Currently, the news about Africans going to Europe–just like explorers, missionaries and other colonial agents did–seems to have faded away. However, Africa has always been on the spotlight as far as its colonial past and current neocolonialism is concerned. Some African leaders recently congregated in London to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Today, I interrogate the rationale of prolonging colonial legacy over five decades down the line. Does, truly need to keep on being referred to as a British commonwealth while it says it is independent? What are the benefits of such a colonial gathering that has failed even to coerce its former colonisers and tortures to issue an apology and redress Africa for the ills and thuggery it committed during colonial era? What is the rationale that this body has if at all its victims resulting from slave trade to colonialism have never become aware of they truly are? Do African rulers need to kowtow before the queen really?
I know; the status quo will feel offended; thus will defend such a sheepish membership that isn’t only colonial but traumatic. Some’ll say that the members of commonwealth enjoy good ties with their former mother, the British. Do they really need such ties or justice? For example, despite meeting with her majesty, African leaders did not address the issue of economic immigrants from Africa as they are referred. So, too, the members did not ask the logic for Britain to bless monarch while it killed the same in Africa. I’d argue that Africans going to Europe seeking greener pastures are modern time missionaries. This is because when white missionaries and other colonial came to Africa were welcomed and treated humanely though in the end they reciprocated by colonising Africa.
Ironically, the same Africans back home in this post-colonial era, still remember and treasure names of thieves such as Livingstone, Mungo Park, Henry Morton Stanley, Carl Peters and others not to mention honouring and keeping their statues and other stinking and traumatising memorabilia and paraphernalia. What does this blindness mean, if it is not self-denial and colonial mentality? I don’t think there are any statues of African heroes and heroines especially those who fought vigorously against colonial imposition in Africa and Europe. I know of the one of Nelson Mandela’s. If there is another one, I’d like to know about it so as to compare with the number of Europeans’ ones Africa is pregnant with.
Despite by vicariously presiding over colonialism and slavery, ironically and sadly, the queen of England still has many streets named after her almost in all former British colonies otherwise known as commonwealth. Even the term commonwealth is colonial for African countries so to speak. As if keeping colonial debris is not enough, when the same Africans keeping such debris want to get out of Africa are subjected to many questions and conditions in order to secure the visas of western countries while the westerners come and enter our countries as pleased. Some of our brothers and sisters make a goof by believing that keeping colonial debris will attract tourists who will leave a lot of dollars back. Is keeping colonial debris only viable and respectable project that such people can see while they have a lot of natural resources? Isn’t this double standard and neocolonialism apart from willful self-enslavement? Isn’t this self-entrapment in the past? The situation is very worse for Africans. Had there been any gist of reality and equality, the Africans going to western countries would be treated the same way the westerners are treated when coming or entering Africa. The ideal example comes from the action of one British MP, Dr. Paul William (Stockton South) who wanted to know if his was ready to use he the CHOGM to give a message to Uganda’s President Museveni leave office after clinging for over 32 years so as to become what the MP called a barrier to the prosperity of Uganda. Although what Dr. Williams said is true, had it not colonial mentality and double standard the same would have been delivered to the queen who has been in power much longer than Museveni.
To hit back Museveni’s Senior Press Secretary Don Wanyama responded saying that “the UK MP still possesses a colonial mentality where he thinks the western metropolis should determine what happens in Africa” without underscoring why Museveni went there to degrade himself.
Ugh! When I remember how Africa went bananas at the time many countries acquired their independence, which is dependent independence, I feel disheartened after evidencing all these banana republics that Africa has now. What we’ve achieved is less compared to what we’re robbed. Isn’t it the right time that Africa has reached waterloo even Marengo for recycled rulers? Despite being a bumbling goon, former Gambian strongman, Yahya Jammeh, at least, tried to decolonise his country by pulling it out of the commonwealth. As a deconstructionist and decolonialist I feel traumatised and belittled when I see our rulers, like students before the headmistress, kowtowing and lining up to great her majesty as the symbol of their servitude. For how long will Africa keep such colonial carryovers for its peril?
Source: Citizen 25, April, 2018.