Magufulification: Concept That Will Define Africa's Future and the Man Who Makes Things Happen

Magufulification: Concept That Will Define Africa's Future and the Man Who Makes Things Happen

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Neo-aid colonialism Gandhi and Malawi


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          There’s a heavy storm battling Malawi currently revolving around what this column calls neo-aid colonialism. Malawi recently announced that it is going to erect a memorial statue for India’s first Prime Minister, Mohandas Gandhi aka Mahatma which I’d not like to call him due to not qualifying for such a title.  I call this neo-aid colonialism because the said statue is irrelevant to Malawians. By consenting to naming one of the roads in the capital named after Gandhi and erecting the statue, Malawi would get a US$10 million convention centre in Blantyre. It seems Malawi just like any African country to have had one too many so as not to see the shame of the gift so offered.
            Before delving into the matter, let us ask ourselves if such aid is important to Malawi. Whether it is or not Malawians can accurately tell us. The “Gandhi Must Fall” group that is soliciting signature to stop this ironic move was recently quoted by the Daily Nation (October 13, 2018) as saying that “Mahatma Gandhi has never contributed anything to Malawi’s struggle for independence and freedom.”
            Now let us see if Gandhi is relevant, especially for Africa. For those who know the history of Gandhi will agree with us that he was torpedoed by Africa after failing to secure a living in India as a lawyer. He thus had to move to South Africa where his activism was born and nurtured before returning back to India to participate in the liberation. Despite being created, mentored and supported by South Africa, he had this to say about South Africans the change.org (n.d ) quotes Gandhi as saying that “Indians are hardworking people, they should not be required to carry these things. But, black people are kaffirs, losers and they are lazy, yes, they can carry their passport but why should we do that? I think Gandhi’s xenophobia can be underlined in the last phrase that it was not fair to put Indians and Africans in the same class.  Ironically, this has been ongoing in post Africa due to the lack of interrogating whatever they come across.
            The Washington Post (Sept., 3, 2015) quotes Gandhi as saying that “we were marched off to a prison intended for Kaffirs. There, our garments were stamped with the letter “N”, which meant that we were being classed with the Natives. We were all prepared for hardships, but not quite for this experience. We could understand not being classed with the whites, but to be placed on the same level with the Natives seemed too much to put up with.” This proves that Gandhi didn’t do anything worthy for Malawi and Africa in general despite mentoring and nurturing him. In many of his writings, Gandhi used to refer to Africans as Kaffirs, the term apartheid used to use. This doesn't spare Gandhi from boers. They were all the same doing the same in the same bed.
            Prominent South Africa academician, Kuper, quotes Gandhi as saying that “they [Indian merchants and elites] frequently describe Africans as ‘simple’, ‘uneducated’ and ’without any real culture of their own.’” (p. 136). Does such a racist need to be iconised and immortalised in Africa really? On the same note, whenever I see places names after colonial agents, the Queen of England that colonised Tanzania or Bismarck  (Bismarck rock in Mwanza after the Germany Chancellor who convened the Berlin Conference 1884-1885 that divided and partition Africa so as to weaken it, occupy, colonise and exploit Africa resulting from the catch-22 situation Africa is wherein. Why don’t we call such iconic places after our heroes? How many roads are in India and elsewhere that are named after our true heroes and heroines? Who need a racist like Gandhi amidst his or her city to traumatise his or her people, especially the new generation? Is the aid that India extended to Malawi conditionally that it should brainwash, dupe and traumatise its people meaningful while it internalise dominance?
            It is ironic for the country led by a professor to behave in such a gullible way.  Malawians are not alone in refusing the erection of a racist figure. In Ghana, Al Jazeera (Sept., 21, 2016) reports that “academics, students and artists is calling for the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from a university campus, saying that the leader of India's independence movement was racist towards black people.”  Further, one senior lecturer Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua was quoted by the Al Jazeera above wondering that “how will the historian teach and explain that Gandhi was uncharitable in his attitude towards the Black race and see that we're glorifying him by erecting a statue on our campus?” when it comes to stinking racism, Ghandhi was not alone. Even to date, Indians still discriminate against African. Mwananchi (Feb., 14, 2016) quotes Dawson Kimenya who attended his tertiary education in India saying that racist Indians call Africans kalu or monkeys or absiii or chimps; and even the victims reported to the police, nothing was done to see how discrimination against Africa is endemic and systemic. Apart from this, Africans stranded in the Andaman Island are still used as tools for attracting tourists whereby Indians and others go there to view them the same tourists do to our animals. Ironically, despite this being known, no African leaders have ever asked why and what should be done especially if we remind ourselves that Indians British colonisers exported to Africa to help them exploit Africans have always treated fairly and humanely so as to become citizens in many African countries.
            In sum, considering evidence provided above, the readership can decide and judge if at all Gandhi and other colonial agents and dregs deserve a place amidst Africans. Essentially, Africa needs to be cagey of and about the aid it receives. For, some is nothing but the extension of colonialism.  Gandhi and other colonial leftovers must fall. Again, must Malawi wait and get the centre then turn tables on the donor? Maybe, this is why the govt doesn't want to open up.
Source: Citizen, today.

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