David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): So I saw this fighting book on Twitter and thought it was written by @OlufemiOTaiwo. I had underestimated the importance of the O but I do not regret it. As I began reading the book I noticed that to understand it I needed to read a previous book. /1 https://twitter.com/ProfDNgong/status/1515116674592169984/photo/1

David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): It happened to be the one below. "Africa Must Be Modern" may be read as a popular rendition of the more philosophical and complex argument of this book. The book below commends modernity but argues that colonialism aborted it in Africa. /2 https://twitter.com/ProfDNgong/status/1515116678245462023/photo/1

David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): How did colonialism abort modernity in Africa? This is where the argument gets quite complex and interesting. First, the author argues that modernity should be separated from colonialism. Next, he argues that there was modernity in Africa before formal colonialism. /3

David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): How did modernity exist in Africa before formal colonialism? It did so through the work of some missionaries in the early 19th century who helped some Africans to begin to construct modern subjectivity. And here's the philosophical focus of the work: /4

David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): Modernity is rooted in philosophy, especially in discourses of subjectivity. Some (not all) Christian missionaries began to instill this modern construction of subjectivity in Africans. Early African converts began to fashion their subjectivity and helping others do the same. /5

David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): This process of fashioning their subjectivity was aborted by formal colonial administration that insisted on specific, diminished subjectivity for Africans. Some missionaries enabled Africans to claim their agency in ways that was never done in the political realm. /6

David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): Interestingly, African Christianity seems to be flourishing because Christianity promoted African agency. Such agency has not been promoted in African politics, which is why African politics sucks. And because of this other spheres of African life suffer. /7

David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): For Africa to be modern, therefore, it has to go back to the time before formal colonialism, the early 19th century. It has to learn from how Africans (in West Africa) began to construct their subjectivity vis a vis modernity. How would this modernity have turned out... /8

David OBJECTION! Ngong (@ProfDNgong): ...if colonialism had not aborted it? I think there's a fascinating argument here if modernity could be decoupled from colonialism. /FIN