Governance - Politics

Born Free? : Story Of An African Child In The Post-Colonial Epoch

Natasha wakes up in the morning, years after finishing university, and instead of preparing to go to work, she is up to make breakfast for her father, who is a civil servant. She tries to switch on the stove and remembers that there’s Stage 4 load shedding, then resorts to a gas stove, which her father sacrificed from his little salary. The day proceeds, and Natasha is online trying to look for opportunities, but instead, social media is flooded with stories of government officials corruption that law enforcement has ignored. In the late afternoon, she switches on the TV. It is newstime, and the government is celebrating and sharing the successes of the liberation struggle and accusing the opposition of selling out to the imperialists. The circle continues for years until Natasha finally gets a passport and a visa to leave the African continent. She is now living in first-world countries, gets a well-paying job, and later realises how education can change a life, seeing beautiful infrastructure, good public services, and a valuable currency. She starts mimicking the white culture, loses the African pride, and sees no need to go back and settle in Africa. She works hard to further develop an already-developed country.

The story of Natasha encapsulates the scourges of African society. Years after independence, there’s been no material change in the social, economic, and political fabric of most of black society. The black child lives in a continent of poverty, a continent of inhumanity, a continent of corruption and suppression, a continent without doctors, a continent without engineers, but a continent that produces all that it lacks. Young people like Natasha are all over the world working for whites, not because of their liking but because, back home, nothing is working. The white imperialists built their countries on the backs of slaves using the raw materials and minerals of Africa during colonialism, but in return, Africa is trapped with debts from the IMF and the World Bank.

Colonialism is the foundational cause of the problems that Natasha is currently facing, but is it the only one?

Colonialism, which subjugated the people of Africa under white minority rule, ended in the 1900s. But it produced a pratical and theoritical conception defined by Nkwame Nkrumah as neocolonialism: political freedom with economic dependancy that robbed humanity of identity, meaning, and substance. Corruption, incompetence, lawlessness, underdevelopment, and inferiority complexes define Africa. The politics are not working, the economies are struggling, and the African child is frustrated. The frustration comes from the hardships of transitioning from childhood to adulthood and remaining stuck in waithood, where they are waiting for everything—jobs, development, water, harmony, better infrastructure, and opportunities that seem not to come.

Where should Africa move?

African Pride

Black is equally as good as white. Why should Africans grovel at the feet of the East or the West? Why should we have to define our policies, politics, and being in the sense of the Cold War, socialism, or capitalism? We should be bold enough to think for ourselves and be cognizant of the nature and different strata of our society, which are distinct from white societies. Why should we lose our guard, compromise our beliefs, and be forced to mimic white society to get financial aid? We should embrace ourselves, create our own systems, preserve, and effectively use our subsoil.

Decolonization of Systems

Steve Biko defined the vector of interference as “the most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor: the mind of the oppressed”. Africa must dismantle the education systems inherited from colonialism. They advance neocolonialism. At the centre is distorted history, which fosters an inferiority complex and the embrace of everything white. An education system that does not encourage and enhance producing, supplying, inventing, and innovating is retrogressive. The African systems were built by colonists to cater to the needs of their time—to exploit and export to white metropolises. The economic systems of capitalism inherited by black nationalists must be destroyed and replaced with new systems and structures that align with our ideologies.

Economic Intergration

African countries should not compete against each other; monetary and fiscal policies must be coordinated throughout the continent. Africans should not require a visa to visit or do business in other African countries, and all policies that make trading difficult between two African countries must be removed.

Reparations Advocacy

Germany is still paying for crimes committed by Nazis against the Jews under Hiltler during the Holocaust (1941–1945), which was a crime against humanity. For more than 400 years, Africa was dominated by the slave trade and colonialism. The slave trade is the greatest practical evil that has ever afflicted the human race, said Enoch Kavindele, former Vice President of Zambia. For Africa to develop against the background of slave trade and colonialism, the colonists must, in a material sense, repatriate the African continent. Reparations may also come in the form of debt relief and debt concessionality.

Land

Land was the central critical issue of liberation struggles in Africa. African countries should take back the land without compensation. African states should own and control the means of production, understanding that man is the most precious asset.

United States of Africa

Africa must move towards the denationalisation of state sovereignty. The young people of Africa should implement and realise the importance of uniting Africa. 3.1 trillion U.S. dollars is the estimated value of goods and services (gross domestic product) produced in 2023 in Africa. Russia, the USA, and China in 2023 had GDP estimates of $4.1 trillion, $26.8 trillion, and $19.3 trillion, respectively. This clearly shows that, for Africans to be respected and taken seriously by the East or West, we should unite and compete economically to produce political power to make decisions. Africans should be able to work together regardless of political affiliation, age, gender, or tribe.

Dear comrades, the young people of Africa should locate themselves in the Fanonian Dictum. “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” What is the current generation going to tell their children and the next generation? Are we going to tell them and be stuck in liberation struggles that created a disconnect between the black citizens of Africa and those clinging on to power? Isn’t it wise and comforting to tell them that the current generation fought for African unity to bring economic freedom into our lifetime? which I believe is our generational mission and existential mandate.

In a quest to educate the masses of Africa, writes:

MM

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