As a proud African, when l walk on the streets of London, Paris, or Beijing and l see the Blackman anywhere, I feel proud to have seen my brother or sister in a foreign land. At that time, I care less about which African country specifically he might come from. I do not really care about his religion nor his ethnic background. I do not care whether he belongs to a political party or not. I care less whether he’s a Muslim or a Christian. At that moment, all l see and feel proud of, is my African brother/sister who shares my common identity. I shake hands and hug my African brother/sister with pride. Whenever Africans come together, it is a moment of joy and excitement.
For instance, during international sports competitions, the entire African people tend to rally behind any African team/country that is able to make it to the final stage against teams from other continents.
I remember during the 2010 world cup held in South Africa, when Ghana was left to carry Africa on her shoulders; the entire African continent came together in harmony. Many Africans across the world rejoiced in unity as they rallied behind Ghana.In the end, even when Ghana couldn’t make it, Africans all over the world though they felt disappointed, they were proud. Such is the true taste of what it means for a people to come together, and live in harmony, rather than always having to fight among ourselves as the enemy wishes.
From Where Came All These Divisions?
Divide and conquer has always been the strategy the colonial masters often used to destroy a people. Imagine how lovely and wonderful this world would be, if the north, south, east and west were to live together in harmony, instead of wars and conflicts that often leave the innocent and the vulnerable suffering?
The whole world knows that it will be wonderful for a people to live together in harmony, yet why can’t it be so? Across the world, Africans are facing challenges in areas of racism and its discriminations.
Yet today, thanks to the lack of foresight from many of our leaders. Africa, a people who ought to be the most formidable force in the world, has been broken into pieces. From the north, the south, east the west, to the central Africa, Africans are fighting among themselves, killing our own brothers and sisters all in a bid to please the colonial master.
The colonial masters have succeeded in dividing the people into so-called “economic regions and countries”. Yet, within our own regions and countries, we’re still not free: we’re fighting for individual interests. Our people have been divided along political lines, ethnic and tribal groupings. Many of us are still struggling under the yolk of religious differences. Little regard is given to the fact that we’re all Nigerians, one Ghanaians, one Somalis or Sudanese, and that we are not different people, irrespective of our religious and political beliefs. But we have believed the enemy more than ourselves.
With this, Lucky Dube, the reggae legend who was eliminated by the usual mafia, shared his sentiments. Quoting Bob Marley, he said:
“Bob Marley said: how long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside and look? But little did he know that eventually, the enemy will stand aside and look, while we kill and slaughter our own brothers”.Indeed it is a sad reality, because colonialism had it that, the African people were being suppressed, beaten and killed by the colonial masters. But sadly in today’s Africa, neo-colonialism has made it possible for Africans to be killing themselves and suppressing their own freedoms while the enemy rather sits somewhere and looks.
Why must the African people allow certain minor issues such as religion and political parties, to throw us into killing ourselves? Does it really make sense for Ghanaians, Nigerians, Kenyans or the Ivory Coast to be fighting and killing their brothers and sisters because of politics or religion; forgetting that we are all one people with a common destiny?
It is very sad that our African identity has been erased from our minds and our thoughts, to the point where instead of us coming together to solve our problems, we’re rather busying ourselves with how we can suppress one another for selfish gains.
Recently, the fact that we’re all Africans and come from one continent is not an issue that bothers our leaders. What happened to the spirit of living in a universal brotherhood? Where did we go wrong?
Many African leaders today are secretly busying themselves with how they can suppress the growth of their neighbouring African countries.
While some are secretly funding and collaborating with various terror groups in their attempt to sew chaos in other countries, others are equally busying themselves with how they can make life unbearable for the other Africans living in their country.Then after all these distractions, African leaders shamelessly continue to gather at Addis Ababa, under the umbrella of the AU, as they hypocritically wine and dine on one hand, exchanging fake smiles and handshakes, whiles their governments continue to frustrate and intimidate the citizens of other Africans living in their countries on a daily basis. Why all these hypocrisy of a so-called African Union?
It is a big shame to our current African leaders that after all these years of drumming into our ears, unity after unity, Africa still remains more divided than ever.
At a time when we cheerfully welcome many of our Asian and European brothers into our countries; we shamelessly intimidate our own brothers and restrict their freedoms on their own motherland.African leaders must change these habits and take immediate efforts to normalize diplomatic relations with all African countries. I am urging the AU to bring into discussion the urgent need to make efforts to remove these entire border and visa restrictions which the colonial masters have imposed on the African people through the colonial accord of 1844.
We the African people want the freedom to explore Africa and to interact with our brothers and sisters across the continent without being submitted to any unnecessary delays that comes with this visa queues and the long waiting times.
In this 21st century where every continent is well integrated to facilitate the swift movement of goods and services that promotes economic growth and job opportunities, we in Africa have entangled ourselves in some colonial boundaries that were drawn centuries ago with our enslavement and suppression as the ultimate objective.Yet, every year, our political leaders shamelessly celebrate independence as if to say Africa is independent from these colonial bonds. We are supposedly claiming political independence, yet, we have allowed some 19th century’s colonial bondage to continually bind our freedom of living in a continent of universal brotherhood.
Until this colonial bondage is broken, Africa shall continue to remain impoverished, wretched and chained for another century to come. At the same time, our Asian and Latin American colleagues would have freed themselves from this bondage and become one of the most formidable forces at a time when Europe and America might have collapsed. By freeing themselves from the shackles of colonial bondage, the emerging economies will be doing business among themselves, creating more opportunities for their people, when we in Africa would be looking everywhere, fighting among ourselves and blaming the white man for our lack of foresight.
I weep for Africa, my beloved continent. But I won’t give up, because there is still hope for our current leaders to do what is right.
Long live Africa, our only home.
The writer is a Pan-African analyst and the founder of the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was established to unlock the minds of the African youth to take Africa’s destiny into their hands. The PPA seeks to provide the biggest platform that will give international exposure to all hidden but exceptional talents in Africa. Please visit us at: www.projectpanafrica.org and support the project. PPA is grateful to ITech Plus and all media partners that support our vision for Africa. Email me at: email@example.com