W.E.B Du Bois, in his book, The soul of the Black Folk, understood the black condition when he declared that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the colour line” for it was, indeed, for our pigmentation that we were oppressed.
In his must-read book, The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon had advised Africans that “the war goes on; and we will have to bind up for years to come and many, sometimes ineffaceable, wounds that the colonialist onslaught has inflicted on our people”.
In a book, Decolonising the Mind, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, we are exposed to what we sometimes don’t see about colonialism in that “Berlin of 1884 was effected through the sword and the bullet. But the night of the sword and the bullet was followed by the morning of the chalk and the blackboard. The physical violence of the battlefield was followed by the psychological violence of the classroom . . . language was the most important vehicle through which that power fascinated and held the soul prisoner. The bullet was the means of the physical subjugation. Language was the means of the spiritual subjugation”.
Africa fought bravely against the ‘colonial question’ as we know it. Having lived to see Africa free from colonialism, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah advised Africans on the new tendency of Neo-colonialism being offensive. This, we know in his book Africa Must Unite and The Struggle Continues. If Du Bois, Nkrumah, wa Thiong’o and Fanon were to come to Namibia today, what do you think would be their reaction? Would they identify with our leaders who display nothing but lucid hypocrisy?
Consider the following; they tell us that our education system is effective enough yet they send their kids abroad; they tell us to vote for ‘the party’ yet they seemingly vote for the opposition for areas of residence are run by the opposition. They have failed to take the land from the white men, now they seemingly want to kidnap the only remaining land (communal land) that belonged to our ancestors. They tell us to uphold our cultures yet their own children cannot speak their mother-tongues; they tell us to place political party flags in our houses yet they don’t do the same in theirs; they tell us that they are committed to the struggle yet they are to return the land stolen by the white men; they tell us they love us when they, by implication, refuse to live with us, choosing to live with the white men; they studied for free as facilitated by the movement but now they don’t want, they refused, denying us the same opportunity to study for free; they say youths are drinking alcohol when we know that some among them are professional drunkards.
What would Du Bois, Nkrumah, wa Thiong’o and Fanon write if they were to discover that during elections’ leaders know our names and shake our hands but after elections, they are surrounded by bodyguards; that they tell us that they are approachable but the reality is; if you are from Havana, Babylon and not suit-dressed, those secretaries and bodyguards hardly allow you an audience with ‘honourable’. Yet, if the white man approaches, it is possible that all other appointments with ‘darkies’ would be cancelled (white is an investor, remember?); they tell us we are the future, blah, blah, blah . . . yet they don’t listen to us as they do to the white men (consultant) they fly in to solve our problems (they have little knowledge of our problems); they say that they talk about economic emancipation while our mines are still owned by the white men of London and our fish by the white men of Spain with their permission.
Friends, help me understand the cadres, faced with blacks feeding at dumpsites that choose to purchase an aircraft (N $600m) instead. Help me understand cadres who fail to take care of the least-populated nation on earth. That is very, very, very rich! Those of us that travel are often embarrassed to admit that we fail to take care of two million people surrendered into poverty.
I would be interested in the response if the question was posed to Namibians asking who, in the current Government, can be regarded as a revolutionary. Can it be said of our leaders that “just as potatoes in a sack would always be nothing more than a sack of potatoes, the individual form of production would keep the peasants isolated from one another and would pre-dispose them to follow authoritarian leaders such as Bonaparte” as stated by Ian Roxborough, paraphrasing Marx, in his book ‘Theories of Underdevelopment’? In other words, aren’t our leaders true servants of the capitalist system, using the poor in their ascendancy to state clout? And you, my friend, do you identify with hypocrites?