what do we expect of the African thinkers, intellectuals and leaders?

Bethwell Ogot, in Who, if anyone, owns the past? writes

African scholars, thinkers and leaders have a moral responsibility, therefore to create a New Africa, an Africa they want and that they have to decide to help shape. Such a new Africa will have to exist in the minds of all its inhabitants and become part of their every day life-a life that is full, vital, open and in which dialogue, co-existence, and mutual aid are taken for granted.

The collective identity of this New Africa in the making which will include peoples with different cultures, languages and histories, will be found in a shared set of values: the primacy of individual human rights, democracy, a balance between freedom and solidarity and between efficiency and equity, as well as openness to the world.

The new Africa must recognize the complementarity between its values, and the knowledge and understanding of the values of others.

Most African intellectuals have helped prop up dictatorships. They serve in the cabinets. They see no evil and say no evil. They contribute no thought in knowledge acquisition or development. They have PhDs but just for show or to get to the positions from where they can stifle thought.

The other group of intellectuals and scholars lock themselves comfortably in the academy earning meager salaries and because of fear of their employer, they see no evil. They, too, are no different from their partners who get into government and become one with the oppressive state.

I find it beyond belief in the face of human rights abuses by the state in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, scholars and intellectuals cannot find a single voice to condemn it. The academy has not issued a statement condemning state brutality at University of Nairobi or at Daystar or any other university for that matter? What role models are you? Are you cowards? Are you so fearful of university admins or the government that you can’t issue a statement in defense of your charges? You are a disappointment. You should all feel ashamed.

For the few independent scholars, Keguro, I can see you, thank you for asking the questions you do. For expanding the fields of thought in how we are showing care.

While I am no scholar, I find the attitude of the African populace towards their suffering sometimes perplexing. Are we so afraid of our oppressors to stand up to them? To mock them in our poetry? To show them our displeasure as a people and demand for better? Did the Christianization and Islamizations projects leave us as submissive and subservient to authority no matter who represents it, whether a god or a leader who claims to be from god?

Rise Africa and claim your humanity and dignity. Make the despots afraid, send them away, but save lives, if you must employ violence. But chase them away. They have caused enough misery already. They are the reasons our brothers and sisters die in the Med trying to get to Europe to be anything except poor and dirty African in Africa!

Many Africans, especially those brainwashed in the Abrahamic religions think Israel favourably as the holy[sic] land. These same people are blind to the injustices Africans suffer in that country or to the forced deportations. Fools all of you!

Advertisements

what are we to do

still from Who, if anyone, owns the past? the author writes, and I think this relevant almost everywhere, but especially in our current political stalemate between a rogue and theiving government and a desire for representative government

[..]Very little change is to be expected from those who are comfortably settled in life, sure of their position, satisfied with their lot, who continue to regard only their neighbours as their fellows, and live without querying anything and without asking anew every day the essential questions. Personal commitment and a willingness to make an effort and even sacrifice on behalf of a cause are not the result of material satisfaction but of spiritual aspirations. Something to live for and not on. Without human tension, there is no change. Without passion or compassion there will not be sufficient steadfastness in rebellion.

Those formerly committed to change become docile, the reformers of yesterday get co-opted into the Establishment and the ‘civil conspirators’ accept ‘things as they are’, giving up the attempts to make them ‘as they ought to be’.

In order to strengthen genuine democracy, reduce disparities and ensure that civil society takes on the responsibility that only it can assume, there is historically, only one path to follow; the defense of values and ideals that are regarded as crucial to human dignity.

And what do we, young people of Africa need?

We need role models who will show us the value of hard work, resourcefulness, integrity, and commitment. [..]the masses in Africa are fed up with the ruling vampire elites who make vain promises to seek election, but once elected, break their promises and become more preoccupied with the frenzied plunder of the state treasury.

who owns the past?

Is the title of my current read.

The author, in writing on why history of Africa and the relationship with the developed world is presented in the manner it is, notes

[….]I attribute the want of proper acknowledgement to a collective desire- conscious and unconscious- to conceal a very shameful and horrific past. To acknowledge the past would necessarily be to acknowledge the present, and the developed world is largely incapable of that. To acknowledge culpability in the historical and contemporary abuse of Africa and its peoples would force a revision of all righteous claims of European civilizing mission, modernity, enlightenment and white moral supremacy. Notions of aid and development would have to be re-framed as acts of reparation and restitution for the plunder of gold, uranium, diamonds, cocoa, rubber, coffee, copper and people. And so the dark secrets of empires must be repressed, and in that way, control the past.

 

Dear white people

Here, is me keeping the promise I made to get to you.

Many of you are well meaning and donate money for aid agencies in Africa but do you ever ask about the trade wars that your nations fight against Africa and other least developed countries?

Do you question, for example, the dalliance your governments have with despots as long as business of extraction is good? The masses can starve as long as multinationals make money.

Many of your countries talk about liberalisation of markets and free market while, for example, the USA built its economy through protectionist policies and subsidies that continue to date.

I keep reading comments by people who say by colonizing Africa, Europe brought civilization to Africa. What civilization if I may? 

Britain built its economy on the back of her colonies from Africa and India .

We, the youth of the present generation should be better informed and work towards a better world by fighting imperialism in all its expressions. Fight racism. Fight the military complexes. Fight overt surveillance in the name of security and fight against terror. Let’s work towards a peaceful future for all of us where each nation or nation state depending on how you see it have a right to self determination. People have agency and they know what is best for them.

You may not want to use the Madaraka Express

Most non Kenyans will not understand what Madaraka Express is, but don’t worry. You will not be confused for long.

But before we set on this story, we start with this and no I was not in New York

Last week I was among the unfortunate travelers on Kenya’s train service to Mombasa. For those of you wondering if train service has just arrived in Kenya several years after the industrial revolution would be asking the wrong question. We had a train service that the good government ate. You may not know of such things if you don’t live in Africa, but here, governments not only eat her citizens, they eat everything else that supports the citizens. I guess you now know Madaraka Express is a train service. But you don’t know why it is called Madaraka. That’s a story for another day or as everyone says google search.

First, the station in Nairobi leaves you very confused. It is a mismatch of Dubai metro stations and Chinese ones where they leave only basics in place like staircase so you are able to access the higher levels but no more. No thought was applied whatsoever in the design of the waiting lounges. They are worse than hospital lounges. Did the architects think that maybe, just maybe, travelers may want to buy a snack or as they wait for their train? And why for fucks sake have first class lounge that is worse than a toilet lobby?

The intermediate stops between Nairobi and Miritini terminus are all architectural oddities. I would want to meet the architects involved and have a chat with them. Maybe they designed all of them while under the influence of adulterated cheap liquor.

The Mombasa Terminal is one of the architectural oddities I have come across. Does not fit within its context. It is an eyesore and not passenger friendly. If you thought access to Mombasa Int’l Airport is bad, you have not been to the train station. One gets the feeling the aim of the government is to get you to Miritini and leave you there. How you leave that ugly terminal will be addressed in the future.

And as has become the norm in the country, especially urban areas, they have guards who verify your documents at the lift but none at the escalator. One wonders why are people made to do such useless work? The work is especially useless, because to get into the building, you go through a metal scanner, a dog scanner and a human scanner who for whatever reason thinks the machine was defective. Then you still have someone check your ticket as you get into the building.

The restaurant in the train or lack of restaurant is another hopeless feature of the service. Those serving snacks in the coaches are so slow you risk arriving in Nairobi or Mombasa five hours later before you are served.

It is my considered opinion that the train service was not ready to go live in June and they are yet to figure how to run an efficient train service. In all honesty, it is tiring.

If you are a visitor to Kenya and don’t mind the poor access because that’s what you expect from Africa, you can take the train. You will go through the park without paying the requisite park fees and maybe lucky to see a few game and maybe even an elephant.

Resist

Well, that is all we are doing at the moment.

America, sending thoughts and prayers will not solve your gun problems. Demilitarize. Make education and healthcare affordable. Bring down your prisons. Stop the war on drugs, war on terror and whatever war it is tRump maybe thinking of starting. Instead, decriminalize drugs, build rehabilitation centres for addicts.

Your war on terror is stupid. You kill each other because of stupid gun laws. Your army is busy killing people elsewhere in the name of making America safe. Maybe, what the world needs is common sense at the top. Not tRumps, Zumas, Dutertes or our clowns.

Keep well everyone. I will visit your blogs soon. Just a little caught up with resisting but I am ok.

Cheers