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Leonard Mulunda
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The Ideals of Africans Hero went missing

07 July 2014, 14:36

Are currents leaders in Africa driving forward the ideals of our hero? Can we locate ourselves as Africans in good shape since their departure? Where are we coming from, and what is the way forward? It is no easy to answer these questions due to the fact that Africa as a whole seems to forget the ideals of our hero who fought the imperialism system imposed to us as continent before and during the colonialism era. Our hero understood that holding such fight should cost them a high price that they were ready to pay if need be, to the cost of their lives. Africa should not forget it history, and current leaders should review whether they are currying the legacy of our hero, or they are just enjoying the luxury of the offices that they hold. From North to south, east to Western, people mounted a while ago to say enough was enough. Today there is a misconception among Africans people about the ideals of our hero, some are simply criticising them by saying they were rushing to acquire the independence of the continent while they should prior prepare people to take over. Some believe that our hero were outspoken, therefore they end up to be killed by imperialist who saw that letting our hero implementing their ideals will set their interest aside. In 1957 one of the African hero, the Senegalese Léopold sédar senghor (1906- 2001) during his speech he mentions the following: « In Africa, when children have grown up, they leave their parents hut, and build a hut of their own by its side. Believe me; we don’t want to leave the French compound. We have grown up in it, and it is good to be alive in it, we simply want to build our own. » the centre of his message, was that, Africa should be given an opportunity to growth after the colonialism era. Senghor was one of the architect of the philosophy of negritude which was a movement established in France to raise black consciousness. He was the first black African to receive the equivalent of the American PH D degree in France as well as the first black African to be elected to the French academy. He formed a party in 1948 which result to a protest against what he considered France’s lack of consideration for the interest of Africa. Unlike some current leaders that are changing the constitutions of their countries to remain in power, Léopold sédar senghor became the first African head of state to peaceably step down from power and pass the torch to his successor in 1981. Other hero who left a big legacy to all the sons and daughters of Africa, was the Ghanaian Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) who said «I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me» Nkrumah’s fight against colonialism was not a simple thought as he believed that Revolution are brought about men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought. He did not only fight against colonialism and imperialism, he warned against the dependence on capitalist global institutions such as the United Nations Organisation and the Bretton woods institutions such as the International Monetary Funds (IMF) and the World Bank. Of the UN, he remind Africans that the UN is the tool of the elite states which control the security council and that it is just as reliable an instrument for world order peace as the great prepared to allow it power  are to be. What is happening currently in the UN? Why none of African states is not a permanent member of the Security Council? What effort our current leaders are putting in place to claim African space in the UN as 75% of the agenda mostly concern Africa? Are our leaders taking Africa where it should be 54 years after the colonialism? Should we continue blaming colonialism for the failure of African prosperity? Are we respecting the ideals of hero or those are simple compromised? If Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was alive, how should he perceive current leadership in Africa? How Africa chooses to remember him while we all know that during his lifetime, he fought for an equal society. As quoted « I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised but if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die » is South Africa a society with equal opportunities? If the answer is no, the question remains on how to create that society and what role can all individual play to achieve this ideal? Must be taken from rich and give to the poor to create the said society? If we all agree that this formula can make everyone poor, then a new one should be invented. Africa should also remember the sacrifice of the pan-Africanist Patrice Emery Lumumba (1925-1961) who gain many enemies because of his vision of a united Congo and Africa. In his last letter to his wife, he wrote the following:  My dear wife, I am writing these words not knowing whether they will reach you, when they will reach you, and whether I shall still be alive when you read them. They have corrupted some of our compatriots and bribed others. They have helped to distort the truth and bring our independence into dishonour. How could I speak otherwise? He added by saying dead or alive, free or in prison by other of the imperialists, it is not my self who count. It is the Congo. Additionally he declared, we are not alone. Africa, Asia and the free liberated people from all corners of the world will always be found at the side of the millions of the Congolese who will not abandon the struggle…. As top my children whom I leave and whom I may never see again, I should like them to be told that it is for them, as it is for every Congolese, to accomplish the sacred task…..for without dignity there is no liberty, without justice there is no dignity, and without independence there are no free men…Africa will write its own history. The legacy of Lumumba was betrayed, and Africa should gather with Congolese people to restore it. What is important is the fact that most Africa hero spoke, requesting the unity and the prosperity of the continent as a whole as the founding father of Kenyan nation Jomo Kenyatta (1889-1978) realises that he should fight unceasingly for his own complete emancipation; for without this, he was doomed to remain the prey of rival imperialists, which in every successive year will drive they fangs more deeply into his vitality and strength. The fight against imperialism was done collectively by our hero even though, they were in different countries. If Africa strives to honour them, our current leaders should work collectively trough regional and continental bodies to strength and promote the ideals of our hero that need to be remembered as African heritage. This collective work has to be done with respect of international framework as Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1922-1999) believed that« No nation has the right to make decision for another nation; no people for another people». What we see in our current leaders, we see people very enthusiastic about the consolidation of the political power, we are seeing people that are signing papers, travelling all over the world without taking into consideration the political and  socio-economic  challenges that Africa as a whole is facing. What is the really problem of Africa? Why we have all mineral resources, but we still ranking as a continent in which poverty, unemployment and inequality are getting the better of us? I would like to quote Kenneth Kaunda (1924,-) who said that « the really problem of Africa is that, we consume what we don’t produce, and we produce what we don’t consume» it is not a right time to blame the colonialism era or imperialism for what Africa is facing now to my view, but our leaders must be serious about the destiny of Africa by making themselves free of corruption and working toward the expectation of people that elected them to power. So let us work harder if need be let us join Thomas Sankara (1949-1987) who says: «You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness»

Leonard Mulunda Independent Researcher in Conflicts affecting The Great Lakes Region of Africa

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