Radicalism is spreading fast in Africa- not to say that it has not always been so. But these days, the rhetoric is back. These days, the White Man’s burden has really pissed off some people, and instead of finding a rational way to tackling problems, they have adopted the Mugabe rhetoric. Of maybe should we call it the MAU MAU strategy. Indeed, what is the saying again? Muzungu Aende Uraya, Mwafrika Apate Uhuru– Except that is not exactly what happened. Some of the Europeans stayed, and some left. But Independence in Africa is in the eye of the beholder.
So what now? Kick out all the Europeans? According to a particular individual that we will refer to as James, only those with a darker skin are Africans. And Africa, belongs to Africans. Hence, kick out all the Arabs, whites, Indians- Kick all of them out and give the land to blacks. Only problem? Well what do we do with North Africa? What about South Africa? – and who exactly is going to orchestrate this mass immigration? And what about those “Africans” abroad who do not particularly want to go back to their “homeland?” – The silver lining here? – African history is full of migrations, as most people in Africa are settlers. They moved from one place or the other, and settled in a land, and created societies. So then who has the right to tell these people, regardless of their color, where they should go?
So here is James, a hot-blooded young African radical. You hear him speak and you feel your insides churning because you know, if he was in power, he would leave a trail of dead bodies and blood will be his bath. You hear him speak and you think of the many “whites” who will be victimized, generations later- all in the name of “correcting a Wrong”? What does this mean? Correcting a wrong? Should those Africans who have been wronging Africans be “corrected” too? Or is this going to be very special treatment for those “non-Africans” with a different pigmentation? You want to try to see the reality of James. For him, as a young African, he knows one thing- White bad- black good. The only problem? This won’t solve any issues in Africa. Which by the way can’t be completely blamed on the Europeans or Americans.
You see, our friend James is of the mindset that anyone who thinks that Mugabe is an evil man who has made his people suffer, should be hanged! Or anyone who thinks that the whites in South Africa are not necessarily the problem- well those people should be put on a stage and be beaten to death. – Although one has to wonder, when has it become that Africans cannot freely express their opinions without being called traitors and sell-outs. – So you have to wonder why African scholarship is below par. Digressing on that point- let us ask ourselves as Africans, if we really want the metanarrative of our continent to be that of a people who can’t hold it together for even a minute, to spearhead development.
Will making the continent purely “African” make us better of? We know that to be completely bollocks. Maybe if we were in the 15th century- but we are in the 21st where globalization has taken over every aspect of our lives. Will killing off those we call traitors, or those who think differently, make us a better people, or even a united people? Not even close. Let us not forget that we are killing each other with our own hands, and the use of some very powerful weapons. We do not want to admit that we are prideful, hateful, and sometimes not a very peaceful people. If our history is of any indication- wars were among us many years before the White man came into play- we just made it easier for them.
We do need better leaders, better development plans, entrepreneurship, innovative ideas and most of all, an engaged society. We need to improve our education system, and even the simplest of all- we might want to start with generating electricity. No problems will be solved by us, (Africans) becomes oppressors, just because we have the need to “correct a wrong” or because we were once victims. This is not to take light of the serious problems that countries like South Africa are facing, with a small number of the population owning the majority of the land. Making it worse- it is the White South Africans that own the land- which is inciting the rage of the Black South Africans. We won’t belittle the problems in Africa- they are huge, and the task ahead to tackle these issues is daunting. This is why we need rational actors, not radicals who will incite fear, and helplessness in the minds of Africans. Revolutions are good, but they have to be reasonably marked to make a difference.
The generation of rising leaders has not been victims, at least directly, of the white man- but victims of their own leaders, their own people, and their own systems. So should they be seeking to correct that wrong too? Thankfully, only a few like our friend James, feel that way. The rest of the young people are majorly working to make sure that as they become increasingly aware, they are also taking steps to make sure that action is taken as Africa develops. The mantra these days is that “IT IS AFRICA’S TIME”- what that means? No one has been able to articulate it. But if it is Africa’s time, then let us make sure we don’t waste it trying to find ways to victimize each other- regardless of the color of skin.