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Monday, September 21, 2020

Africa as Zion: Unification, utopia and the decolonisation process

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Yet in a time when that dream has become distorted and mutilated at the altar of a homeland for the Jewish race, it becomes only rightful to give it back to the people who owned it –the oppressed majority. And the most oppressed of lands throughout the long and bitter history of imperialism and hegemony, has been Africa. A land at once indicted for its overwhelming poverty in the face of abundance and need in the face of so much plenitude.

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Africa epitomise the historic and old mother of all mankind, most beautifully referred to as ”Mama Africa” for the most fitting representation for it, would be the feminine, as in its a reproductive land that produced the best and worst of humanity. The symbolism embedded in that language of men when they express continuity in the forms of the human being’s biological programming is most fitting in the case of this old land of grandeur. A land well known for the rift valley in Ethiopia wherein the traces of the first human settlement on earth were found, which eventually catapulted the reproduction and continuity of a species that today claim to own the earth and whatever is in it. Lest we forget the very first civilisation which was by the rivers of the Nile, by glorious black men and women. This too provided a chain of transmission which spewed into the outside, otherwise barbaric world, a sense of continuity of the ingenuity achieved in that glorious time and place of pyramids and pharaohs.

Yet with all these great achievements in the past, what became of Africa? Because at some point the transmission of the knowledge and practice of building sustainable civilisations ceased. It became more of splintering kingdoms who were busy fighting for tribal dominance than continuance of the legacy of the Imhoteps and other great black philosophers and teachers. And with such vices at play, Africa became once more the land that we today as her sons and daughters inherited. But it was not always this way… it was better than this. It was not perfect; for we shan’t romanticise our history, and make it look like a paradise on earth. But it’s a matter of cognition and acknowledgement of the past that we were way better than this.  

What happened to us and our dear old land was the insistent invasion of various kinds. From the Almoravids, Almohads, to the Europeans. But perhaps the one that had the greatest impact on us was the European invasion. Which lasted for centuries, and not only rob us of our material wealth but in the process robbed us of our own selfhood and replaced it with a zombie like identity, much closer to the time ghost, a walking lie. A powerful hegemony that show human beings flocked into the gully of a ship to be sailed to the so called new world, and then sold and be used as a machine in the plantations, generating profits for a civilisation that thrives today in its fullness and glory.

The Western form of hegemony has offered nothing to Africa as a continent except borders, brutes and bayonets. With national borders that undermine the common sense of unity that underline our unity before the advent of western colonialism. Borders that were drawn in the dining hall of Otto Von Bismarck, which in itself is a mockery to the great land that was once known for its diversified unity. 

Then came a generation of realists, revolutionaries and also of reactionaries. The playing ground for the contending ideologies of that time was to be the still fertile land of Africa. On one side is Dr Kwame Nkrumah and his followers, who advocated the total unification of the African continent under scientific socialism as the only means by which Africa can be put on the road to self-determination and full fledge development, commanding respect within the constellation of nations. On the other hand is the lenient leaders of the independence struggle, who easily shrugged off the whole idea of unity as nothing urgent. It was from this class of leaders that the reactionaries and puppets eventually emerged, that aided neo-colonialism. 

This almost dreamlike epoch of Africa’s fight for total independence gave way to servile servants of the masters once more. These once were the purse holders of the masters, who will readily wipe out an entire village for the interest of their masters. But the West didn’t stop at dividing us and leaving us fighting to this day over those fragile and spider web like borders, they also left with us the brutes masquerading as leaders. With the strings still being pulled from beyond the curtain, Washington, Paris and London, continues to dictate the state politics of many African countries. Installing puppets as leaders, to further loot our resources, while we continue fighting among ourselves. 

Africa found itself once more in the grip of a fight between the genuine revolutionaries and the Uncle Toms. In between the two parties, the hegemonic powers created an educational system that readily marks the superiority of the Western civilisation, while demeaning and demonising the motherland.

Fake leaders coupled with a constant form of brainwashing, Africa is again the bastion of gloom, which the founding fathers of the OAU specifically Nkrumah warned about. In the state of our current disunity, we will be nothing but a playground for outside powers and interests. With America setting up bases all over Africa, hence militarising the continent, it’s a truth that cannot be avoided forever. They are here and they came to stay.

The solution, of course, is in solving the problem. And Africa’s problem is leadership. Our leaders have continuously failed us, either by being puppets of the West or terrorising the masses to stay in power. In either case, we remain the testimony of their failures in leadership and governance. The democratic ideals which are enshrined in our constitutions are being trampled upon, making a hopeless case for a proper departing point from the misery that engulfs the African man and woman.

So we are called upon with the feminine tenderness of Mama Africa to redeem her from both inward and outward oppression and suppression. To fulfill this calling, we are to return to the base and foundation of every progressive society – education. We need proper education that brings out the proper and authentic history of Africa. The process of decolonisation begins with the liberation of the mind from distortions and delusions that were fed into it by the conqueror. The conqueror indoctrinates the conquered hence making himself and his history look supreme, while making his subject deny his own reality. 

To empower an oppressed people is to instill in them pride in them. Reminding us of the great past we had is most fitted for Africa. To rewrite history in a way that places the coloniser as an agent in history and not the sole interlocutor or the protagonist who actually wrote down for us our narrative. The Lumumba prophesy that Africa “will write down its history and it shall be glorious one”, is actually a statement that is showing us that the forerunner and precursor to the total liberation and emancipation of the continent in fact lies with the authentication of our history. 

 Now, the herculean task of uniting the continent. It’s proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that when all is said and done, the only thing that will solidify our base from all forms of hegemony and external aggression will be a united Africa. There will be ideological schisms at this point but that matters a little when it’s weighed against the imperative need to lift the continent out of the subjugation and poverty it continues to wallow in. The crux of the matter is that Africa has so many non-viable states that will achieve nothing when left to their own drives. Created by the colonialist for their own selfish and transient needs, these states continue to survive at the cost and expense of the poverty and want of their own people.

Also, the utopia that by uniting we will become happy ever after, and that without uniting we will continue living in a hell on earth sort of needs to be deconstructed. It’s nothing but a myth which some have used as a pretext to spread mischief throughout the land. We must scientifically essay the benefits and the realistic outcome of the process of unification as without it. Ideological illusions will do us no good in the long run towards liberating and consciously constructing the African identity and state.

This land remains the Promised Land, the Zion of her children caught in the belly of the beast. Forcefully taken from the breast of their mother, the suckling children of Africa yearn to return home. The appeal to all Africans then is to speed up the process of total liberation of the motherland from both the neo-colonial manipulators and the puppets who are usurping the fundamental rights of her people. Like the messianic role of Moses unto the lost children of Israel, we each are a Moses for this land of ours.  The core of the black revolution as Nkrumah once affirmed is in Africa and unless it’s respected, the black man anywhere will continue to suffer and languish in inferiority. This is to be the mission on the shoulders of each and every one. To not fulfill it is to betray an entire land and her peoples. The choice remains ours.

 

With Alieu Bah (Immortal X)

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