Over the past few years, I have read about the many travails and few triumphs of the leaders of the African Liberation struggles: Nelson Mandela and the South African team, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Felix Moumie, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikwe, Obafemi Awolowo, etc.
I’ve got many more to read about. However, they all have something in common other than being of African descent: they moved for liberation in the 1950s/60s. Most killed were killed in the 1960s. Mandela and co were jailed for life in the 1960s. It gave me a different perspective: our fathers, who we claim did not try, were cowered in the 1960s.
Janvier Chando has written a few books about assassinations of African pro-independence activists. He writes about how Cameroon has had only 2 leaders since independence, and neither was the will of the people. Furthermore, Ahmed Sekou Toure was the only lone to successfully defy France. We see the proof in the currency of the country, the Guinean Franc, as against the uniform CFAs which the other Francophone countries spend.
The assassination of Patrice Lumumba of Belgian Congo (now DRC) was so ringing that a Russian University was named after him. He was killed in 1971, 7 months after independence. Other reports say that General Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria took part in the UN’s peacekeeping efforts in DRC in the 1960s. Yet the UN is still trying to keep peace in the same country 60 years after.
Where is exactly is the problem?
The youths of several African nations are angry and likely confused. Could it be a coincidence that notable historical events of our nations are not taught in school? Could it be a purposive effort to keep the future oblivious of the past?
My study continues.
Nelson Mandela wrote that he never despised the black Policemen who were used against the African National Congress because they simply did not understand the visions of the agitators, nor could they see the brightness of the future the agitators desired.
“There is that great proverb that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter” — Chinua Achebe.
Would you suggest a book?