New Moves to Re-colonize Africa and the Push back. (11)

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The story is told how a white man who is an anthropologist once proposed a game to the African tribal children. He placed a basket of sweet near a tree. He made them stand about 100 meters away from the tree and told them that whoever reaches the tree first, would get all the sweet in the basket. In other words, the winner takes all! The children conversed silently amongst themselves. So, when the anthropologist said “ready, steady, go! What did he see? All the children held each other’s hand, ran together towards the tree, and on getting there, they took the basket and divided the sweet equally among themselves. So, when the anthropologist asked why they ran together, they answered “UBUNTU”. He wanted to know what Ubuntu meant. Ubuntu, they told him, “I am because we are”. Ubuntu speak to the fact we have kindred spirit and in that we are all connected in more ways than we realized. We are expected to know that our culture is wrapped around the concept of togetherness. This is who Africans are. We can only grow and progress when others grow and progress. Never mind the lines that were drawn in 1884.

In the words of Ambassador Arikana Chihombori, a medical doctor who served as the African Union representative to the US from2017 to 2019, “Military intervention in Niger is not an option, that simply is not what we should do as Africans. There are better ways to deal with our issues…..Our elders must come together…..this moment is calling for unity, meaningful unity of purpose among the African leaders to simply say, guys this cannot continue to happen, our people has spoken. I see what is happening in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea differently, if you look at previous coups, they were orchestrated by Western powers, majority by France….the leaders were trying to do what is ultimately best for their people and they were assassinated….These coups are different from the previous coups. The people are desperate…they know that they are rich in natural resources, yet the majority of the people are extremely poor… I would like to call what is happening in these four countries ideological realignment of their economic, of their political, of their social values. If you look at the situations in the former French colonies, before even a president comes to power, there are certain no-go areas that the president must not touch.

 

Because if you do, you may not live to see the end of the day; areas like the military, finances and where the reserves must be deposited in the French treasury, areas like the natural resources….”
Can we then safely say the above reasons are why the price of Niger Uranium is $215 per kilogram in the open market and France pay the country 80 cents per kilogram? Is it not safe to say that this crass subjugation is why Niger is the second poorest country in the world, despite her vast natural resources?

 

How is it that the leaders of Africa cannot protest the fact that Niger is forced to deposit 80% of its reserves with France or the concept of the so called “colonial debt” where all the 14 countries given to France in 1884 pay $500 billion to France yearly? And what happens if a president refuses to pay?

 

My question to African Union leaders whether colonized by Britain, Germany, France or Belgium or Portugal or Spain is this: when are you going to invoke the spirit of Ubuntu and collectively push back and say enough is enough?
Russia now wants their own share., China also want to have a go and they are taking advantage of the present situation and pushing a narrative that they are better even when we see that they gag their own people and either kill the stubborn ones or send them to life imprisonment without trial?

On January 17, 1961, Patrice Lumumba, the erstwhile Prime Minister of the Congo was assassinated on orders of France, Belgium an the CIA of the United States of America. So also was Maurice Mpolo, the former Minister of Interior, and Joseph Okito, Vice President of the Senate, both were close associates of Lumumba. The reason for their deaths was simply because they insisted on working solely for the people of Congo and never for foreign interests. Joseph Mobutu, serving as Chief of Staff of the Army and supported by Belgium and the United States, deposed the democratically elected government of left-wing nationalist Patrice Lumumba in 1960. It was said that the reason for the deposition and killing of Lumumba was that “Congo was too rich, too big, and too important for the west to lose control as they would have, had Lumumba lived”.

 

A year earlier, the opposition leader of Cameroon, Felix Moumie was poisoned and by 1963, Sylvanus Olympio, the leader of Togo was killed for not being obedient to France. A bizarre and very open drama was how Mehdi Ben Barka, the fierce opposition to French-installed government in Morroco was kidnapped in France in 1965 and his body was never found till date.
Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana was ousted in a western-backed coup in 1966. On October 15, Thomas Sankara was killed in a coup d’etat organized by Blaise Campaore who was instigated and backed by France.

 

Should we not re-open inquiries to how M.K.O Abiola was killed in the presence of American envoys while in detention simply because he vowed to get reparation from the western governments on slavery? It is often said by many Africans, especially our young ones today that all the woes of Africa are by fellow Africans but I beg to disagree. Above is a fraction of the endless lists of well informed and shining light of the continent who were determined to make the difference after many African countries gained independence from the colonialists.

 

 

I have listed these few to show that we never started like we are now. The western powers made sure of our gutter level life deliberately when they arranged the death of our first team.

With regards to systemic racism, let’s look at the issue from the perspective of the Western film industry because of space. Systemic racism in this industry has been a problem for decades. Black actors and filmmakers have long been underrepresented and undervalued, and their stories have been marginalized or erased. However, in recent years, there has been a growing push back against systemic racism in Hollywood.

 

One of the most notable examples of systemic racism in the film industry is the lack of diversity among directors. According to a 2020 study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, only 16% of the directors of the 100 top-grossing films of 2019 were Black or Hispanic. This lack of diversity is reflected in the stories that are told on screen. Black and Hispanic characters are often underrepresented and stereotyped, and their stories are often told from a white perspective.

Another example of systemic racism in the film industry is the pay gap between White and Black actors. According to a 2018 study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Black actors were paid 52 cents for every dollar paid to white actors. This pay gap is even wider for Black women, who are paid only 38 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
The push back against systemic racism in Hollywood has been led by Black actors, filmmakers, and activists. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile campaigns calling for greater diversity and inclusion in the film industry.

 

For example, the #OscarsSoWhite campaign highlighted the lack of diversity among nominees for the Academy Awards.

The #MeToo movement has also shined a spotlight on the discrimination and harassment that women face in Hollywood. As a result of this push back, there has been some progress in recent years. For example, the number of Black directors has increased slightly, and there has been a greater focus on telling stories about Black characters.

Meanwhile another push back against systemic racism was borne out in 2020, when the Black Lives Matter movement sparked a renewed conversation about race and racism in America. This has also led to a renewed focus on systemic racism in the film industry.

In all these, and from all indications, Africa does not yet have great leader capable of presenting a united front against all manners of insults, abuse, plundering happening on the continent at present.

 

Apart from a few who had just been elected, most of the others have their loots starched abroad and have dark secrets with the western world or the eastern world which is why most fear seemingly innocuous things like visa ban. Almost all African leaders are patients in foreign clinics and are susceptible to manipulations of secret services of those countries.

 

Many are already compromised by sex and gambling and their children are their ‘Achilles heel’ therefore under instructions. But where is the African Media in all of these? As of facts most of the stinging documentaries on issues concerning the erosion of the so-called African independence are produced by Aljazeera. And, recently, most television stations in Nigeria were echoing the word “Global south” without interrogating it.

Remember that when Barak Obama visited Africa, he was only concerned about gay rights, and ditto Pamela Harris few months ago. Development of the continent was not their priority at all. Unfortunately, the African media failed to take them to task and had also largely failed to highlight various ways in which the west has plunged us into abject poverty by design.

Howbeit, the people of Africa must open their eyes to see that we are presently under neo-colonialism and the second wave of slavery has began; be it visa lottery or free visa or even mercenary training posts hooked in defense for gold and diamond.

Let us push back on words that are used to describe us. Let us take back our language and culture? How hard is it to reform our education and teach with our indigenous languages? Can we not work out a better system of governance than the ones sold to us surreptitiously by the western powers? I believe we can come up with a system that can trump the ones we have now and can transit peacefully. The presidential system copied wholesale from America is failing there and the Republican Party, a.k.a Trump party now prefers autocracy over constitutional democracy.

Let all of us push back against forces trying to take over Africa and exploit us for another 200 years. They started in the 1880s, in what their elites called the “Scramble for Africa”. Britain led the powers who raced to occupy the continent, and established control over many parts of Africa by force of arms. France also took over large territories in the west and north of Africa with the singular aim to exploit our mineral and natural resources. They succeeded greatly using a combination of force, divide and rule tactics, indoctrination, espionage and other resources. Social media should be used greatly to reverse the current trends and to educate our children about the evil of western and the eastern subjugation. Hear the words of Patrice Lumumba…” Dead, living, free, or in prison on the orders of the colonialists, it is not I who counts.

 

It is the Congo, it is our people for whom independence has been transformed into a cage where we are regarded from the outside… History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets… a history of glory and dignity.”

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