In 1890, a party of colonialists came into my country to swindle an illiterate misinformed people of their land and sovereignty. They took away their pride, shattered their dreams and condemned their generations to a life of servitude. They saw their love and called it polygamy, beauty and called them unevolved, riches and called them undeserving. They declared themselves to be Kings supreme, heaven-sent ambassadors to wipe away the shame of Africa and give it a taste of their ‘holiness’. They mocked our forefathers so much that they hated themselves and crushed them so hard that they crushed each other to ease the pain. They cast them so far away that they knew they would never find themselves again as a generation.
Over half a century later, we started to pick up the pieces and restore the dignity on their faces again. We saw their hurt, experienced their misery and chose to take a stand and create a new hope for our people. We fought long, we fought hard and we got what we thought we were fighting for, the right to be African.
Today the invisible chains of oppression remain steadfast on the hands, minds and feet of our children. There is no party of colonialists we can raise a gun to and no piece of legal documentation we can craft to restore our power because we are the oppressors, and the mirror gives the clearest image of the African colonialist today.
We perpetrate gross acts of violence against our brothers and sisters, burning their homes, killing their livestock and dismembering their bodies. We stifle their right to vote free from coercion, and we manipulate processes and individuals to give us the ‘power’ that truly belongs to our people. It is us who redirect resources meant for the community for personal gain and we are the ones who scramble for land to increase our already amassed wealth.
Today tears pour out from the eyes of our children as the whip of oppression lashes unbearably on their backs. Their stomachs lie subject to hunger, their blood to the ravaging effects of AIDS, and their minds to an uninspiring education system. Our mothers and babies are dying, our youth lie depressingly jobless and our girls and young women face the devastation of stolen childhoods, dashed hopes and disease.
Can our children forgive us? Can we forgive ourselves?. Where is the Africa we fought for? Where is the priceless gift of freedom we promised our children?. Where is the peace we bought with our blood, the joy we sacrificed for with our tears, and the love we promised to counter the hatred?. Where is the Africa we fought for?