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!

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

9 thoughts on “what do we expect of the African thinkers, intellectuals and leaders?

  1. Barry says:

    To do as Ogot suggests requires courage. I’m no sure that thinkers and intellectuals possess that in quantities any greater than the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jiminpanama says:

    Unfortunately the new Africa will have to conform to the current economic world and subject yourselves to “the man” or consign to live a different kind of miserable poverty. Unfortunately too, there is no where left to live in peace on your own terms

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  4. […] via what do we expect of the African thinkers, intellectuals and leaders? — Random thoughts […]

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