275-23: Keynote Speaker

Wow, It’s great to be here again in front of you all.


Friends, colleagues, leaders and trailblazers of the Green Conquest, I am so thrilled at the turn-out tonight for the 29th annual Sustain to Gain Gala event. I was asked by the organizers to say a few words about the Gala, and how profitable our crusade to green the globe has been.  Next to blocking out the sun, and we’re working on that, there is pretty much nothing we can’t and won’t do to make this world a better place for us!




Before you get to your meals, I’d like to give a..what do the bl..inner-city kids call it again…sorry, I’m not quite “down”..ah yes…I’d like to give a shoot-out to the First Nations and the rest of those rag-tag group of indians. That’s why I’m wearing this feathery thingamajigger on my head, because, fellow venture capitalists, we need to remember that they’re humans too..kinda like us.  And a special shoot-out goes to my main beeyatch, Mama Africa! Right, amirite? C’mon, give it up!




Providing us with superfoods and super villains, we couldn’t have made it to where we are without ya, tuts. Shell, you gotch yourself a keeper, buddy. Lucky bastard..
But enough with all these pleasantries, it’s not like any of these people are actually here, right!  So go ahead and dig-in to your heart’s content. We have enough polar bear roast to feed an entire army of child soldiers and a endless flow of red wine dark like the blood-stained streets of Bahia.  You earned it! Together, let’s leverage the world for a brighter future!


Peanuts inna Baltimore

They are allergic to peanuts.

They  work at a small peanut oil processing plant.

They touch, smell and taste peanuts all day.

Pick it.

Press it.

Bottle it.

And Big Man dey watching from his high office.


Most don`t speak Big Man`s language.

All don`t get paid enough.

All are forced to work. There are no other jobs.

They need the little bit of cash to pay for their anti-histamine.


They are allergic to peanuts.

They work for a small peanut oil processing plant.

The few who speak with Big Man plea.

They show their  bleeding hives

They show their swollen eyes.

Those who can speak

Those who are not choking on the floor


we are allergic to peanuts.

we are allergic to peanuts.


Big Man says to be quiet.

Don`t blame peanut oil, after all its done for you.


Big Man wipes the white spittle from the corner of his pasty lips.


Are you sure it is peanut oil that is the problem?

What if it was grapeseed oil?

What if…canola

what if…olive

what if…sesame

Don`t blame the peanut. Peanut is good for us.  Peanut is good for business.

He say:

If you have a problem, you should wear a mask.

If you

have a problem




But don’t blame the peanut.  Peanut is good for us.  Peanut is good for business.

But we workers know that this here is a  big fucking peanut oil processing machine.

Not next type of oil,

Not what-if oil

Ah Peanut  Oil we ah talk bout.

We work here. We live here.

Mask on or Mask off

We can`t breathe.


Together, We spill the bottled oil on our bodies and ignite the fire.

Together, we barge the barricaded office of Big Man and forcefully bring his room-temperature body next to our burning flesh.


Together, We jump into the extraction machine.

Hear the bones crack.

Like the dry husk of the peanut.

275-12: The Missionaries

E-Jesus? E-Jesus lives over there on Old Oven Hill and sees everything we do so you better not steal any parts and sell them to the Lebanese, okay? Don’t be like Doubting Thomas. If you want your blessing you better not do anything stupid. That’s the rule. Now, don’t worry about the old TV screens or the broken computer screens..you’re too weak and you don’t know how to use a screw-driver. You are still a kid, so you got to do kid stuff. That’s the rule. You should be looking for tiny-tiny things like batteries and the old i-phones with shattered mirrors, use your tiny-tiny fingers! Jesus likes car batteries. So batteries is your mission. I christen you Black-Battery-Betty, our newest missionary. Praise to e-Jesus. Praise to e-Jesus, Siemens and Sony. You must repeat.

That’s the rule.

Understand that all around you, technology is the future. The future is here and it is dead. If the carcass of the future, the corpse of technology is here, then where are we, B-Three? Yes, New- Ghana, but where are we really? Heaven. This is Abogbloshie, the future of the future, and it is Heaven. If it was no so, could e-Jesus survive the gray fires of Old Oven Hill? No, e-Jesus would burn blacker than black! But here everything and everyone is dead, no current through their metal veins and we, the chosen missionaries will resufficate and bring new life.

Tonight, e-Jesus will visit you in your sleep. He will open the door of your refrigerator-bed and pray in tongues and shower your face with silver dust. ‘Toshiba-panasonic-sony-apple-samsung’, he will chant. You must repeat. That’s the rule.

photo credit: pieter hugo

photo credit: pieter hugo

275-10 When the Motor Cuts


When the motor cuts off and the silence of the seas speaks urgent nothings to the cold darkness, I wish to kill my brother. I would muster up what little strength still lurks in my gaunt frame and with one desperate heave I’d topple his snoring ass overboard. The sudden force would rock the overcrowded pirogue, waking the others from their uncomfortable slumber. Startled, they would shine the one flashlight that still works and someone would realize that a body has disappeared. I bet they would look at me, with cutting stares that sting of indifference and mistrust and understanding. They would close their eyelids again, resting their head next to their rusty knife, or stone or whatever impromptu weapon they have befriended on the trip.

He sleeps, and I don’t know how. His buttocks cushioned by the few CFA bills stuffed in his pockets, the continual waves of hunger pains banging at the side of the bottom don’t seem to bother him as much as they do me. To think, he is not even a fisherman like the rest of us, and we trust him to bring us under the cover of night from Saint Louis to Casablanca. I think that is where we are going. I hear the names of far off cities in prayers and mumbled dreams. Here we are, my fisherman intuition drained and depleted like the life from the sea below, knowing full well that the weight of our needs cannot compete against the merciless western waves. .

The motor coughs and rumbles again, its humming second only to that of the floating Russian fish factory towering next to us.

275-2: Black Green Consciousness

A greater enlightenment of the environmental consciousness of Black peoples living within capitalist nations is the necessary harbinger for solid actions towards true environmental sustainability.  White environmentalists cannot fully strategize for worldwide environmental stewardship without acknowledging the active role that white society continually plays in dehumanizing indigenous cultures by the fundamental reality of exploiting lands and waters. Once they have patted themselves on the back for humble declaration of their privilege, the white environmentalist should then take the extra step and stand the fuck down so that the victims of environmental racism can find solutions that work for them.  Afrikans of the diaspora, like the rare metals of the earth and the biodiversity of the waters, have lived through and continue to be the victims of the most violent environmental atrocities, atrocities backed up by ill-thought out policies that prioritize profit.  Many cultures across the world  have been manipulated, indoctrinated, accosted and bamboozled by academics, missionaries and governments all of whom want nothing else than to secure their own social position and economic superiority.  Displaced Blacks have suffered a particular offence by being ripped from their land and exploited through slavery. Today, it is the chains of waged labour, over-consumption and environmental indifference that keep us in bondage.

However, like Mother Nature, Blacks are resilient. We must resist following the allure of the thoughtless greed machine and understand how we are connected to land, air and water.  We must understand that we cannot afford (nor should we seek) the false luxury of over-consumption that media titillates our senses with.  It is bad for our health and our earth.  We must act and find a different way.