Tag Archives: Joseph Kony

When Africa Did Not Exist

Having spent a whole month trying to be so angry at the whole Kony 2012, I ha convinced myself of my objectivity. I even saw the whole poster on the back of the Applause Africa’s spring issue, and for some reason, I just let it slip by. (although that could be a whole different story).

However, this morning, after my usual online perusal into the Kony 2012 movement, I found myself having the guts to feel that small angry bile at the back of your throat, that makes you generally want to shake someone into comprehension. It took me a while before I really could define where this anger, and frustration was coming from. Let us be clear…Africans and Non-Africans are culpable in this whole fiasco of Kony. But that was not the source of frustration. My mind started going back into history, and looking closely at how policies on Africa have been formatted.  All of a sudden, I nailed it. The anger or let us maturely call it frustration is not on the whole Kony 2012, I is much deeper. It is the whole idea that the rest of the world, and some Africans _especially in the Diaspora_ act like Africa is not relevant, until someone from outside makes it relevant. So for someone whose heart beats in an African rhythm, I took a serious offense to history, and its perpetrators.  Yes, I understand that my frustration does nothing unless something is physically to change the status quo of the above situation, however, there I was ready with violence in mind. ( No worries, I did not do anything). Even though, the words that were forming in my mind were not very generous, nor nice.  I mean, how can a story be so distorted- thats easy. However, in this day and age with easy access to the computer…NO ONE in the west, African or not should be swallowing crap for facts.

But anger was all good, until I read the post by Denaw Mengestu, and went through all the comments by some female that will go by the name of Anna. Apparently, if it was not for the US, then Libya and Egypt would not have happened. ( Although I should probably mention to her that were it nor for the US, Libya and Egypt would not have gotten into the messes).  Oh she actually credits this whole idea of Her idea of military intervention was that since Africans were seating around doing nothing to stop the atrocities in their backyards, then off course AMERICA comes to the rescue, and leaves a mess that they cannot clean up. But again…this is just speculation..no? But she goes on to say that she is tired of AFRICANISM…WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Africanism, well I guess we are tired of Americanism too. Infact the whole world is tired of this type of -ism!  but don’t worry, for Anna is not done yet- Other than the fact that she cannot spell, she also informs the Africans to tackle the rapes in the Congo. Oh and stop being “Phony” African Intellectuals. As a student, scholar and analyst very much vested in Africa- that hurt. It was like shoving a knife on a wound that was already healing.  But after re-reading the comment by her again, I decided that hers was a joke. Ha! okay, so After laughing a bit, I became pissed. Because here is this human being who thinks that Africa’s hope lies in her power to buy bracelets, wear t-shirts and camp out for a night. Seriously, if I saw her in person, I would probably  laugh because I would find a joke in all this.  If the UN can’t solve it, then the US should move in make sure they secure the resources first, and then shell out a couple of grenades to make sure that people are safe. – Very sweet of her to be so concerned.

So I imagine in her mind, all of the African continent is full of people lounging around. Thats the life you know. Waking up in the morning, taking a walk- wait no- seating down, drinking, eating and having a good old time.  Wait, kids dying in Uganda- ah no problem the US will send in their soldiers, so why worry?  Mugabe is a tyrant? -Ah…leave that to the US..they will take care of that.  There are women in the Congo being raped? Ah… lets us seat here and intellectualize the raping, and then the US will come in and take care of it.  Africa has problems? and to this, I think in Anna’s mind- we seat down and wait for our problems to be taken away like the magic wand that the US is.

Except, Africans on the ground are working hard to change their circumstances. And people with ignorance written all over them- aka- anna prototypes, cheapen the work that is going on.  It seems like the assumption is that Africa came into being when the Europeans came into town. And ever-since, if Europe is not involved in issues that affect Africans, then these problems do not exist.

What is worse is that Africans, we help distort our own stories, and perpetuate the myths that surround us. We let people like Anna define us, and how our stories are told. And maybe if one takes the time to really listen and read the comments that are being made, they would also be just a bit pissed. Maybe then they will start owning their own history. As Africans, we are culpable, but that does not mean that we cannot change the course of the story being told.

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ARREST JOSEPH KONY….but before you do, please buy the $250 Kit to help you do that!

Okay, if $250 is too much, you can buy a cheap bracelet…only $10, but wait…want a special bracelet?…it will only cost you $30.  Don’t want a bracelet…then how about a T-shirt?

Oh wait… have you watched the documentary? Cried a little? You might have even been very angry that such a man exist… Alright. So what do you know about Joseph Kony and the LRA?  How about that Kony, is not actually in Uganda? at this moment, he could be ANYWHERE in the East African region.  Oh yea, and those numbers of the children who are still child soldiers- exaggerated.

Ah but forget that! The documentary says that Joseph Kony must go…and so he shall, by you going to the Invisible children website and donating or making a purchase. By the time you check out, you have probably forgotten who Joseph Kony is, and child soldiers…wait what child soldiers. But as a college kid, or young white American, you feel REALLY empowered, and very good about yourself because you have “helped some poor children in Uganda”.

Allow me to break down Kony 2012 for you.  A couple of years, some young Americans went to Africa and “discovered” that alas children in Uganda were being made into killing machines. They made a movie about it… it went rapid around campuses, and Invisible Children- the movie and organization became a humanitarian fad.  However, as the years went by, these young Americans romanticized these Invisible children, and were emotionally stuck on Kony, refusing to move on.  Kony became the IT guy. The villain, the new “World’s Most Evil man”. So what did these young men do… they decided that in-spite of the 26+ years of struggle, they would be the ones to end the reign of Kony,- all in one year!…. TA DA!

Now who wouldn’t want to give money to a cause that would bring the end to such an evil man? The marketing is sexy, and oh yea Russell and his team get to hold a gun and pose for a picture…. ( I think I am confused now- weren’t they supposed to be advocating against violence and guns? Hmmm but they pose with these “kids” and guns that make them look a bit like Rambo)

This actually might make one wonder… in the Lifetime movie about Russell and his friends, which actor gets to play him… I will vote for Brad Pitt especially if he has that perfect blond cut

anyways, enough about that.

In the last couple of years, there has been such a rise of the moral and virtue infatuation with White America. It is one thing to think that you are better off than the rest of the world, but quiet another to call yourself an expert of an issue even those living in the country have been tackling for 26 years.  A kid decides to take a trip to Africa, makes a documentary about invisible children. Great! Okay, we support that. In that time, we needed the world to be aware that Joseph Kony was at large and turning children into killing machines.  But what about after 2005 when the ICC, on 33 accounts of crimes against humanity, issued an arrest warrant for Kony?…. or EVEN…when in 2006, Kony met with a UN rep?  Does Jason Russell really wants us to believe that people, those who know and understand these issues MUCH BETTER than him, did not know that Kony was a live, and he had committed crimes against humanity?

So fast-forward to 2012 and blond haired (assuming well intentioned) Russell decides that he will not rest until Kony is arrested. But wait, there is a catch…HE WILL BE ARRESTED IN 2012.  Let us forget the whole ideology behind this foolishness…but really, in a couple of months, you are going to get TECHNOLOGY to track Kony down? Does it even matter that Kony and his cronies are not in Uganda? Even as the government of Uganda affirms that because of the documentary its going to do everything possible to capture Kony. You have to wonder, if Kony is not in Uganda, how is Museveni and his set of cronies going to arrest Kony? Better yet…How is Russell and his army going to really capture this man?  I mean, about 26 years later, they still haven’t caught this man…but 2012 is the magic year. ( On a side note…I want to know what is magical about 2012)…maybe Russel could enlighten me on this.

Let us be fair…the film is IDIOTIC.  Yes, it is said. it is foolish, it is insulting to the MANY Ugandan NGOs and individuals who have actually been doing work on the ground.  In fact, it is disrespectful to every African who knows that this film is an ego booster and a moral check for Russell and his friends. Yes, they made Invisible children, and the hype has died down…so whats next… LET THE WORLD KNOW WHO JOSEPH KONY IS…except, the world already knows Kony.

Unfortunately, these self-proclaimed experts on Uganda have forgotten about Museveni.  Where was Jason Russell when the youth were protesting around the elections in the country?  Where was the Stop Museveni campaign? Does Russell and his associates really think that Museveni and his band of brothers did not know where Kony was? Did they not think that it was important to address the issue of Museveni, him being one of the worst  undercover murderer and collaborator in many regional conflicts?  What about rehabilitating the children who have managed to escape the fighting?

These “activists” and I really call them that in the lightest manner possible, are more harmful to progress in Africa. yes, the world needs to be AWARE…(such a sexy word), the world needs to know, but what happens after awareness? And what happens when you are making people aware the the LEAST possible facts possible?

It is rather sad, and even to a point disgusting, that people are eating up this PR stunt. Trust me, like many other social movements, this one will die down in a month (if we are even that lucky).  What is disappointing is that even some African Activists are eating this bullocks up. They are swallowing this maniac attempt to boost an ego of washed up activists whose inability to move on has caused them to morally decide the fate of people they barely understand.

The video is moving. Truly. It is touching to the soul. Right music, right scenes….hey, how do you think Hollywood has managed to have so many blockbusters?  But it is a sham. The movie makers either have no idea what is going on, or they do and they are completely misrepresenting the issues at hand. Either way, they need to stop the pretense, an face the fact that they are making a lot of money at the expense of children in Uganda and the Kony name.  It is a good marketing campaign for all that its worth.

But I maybe wrong. I might be completely out of touch with those Ugandans who are pissed off because another white kid decided to be their savior. (sorry, diplomacy failed me there)… And off course jeopardizing the work of those in Uganda.

If I am wrong…maybe someone could enlighten me: How does buying a $250 kit, camping outside for one night, t-shirts and a bracelet, stop Kony, and get him arrested?

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