African liberation begins with decolonising the thoughts

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By Milton Allimadi

I consider Africa’s liberation from neo-colonial perspective begins with “Decolonising the Thoughts,” as Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o put it in his 1986 e-book of the identical title.

I launched a petition June 1, calling on Africans to reclaim our pure wonders. How can there be a “Lake Victoria” in Uganda and a “Victoria Falls” in Zimbabwe within the 21st Century?

A parallel marketing campaign, which is ongoing, have to be restoration of Africa’s artefacts now displayed on the earth’s main museums. These priceless gadgets may very well be housed in a future pan-African Museum in Addis Ababa, headquarters of the AU in Ethiopia.

International guests would flock there – to not London, Paris, or New York. A whole lot of tens of millions of {dollars} in web proceeds could be shared by African nations.

As I said in my petition: “The time is now because the world goes by revolutionary re-examination of previous injustices, oppression, demonisation, and exploitation following the brutal homicide of George Floyd, an unarmed African American, by a racist European American police officer Derek Chauvin, within the U.S.”

Africans can’t speak of pan-African unity with out reclaiming Africa’s previous. There’s no lake Samori Ture or Thomas Sankara in France. There’s no Mount Mandela, River Nehanda, or Lake Nkrumah in Britain.

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I’m pleased to see the motion to reclaim Africa spreading all through the continent, together with in Uganda.

Final 12 months, whereas visiting London I posted on Fb my picture in entrance of a river the natives name “Thames.” I renamed it “Gulu River,” after my ancestral metropolis.

A Kenyan tweeted the submit. It has since been retweeted hundreds of instances. The BBC carried a narrative beneath the headline “Ugandan ‘explorer’ renames London river.”

I used to be giving the British a title style of their very own drugs. Different Africans began posing in entrance of monuments and rivers all through Europe, renaming them after African icons. After the worldwide Covid-19 lockdowns finish, we should proceed these explorations and “discoveries.”

Europeans made no discoveries in Africa. They had been led by Africans to those landmarks they arrogantly renamed. They then circled and abused the Africans as I level out in my e-book The Hearts of Darkness How White Writers Created The Racist Picture of Africa (third version popping out quickly).

Samuel Baker, the virulently racist imperialist, wrote in Albert Nyanza, his 1866 e-book: “I want the Black sympathisers in England may see Africa’s inmost coronary heart as I do, a lot of their sympathy would subside… Human nature considered in its crude state as pictured amongst African savages is sort of on a degree with that of the brute, and to not be in contrast with the noble character of the canine…”

But immediately, there’s a secondary college named after Baker in Gulu, Uganda. Even in loss of life, Baker nonetheless mocks so-called “natives.”

These are some African legends deserving the honorific given to Victoria: Nkrumah, Mandela, Nyerere, Lumumba, Sankara, Machel, Biko, Kaunda, Winnie, Nehanda, Yaa Asantewaa, Nzingah, and others.

Courageous basic, Nehanda, was an anti-colonial resistance chief executed in 1898, on the age of 58 by the British in Zimbabwe. She was beheaded and her cranium shipped off to England the place it stays.

Nehanda’s legacy impressed the Zimbabwe liberation wrestle led by Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo. Her identify ought to substitute Victoria’s on the spectacular falls.

In the USA, statues of enslavers, together with as soon as revered Christopher Columbus, are coming down; in Britain, slave grasp Edward Colston’s statue fell. In Belgium, the statue of King Leopold who presided over a genocidal regime in Congo, fell.

The ball is in Africa’s court docket.

Paraphrasing and adapting Nkrumah’s assertion: Search Ye First Psychological liberation, then all else, together with financial and political empowerment, shall be added.
Africans come up!

Mr Allimadi is adjunct professor of African Historical past at John Jay Faculty
mallimadi@gmail.com

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