“It is not our Tanzanian-ness or Angola-ness that matters. It is our African-ness… When the Chinese terrorize us in China they make no distinction between Nigerians and South Africans… all they see is our Black skin.” Prof Lumumba
Africa’s success, now and in the future, lies nowhere but in the hands of its offspring: Africans. Speaking during an Africa Month Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) Online Lecture Series on Pan-Africanism, esteemed Kenyan, Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, said it would be foolhardy for the motherland to look to foreign sources such as China for help at a time when the same countries have shown nothing but contempt for Africans on their home soil.
Africa’s salvation going forth demands a united continent, said Prof. Lumumba quoting former Tanzanian President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere. “Africa’s founding fathers, such as Nyerere, said if Africans think that they can survive by respecting their little boundaries in their [little] unviable countries, then God Almighty save them. But God is not in the business of saving those who have chosen to embrace stupidity for its own sake. Therefore, it is in the best interest of all Africans to unite for their own sake,” he stated. According to Nyerere, Prof. Lumumba added, “When Nyerere retired as the Tanzanian president, he traveled the world and was introduced as the former president of Tanzania in Africa. Of course, there was no doubt about his African-ness but his audience wanted to know; where on earth is Tanzania? Is it next to Johannesburg? They did not know, Mwalimu said.
Our African-Ness Will See Us Through
The erstwhile president stressed that it is not one’s Tanzanian-ness that matters. Neither is it our Kenyan-ness, Ugandan-ness, South African-ness, Namibian-ness, Angolan-ness not Zimbabwean-ness that matters. What matters is our African-ness. “So, when the Chinese persecute Africans in Guangzhou, China during such testing times as of the coronavirus, they do not see our Nigerian-ness or Ghanaian-ness at all. What they see is our African black skin. They make no distinction between a Nigerian, Angolan, Zambian, or whatsoever. All they see is our African black skin!”
With the international community’s attitude such as it is against Africans in general and blacks in particular, Prof. Lumumba believes that it won’t be long before Africans are required to vaccinate before they travel to Europe and other continents abroad. “What will be worse is that the so-called vaccine won’t even be manufactured by us but would be a European product, for arguments’ sake. This can serve to cause further humiliation to Africans in the diaspora because they are not judged by their nationality but, due to their black skin, they are humiliated as a unit for they are perceived to come from the same stock!” he lamented.
Lumumba’s Dream for Africa
A pan-Africanist at heart, Prof. Lumumba has a dream; a dream of a united Africa. “The generation of yore, Mwalimu would say, was instrumental in birthing Africa’s independence. But the younger cohort must now take the baton and ensure that all the existing regional economic blocks are combined into a single entity that will unite Africa. That unity must not take place tomorrow or in the future but today!” he urged.
“I hold the view that pan-Africanism is our avenue to success. I hold the view that it not be understood differently but in the manner that it was conceived by Kwame Nkrumah How I wish that when South African president Cyril Ramaphosa steps down as the chairperson of the African Union he would have embraced the spirit of his forebearers such as Nkrumah, Nyerere and Nelson Mandela among other and lead the continent
How I wish that from today henceforth, Pan-Africanism will cause all Africans to read from the same script; a script which says our inherited boundaries mean little and our unity will increase and improve intra and inter-African trade. The script should say that now is the time for Africa to have a single passport and currency, standardize education across the continent and use African resources for Africa’s development. This will be a spirit which says our success lies in our unity!” he concluded emphasizing that it is no longer time for Africa to accept Western ideologies lock, stock and barrel. Africa is perfectly capable of achieving its own success by itself. Africa must not give up on itself because “united we stand; divided we fall”.