After many years of oppression and violence, war-torn Africa finally became free. Many revolutionary leaders felt that was the end of an era of colonial oppression, slavery and the disparity between race. That was their legacy, given to all Africa so that we could finally live in peace and be our own people. Many years have passed, and although most of Africa is still free from all forms of colonial rule, we have fallen slave to a new form of master- a form of mental ideology that has set us on a course that will ultimately lead to self-implosion.
After taking a tour across one great African country lately, sadness gripped my heart. The disparity has reached levels much deeper than just race- it has sunk its roots to even tribal affiliation and social class. The minds of the masses have been boxed in an ideological frameset that differentiates oneself within the community into a feeling of being comparatively inferior or superior. Oblivious to this crime that even the media seems to be fuelling, the people accept this path that can only lead to catastrophic results. Of course it is important for one to celebrate one’s uniqueness and ancestry but when it begins to imply that what is associated with self is better than another’s then it cannot be allowed to bud. What are these catastrophic results? And why should they be avoided? This disparity I talk of may lead to two things; xenophobic and racial violence within a community on a lighter scale, and on a much grander scale- civil war. Today, Sudan is as clear and stark an example as was Rwanda in the past. All of this starts with an idea, an idea that gradually leads to intolerance.
That was a popular mantra of the leaders of old. One such leader moaned for the unification of Africa into a consortium of sorts till he met his end. But then how can we unite as states when we are still divided within communities; when our youth are penitent of their identity as African and would rather live in bigotry of foreign language and culture. That is their utopia. Is there still hope for a culture and a history that dates back to as far back as Mankind’s first steps? Will there ever be a United States of Africa? I alone cannot answer that question, but maybe it is the remnant few who can, those who will not give up, but press on with the banners of Aluta Continua.
By Peter Zowa