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Sunday, May 19, 2024

In praise of Jainaba Bah

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You know I always wanted to know the true and authentic story of this movement. Because this is one movement that had always represented the highest revolutionary aspiration. A movement that demonstrated the qualities needed in the launching of a successful revolution, namely, a high intellectual acumen and a direct connection with the masses. MOJA-G was the perfect antithesis to the bourgeois movements that alienated themselves from the masses and are always busy with empty polemics.

The way Jainaba weaves the story of the movement with the personal lives of its members is just amazing. It gives you a sharp perception into the whole event of things. Movements, especially revolutionary ones, are intricately linked to the lives of those who run them. And to lose sight of that when narrating the story, will only curtail the visions of the readers and listeners. So in a nutshell, here we have an all-encompassing narration that would go a long way in dispelling the myth surrounding MOJA-G.

As I read through her writings, I’m sometimes all goose bumps. It’s hard to believe people of such zeal and vision lived in this country. Taking a look around, I now live in a Gambia that would have never known the name of Amilcar Cabral if it were not for the Zone Two football championship, talk less of knowing his writings. Yet here is a generation of my countrymen who studied and tried, to the best of their ability, to apply the teachings of one of Africa’s finest revolution theorists.

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I have to say before concluding that I am in awe of this lady! She represents for me the archetypal Amazon woman, a mountain of revolutionary thought and practice, more of the legendary movement she writes of. At the heart of her narrative is a call to revive that intellectual tradition which is embedded in the heart and soul of a movement that once embodied all these qualities. Keep them coming. They are already inspiring a generation. 


Amadou Bojang

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Has the Cold War ended?


Dear editor,


As the world grapples with political major political problems, great powers continue to extend their tentacles and hegemonic interests in different parts of the world. People keep on asking this million dollar question; has the cold war ended?  

History has taught us the calamitous and chaotic situation of the world in the early and mid-20th centuries when the First World War broke out in 1914 and the second in 1939. This was the moment when world powers fought one another getting the support of their small allies. General Ryan Hart Gallon was head of Hitler’s intelligence agency, and when Germany’s collapse was eminent, Gallon predicted that future conflicts would be waged between the emerging two super powers of the world; the US and USSR. 

Africa found itself caught up in this ideological antagonism when her fledgling countries emerged fresh from the bondage of colonialism hoping for both political and social changes. Many even asserted that Africa was under another scramble. In the words of former Tanzanian president, Julius Nyerere, “there is a second scramble for Africa going on.” Some countries could not even determine their ideological pattern, as they had to change their ideologies like shirts all in the name of national interests. Some African states had to play off the super powers against each other in this East-West confrontation. As their interest seems to be achieved, they had to come up with conditionalities particularly, the US. This was in the period of the late 20th century when African states were said to be experiencing a ‘crisis of governance’ and ‘crisis of accumulation’. 

It was said to be the ‘third wave of democratisation’ in Africa. As Francis Fukuyama commented, “We may be witnessing the end of history……as such, that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the beginning of western liberal democracy as the final form of human government”.  Politically, the West maintained that African regimes had to adopt liberal democracy and respect human rights if they had to receive their fund and that they must as well adopt the structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), which had created more problems for our economy, as the problems of currency devaluation, employee retrenchment and a whole lot of economic dilemmas were experienced. Former, Gabonese president, Omar Bongo, noted, “The winds from the East are truly shaking the coconut trees.” But the Cold War finally came to an abrupt end in 1989 when the Berlin Wall collapsed and Germany was united. Two years later, the Soviet Union disintegrated and the US was said to be the winner of the combat. But one lamentable thing here is, the two powers were the hidden hands behind many African conflicts at that time such as the fighting between the Unita and MPLA government in Angola. But much more lamentable is the US CIA’s involvement in assassinating revolutionary leaders like Patrice Lumumba and paving way to kleptocratic rulers like Mobutu Sese Seko in the Congo.

However, the question remains; has the Cold War ended? I say a ‘Big No.’ The struggle between the US and Russia still continues to shake the global political foundation. The role of these two powers in the Libyan uprising was a good case in point. The continuing political deadlock in Egypt is another. The complementary offer of both diplomatic and military support to the warring parties in Syria is also evident. The situation in Ukraine and Crimea is also evident. The fierce political condition in the Israel-Palestinian conflict is also evident and a whole lot of others. With these, one may safely say that the Cold War has not ended.  


Essa Njie

University of The Gambia


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