Illustration of a Goveme Child. Illustrated by Kalliope Anvar
Illustration of a Goveme Child. Illustrated by Kalliope Anvar

Double-Potted Leaders. Africa and Her Goveme Children as Leaders.

In Vodun Tradition, there’s a concept that applies to children who suffer from a Double Consciousness—that is, a wavering between two allegiances. Vodun cultures believe that stability is important for a child’s development and that a growing child should not be introduced to the idea of wavering between two households. Only children born into stable environments, i.e. into a stable family, a stable clan, a stable village, a stable town and so on, are allowed to become a part of the Vodun elite.

This is important. It is obvious that a child is born to two different households: the father’s and the mother’s. However, the child can only belong to one of the two (not both!). The ancient African Adage—“And the Two shall become One”—emanates from such philosophical concepts. But they are not just philosophy. There’s more to this adage. One of the concepts of Vodun Divination itself involves the mathematical operation of Base Two Additions.

Applied to child-making (a form of creation), which is another thing divination attempts: One plus one results in One and the Null (sometimes called zero): 1 + 1 = 1 0 (not Ten!). The null is important only to indicate that it holds a position in the child’s life (the result), but the child belongs only to one.

There’s a part any child must learn to nullify to create stability. To which household the child belongs depends on whether the Vodun Tradition subscribes to inheriting from the father-side or from the maternal-uncle. There’s more to this but suffice it to say that when a child is born, the child’s house is determined, even pre-determined as a result. And that child should only be taught to belong to one house, where he obtains his sustenance (like food).

If a child eats from a second house, usually from the house that one of his other parents comes from, that child is deemed a Goveme-vi, or a Goveme Child. “Ego-ve-me-vi” translates as a Double Potted Child, or from the Ewe language, literally as “pot-two-inside-child”.

Goveme Children suffer from Double Consciousness for they hold dual allegiances. They cannot be trusted.

More important, they break from Tradition: 1 + 1 = 1 1 or something as totally different from both parents as 1 + 1 = 2. Breaking from Tradition is bad for the soul and for the people. Such a child can only induce Instability. They become incompatible with the next one. Goveme children eat from two houses, and they can be likened to the child who runs back and forth from one house to the next depending on where he deems the temperature fits his needs. Such children are bound to be cowards, and they are bound to waver between allegiances. It is never good.

Colonialism in Africa has produced a certain species of animal amongst Human Beings, the Mis-Educated Than His Ancestors (the Metha), and these people are Goveme Children: they are, by all accounts, double-potted children. That is, they have grown up on two different pots. They are a contradiction in terms and they have no real allegiance to any. They suffer from a double consciousness. They serve two households and none at all, and they eat from them both: the colonial master’s house and the colonized home.

Most African heads of state, including the one in Ghana, are Goveme Children. In fact, President Nana Akufo Addo for instance, prides himself for speaking with a British accent, growing up and living in London and also claims he’s from some place in Ghana like the rest of us. But he runs to London or Washington, from Accra, for his every need at a whim, wavering between two houses like a Goveme Child.

It is never good to have Goveme Children as a part of your elite makeup. It is even worse to have them lead. Nothing good comes of it. Only instability. Only pain. Only suffering. Only disaster!

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~ Success is a horrible teacher. It seduces the ignorant into thinking that he can’t lose. It seduces the intellectual into thinking that he must win. Success corrupts; Only usefulness exalts. ~ WP. Narmer Amenuti (which names translate: Dances With Lions), was born by The River, deep within the heartlands of Ghana, in Ntoaboma. He is a public intellectual from the Sankoré School of Critical Theory, where he trained and was awarded the highest degree of Warrior Philosopher at the Temple of Narmer. As a Culture Critic and a Guan Rhythmmaker, he is a dilettante, a dissident and a gadfly, and he eschews promotional intellectualism. He maintains strict anonymity and invites intellectuals and lay people alike to honest debate. He reads every comment. If you enjoyed this essay and would like to support more content like this one, please pour the Ancestors some Libation in support of my next essay, or you can go bold, very bold and invoke them. Here's my CashApp: $TheRealNarmer


  1. In some European societies, children are born into the same household as the mother and the father are from the same house. What happens then?

    • It makes for a Cycle of Futility (1 + 0 = 0 + 1 = 1 + 0 = 0 +1). As in many of their endeavors, they engage in the Cycle of Futility. Nothing creative.


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