By Sphelele Khumalo
Post direct colonisation in Africa many still live under inhumane conditions where life seems almost impossible. Native Africans are still subjected to the same conditions they faced during the colonial era. Like the squatter camps filled with millions in Khayelitsha who are drowning in poverty in the heart of a City of Cape Town where the demarcation line continues to be clearly outlined and sharpened. Or the Congolese people who are bombed on a daily basis to ensure the looting of its great wealth by Western powers. The list is endless and one may assert that African poverty is manmade.
One may think Africa is the land of sorrow, the land of darkness, hopelessness and endless cries going in vain. As Kwame Nkrumah asserts in a speech delivered in a congress of African Freedom Fighters, “Africa is far from being poor, it is Africans who are poor, not Africa”. As an African, one has to question why we are drowning in continuous poverty in a continent blossoming with wealth and the gift of natural resources? It’s basic knowledge that Africa is being looted and used to enriched, sustain and develop Western countries.
Endlessly, Africans are continuously losing their lives on boats in the heart of the seas as they seek refuge by taking dangerous deadly trips to America and Europe. And one wonders why has Africa allowed its oppressor to be seen as a potential liberator?
Africans are slaves all over the world even today. But initially slavery was involuntary. Slavery that comes in a ‘United States green card form’ is the one that Africans choose when one loses touch with reality on why they are where they are, what’s the cause and who is to free Africa. “Black child you are on your own” are words from Dr Barney Pityana who clarifies that there can be no other liberator for Africa than the oppressed themselves. The American dream is lived at the expense of native Africans exploited of their resources by the Western imperialist forces. What economists may term as ‘opportunity cost’.
All black people across the globe remain 2nd class citizens, slaves and servants to a white community of colonials. No black person is exempted. The continuous perpetuation of oppression entrenched to black people around the world shows directly how the white system operates. The aim is to exclude, subjugate, assimilate, divide and oppress. Nobody is yet to see a good reason for whites being in Africa, whites came as colonialist settlers and they continue to live into their reputation.
Seeking refuge in America or Europe does not give freedom to a black person, it legitimates their enslavement and further ensures that one takes assimilation into the Western community as a ‘warm welcome’. The struggle for decolonization and total liberation for Africa cannot co-exist with the desire for the American dream in one’s mind. It’s either total freedom at home or limited freedom in the land of your oppressor.
Frantz Fanon teaches in Black Skin White Masks on the “The Negro and Language”:
“To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture. The Antilles Negro who wants to be white will be the whiter as he gains greater mastery of the cultural tool that language is. Rather more than a year ago in Lyon, I remember, in a lecture I had drawn a parallel between Negro and European poetry, and a French acquaintance told me enthusiastically, ‘At bottom you are a white man.’ The fact that I had been able to investigate so interesting a problem through the white man’s language gave me honorary citizenship.”
Coloniality remains in the minds of those who have been colonised just as much as it remains in the states previously colonised even post declaration of the fallacious ‘democratic freedom’. Africa is hungry for her children who will declare a fight against colonisation of Africa, a strong fearless war against neo-colonial and imperial project in her land.
Vladimir Lenin’s question, “what is to be done?” is still of paramount importance. It is still relevant today in an African generation filled with arrogance and inconsistency. A generation filled with scholars endlessly analysing problems in Africa yet repudiating that the solution is the decolonisation of Africa. Decolonisation through taking back the land. The question is to you: which dream do you choose to live? An America dream built from the cries of African people or a dream of a decolonised Africa with total emancipation for all Africans? Lastly, what are you doing to achieve your dream? Answers are to be seen in your actions!