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Reclamation Of Unalloyed Identity: The History And Culture Of Africans

28 April 2012

By Reason Wafawarova

What dominates the order of social and political life in Africa today is not exactly a true African identity. Rather we live in an era where white influence has so expertly and consistently associated the history and culture of Africans with the evocation of feelings of helplessness, shame, guilt, inadequacy, anxiety, abuse, social ridicule, social disapproval, humiliation, inferiority, backwardness, and lack of social and economic status.

So overwhelming is the aversive effect of white dominance that many of our people in Africa feel obligated to reject and repress any effort to search for freedom. This is why the search for true liberation knowledge is derided as paranoiac Pan-Africanism, if not vilified as myopic idealism by those deemed to be failing to move on from a terrible past. We pride ourselves in disassociation from our own past.

We have decided that the less we know about how our ancestors were brutally enslaved the better, and the less we know about the brutalities of the colonial era the better for our present and for our future. We have in this sense of fulminating history created a social amnesia that makes most of us behave like reactionary puppets strung along by the machinations of white domination by aid-giving and democracy-preaching puppeteers from the West.

It is an amnesia that makes African people get angry on behalf of the good white people, and one sees this each time an attack is made against the evil brought to this planet by white domination. An essay like this one can be classified as homophobic or even racist, not on any merit but for merely attributing historical facts where they belong; ironically seen so by fellow African victims. This is a compelled social amnesia always associated with subordinate Africans who are part of the "born to suffer" philosophy, a philosophy that disallows the discovery and reclamation of the true African identity.

Worse still some of our own Africans work so hard to impress the powers that run this world order as shaped by white domination so hard that they even take great offence at the discovery and exposure of the truly infamous history and culture and white supremacy, shamelessly shielding the white pathological perpetrators of this historical criminality.

We are reminded of how ungrateful we are for failing to appreciate the tremendous value of the white man to human civilisation for criticising the overly good white man right "from the comfort of a Western country." Today we live in a world where Africans can stand in defence of Nato's barbaric ravaging of Libya, all the time vaingloriously pointing us to the direction of an evil Muammar Gaddafi, when they are not shouting raucously about how the bombs brought democracy to hopelessly oppressed Libyans. We are labelled Hague candidates for failing to appreciate and celebrate the bombing of Libya and the callous murder of Muammar Gaddafi.

In Zimbabwe, the MDC-T establishment was quite ecstatic at the death of Muammar Gaddafi, with the information and publicity staff sending out euphoric congratulatory messages about "the coming of democracy to the people of Libya." Tears flow when you hear African voices cheering white murderers for murdering thousands of fellow Africans, especially under the deceit of promoting democracy. The heart just bleeds.

The MDC-T congratulatory messages were sent out after white domination massacred through Nato some 50 000 Libyans on its trail to kill Muammar Gaddafi, more for his past sins against Western domination, and less for what he was to the Libyan people.

It is a tragedy that today we live in a Zimbabwe where the normality and abnormality of our people's consciousness and behaviour is politically and socially manufactured and mandated by the power relations shaped by white supremacy even after more than three decades of what we fondly call independence.

The late Bingu wa Mutharika became "an autocrat" for excluding the influence of the British ambassador in the affairs of Malawi, and his own people wanted to stone him for upsetting the former colonial master, literally the funder of about the entire Malawian economy.

Now some Malawians take the death of Mutharika as a golden opportunity to restore the country's donor-dependence status. Africa now firmly believes that Western aid is the way to the future and we have whole political parties sworn to this obscenity, if not entire populations. In Malawi, a church leader was quoted in the media as saying: "Now it is time to plead with donors so that perhaps they will absolve us of our sins." It is just that sad. When our consciousness is so disturbed as to make us helplessly responsive to white-instigated social and political controls, we must know that the very future we seek to brighten is now severely threatened by a massive cloud of darkness.

What we consider appropriate and normal today is defined not by who we are as Africans but by those thoughts, emotions, motivations and values instigated and maintained by the white supremacist establishment an establishment maintained so well by the African himself, for better or for worse.

We stand as a people whose political power is defined by the political values of white people, we are a people whose economic power is dependent on white endorsement, a people whose only claim to power are the colours of our post-independence flags the flag itself being a borrowed idea from Western values, just like the suits we fondly wear as an expression of formality and affluence. So the normal social order we pursue today through our politics and our laws is a sponsored normalcy, well designed to sustain white domination over ourselves us willing subordinates so wantonly wallowing in the fantasy of becoming like the white man one day.

Our politics and our sense of democracy is today more beneficial to the needs of white domination and to the perpetuation of white imperialism than it is to our own needs. In fact, the democracy we pursue is quite inimical to our own needs as a people, so hurtful to our own aspiration and quite deathly to the prospect of our emancipation.

Let us look at Malawi. From 2004 we were told the country was doing well democratically and economically. In fact, what was happening was pliancy of Malawi's political system to Western imperialist interests, rewarded superbly with a 100 percent donor-funding of the economy.

We were even told of a record-breaking "agricultural revolution," all made possible by the white donor, whose burden for the lives of Africans is well documented, like Jason Russell is so touched by the plight of the "abducted Ugandan children."

Now a few bad words by the British ambassador were enough to show us how much democracy and how much of an economy Malawi had. President Mutharika rightfully sanctioned the offending diplomat by ordering him out of Malawi, with Britain withdrawing what was effectively the Malawian economy its aid.

With that withdrawal came an emphatic withdrawal of the "democratic country" label, itself an award often given not by the governed people but the powerful Western elites, the puppeteers running African politics today. So we had an entire country considering it normalcy to have an economy entirely dependent on the benevolence of the British, and it is sad that the diplomatic spat that busted this master-servant relationship did not make Malawians any wiser. Apparently it has entrenched the nation firmer into subordination.

In fact, it made them stupider and today they yearn so eagerly to place themselves where they believe they belong, exalting white domination to where it belongs, profusely apologising to the British for the unforgivable sins of an overly egoistic president who dared to challenge the supremacy of the white man, sacrificing an entire nation so hopelessly dependent on the wrongfully insulted.

White imperialism and white supremacy is today founded not exactly on the military might of the Westerner but quite sadly on the social amnesia of subordinate Africans. The strategic path of white supremacy has for long been this deprivation of a common cultural platform for the African; taking the platform away so that the African has no capacity to counter attack against his oppression.

What is required of us Africans by white domination is that we negate our common identity, our cultural and historical memories and related practices. When we do so we are celebrated as highly civic and we are rewarded as a democratic people. It is the stick and carrot strategy our leadership has become so accustomed to, even competing spiritedly for the carrot.

The reason we fought down colonial empires was not to model our identity alongside that of the white folk. We fought down colonial empires to reclaim power in its totality. What is this power?

Power is the ability to act or to do, it is strength, it is influence, talent, command, authority, a warrant of total control, a collective advantage. In short it is the capacity to determine one's own future and to assume full and total control of the present in its totality.

You cannot talk of power when all you have is aid and the benevolence of another people. That is the tragedy of the African leader of today. Look at Zimbabwe and how much we have cried over the illegally imposed ruinous economic sanctions. We should be banning Europeans from entering our well-resourced country, actually banning them until our own interests are observed. But what do we do? We allow ourselves to be held hostage by a system we believe we fought down over 30 years ago.

We need to reclaim our unalloyed identity, to reclaim our history, our cultural identity and our absolute power over all our resources and our politics. Without such a radical stance, we can as well resign to the fate of perpetual subjugation to white domination.
This is what the operative oppression of the African is. It is dependent on the ability of white elites to create and maintain a discrepancy between what subordinate Africans think they were in the past and what they truly were, what they perceive themselves to be today and what they truly are; what they think they should be and what they truly must be. The superstructure of white supremacy is founded on the illusion of the African on our continental addiction to fantasy.

It is only the African that can successfully precipitate the downfall of white hegemony in Africa. All the African needs to do today is do exactly as Robert Mugabe did with land acquisition, forcibly take it away from the colonially privileged white person, exactly what Julius Malema preaches today in South Africa take away the mines and the land from the colonially privileged white folk. No apologies and no moralities, or the niceties of the human rights regime.

The African must seize power in all its forms from the non-Africans who hold it in Africa. This is why the economic empowerment policies of Zanu-PF must in principle be applauded.

In principle because we cannot vouch for the practice so far; save for a few ceremonial sign-ups we have read about in the media. But the direction is encouraging, just like the rhetoric of Saviour Kasukuwere, a man seemingly so determined to have locals forcefully adopted in white-owned businesses. That is laying claim to partial stakes, albeit majority stakes. Good enough but not entirely the solution. This writer is actually for complete takeovers, not only of shares but of the entire means of production, innovation, capitalisation and creativity.

Emancipation and independence are matters of justice and not of morality for those that are under the yoke. The morality in the reclamation of stolen lands by indigenous Zimbabweans in 2000 lies only in the just cause behind the operation. Equally the morality of taking over all mines and the entire industrial operation by indigenous Zimbabweans today lies not in the libertarian ideals of today but in the just cause of doing so; only for the sake of the long-suffering black Zimbabwean. There must be no apologies in taking over power from the white establishment.

We seek not to plunder another people but to repossess what rightfully belongs to us and to our posterity. The power stolen from us in the 19th century must be reclaimed with no sense of apology whatsoever. Those among us who believe in partnerships with hegemony that afflicts us continually must re-orient their politics to the cause of the African.

Zimbabwe, we are one and together we shall overcome. It is homeland or death!

Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in Sydney, Australia.

 

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