My dear, as for King Duke, there’re many more like him. That’s why when people say colonial mentality; I say, inferiority complex. Not blaming anybody yet, just trying to understand the lessons of history.
This complex came about because we were so complacent with our existence and the Europeans took the pre-emptive move of discovering us and we have been playing catch-up since then. The gap ever widening.
When the Europeans came to “discover” us, they came ready to fight us – real battle. But they found out we were not worth a fight, we were cheap and docile. So, they detoxified and we got intoxicated.
That was how they won the battle and we became the spoils of that un-fought war.
As you know, the battle lasts longer than the war, or is it the other way round? Whichever one is first, it is still raging.
History taught about “direct and indirect rules” as the methods employed by the colonialists.
King Duke was one of the instruments of “indirect rule” symbolized by the double crowns . . . and a few bottles of gin in very dark green bottles! (The dark bottles are in the Calabar National Museum and Monuments).
The British understood us better than we knew and know ourselves.
He (King Duke) would have also collected a crown from the Germans, Italians, Dutch, etc. if they offered or “forced” him. Haha! What could he have done? African kings didn’t have external affairs/relations advisers or ministers. Everything revolved around the “King and the man” much more than even his household is worth to him.
The African King spends his time calculating which wife cooks for him what or the one who had water in her mouth greeting him the other day, etc.
Those were their petty preoccupations and they failed us woefully.
By the way, only God knows what was in those dark bottles that the kings got addicted to that extended clandestine slavery to this very day – when African people feel dejected and inferior in the presence of those they consider superior for reasons I am still struggling to understand.
After slavery, came the scramble and partition of Africa, then the struggle for independence, now the psychological warfare that is bent on diminishing us and any achievements of ours and what some may call neo-colonialism. But, who should we blame?
Finally, King Duke is just a symbol of poor quality leadership. I know he has descendants who are beneficiaries of his early contacts with the Europeans, but I guess they may have a different perspective about these views which of course, they are entitled to.