Monday, June 5, 2023
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Carey Baraka’s Blog: How To Be An African Intellectual

I like to think of myself as being smart, as being an intellectual, as being an African intellectual.

The people around me like to think of me as being arrogant. An arrogant African. An arrogant African imbecile. Jealous people. Of course, their views are incorrect, as they are borne out of mere jealousy.

African Intellectual
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In addition, since I am smart and their views are opposite to mine, I am right and they are wrong. Don’t argue. Just concur with me. I wasn’t always like this though. Smart, I mean. I have always been an arrogant imbecile though. Or that’s just what I like to tell myself.

In the next roughly 1000 words, I am going to teach you how to be an African intellectual. Or at least fool people into thinking that that you are.

Foremost, you need to alter your behavior to fit that of an African intellectual. African intellectuals (like me) behave differently from the ‘other people.’ The other people. The other Africans. For example, you have to develop a new way of conducting dialogue. For instance, you should use the words ‘conducting dialogue’ instead of the more rudimentary ‘talking.’

When someone asks you a basic yes or no question, never answer the question with a yes or a no. That is too basic for an African intellectual. Instead, say something boring and long-winded that has many words and probably means nothing. Example in a conversation:

Question: Was Adolf Hitler a bad man?

Simpleton answer: No. Sorry, sorry, I mean yes. Yes, he was a bad man. Yes.

African intellectual answer: The world isn’t split into black and white. Everyone has shades of dark and light in him.

Doesn’t mean anything. Boring. African intellectual-esque. Get it? Capisce? Thank you Sirius Black.

Secondly, your music taste has to resemble that of an African intellectual. You can’t go on listening to common age musicians like Bruno Mars, Little Wayne or Two Chains. No, your music taste must be intellectually driven. Armin van Buuren. Fela Kuti. Jermaine Cole. Mozart. Ray Charles. And a bunch of people who passed on before you were born. May they rest in peace.

In addition, African intellectuals don’t participate in common place discussions about music. While African simpletons may converse about BETs, Kanye West, Kanye West’s mother-in-law-who-was-formerly-a-father-in-law, or Nicki Minaj’s butt, African intellectuals don’t.

Rather, they advance long boring arguments on the fact that von Beethoven was black by virtue of his music having strong west African roots and being best friends with the black virtuoso violinist George Bridgetower with whom he composed his most ambitious violin sonata, the Kreutzer. (Thank you Google for making me seem smart.)

African intellectuals also don’t watch movies. Movies, they describe as cheap visual gimmicks designed to fool the layman’s eyes. They sneer at them as being no substitute for the written word.

By the way, the Jurassic World movie is awesome. No, forget I said that. I meant Michael Crichton’s Jurassic World Book. Interesting read. According to several people. Yeah, that’s right. African intellectuals prefer to read the hard print rather than watching a two hour summary of the same on a screen. They really don’t know what they are missing out on. People who watch movies, I mean.

Sometimes when African intellectuals have nothing to say, they pause their discussion and throw in a saying by a famous African. A really wise African. A famous African. A son of our soil. Whatever that means. Trevor Noah said

“I was in the crowd when Rafiki held Simba over the edge of the cliff like an African Michael Jackson.”

African intellectuals are not on social media. They dismiss social media sites as rips in the social fabric of our world. (That sounded smart, didn’t it?).

Facebook is a time-wasting tool for jobless drunk louts with nothing better to do than try to keep up with the social progress of other people.

Instagram is a cheap gimmick designed for gawping at people with better looks and wishing to:
a) Be them.
b) be like them.
c) Be with them.

Or it’s just a way to stalk your Ex. I wouldn’t know. I’m an African intellectual after all.

Twitter on the other hand is an exception, it’s fool of people who are highly-intelligent, and who take bits of time of their busy schedules to aid in nation-building by commenting on politics, sports, who Dow Jones is and why he has an index. It’s fool of people. I hope you get it. Unless you are on Twitter yourself. A fool of a person.

Don’t date a writer by the way. They are cheap vindictive people who use words to attack people they don’t like. Aye Asena Imali?

Curious fact: Did you know that every third person in Africa is a witchdoctor? And we cure everything: From diseases to marital problems, to job promotions, to problems in bed. So if your bed starts creaking as you sleep, or the screws pop out with no reason whatsoever, call me. I know a guy.

It’s Friday evening as I write this, and I have to get ready for….Uh, church (sic) …so I’m gonna leave you with wise African saying. Something that will lift your spirits up. Something that will brighten up your time in church (sic). Something that will make Nelson Mandela proud. Because I care.


“Ndovu haiwezi hata ngumi ya mosquito.”

“An elephant cannot miss a punch from a mosquito.”

Crap, who am I kidding? it’s the lyrics of a song. In Swahili.

How to be a Smart African. By Carey Baraka.

Wasting your time since ten minutes ago.

Carey Baraka
Carey Baraka
I am Carey Baraka. I am a writer. The stuff I write, people mostly find it funny. Check it out at

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