The Brutal Rape of Africa

 

Seeing that Africa was young and endowed with treasures,

There came many kings seeking to lure her and dominate her.

And Africa, much to their disappointment rejected all of them,

But the kings went and took counsel how they might put down Africa.

Behold, with deceitful pretenses, they seized Africa and raped her –

 

The king of the tribe of the British,

The king of the tribe the Dutch,

The king of the tribe of the Spanish,

The king of the tribe of the French,

And the king of the tribe of the Belgians –

 

Each king holding each limb, they took turns and raped Africa.

And in those days Africa was barely a teen.

She lay on the ground in pain and agony.

Her blood flowed through the gold mines of South Africa and the Gold Coast,

Through the diamond and copper mines of Sierra Leone and the Congo,

 

Through the rubber plantations of Liberia,

And finally through the uranium mines of the Niger.

Vagabonds, did Africa produce as offsprings.

And I saw an old queen wearing a gold crown stolen from none but Africa.

Suddenly there came a loud voice from Abyssinia saying:

 

‘We shall wipe her tears and we shall restore Africa to her people.’

And after the voice, I saw Africa anew, adorned as a bride

For her groom – for her people.

The old Africa is long gone – this is a new Africa!

And I saw her people embrace her – and there was no more war nor strife nor

Disease nor ignorance nor even revenge in her heart.

 

 

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On Guantanamo Bay Transfers

Beloved readers, I will briefly interrupt my holidaying. Over these few weeks, there has been heated arguments on local radio, over Ghana’s acceptance to host two Yemeni ex-Guantanamo bay detainees. They were said to have been held without trial for 12 years by the U.S. and now have been released and subsequently posted to Ghana for whatever goddamn reason I don’t know. Pastors, Evangelists and religious people in general, collectively calling themselves ‘The Christian Council’ have raised a serious opposition to it. Some have gone to the extent of filing a suit against the president, calling him an idiot.

Isn’t the job of the so called ‘Christian Council’ that of preparing people to go to heaven? How does that translate into international relations or politics. Many of this Hollywood-styled greedy bastards calling themselves preachers and whatnots are worse than ex convicts. In fact they are robbers. Many of them continue to live in multi-storey luxury apartments and ride in 4WD luxury cars while their poor congregants continue to attend church on foot or commute by some ‘boneshaker’ public bus. They are already in heaven and their congregants are in hell. I understand in Europe and America, religious influence  is declining. Here, it is at its apex.

Their actions appear to have arisen from humanitarian concerns but it’s definitely a sham. Supposing these ex suspects were Christians, do you think they will be this aggressive in their opposition? Their actions no doubt have religious underpinnings. They are not just opposed to Ghana hosting ex suspects, they are opposed to Islam. And wherever there are strong religious sentiments, there is divisiveness. Which is why I think that religion should be completely separated from politics. But in Africa it will be difficult because the clergy enjoy many unjustified privileges and have special influence on national policies. Want to know why? Because during elections, they receive ‘donations’ and in turn do PR for their preferred candidates. Some even go as far as implying which politician the congregants should vote for.

There are also  civil society players and activists who question Ghana’s sovereignty as a state, since we seem to be only joiners. We subscribe to any stupid treaty, accept any useless policy and have agreed to share in United State’s guilt for violating the fundamental human rights of the Yemeni suspects. The question I want to ask is this: ‘Is there a truly sovereign state in Sub Saharan Africa?’ Sadly, no! It appears each West African nation is still under the control of its former colonial master. Kwame Nkrumah called it Neocolonialism. When 90% of a country’s national developmental budget depends on foreign donors, then that country should know that it is trading its sovereignty for loans.

Crimes Against Humanity

 “The Hole of Humanity” by John Hemmen

 

 

 

 

 

Sharpville

Sharpville, South Africa

On the 21st of March 1960, 69 black South Africans were shot dead in Sharpville, a town in the then Transvaal in South Africa, for staging a peaceful protest against the apartheid government. No one has been brought to justice. The recent xenophobic attacks by South Africans is a sign that, in South Africa, many wounds have failed to heal. When a white man attacks a black man, a lot of noise is made about racism but now blacks are attacking fellow blacks. What a shame!

 

 

Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba

In January 1961, Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo was brutally murdered. His murderers are still keeping certain bony portions of his body as a trophy. No one has been brought to justice. It was rumoured that at the time, United Nations could and should have saved his life but it buried its head in the sand as an ostrich does. Apparently, Lumumba had been labelled by the imperialist Belgian government as a first-rate communist.

 

 

Photo by Reuters

Photo from Reuters.com

On the 15 January 2009, the nation of Israel admitted firing phosphorus bombs on several residential areas across the Gaza, including schools housing innocent children. No one has been brought to justice. The office of the chief prosecutor argues that the Palestinian government has not subscribed to the jurisdiction of ICC and therefore war crimes committed on their soil is not within the legal reach of the ICC. The only way is to apply to become a member. It is possible that war crimes may have been committed by both parties but Israel is not a signatory to ICC.

 

 

 

Photo from dailymail.co.uk

On March 19th, 2003, a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein. Iraq was, until the invasion, a relatively peaceful country. Thousands, perhaps millions have died. Now there is a blood thirsty hydra-headed creature called IS. And many do not know that this creature was conceived the day Iraq was invaded. No one has been brought to justice.

 

 

ThomasSankara

Thomas Sankara

On October 15, 1987, Thomas Sankara, the then head of state of Burkina Faso, who was very much liked by the people, was killed by an armed group with twelve other officials in a coup d’état organised by his former friend Blaise Compaoré. They were backed by the French and I assume we all know well the negative effects of French policies in West Africa. No one has since been brought to justice.

 

 

Photo by hullwebs.co.uk

Photo from hullwebs.co.uk

In August 1833, two Portuguese ships heading to England, namely “Santa Maria” and “La Guardia,” carrying about three thousand slaves in all, after learning that slave trade and slavery had been abolished in The British Empire hatched a plan to dispose of the slaves. From fear of been prosecuted and fined, up to three-fourth of the slaves were hurled into the sea, most of them with chains on. No one has been brought to justice.

The Holocaust, the Bosnian genocide, the “Armenian genocide,” the Rwandan genocide and the mass killing of the members of the Pygmy tribe during the Congolese civil wars are only a few cases in hundreds. Some of these incidences happened a long time ago but the pain cannot just disappear. I think in cases where prosecution is not possible, a formal apology to the descendants of victims will do.

Lastly, some Africans criticize the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecuting only African leaders (referring specifically to the clamouring by ICC for Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan) and other offenders because many crimes committed outside of Africa are been ignored.

I think the misunderstanding here has to do with the requirements of international law and not natural law. Many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom(?) etc, although they have been members of ICC, they may not have actually ratified (signed and approved) their membership. Hence prosecution cannot occur as regards citizens of those countries. An appeal can only be made by victims to the supreme courts of those respective countries.

 

Conflicts, Moral Judgments and The African Situation

As long as men need food, wine and women there will always be wars. Since ancient times, bloody wars are always fought to eliminate the children of the devil and save the children of god and as I said earlier, these wars are fought by men – men with flesh and blood, not gods. The genocides that rocked the African continent in the past are well known throughout the world – that of the Hutus and the Tutsis of Rwanda, the two Sudans, the Ivorian and Kenyan electoral massacres, the Congo, Somalia and many others, you name them. International news agencies, like hungry vultures, are always scavenging for something about Africa – something horrific that they can publish to console themselves that they are better off.

This destruction of the African image has an intellectual start point. It begun with writers such as Lord F.W.D. Lugard, Joseph Conrad and many others who in their books and sermons implied that the African was merely an animal. But thanks to Darwin, at least we know now, that we all share a common ancestor. Never has any African made a big show of taking human life with the sole aim of sending a message to those he considers his enemies. Africans in the past have fought for economic and political reasons, but never for religious reasons (W. Soyinka, 2006). Indeed, in as much as I would like to avoid Africa’s colonial past, there is a story which I wish to narrate to illustrate my point. It is a story of how the purported animals fought alongside the gods and in the end realised that their colonial masters are not gods at all. And that they are capable of sustaining fractures should they be punched in the rib or chest or even on the nose.

During the Second World War many brave African soldiers voluntarily enrolled in the British army. The English-speaking African colonies automatically became British allies. The African soldiers were also promised better wages, benefits and general improvement in living conditions. This encouraged them and alas! As the bombs flew in – whew! BOOM! Black men fought ferociously alongside white men, if not to the astonishment of the whites. Flesh and bones of black and white alike were scattered everywhere on the battle field and in the end the enemy forces were driven back. This was how we came to know that the colonial masters were not gods at all and that was the beginning of the demand for equality, justice and self-governance. Lord Lugard himself admitted in his book, that, he (the African) is not naturally cruel but has the courage of the fighting animal.

But after the war, the promises were not honored and this led to riots and the subsequent shooting and killing of three Black army officers. This happened in I think 1949, but let’s not dwell too much on race and the African past. The big question is: why is Africa the way it is today and what is the way forward. By all means our leaders have failed us. I cannot blame the woes of Africa on any individual, nation or international organization but the lame leaders, whom we the people have ignorantly elected. These politicians always expect to be spoon-fed by IMF and World Bank.

I am convinced that the political process cannot produce any remarkable leader. Most African politicians lack a clear vision and their philosophy is that of Carpe Diem. In other words, enjoy the moment. Individuals can enjoy the moment but communities and nations have perpetual existence and therefore they cannot settle solely for the enjoyment of the moment. African leaders sign long-term loan agreements without taking interest rates into consideration. Many do not thoroughly read the contracts themselves. And then many years later, the poor peasant and market woman is made to labour hard and pay back those loans in the form of taxes. Until we begin to elect businessmen as leaders, we will continue to suffer.

A few weeks ago there were reports that Ebola patients in Sierra Leone or rather Liberia, I cannot recall correctly, have been forcefully freed by their relatives. I am sure many westerners will yawn again and say “O, these Africans, what the hell is going on with them? Don’t they want to be cured? Well let me tell you something my friend. The fact that people are sick and possibly going die doesn’t mean they must be held hostage and treated like a herd of cattle. I am not at all defending the irrational behavior of those relatives but humans as we are, we are social beings and an irrational or unreasonable policy along one arc of the circle of life produces an equally irrational response at the opposite end. Yes, people suffering from any deadly disease must be quarantined but under humane conditions until the last day of their breath.

International news stories are just summaries – black and white, you never get to know about the grey areas. It is possible that these patients were simply barricaded in a corner somewhere, waiting to die. If my parents or spouse or a close friend had been put in a confinement, without any further explanation as to what the next line of action is, and on top that, many of those confined continue to die day in day out. Did you think the right thing to do is just sit there and support your chin with palms? It was a case of helplessness. Doctors and medical practitioners can sometimes be stingy with information. And where there is scanty information assumptions rule.

Africa has not always been treated fairly. If five people die of HIV, Cholera or Ebola, the researchers simply extrapolate and conclude that thousands will die in the next two or five years. They don’t even have the courtesy to prefix their figures with the word “approximately”. Very funny statistics and research findings you know. When I was in high school thereabout, there were reports in the international media, of HIV infections that implied (considering the statistics they provided) that the disease will wipe out entire generations of Africans in the next decade or so. Are we dead? At that time we were all asked to wear condoms even if we had no intention of having sex and I was a celibate then (honestly) – saving myself for that special person.

You will be shocked to know that only few people were accurately diagnosed because back then, there were no reliable tests for the disease – the kit available tested only for high levels of antibodies in the patient’s bloodstream which they thought was indicative of HIV. One tested positive if one had large antibodies count, which could also be as a result of prolonged malaria which many mistook to be HIV; until a more reliable testing method was invented many years later. It is possible to go through all the meticulous scientific processes and at the end, still make a mistake. Mankind is a spiritual being.

The fact remains though, that, Africa has been used and desolated by all humanity. But should we Africans break down in tears? I say no. We cannot blame history, we cannot blame evolution. Why I am saying all this? It is because Africans, as retarded and uncivilized as we are branded, we cannot, “tufia kwa!”, – even the least educated or evolved African cannot behead another human in such a crude manner and afterwards, make a big show of it. I am obviously not an American but a murderer in one corner of the world is a murderer everywhere.

And they stopped their ears and ran upon him with one accord and cast him out of the city and stoned him: And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

                                                                                                         – RIP James Foley.

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The stoning of Stephen in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”