Religion.
4) The publication of a regular magazine called the ” BLACK -AXE which would serve as the mouth piece of the Movement.
5) To co-operate and exchange ideas with all other organisations whose objectives were similar to ours.
The Ideology of the Movement as originally articulated was NEO – BLACKISM which was a complex mix of intellectual Radicalism, Pan-Africanism, Traditional African Religious Practice, Fraternal Relations, Secret Rites of Passage and Militant Action.
The Movement like all organisations over the years has gone through a series of problems mostly anchored on a poor understanding of it´s aims and objectives by it´s successive members and the academic community especially with new branches openning and a veritable explosion in the membership figures.
Also there was a lack of sustained ideological and philosophical leadership from the Founding Fathers (FF) who erroneously beleived that the movement´s constitution was enough to serve as a guide to sucessive members. This left the stage open for opportunists, Confusionists and other ill minded folk to hijack the leadership and desecrate the Noble Objectives and cherished ideals of the movement Previously organised with student branches in Universities,Polytechnics and colleges up and down the lenght and breadth of Nigeria as well as having flourishing graduate chapters in most major cities Nationally and Internationally. The National Leadership has taken the painful but necesary decision to close down all students Branches as the student members were creating credibility problems for the movement. All said, The Neo-Black Movement is definately an organisation that will make the news once ideological and philosophical issues are resolved. The University of Benin, Benin City Nigeria should feel justifiably proud of having bequeathed this movement to the world.
AYE and OUT.
IBN GODIDI DE SADEST
FUTA JALON HIGH TEMPLE 1977
FOR THE FOUNDING FATHERS.
The year 1977 was indeed a historic one for the black race. Globally the major issues confronting the black people were the total emancipation of the African continent. Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola were in the final throes of colonial rule and exploitation. The sensitisation of children of the Black Diaspora to answer the call of Mother Africa and look homewards had reached its highest crescendo especially with the just concluded 2nd Festival of Black Arts and Culture held in Nigeria (i.e. if we choose to ignore and relegate to the background the philistinism and vulgarity of the organisers of FESTAC 77).
In Nigeria the nation was still undergoing a rather ironic phase of shock and trying to come to terms with disbelieve to the rude awakening of hopes dashed and yet another dream destroyed with the loss of General Murtala Mohammed, whose dynamic but brief leadership had been halted by the Imperialist/Neo-Colonialist instigated assassinations of February 1976. For the first time in her history the sleeping, clay footed giant of Africa had woken up to proclaim Africa as the centre piece of her foreign policy and taken an uncompromising stand against neo-colonialism and all its modern variations of Western Imperialistic and Euro-American exploitation. Within the University community Student Activism and Unionism was at its zenith as the “Alli must go” demonstrations had shown. It was against this background that during the 1977/78 academic session nine (9) undergraduates of the University of Benin who were concerned and aggrieved about the dilemma and plight of the Black Man came together to form the Neo-Black Movement. They were: 1. John Okogie 2. Nicholas Idemudia 3. Tokonbu Brown 4. Uche Alumona 5. Marvel Akpoyibo 6. Olagungu Ojo 7. Gbolahon Dosunmu 8. Bernard Ojishua 9. Godwin Ehigiator The patron of the movement then was Professor Onwuejiogwu (a professor of History and Anthropology). Their inspiration came from the lives and works of men such as Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jnr, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kwame Nkurumah, Nelson Mandela, Ben Bella and historic characters like Sundiata Keita, Shaka Zulu, Ewuare the Great, Ovheranwen and the Pan-africanist teachings of musicians like Robert Nesta Marley, Peter Tosh, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the Ossibisa/BLO amalgam.
OBJECTIVES The objectives of the Movement as originally articulated by the pioneer members were: 1. The redirection of all minds towards Black Realism and Determinism and the inculcation of discipline in the individual both in the body and mind. 2. The prevention of all acts that seek to tarnish the image of the Black people. 3. To seek and conduct research into African Traditional religion. 4. The publication of a regular magazine called the Black Axe, which would serve as the mouthpiece of the movement. 5. To co-operate and exchange ideas with other organisations whose objectives were similar to ours.
IDEOLOGY The ideology of the movement was Neo-Blackism, which was a complex mix of Intellectual Radicalism, Pan Africanism, Negritude, African Traditional Religion (ATR) practice and research, Fraternal Relations, Secret Rites of Passage and Militant Action. The Neo-Black Movement believed in equality and brotherhood of all races and men. It did not encourage or seek to propagate any teachings or acts of supremacy or the practice of any forms of inequality in any variation based on race, religion, socio-political affiliations, sex, tribe or tongue. The movement adopted a Motto, which was to serve as it guiding principle “Whenever there is a cry of oppression Neo-Blackism begins”.
PERSONAL COMMENTS AND OPINIONS I want to say that all I have recorded above are to the best of my knowledge a true representation of the historical facts of the NBM as I have come to be aware of them through my associations with at least four of the pioneer members namely Nick Idemudia, Uche Alumona, John Okojie and Gbolahon Dosunmu. I am also aware that some individual positions have changed over the years on a number of issues. Therefore I take full responsibility for all my statements and account of events in this write up and subsequent ones. Like I earlier advised some of my commentary represent my own personal opinions and perception of events and might not be suitable for public reading or even for some members. I have therefore endeavoured to put such comments and opinions under this subheading so that it maybe edited or just filed for the records.
* We have to acknowledge that a major factor and motivation for the formation and conception of the NBM was the reign of terror that the Pyrates Confraternity had unleashed on Nigerian students in most citadels of learning. At a National Converge in the University of Nsukka in 1977 some Seadogs used a set of pliers to pull out the teeth of an undergraduate, the student population reacted violently to this and most known Seadogs on campus fled. Mobile police units were used to restore calm and maintain the peace while the Federal Military Government set up a Panel of Enquiry, this event led to the ban and proscription of the Pyrates Confraternity and subsequently to the adoption of the name National Association of Seadogs. A popular monthly magazine then “The Spear” did a two-edition serial on the story. In Uniben the story was no different as a student in Ekenwan Campus who had a quarrel with a group of pyrates ( Osahon, Odede, K. Mahmoud and Chima) was tied naked to a tree for 48 hours without anyone having the guts to go and release him for fear of the PC. Not to mention the constant 24 hour curfew of fear and dread compulsorily imposed on the then student population anytime the “Jolly Roger” flag was flown signifying that the pyrates would be sailing the following night.
* In 1977 there was actually a lot of tension in the academic community. The then government had just concluded a purge of the system by sacking lecturers who were perceived as radicals, extremists, Marxists or communists but these were actually those suspected to of inciting the student populace during the student unrest. This was the reason why the Patron during a pre-inaugural meeting changed the name from the Black-Axe Movement to the Neo-Black Movement. He also formulated the names of the officials as Head, Right Hand, Left Hand, Eye, Crier and Ihaza.
* Tokunbo Brown who was responsible for the formulation of most of the ideological inputs in the new movement during the formative stages and who at that fateful meeting with the Patron on the eve of D-Day was pencilled down as the Right Hand (now called Chief Priest) never turned up for the proceedings of the inaugural ceremony. Funny enough till date I have been unable to get any satisfactory reason or explanation for his action from all the major characters and actors involved in that episode. Ironically the only photograph of any of the pioneer members in full Regalia that exists till today is of him. I have my suspicions but will keep them to myself until maybe one day Toks will speak for himself.
* The initial membership was a complex mixture of individuals with varying dispositions but fortunately they were motivated by the same aims and primary goals. Bernard Ojishua and John Okojie were more inclined to journalism, Tokunbo Brown, Gbolahan Dosunmu and Uche Alumona (referred to then as the Lagos Group) were more of radical blackists. Gbolahan being related to Mike Odumosu of the BLO/Ossibisa fame and that accounts for some of the early LP’s. Tokunbo tended towards the radical and militant Chuma Egbuna “Black Panther Movement” and Uche his dedicated ideological Partner. Marvel and Ojo where very serious traditionalists, Ojo being responsible for most of the incantations and rites used then during proceedings and in the Black Axe magazine. Marvel was responsible for the incorporation of an Urhobo instrument that roared like a Lion. He was also closely affiliated to what I call the fraternity group made up of Nick Idemudia and Godwin Ehigiator.
* A question no one has ever bothered to ask is that since they were all Ju’s then how was their initiation conducted and who conducted and presided over the affairs on that fateful day? The answer I am sure will stun many Axemen who probably spent most of their undergraduate years embroiled in interfraternal wars. I will just mention here that an initiator (or is it conductor) came in from the University of Ibadan, he was known and called Bati Laka, he presided and conducted the first proceedings before handing over to Aye Waziri Zako (the 1st Head). His affiliation I will leave for the pioneer members to either reveal or grant permission for it to be revealed.
Dan Kimathi FJ 81
“Founders of NBM with strong name and position”
1. JOHN OKOGIE WAZIRI ZAKO (DE HEAD) 2. UCHE ALMONA DA FAYA (2ND HEAD) 3. MARVEL AKPOYIBO OGBU (THE LEFT HAND) 4. BERNARD OJISHUA HOLY PAGAN (CHRONICLER- THE CRIER) 5. GODWIN EHIGIATOR OGBUEFI 6. OJO OLAGUNJU KURA (THE RIGHT EYE) 7. IDEMUDIA NICHOLAS IBN GODIDI DE SADDEST (“THE CHIEF PRIEST”) 8. GBOLAHAN DOSUNMU ATA DE BUTCHER 9. TOKUNBOR BROWN (RIGHT HAND)
There was of course another group waiting on the fringes and immediately this core group successfully had the 1st procession around the campus they within a matter of months welcomed the following into their fold. (Please note that my knowledge of names from here on may not be exact since it was solely dependent on the affinity of the Lords after their graduation with the Axemen still in school)* Engr. Scot-Emakpor Aye ……………
* Clement Yeyemi Aye ……………
* Rewane Aye ……………
* Izedonwe Aye Uze * ………….
* (Bini man) Aye Bazi Bagada
* Furious Frank Aye Steve Biko
* Sanpito Aye Sundiata
* Jubril Ungwasi Aye El Matado
“Officers of the first years”
Head – Aye Waziri Zako – John Okogie
Right Hand Aye . – Toks Brown (For less than 2 months)
Right Hand – Aye Dan Faya – Uche Alumona
Left Hand – Aye Ogbu – Marvel Akpoyibo
Eye – Aye Kura – Olagunju Ojo
Butcher Aye Ata – Gbolahon Dosunmu
Ihazar Aye Ibn Godidi – Nick Idemudia
Crier Aye Holy Pagan – Bennaard Ojishua
The officials of the Movement were as follows:
Head Aye Dan Faya – Uche Alumona
Right Hand(In charge of Axemen in Ugbowo) -Aye Bazi Bagada Ikunbor Godfrey
Left Hand No appoinment made to this position
Eye Aye Steve Biko – Furious Frank
Butcher Aye Ata – Gbolahon Dosunmu
Ihazar Aye Ibn Godidi – Nick Idemudia
Crier Aye Kura – Olagunju Ojo
The officials of the Movement were as follows:
Head Aye Komo Karume – Fred Amadasun
Chief Priest Aye Banda Kamuzu – Femi
Eye Aye Fazi Wazi – Odigo
Ihazar Aye Jezebel – Tony Igwedinma
Butcher Aye Dan Kimathi 1 – Boro
Crier Aye Koli Agbo – Joe Ogufere
The officials of the Movement were as follows:
Head (For a period of less than 4 weeks) Aye Kamuzu Banda – Femi
Head Aye Koli Agbo – Joe Ogufere
Chairman (COE) Aye Mona Lisa – Tony Ejiofor
Chief Priest (1st to wear white regalia) Aye Fazi Wazi – Odigo
Eye Aye Ben Bella – Mafeni
Crier Aye Jah El Kalil – Joe Okonjo
Butcher Aye Dogon Yaro – Gerald Dariah
The officials of the movement were as follows:
Head – Aye Ibn Yasin – Rowland Okolo (Roxy)
Chairman (COE) Aye Dogon Yaro – Gerald Dariah
Chief Priest Aye Fazi Wazi – Odigo
Eye Aye Dan Wata – Henry Iloba(ID Bisalla)
Ihazar Aye Madinka – Kolab
Crier Aye Kukuruku – Tony Okonjo
Butcher Aye ………. – Joseph Sagay
Assistant Crier Aye Bubu Yaya – Tony Obote
The officials of the movement were as follows:
Head Aye Kabaka – Joe Esekhaigbe
Chairman (COE) Aye Menelik – Kinsley Adigwe
Chief Priest Aye ……… – DunmiOpayemi
Eye Aye Bubuyaya – Anthony Obote
Ihazar Aye Madinka – Kola
Crier Aye Dan Kimathi 11 – Chima Oji
Butcher Aye Mandela – Adodo
The officials of the movement were as follows:
Head Aye – Kamuzu Banda 11- Chike Okafor
Chairman (COE) – Aye Fayinka – Thaddeus Ehimeme Alli
Chief Priest Aye Fashi Meji – Henry Idalu
Eye Aye Dan Kimathi 11 – Chima Oji
Ihazar Aye Sundiata 11 – Rockson Amago
Crier Aye Mandela 11- Chikwe Nkemnacho
Butcher Aye ………. – Jimmy Nwajei
The officials of the movement were as follows:
Head Aye Fayinka – Thaddeus Ehimeme Alli
Chairman (COE) Aye ………. – Sam Mokelu
Chief Priest Aye Fashi Meji – Henry Idalun
“The Neo Black Movement: Origins, Objectives and Ideology”
The Neo-Black Movement was formed by nine undergraduates at the University of Benin in the ancient city of Benin Nigeria in the 1977/78 session. It was formed by students who were concerned with the plight of the Black man worldwide and were inspired by the lives of such men as Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela as well as those of the Ancient African Kings like Sundiata Keita, Shaka de Zulu, Ewuare the Great, of Ancient Benin Empire and others too numerous to mention.
The 1970″s was a great time in the struggle for the liberation of Africa from colonialism and racist degradation.The major issue confronting Black people world-wide was the total emancipation of the African continent. Namibia,Zimbabwe,Mozambique and Angola were in the final throes of colonialist exploitation.South Africa was neck deep in Apartheid and indeed the whole of the southern-African region was in a state of ferment as Black Africans sought to throw of the chains of colonialist exploitation. Nigeria was not the clay-footed giant she is today and declared robustly at the time that AFRICA WAS THE CENTRE-PIECE OF HER FOREIGN POLICY. The revolutionary music sweeping across Africa spoke of a new freedom for all her people. This was the music of Sonny Okosun”s OZIDDI in classics such as papa”s land and fire in soweto,not to mention the larger than life irrepressible Black mind Fela Anikulapo Oladokun Kuti.
The Neo-Black Movement only followed suit in what was the general direction of the wind which was blowing across Africa. Indeed 1977 was a particularly historic year as it was in that year that the world black arts and cultural festival known as FESTAC77 was held in Nigeria as a follow up to the initial festival held in Dakar,Senegal in 1966. Festac 77 brought the entire Black world to Nigeria, artistes,writers,intellectuals,Government officials,statesmen,radical intellectuals,philosophers,musicians, all converged in Nigeria from far flung corners of the Black-world. Ifa priests from Cuba,Brazil,consulted the oracle with their counterparts from Ile-Ife in Lagos Nigeria. Believers in the Orisha”s came from Brazil Cuba and the furthest reaches of the earth to Nigeria to engage in fervent worship with the local adherents in Yoruba land. Indeed it was an in-gathering of the tribes. 1977 was the African year of jubilee. Its echoes continue to reverberate across the Black world. No Black person who experienced festac remained the same but felt the spirit of family that engulfed all Black people from the far flung corners of the earth some of who were seeing Africa for the first time. Just writing about it brings tears to the eyes. Festac77 had a profound effect on most of the founders of the Neo-black movement, as this was a gathering that brought in Black people and people of African descent from the far flung reaches of the world. From Australia came the Aborigines, from Cuba, other states in the Caribbean,Brazil came the descendants of African slaves. Great intellectuals like Cheik Anta Diop and Wole Soyinka contributed to the discussions on the way forward for the Black world. It is instructive that the Neo-Black Movement came into being in 1977, with the mandate to protect and defend the interests of the Black people of the world. Indeed the number 7 is a magical one to all Axe-Men while 77 denotes renaissance and new beginnings.
The Pan – Blackist philosophy of such musicians like the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Bob Nesta Marley, Peter Tosh and other great Rastafarian musicians also influenced the ideological thought patterns of the Founding Fathers ( FF ) of the Neo-Black Movement. Known to it´s earliest members as the ” BLACK AXE MOVEMENT “, it was given the name, ” NEO – BLACK MOVEMENT ” by a prominent University professor at the University of Benin ( UNIBEN ) who served as the first Patron.
The Black Axe was the name of the quarterly News Magazine published by the Movement at the time to articulates it´s views. Members were known as AXE MEN each being presented with a symbolic Black Axe on joining the Movement. The Organisation had noble objectives and the founding fathers were moved by the need to start the process of creating a fairer and better World where Racism, Apartheid and other global ills would be a thing of the past.
This was to be done by confronting these problems through radical action and creating the Neo-Black Man who would be disciplined, Focused, Purposeful, Industrious, Fearless and the equal of the best men all over the world. The Black Axe Movement was committed to Racial Equality, the Brotherhood of Man and World Peace. Perhaps it was inevitable that such a Movement came out of Benin City, which had served as the capital of the Ancient Benin Empire renowned for it´s culture and civilisation, Valour in war, Art, Craft and Esoteric Knowledge.
The Neo-Black Movement had zero tolerance for oppression on campus or in the wider society,snobbishness,brutish arrogance or malfeasance as was then the vogue with a group of campus hard-men who at the time were based in most universities and colleges across Nigeria. It was this zero tolerance, that led to initial conflicts with several hard-men who were masquerading as fraternity men at the University of Benin. Early members of the movement were active in the students union as intellectual radicals and the movement for a long time dominated the student union government at the university of Benin producing several outstanding union presidents and secretary-generals some of whom are still active in national politics in Nigeria.
THE INITIAL OBJECTIVES OF THE MOVEMENT WERE THE FOLLOWING;
1 ) The Redirection of all Minds towards Black Realism, and the Inculcation of discipline in the individual, both in mind and body.
2) The prevention of all acts that seek to tarnish the good image of the Black People all over the World.
3) To study and conduct research into African Traditional Religion.
4) The publication of a regular magazine called the ” BLACK – AXE which would serve as the mouth piece of the Movement.
5) To co-operate and exchange ideas with all other organisations whose objectives were similar to ours.
IDEOLOGY , PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTISE OF NEO-BLACKISM
The Ideology of the Movement as originally articulated was NEO – BLACKISM which was a complex mix of intellectual Radicalism, Pan-Africanism, Traditional African Religious Practise, Fraternal Relations, Secret Rites of Passage and Militant Action. Neo-blackism was an exceedingly rewarding and intensely satisfying pursuit for Black man possessing bravery,courage,intelligence,fearlessness as personal attributes and with a mindset of the intellectual, radical and revolutionary hue. Afrocentricity was the watch-word for all members and there was an intense passion and love for all things African.Members wore African clothes,listened to African music,ate African food and promoted African culture on campus. As a practise Neo-blackism involved regular mourning of the black reality in special after mid-night conclaves appropriately named MOURNING.This mourning of the black reality was an adaptation into movement ritual of initial objective number 2, the redirection of all minds to black realism.The early Axe-men perceived the Black reality to be painful and so it had to be mourned which was done during the mourning sessions which also developed into sessions where solutions were propounded to problems under guidance by korofo and inspiration by kokoma.The early Axe-men mourned the Black or African reality at their after mid-night meetings. Everything about these meetings suggested mourning. Indeed the meetings were called MOURNINGS. Symbolic paraphernalia of mourning, especially as done by the ethnic groups in the Midwestern area of Nigeria and other Africans were usually found at such ceremonies. This created fear and consternation in the minds of on-lookers and other students who did not understand the symbolic meanings of the cultic objects displayed on the mourning grounds at the highest of heights the University of Benin. As in all mourning ceremonies, dirges were sung however as would be expected when symbolism is at play, there was a twist to the events in the form of the lightness of spirit and happiness which comes when people sing,chant and dance together. In many ways these events helped to cement bonds of brotherhood and enhance esprit-de-corps. Like all fraternal organisations, symbolism and allegory played a large part in the ritual and ceremonies of the movement. Esoterism,ritual and brotherhood are central to all fraternal organisations. In the Neo-Black Movement Black was the preferred colour for obvious reasons.Coffins,Axes,the flag and the burning torch were all significant and symbolic to the early Axe-Men.The movement drew inspiration from the Ancient city of Benin where the university was based. This is a city steeped in esoterism and other sublime aspects of African culture.The City of Benin continues to exert its influence on the university even at this time but the influence was much stronger in the past. As previously mentioned the major esoteric activity engaged in by members was mourning the African or Black reality. Burial ceremonies run through the night in Edo culture with the deceased being interred at dawn. Neo-Black movement meetings also ran through the night and ended just before dawn.
The Movement like all organisations over the years has gone through a series of problems mostly anchored on a poor understanding of it´s aims and objectives by it´s successive members and the academic community especially with new branches opening and a veritable explosion in the membership figures. Also there was a lack of sustained ideological and philosophical leadership from the Founding Fathers(FF) who erroneously believed that the movement´s constitution was enough to serve as a guide to successive members. This left the stage open for opportunists, Confusionists and other ill minded folk to hijack the leadership, and membership and desecrate the Noble objectives and cherished ideals of the movement. Previously organised with student branches in Universities, Polytechnics and colleges up and down the lenght and breadth of Nigeria, as well as having flourishing graduate chapters in most major cities nationally and Internationally, the National Leadership took the painful but necessary decision to close down all student branches, to allow for re-organisation and re-orientation, as the student members were creating credibility problems for the movement. The movement”s image has also taken a battering due to the activities of impersonators,sundry antagonists,enemies of the Black race and the activities of some campus based groups, who wrongly perceive the Neo-Black movement to be in competition with them. Unworthy individuals have also gained membership due to the Nigerian factor and created credibility problems for the movement. The present state of insecurity in Nigeria, chronic unemployment and underemployment,stasis and national drift as well as the parlous state of the economy have not helped matters. In Nigeria, it takes faith to survive from day to day as a law abiding citizen and many have been driven to lawlessness by hunger,privation and hopelessness. All said, The Neo-Black Movement is definitely an organisation that will make the news once ideological and philosophical issues are resolved. At the present time, the founders and pioneers of the movement are coming together to chart a new course for the movement, which would return it fully to where it ought to be at the forefront of the struggle for the total emancipation of the Black people of the world. All people of African descent world-wide should watch this space as the Neo-Black movement allies with other Black organisations and all men of good-will world-wide to make this millennium the African millennium of total turnaround. The University of Benin,Benin-city Nigeria should feel justifiably proud of having bequeathed this movement to the world.
AYE and OUT.
IBN GODIDI DE SADDEST
FOR THE FOUNDING FATHERS.
“Axe-Man the Neo-Blackist”
I first heard the term Neo-Blackism in 1978, when it was first used in a discussion with the small nucleus of members that represented the beginnings of what was then known as the Black-Axe movement by a prominent sociology professor at the University of Benin . We had invited the eminent academic to serve as a patron and were receiving much needed scholarly and fatherly advice.
My evolution as a conscious Black man had just begun and I was taken by this new concept. It was never quite explained by the erudite professor but at different points in my life the true meaning of it was made manifest to me. During my first odyssey amongst strange Brothers deep in Hausa land during the period September 1980 to February 1987 and secondly when my second odyssey began when I arrived at Gatwick airport one freezing October morning in 1989. I knew it was the beginning of my second odyssey because I was stripped naked at Gatwick airport.
During my first odyssey in Hausa land I came face to face with the serious and desperate problems facing the great dispossessed all over the African continent . Stripped of most of the creature comforts I had hitherto taken for granted I now began to appreciate the serious problems faced by rural Africans and to begin the process of attempting to conceiving solutions to these problems. Night after night at the fall of Darkness struggling with the lack of electricity and the almost complete absurdity of my then position the redeeming philosophy of Neo-Blackism which I had professed but not experienced started to unravel itself in my consciousness.
I thought of the lofty ideals of the Neo-Black movement and compared these ideals with the desperate reality of thousands of my country men and I knew then that the N.B.M had not been conceived in error. This was the very reason why I had been involved in its birthing. Neo- Blackism on one level simply implies identifying the problems of Black society, proffering solutions to these problems and acting militantly as a last resort and in the absence of alternative non-violent solutions to enforce the solutions identified acting militantly implies taking any action necessary to achieve the solutions proposed.
The Neo-Black movement was conceived as a defence force for the Black race world wide. Wherever a Black person was discriminated against, ill- treated, treated unjustly, killed , and the perpetrators of such acts could not been brought to justice via the courts, or where there was an attempt by powerful forces to attempt a cover up and indeed where all else had failed the and only then would the Neo-Black movement resort to alternative action. Whenever a Black man raises a cry of injustice, discrimination or oppression Neo-Blackism begins!
The Black race refers to people of African descent wherever they might be found throughout the world. The Black man wherever he is found be it in Africa , Europe , or the Americas seems to be at the bottom of the pile. There is always the same problem of racial discrimination, poverty, lack of opportunities e.t.c. Sometimes the Black race are used in dangerous experiments e.g the United states government infected some Black communities with syphilis some time in the past as well as introducing drugs into the Black communities which is at the root of social upheaval in Black communities across the united states. Even in Africa in countries like Sudan and Mauritania the Black man is an endangered specie with nobody to speak for him or defend him against the racial brutalities meted out by Arabs.
The black man wants his humanity recognised and wants to be treated equally and fairly by the other races and people of the world. Justice is the first condition of humanity, and wherever the humanity of the Black man is threatened and his equality with other men no matter their colour hue is not recognised there is the need to fight to have justice.
In countries like Nigeria where the Lebanese most times degrade their Nigerian employees there is the need to take action even if this simply means bringing such acts to the knowledge of the authorities . Where there is Black on Black violence like the present pacification of the Ogoni in the delta area in Nigeria there must be the recognition that such violence degrades us all and this must be pointed out by our organisation and action no matter how limited must be taken. News items and programmes on television and radio that tend to confirm old prejudices or misrepresent African culture should have rejoinders sent to the relevant bodies with a correct presentation of events. This is part of defending the interest of the Black race.
The Neo-Black movement should keep the African continent and the Black world under constant observation and should encourage its members to be knowledgeable in matters pertaining to the continent. This will involve keeping the countries and Governments under observation. This could simply involve collating news items especially those of a negative hue and commenting on them at our meetings as well as having an organised response to such events and communicating our response to the appropriate quarters.
In Britain issues affecting the Black community should be constantly monitored. Issues like death in police custody of black people and race related crimes like the Stephen Lawrence, Shije Lapite, Douglas, and Ibrahim Sey cases should be of interest to all members of the Neo-Black movement.There should be a recognition that when one of us is touched all of us are touched. ( A cry from one of us echoing in our common ear). The organisation should have a policy on such matters and react in a positive manner with such reactions being conveyed to the appropriate quarters.
There will be a need to have files on all African countries as well as Britain , United-States, Latin America and the Caribbean countries. These files will hold News clips on the countries mentioned and our comments. If we are not happy with particular events in certain countries we could write letters to the Ambassador of such a country for onward passage to the government in question. The main objective of the N.B.M cannot be divorced from current affairs, political matters and Government. The neo-black movement must stand ready to comment on matters of a political nature especially when the Black man and the African continent are directly involved. Issues like the cancelled elections in Algeria and Nigeria should be matters of very serious interest.
The ongoing impasse in sierra-Leone and the declining performance of the African national congress led South African Government should be matters of great concern to the Neo-Black movement. The movement should be able to comment on such issues and make representation to the appropriate quarters regarding views which they might hold. World peace is dependent on the different component parts of the world having respect for one another. Only when white Anglo-Saxons, the teutons, slavs, and other Caucasian peoples, the yellow peoples of Asia and our Arab brethren have respect for the Black African can we begin to talk of world peace. The Black African should not expect respect to be given to him overnight . our race must fight to earn the respect of the other races while not forgetting to point out the injustices meted out to us in the past. The N.B.M must be in the vanguard of this fight and deploy her resources both human and material in the struggle for world peace.
AYE AND OUT!
IBN-GODIDI ( DE-SADDEST )
“Early Neo-Blackist Terminology”
MOURNING:Special nights were set aside to mourn the African and Black reality.The Sharpville massacre, Soweto massacre,Kunle Adepeju, Akintunde Ojo, Aba women’s riot, Enugu coal miners strike and such other events were marked by mourning sessions.There was a special diary purchased, still in my possession with dates relevant to Black History and this was used as an aid to keep abreast of relevant dates. At mourning sessions the Axe-men were dressed in Black. The mood was sombre. Dirges were sung,Incantations were recited.Kokoma that enchanting Brew of dreaded constituents was present and the Axe-men gathered around the flaming pot.There was a prepared address from the Head and discussions on Black and African issues.I introduced the COFFIN later to fully capture the mood and also to be used for initiation purposes.There was a procession round the campus and a poster would have been prepared warning juus to keep off the mourning grounds. on mourning nights the Axe-men were not in the mood to brook any nonsense from Bats or juus.
SAD-AXE: At mourning sessions the Axe-men were SAD. When juus are sad they cry not so with the Axe-man in the Temple. A Sad Axe could best be described as an inspired Black soul, committed to the ideals of Neo-Blackism, fully grounded in the philosophy, ideology and practise of Neo-Blackism. A no nonsense Axe-man, first to arrive at the mourning grounds, last to leave, consumes kokoma with no visible effects, After a brutal mourning session still standing at 6.00a.m when Breakfast is served.Perhaps now my appellation DE SADDEST becomes easy for all to understand.
JOLLY: Happy occasion usually initiations or sessions arranged to pass the word and for Axe-men to relax. Akin to time spent in the officers mess for military officers. At jollies the atmosphere was more relaxed. kokoma and other drinks could be served.
KOKOMA: Dreaded Brew of enchanting constituents, contents known only to the chief priest. In the very early days i used to brew the kokoma then known as the Black rum alone in the Heads Den. It used to take about three weeks to a month for me to brew the mixture. Once a date was set for an after mid-night activity, one had to arrange for the secret constituents through various channels and commence the brewing process. The final mixture was very potent and any Axe-man who messed around with kokoma did so at his peril. It was at one Brutal mourning session in the early days after consuming several cups on the orders of my venerable Head Waziri Zako that Aye! Biko(furious frank) in a flash of inspiration bestowed the name kokoma on that cherished delight of every true Axe-man and a special song was composed in its honour and so it remains to this day.After jollies/mourning’s the jug of kokoma ended up in the Heads room and Axe-men were encouraged to stop by and partake of the sacred Brew. Several juus including the mighty Salami fell victims of kokoma but more on this later.
CASUALTY: Any Axe-man who collapsed under the weight of kokoma and inspired Black ideas during mourning’s and jollies was deemed a casualty and was left where he collapsed. The only honours done was to remove his regalia and leave him to the elements. All Axe-men understood the unwritten rule Every Axe-man for himself, Kokoma for us all.On the day after Brutal mourning’s/jollies the campus was littered with dead men(casualties). I remember an Axe-man without a shirt waking up once at noon in front of the girls hostel. Another one was snoring away on another occasion at lunch time in front of Hall one.Several woke up on different occasions in the bush or other parts of the campus, but it was all good fun. Every casualty had to collect strokes of Bulala(janet)at the next jolly/mourning.Any mourning/jolly that did not produce a casualty was suspect. The degree of success of a jolly was measured in terms of the number of casualties produced. The unwritten rule was there would be casualties but do not find yourself amongst them.
SHARP BLADE: An Active AXE-MAN.
BLUNT BLADE: Lagging Axe-man.
BOJI! BOJI! WAWA! : Denotes immediacy. leave whatever you are doing. meet up with the next Axe-man. something is Afoot, link up with somebody.Do not ignore. move immediately.Code for immediate Action. Added to a message it suggests its seriousness.
TEMPLE:Place of worship. As the movement was committed to research into African Traditional Religion, the meeting place was called the Temple. The ugbowo campus of the university of Benin was called the Highest of heights or the High Temple ( High T). It was given the name Highest of heights by the most Dreaded Head DA-FAYA.Now commonly used to denote a Branch of the Neo-Black movement.
INGIDIGBO: Simply means to speak in plain English.This term was introduced by BATI LAKA who visited us from the university of Ibadan in 77/78.He was a friend of Waziri Zako and was involved in the first initiations ever conducted into the Neo-Black movement.He suggested the use of pidgin English during mournings/jollies with INGIDIGBO being used at formal meetings.This differentiation was never fully understood by our immediate successors and has resulted in a situation where pidgin English is used on all occassions.
ELDERS: Axe-man who had spent at least two academic sessions as a member of the N.B.M. This cadre of members was introduced to allow for wider participation in decision making and contribution of ideas.Elders might not be movement officers, but could contribute to policy in a way that an officer could not.As members that had logged some experience they were highly valued. At inception in 77/78 a seniority system was put in place. New Axe-men could be recognised by the white belts which they tied round their waists, while the more senior Axe-men used a red sash.Elders were supposed to sit together during the ceremonial occassions.The idea of elders had its roots in the student union protests that frequently erupted in the seventies. on these occasions final year students used to constitute themselves into a council of Elders to sue for peace with the govt or university authorities. younger students used to find their antics amusing as they were often the ones itching for action. This idea was however borrowed from this source. The chairman concil of Elders was a position given to the oldest Axe-man in terms of lenght of membership.He was not a member of the executive council but exercised his powers when there were disputes involving the Head or disciplinary matters involving Axe-men. serious matters involving DE-AXING were supposed to be referred to the chairman before ratification. The chairman could also serve as an an Adviser to the Head who in some cases might be a younger more active member chosen as Head for some unusual or peculiar character trait. In the event of a Head stepping outside the constitution or becoming involved in actions detrimental to the movement, members could appeal to the chairman who could then put in place procedures to check the Head or in extreme situations with the other Elders remove the Head and replace him with the Right hand/chief-priest or call for fresh elections.This was where the notion that the Chairman was opposed to the Head came from.These two officers were not opposed to one another.A wise Head in the early days would work closely with his Chairman to move the movement in the right direction.Chairmen were chosen precisely because they had no inclination to become Heads and were fountains of wisdom in their own right.
KOROFO CULT OF THE UNDERGROUND: School of Divination. The one who consulted the oracle about OLODUMARE and declared that his death would never be heard of.
“Thoughts on Black-Axe Movement 1977”
The Battle-Axe was the symbol of the Brotherhood of the Baraccans which metamorphosed into the Black-Axe movement in 1977. Since the major aim of the MOVEMENT was the defence and protection of the Black man world-wide, it was decided to call the organisation the BLACK AXE MOVEMENT. The AXE dripped blood which suggested a readiness to deal severely with all enemies of the Black race world-wide.
A few days after we named the movement, we held discussions with our then adviser and patron Professor Onwogeogwu who articulated and encapsulated our ideas under the umbrella NEO-BLACKISM.
From then on the BLACK-AXE MOVEMENT ALSO BECAME KNOWN AS THE NEO-BLACK MOVEMENT. THE BLACK-AXE WAS ALSO THE NAME OF OUR MOUTH-PIECE.
The movement was organised around several themes;
1 – A Militant Blackist Organisation with the capacity to strike decisively, achieve results and positively affect the lives of all Black people world-wide.
2 – A Movement with an outreach arm, engaging in publications and other outreach activities with the aim of re-directing all minds to BLACK REALISM.
3 – A Movement which would serve as the last bus stop for the Black-Man world-wide. Where other Black Organisations failed the Black Axe Movement had no choice but to succeed. There was no room for slacking , failure or compromise in the line of duty in the Black Axe movement 1977.
4 – As a Fraternal organisation where every man sworn to defend the Black man world-wide became a brother to every other man so sworn. This developed gradually and became more heavily emphasised from 1979/80 onwards. The notions of brotherhood became important as it was felt by some that there were very few men around the world who would be prepared to lay down their lives for the betterment of other black men world-wide and those who were prepared to do this, were therefore entitled to a deeper level of commitment and could rightfully expect help in times of need or difficulty from their Brother Axe-men
As a Militant Black Organisation the rules of engagement were harsh for members. The recruitment process was designed to have only one result, the failure of the would be member and then all who applied and failed were then invited to join and prove their mettle. Non performers were then weeded out if they proved themselves unworthy by failing assignments given to them. Punishment for infractions was brutal, standards were high. The nature of the assignment was difficult enough and slackers could not be encouraged.
Discipline was the watch-word for all Axe-men in 1977. Members were meant to eschew all negatives associated with the more base fellows of which every racial group including the Black race have more than their fair share.
The JU of yore in Movement parlance was the rather base fellow, the unscrupulous character, greedy, malfeasant, dishonest, untrustworthy lacking in patriotic spirit, lacking in racial pride, the fellow who aped the white man, more like a caricature of the European, the fellow who looked to Europe and America for solutions, The one who hid under the cloak of tradition and culture to remain indolent, unimaginative, retrogressive, backward, somnolent .
IBN GODIDI D SADDEST(FJ77)