‘Ex Africa semper aliquid novi’
Pliny the Elder.
Africa is not united. Africans only have shared suffering. Its ‘unity’ is in the suffering.
The ‘being African/black’ kind of suffering.
The dark continent kind of suffering.
The third world kind of suffering
The undeveloped continent kind of suffering.
The anti-colonial cause had provided a unity of purpose.
African states have origins as colonial territories in common
It has similar hazards in common
African states have suffered so many of the same misfortunes.
Colonial master is done with you and has gone.
Colonial master left you to rule
You told Colonial master that you would be just and true to democracy
How has democracy worked for you?
Colonial master is from a land where a nation becomes a country
You are from the land where nations become country
A continent with many tribes and many nations
You have failed because you cannot rule like Colonial master
Colonial master found what more or less works for him
That is why Britian runs a mornachy
They did not copy the Americans
The Americans did not copy the Russians
They had their skirmishes,
But that is another story.
A story for them to study — their history.
Shouldn’t we be a community?
We share the same values
We are a cultured people
Shouldn’t we be the United Nations of Africa?
Our beliefs, customs and traditions are similar — not neccessarily the same.
Should we have been ‘The Confederation of African Nations’?
But we aren’t united.
After the euphoria of the Independence era
You allowed so many hopes and ambitions fade
You allowed the future of Africa
To be spoken of only in pessimistic terms
What did you do instead of being just and true?
You allowed your ambitions to lay more in accumulating positions of power,
Wealth and status,
more in developing a high bourgeoisie,
Than in transforming society. You lived the ‘Platinum life’.
You found you could win votes by appealing for ethnic support.
So when you got into power, you improved government services
And development projects in your home area.
You allowed ethnicity to provide the strongest political base — ‘Kinship corporations’
You wanted to rule like Colonial master
You became conscious of your nationality
Just to rule like Colonial Master
Chief Obafemi Awolowo wrote:
“Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographic expression.
There are no Nigerians
In the same sense as there are “English”, “Welsh”, or “French””
He described the word “Nigerian” as “a distinctive appellation to distinguish those
Who live in the boundaries of Nigeria and those who are not.”
that became 21st century neo-colonialist
You fought the Hutu man and killed the Tutsi woman
But just like you, they both spoke the ‘KinyaRwanda’
You allowed Genocide in Rwanda
You killed the Igbo man and treated the Hausa man with disdain
You allowed the Nigerian civil war
You destroyed Somalia
Guerilla after guerilla
You employed child soldiers to work for you
You robbed them of the bliss of childhood
From Uganda to Liberia to Congo
You were ruthless
You thought your tribe was superior
You were born to rule, so what?
Colonial master has put us all together
Nearly one half of the new frontiers imposed on us were geometric lines
Lines of latitude and longitude,
Others straight lines or arcs of circles.
Our leaders agreed that these boundaries remain
So don’t be too quick in judging Colonial master.
Because of you and Colonial Master
I’ve seen that
Gender equality is Utopia
World peace is Utopia
Utopia is where racism and sexism ends
Utopia has no religion;
But Utopia is another world entirely.
Our world is reality
Gender inequality is reality
War and conflict is reality
Disorder in world politics and governance is our reality
Corruption is our greatest reality
Ethnic rivalry is our reality
Religious conflict is the knife in our throat.
You, Sayyid Qutb and I created the Jihad ideology
You and I allowed underground Islamists guerilla organisations
You and I made Eygpt collapse
You and I allowed the war between South Sudan and North Sudan
You and I made war in Algeria
You and I allowed Boko Haram to thrive.
Now Africa is beyond damaged and the cycle of the African plague goes on and on.
Well, You and I would have fix it.
Like it or not.
Let’s be the Africa that birthed Mandela.
We must, for this
Me and You
Belongs to Us.
‘Ex Africa semper aliquid novi’