David Maillu’s Contribution to the Black Race
Indigenous African Religion (NETERIAN)
My most exciting, ambitious, and intellectual-cum-spiritual contribution to the Black Race in addressing the call for African Renaissance, has been in heading a group of African scientists in authoring and compiling the too-long overdue spiritual manual for addressing African spiritual world, whereby I was the Executive Chairman. The grand project brought into existence the KA, Holy Book of Neter, commonly referred to as the “African Bible.” The sacred book is published by African Comb Books Ltd. I am the Executive Director of Comb Books Ltd.
In one of the ancient African Languages, NETER means the power that made the earth, heavens, the sea, the sky or the universe, animals, bids, insects, man and all that is and all that shall be. Neterian Worship, therefore, means the worship of that Creator Being.
In the same language, KA means that force, which cannot be destroyed and continues to exist after the change and decay of the human body through death. If NETER means GOD and KA means Soul, the KA, Holy Book of Neter can be simplified to mean – The Soul of God.
How KA was Written and The Source of The Material
Although African Religion has got many customary faces, a close look at those faces tells a single story that they are faces of the same religious body. Many outsiders, highlighted by colonial agents, had a common habit of thinking that, actually, there are many religions in Africa. That is not true. There is only one religion in Africa, which is expressed, like songs, in many tunings and rhythms. To the African, God is one, and his agents are both the dead living and spirits. The superior agents are called gods, which are capable of manifesting themselves in human forms but with special attributes. What African call gods are what European expressions call angels. Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham, Jacob, Virgin Mary and others, in African understanding, are ancestors.. Christians, too, worship ancestors.
The authors of KA ignored customary variations and expressions. They centered on the authentic commonest expressions. A lot has been written and published about African Religion, and oral deliberations of African Religion are very much alive in Africa today. So, it was not difficult for the compilers to make reference to these venues. In other words, all that the authors did was beat out the seeds from the husks and throw away the husks. They beat out the seeds through scholarly scrutiny. Besides, each member of the Executive Committee responsible for writing the book, had been born and brought up in the traditional curriculum. In simple language, KA is made out of the refined part of African traditional African values. For example, themes dealing with engagement, gender, conception and child birth, girl-right and boy-right, polygamy, divorce, and so on, are treated in the same way across the African communities. Foreigners are quick to say that all Africans behave the same; however, they find it difficult to believe that, that common behaviour is primarily supported by a common religion. The contents of the books are not derived from fiction, but from practically documented views of African thought and action.
Summary of the Contents of KA, HOLY BOOK OF NETER
KA, which is illustrated by abstract black-and-white drawing by David G Maillu, begins with an intense introduction to explain the difference between African Religion, Christianity, Islam and other worldly religions. The highlight of the differences is that, first, African Religion is not founded on an individual person as in Christianity and Islam where Jesus and Mohammed form the foundation. Second, the Supreme God of African Religion is not associated neither with gender nor human features. It is faceless absolute Force in charge of all creations and is neither female nor male. Thirdly, in African Religion there is no original sin as presented in Christianity. Human beings are born innocent, and there is neither paradise nor hell; hence, no final judgment. The Religion believes that evil doers are punished while they live for their evils but not after death. The Religion believes in life after death in spirit form. All that is expected of the individual is to do his best as an agent of God and leave the rest to God after death.
As a whole, the book is a spiritual reference book cutting across the human cultural expressions. It bears the history, wisdom and spiritual dimensions of the people. It is presented in a form equivalent to the Bible. It comprises 10 books, with each book addressing a different subject. Each book is divided into chapters, which are further sub-divided into verses.