Recently, Africa mourned former President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. His death at age 95 was surprisingly celebrated by Africans in negatives and positives. It’s assumed surprising since he fought for the liberation of his people from colonialism. His dedication and humanity, if I’m allowed to say, were considerably beautiful. Unfortunately, his heart was misguided and lacked the essence of its glow. He was, to me, the President that wanted to take his people higher: “Keep your Britain, I will keep my Zimbabwe”, he once said. He was like a little child with a great intent for a common good but suddenly captured by selfish motives or oppressiveness that no one else can quantify. That’s why Heidi Holland, a Mugabe Expert, would say that Mugabe “…is the wrong messenger with the right message”.
His life as a son, brother, friend, father, husband, granddad, citizen and a president made me brood about US, Africa, and how our lives as a people have come to be. We started this growth, liberation as we like to call it on a round table of goodwill and became a continent that hates. What do we say then about Joseph Conrad that called Africa “a dark place”. Our light shone by Pan-Africanism and the need to intensify unity and uplift our people is becoming a shadow of spite and anger to one another. Our learnings, wisdom and mindset have become misunderstood. Our governments and people justify the dealings of corruption. Who we are and What we’ve become has dropped to a state of COPYCATISM.
Tare Munzara once said on a supposed Happy African Day;
“I still worry about Africa. We are slaves to Western and Eastern Brands and we do not cherish and love our own. We are not even in charge of our economies because we depend heavily on what happens in the East or West, Worse-off we still judge each other based on skin color because those from Northern Africa and even some in East Africa believe that they are not Africans and they do not integrate with the darker Africans. For centuries we are still being victimized by other races from other continents, because they despise our dark skin and think that we are lesser than them…
Xenophobia still lingers and some have the cold heart to kill their black African brothers and sisters and yet the people who owe them reparation and economic freedom are originally from the western countries. We still are held captive by our governments, who abuse our resources only to feed their pockets at the expense our crumbling nations. Why should we continue to suffer when we can apply Pan Africanism and Rise above the Western and Eastern Countries, but sadly we do not…”.
We, us, as a people, with our diversities cherished by the eyes of the same West and East, can build Africa more than now. Our lust for power resulting to greed and unrecognized Marxist system will demean our existence to ruins.
The desire to become more than we’ve been and the lack of contentment has drawn even the very starters of Pan-Africanism into blood-power thirsty maniacs. On Tuesday, the pain from Xenophobia and retaliations prompted the need to read through the concept of pan Africanism itself. And guess what! Gaddafi of Libya was a member of the movement. President Gaddafi also dedicated his time and energy to building a once united Africa. He said, which I had to raise my eyebrow to be convinced,
“I am satisfied that Africa is going along its historic and right road…One day it will become similar to the United States of America…We are approaching the formation of the African Authority, and each time we solve African problems and also move in the direction of peace and unity. We deal with problems step by step…”
Despite being an authoritative leader (commonly known to be a dictator), his last testament from his will blew my mind;
“Let the free people of the world know that we could have bargained over and sold out our cause in return for a personal secure and stable life. We received many offers to this effect but we chose to be at the vanguard of the confrontation as a badge of duty and honour.”
So, as a people, how would it be that we throw our privilege to be the United States of Africa.
That we have been sternly taught to live for ourselves and imbibe a racist heritage shouldn’t mean we walk in such manner. And yes, this is a persuasion. The brutal attacks on Tuesday from South Africa and Nigeria drew me to embrace more than empathy, I felt, like most Africans, betrayed and scorned by my own people.
Reading the role Nigeria played in the liberation of South Africa from the Apartheid system, I became afraid for the memories of South Africans. I wept for the state of their minds. Like Mandela said, if not misinterpreted;
“All of us know how stubbornly racism can cling to the mind and how deeply it can infect the human soul. Where it is sustained by the racial ordering of the material world, as is the case in our country, that stubbornness can multiply a hundred-fold.”
I don’t know what happened to the majority of Africans that they became Xenophobic. Out of frustration from this misunderstanding, Nigerians relentlessly blurted out their pain. I wept that night not just for the dead but the living South Africans. They are, like Sizwe Banzi, living a mysterious life. Their lives, their entire being and all there is has been invaded by the struggle of the system. Pathetically, they have become a people revenging from pain kept for generations.
It will forever remain an indelible blight on human history that the apartheid crime ever occurred. Future generations will surely ask: What error was made that this system established itself in the wake of the adoption of a universal declaration of human rights? It will forever remain an accusation and a challenge to all men and women of conscience that it took as long as it has before all of us stood up to say ‘enough is enough.’…Mandela
My pain for this state of Africa still remains till we become the United States of Africa. Our leaders that fought at the beginning, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Muhammed Gaddafi of Libya, and many more, the expected leaders whose accolades ought to continue whither on our lips because they started the race well and lost their rhythm.
MY LETTER TO OUR LEADERS
As a faithful citizen of Africa with intent for growth, I commend you for your role in leadership. I know leadership requires courage, sacrifice, discipline and determination and I have committed my days to help the realization of a greater good.
Nevertheless, I beseech you not to be weary of this great good you have hope for. In due time, without concentrating on a misguided goal as our past leaders, you will reap a beautiful harvest.
We, as a people, desire to imitate your life and its outcome. I yearn for the peace that your leadership will possess. We love your diligence and relentlessness. You are blessed and graced to become equipped for this journey of leadership. For all that your hearts are blessed with selflessness and emotions to build, you will excel and emerge with good success,
God bless You all.
God bless Africa.
God bless Nigeria.
Hence, as Africans, siblings and family, let’s remain as a people. Let’s pray for South Africans and the effect of pain grudgingly kept for years. Let’s hope for their redemption and love to a degree of mercy for all men.
I leave you with a Life Defined.
There is still too much discord, hatred, division, conflict and violence in our world here at the beginning of the 21st century. A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of. … It is so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build. …-MANDELA
“Africa is one continent, one people, and one nation”- NKRUMAH