For Pan Africanists, it is better to aim for the moon and miss it, than…
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) is not an abstract lifeless thing. The PAC…
Hamilton Keke belongs to a rare breed of African revolutionaries in this country, too many to mention. They include our Kings who led the anti-colonial Battles of Thaba Bosiu, Sandile’s Kop, Keiskama Hoek, Isandlwana, Blood River and in numerous other battlefields “where they fell before the bullets of the foreign invader,” as the Defier of the Undefiable, Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe would put it.
April 27 marked the fortieth anniversary of the passing of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the founder of modern-day Ghana and a leading theoretician of the post-World War II national liberation movement for unity and socialism. Nkrumah’s legacy is still very much a part of the ongoing efforts of the peoples of Africa and the world who seek genuine freedom from colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism.
Born in the western region of the Gold Coast (later renamed Ghana in 1957) on September 21, 1909, Nkrumah grew up under the colonial system established by the British. The people of the Gold Coast had fought western domination from the period of the Atlantic Slave Trade through the early 20th century when Queen Ya Asantewaa of the Ashanti people led an armed resistance campaign to halt British encroachment into their territories.
William Mpofu’s misleading article which appeared in the Sowetan newspaper of 22 September titled “the scourge of African tyrants” should not and must not be allowed to go unchallenged because it is a compendium of misinformation and factual errors. It is also misleading and contains historical inaccuracies. Mpofu wrote that, “From Kwame Nkrumah to Robert Mugabe, African dictators have invoked the spirit of African unity and black solidarity against the vampiric Western imperialism with the right hand while with the left subjecting their people to cruel bondage and violence”.
Those who have read Walter Rodney’s “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” will understand that cruel bondage and violence in West Africa were introduced by leaders of Western countries during the Atlantic slave trade. At the time Mpofu’s article was published, the US and some Western countries under the auspices of NATO were on their sixth month of bombing Libya for the sake of accessing that country’s resources so that China should be dependent on the US for oil. Mpofu continued, “another truism of the underdevelopment and impoverishment of Africa is that African despots have looted natural resources, plundered economies for personal enrichment and deployed violence of the worst magnitude to crush opponents”.
It is very easy to curse African Leaders as being corrupt and also blame African poverty on corrupt practices by African leaders. This is a cliché and a stereotype that has been created around African leaders. There is some semblance of truth in it but the statement has been ‘very economic’ on the real truth of the situation. In other words, there is an element of misinformation or disinformation.
Before explaining my view points the following should be realized: Firstly, going to the Arab Sheikh, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and former President of The Arab Emirates, is a Feudal ruler of Abu Dhabi which is part of the Emirates (A Federation of Feudal Sultanates in the Persian Gulf).
Secondly, that as Absolute Feudal rulers, the Sheikhs, has personal ownership of all wealth that emanates from their sheikhdom or Sultanate and as such, the lavish life style which basically is nothing else but corrupt or rather extreme debauchery. The Sheikh, is corrupt as he has the legal and constitutional right to the wealth and no one questions it not even the Western Governments nor the Western based NGO or the Western Oil Companies, in fact the Sheiks are Darlings of the Western World.
After several years of independence struggle, Nkrumah and the people of Ghana, with support from fellow Africans, at home and abroad, succeeded finally in liberating Ghana from colonial shackles – at least politically. That happened on 6 March 1957. There was a need, however, for the sustainable economic liberation of Ghanaians. That way their political independence would be rendered more meaningful.
As every economist would agree, Nkrumah saw Ghana, a nation with a little over six million people at the time, as economically unviable, as it could not possibly benefit from the kind of economies of scale needed to survive and compete fairly on the international market. Naturally, he sought to help Africa decolonize, using every means possible, so that through their collective power as a giant nation – the Nation of Africa- would pool their resources together and become competitive economically, have a voice on the international stage, and collectively push for the interests of Africa.
The West, however, realized that, a United Africa, with a socialist development agenda, together with its natural resources
History was finally conceived in the barren chapters of the Africa FIFA Under-20 World Cup Championship in Egypt when the Black Satellites of Africa lifted the World Cup Trophy for the first time in the full glare of the 68,000 spectators gathered at Cairo International Stadium, after defeating Brazil.
Whilst the Egyptian and the Ghanaian flags were blowing the wind of victory down West and Central Africa almost to a point of tatters, the vuvuzela’s of South Africa, just like the proverbial African cock at dawn, was waking up the remaining Southern and Eastern African countries to the historic glory. From the length and breadth of the continent, the spirit of solidarity rarely experienced by the separate countries of Africa reverberated in the streets and at public spaces amid singing, drumming, dancing shouting and of course “vuvuzeling”.
The significance of this historic football feat to the African people cannot be overemphasized. Different people, however, accorded different significance to the event. Here are some views from Ghana. According to the President of Ghana, Professor John Evans Attah Mills, the historic victory is a timely wake up call to all Ghanaians irrespective of their party colours to unite as one people for the urgent task of national development.
Another Ghanaian who called at a local radio station in Accra asserted that the victory shows the supremacy of Ghana as a major football nation in Africa and at the world stage. The next caller made a rather interesting statement. He remarked, “Ghana is seen as the Brazil of Africa, but today, Brazil will be seen as the Ghana of South America”. To these people and million others, the victory is simply, a national affair and…maybe rightly so.
31 July is African Heroes Day in the Africanist calendar. This is a day to commemorate and honour the founding fathers and mothers of the African liberation struggle.
Anton Mziwakhe Lembede passed on six decades ago in 1947 at the early age of 33. Lembede was a firebrand youth leader who pioneered the historic 1949 Nation Building programme. It is therefore fitting, as we commemorate the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle, to pay special tribute to Lembede, who is regarded as the father of Africanism.
At the time when the liberation movement was docile and lacking in direction, it was Lembede and his contemporaries who breathed life into the liberation movement by putting forward a clearly defined Programme of Action which talked to relevant issues of the day – to fight for the freedom of the African masses from settler colonialism. It is this programme that also inspired the formation of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in 1959.