I Cry For Africa
We have been subjected to all forms of manipulation for centuries, and through it all, we have always tried to make the best of horrible situations
Our ancestors were sold into slavery, debauchery, inhuman and savage treatment, but yet we celebrate their offspring for their tremendous achievements in art, science and leadership.
But let me not digress and stick to the issue on hand, this is about “democracy” and governance in Africa is a whole
This month we have been treated to a charade of elections in Kenya and Rwanda. The outcomes were already predetermined by those close to power and the rest of the exercise was intended to hoodwink citizens and the international spectators. Both elections carried with them the hallmark of common “western approved dictum” – peaceful, organized, computerized, etc. But behind this facade, everyone both losers and winners of the elections are aware of not just the deep seated resentment within large sections of their populace, but also the deceitful, cunning and shrewd manipulation of the processes in order to bring out a predetermined outcome.
Rewinding the Time Dial
At this juncture, I would like introduce the time dial. In every dispute, conflict or general misunderstanding, humans by nature will rewind the time dial, and then stop at where the facts will best fit their narrative. We are told in the bible of Eve stopping at when Satan supposedly offered “alternative wealth”, Adam on the other hand stops at “this partner you gave me”. If any of the two bothered to take the time dial further back to when God opened the gates of the universe to them …. that would be a different story. Fast forward to all of us, we too have our own convenient time-dial stops whenever we feel, offended most of the time, or in the few instances we are proud of something as well. But again this is not the point of this post.
Our African style of democracy, our leadership models, governments etc are all a sham and an extremely poor and ridiculous imitation of the western democracies that we are supposed to copy or emulate. The UK for instance has both a monarchy and an elected from of government, and this can be found in different places all over Europe and Asian countries. America rebelled against monarchy and instituted the first leadership based on elective practice.
But what about Africa? Many of us like to rewind the time dial to when we got leaders we could tolerate, or like, or specifically those that got us from a specific quagmire. Feel free to tune that time dial to any leader of your choice from early 1940’s to present day.
But in reality this is the narrative that we have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed into believing as our destiny. It helps to mask, obliterate and in fact rewrite the atrocities committed by foreigners (from Arab, European and other worlds) to our African ancestry and heritage and force us into a fictitious world that they created and want us to be bound by.
The African countries, that many of us proudly claim to be part of, were nothing but a creation of a bunch of wild drunkards, in the late 1800s, sitting in a conference room in Europe, pandering to the whims of a narcissistic monarch, carving out their trading zones and preferred routes of trades in a newly found highly productive continent. This ladies and gentlemen is the bone of contention. These idiots in that room defined our countries, that at best offered them convenient passage and access to whatever wealth or resources they had found or identified in either half processed or raw form. It may have been informed by either their technology at the time, perhaps some geographic aspects, a little bit about the hostility or friendliness of the locals along the route or domiciled in the location of resource.
So my African brothers and sisters, our “countries” unlike western countries, most of which were brought together by common interests and goals whether economic or social, our African countries as defined are nothing but an arbitrary wave of the wand by some drunken idiots sitting in conference room in Europe circa late 1800. Also known by the preferred label “The Berlin Conference”. If we were to turn events around for a little bit, lets imagine a group of African leaders sitting in an AU conference headed say by the late Col. Ghadaffi, attempting to re-define our African borders to be a little more pragmatic to our own needs and purposes , it would perhaps be called the Armageddonization and balkanization of Africa. Yes sir, instead of a cute name like Berlin Conference, it would get some sinister acronym. Same madmen at the table, but not politically correct enough.
Perpetual Conflicts in Africa
My “frens”, the leadership and governance problems in all of Sub-Saharan Africa are because they are founded on unions (countries) that are flawed, on associated values (economic, social) that are imported and imposed on us based on values that may apply in western countries but may be completely irrelevant for the African societies created, and therefore serve no one especially the masses, but do however bring great relief, wealth and opportunity, for those lucky enough to have found favor with those who colonized Africa. Even the conflicts in Somalia, are largely strengthened by local communities resenting foreign based governance structures, which give rogue elements in society a basis for their existence. In fact terrorist activity in Africa is largely against western values and their perceived sympathisers. I do not condone and abhor violence of any kind, but we do need to evaluate where we stand as Africans. Migrants from our troubled African continent continue to flee under hazardous conditions, the few who survive the journey are subject to even more horrendous conditions in their host countries before being deported back to the very same troubled countries they ran away from. A vicious cycle that closely matches the slave trade just 100 years ago.
Fake Elections and “Democratic” Principles
The sham of elections in Kenya and perhaps Rwanda this month, stretch your imagination and eyes out to Zimbabwe, Uganda, both Sudans, Congo etc, the list is not just endless, but growing, with the ritual of waking up in the dead of night to “exercise your right to vote”, the months of planning, the enormous expenses, and the cherry on top is the smooth talking group of gangsters called “Election Observers” whose job it is to perpetuate the very nonsense they have created, on their own behalf as well as their colonial masters. Note how almost all the observers are either from Western countries, or African leaders who have mostly benefited from Colonial legacies. Now if you feel tempted to throw in the name of one or two liberators, please do, but just remember they are the exception (like in minority inclusion policies) rather than the norm.
New Nations of Africa
I appeal to the entire Africa and urge that we must first break apart and indeed secede from the “Berlin Conference” African countries ties, create societies based on our intrinsic cultures or geographic boundaries (rivers, mountains, hills, deserts, etc) Let those be the states or nations, and then let the leaders of those communities, work out modalities to form political, social or economic alliances with neighbours near and far. Let these new associations be designed by the African communities who will see value in creating ties with other communities in either economic, social or political affairs. We do not have to be tied to any other culture or belief or economy unless we want to.
A Kikuyu person in central province who does not share cultural beliefs or ties with a Nyanza man, should not be forced together as a country or nation unless both communities can find values that bring them together. Replace the specifc ethnicity with any other ethnicity or clan found in each county and/or country
All the wars and internal strife in Africa is based on accumulation of resources and wealth but largely fueled by the differences in political, economic and social differences of the people grouped together as country.
The creation of warlords is nothing more than these oppressed communities whether by tribe, clan or other zoning, reaching out to local leadership, usually in rebellion to brutal “Administrators” sent to these zones by political leadership, mimicking the very same colonial structures used to oppress locals who rebelled against occupation.
I urge Africans to arise, begin the movement to secede from the “Berlin Conference” defined countries, form strong local communities and nations and then reconstitute boundaries and nations based on common and shared values that enhance, promote, complement and strengthen your social, economic and political leadership values.
As an aside I ask, why does a Maasai in Kenya require a passport, visa, clearance etc to visit a fellow Maasai in Tanzania, replace tribe and country with any other community in Africa. Also why do we need to continue to propagate the espionage, hate, killings that are part and parcel of European culture yet we as Africans never ever had the need for these until “Western Civilisation” landed in Africa
I would have loved to get input from the many gifted history scholars before I posted this, and I do hope that any person reading this who has more insight or access to people with such insight will be encouraged to share their thoughts or tag someone who can
Onward to the New Nations of Africa
PS: Just look at how much time and effort is spent in Kenya chasing a returning officer or form 34A/B, after investing heavily and spending billions on electoral technologies and administrations, only to still announce outcomes that were determined over 1 year back.
Mungu aibariki Afrika yetu
Until then I continue to Weep for Africa
Appended below is a very similar article penned by Prof Makau Mutua which I came across earlier today