Map of Africa showing Burkina Faso

Map of Africa showing Burkina Faso

by Okoye Chukwudi Charles Ezeamalukwuo

“While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”
—Thomas Sankara

The events that took place in the past few days in a small impoverished African country of Burkina Faso, which saw the 27 year old regime of President Blaise Compaore toppled, is unprecedented in Sub-Sahara Africa where illiteracy, poverty, tribal differences, neo-colonialism and a wicked twist of fate all work together to keep majority of the indigenous population enslaved, divided and indifferent to their condition.

Popular uprising where a large number of the citizens of a country take to the street to demand the resignation and removal of the Head of State like the one of Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain etc has never happened before in this part of the world. Che Guevara and his Cuban revolutionaries tried it in Congo in the 1960s without success. Nelson Mandela and his ANC members tried it too in Apartheid South Africa, with mixed results. So seeing the footage of Black Africans protesting on the streets and achieving the aim of the protest, did come as a surprise to a lot of us, but to the observant eye, the toppling of Compaore’s regime was inevitable, and only a matter of time.

Uprising in Burkina Faso

Uprising in Burkina Faso

Uprising in Burkina Faso

Uprising in Burkina Faso

The history of Burkina Faso is similar to the histories of most African Nations. A promise of progress at Independence, a conception of a dream, the nurturing, then a little bump on the road, another bump, and yet another bump, and another, and another, and the promise becomes a lie, the progress becomes one perennial regression, the dream becomes vague, and the demons creep in, and nightmare becomes the reality.

A lot of people (Africans included) have argued that Africans cannot rule themselves, that our blackness runs deep into our hearts, that we are irresponsible, naïve and lack the creativity and discipline to develop ourselves and our countries. A quick survey of the conditions of most African countries will confirm the true in this. But a deeper study of the facts, the why, and the how, will show a network of finery spun webs, a canvass of conspiracies, a mirage of misconception, perfectly painted by a much higher force to keep a whole continent, blind and backwards.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do like to examine every aspect of a problem, so as not to leave any stone unturned.

A look at the formation of African Countries, will show that all African Countries (excluding Ethiopia) are an invention of the Berlin Conference of 1885. African communities were not consulted before their assemblage into a Nation. The customs, cultures and contributions of the indigenous population were not considered, or required to form a state even till this very day. These issues of National identity, tribal, cultural, religious and language differences were not discussed or resolved before Independence. Most Africans today don’t see themselves as Nigerians, Rwandans, Ivorians, Liberians, Somalians etc but as Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Hutus, Tutus etc. A typical African Nation is but an agglomeration of countless nations whose common identifying factors have been blurred by Corruption, wars, famine, religious intolerance, illiteracy and Neo-Colonial manipulations.

Furthermore, Africa has produced its share of great, charismatic, disciplined and innovative leaders. The problem is that the very good ones, the ones that would have made the change did not last long in office, removed by the same imperialistic factors that scrambled Africa in Berlin. Leaders like Patrice Lumumba of Congo who was arrested by African Peacekeeping Force in 1961, and later killed on the order of Mobutu Sese Seko, for the pleasure of USA and Belgium. Amilcar Cabral of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau, killed in 1973 by some of his disgruntled guerilla fighters on the request of Portugal. Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, killed in 1987 on the order of Blaise Compaore for France imperialistic interest. And other African Heads of States who were removed in office by western sponsored coup de’tat.
The only ones who last so long are those who were or are in bed with the colonialists, leaders like Senghor Sedar Leopold, Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda, Blaise Compaore, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, Paul Biya etc.

Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba

Amilcar Cabral

Amilcar Cabral

Thomas Sankara

Thomas Sankara

African governments are not African’s. What we have in Africa as presidents are foreigners in black skin, who look African in nothing else but skin colour. Every other thing about them is either Eurocentric or Americanized. These are leaders whose wives go to London, Paris, Brussel, Lisbon or USA to give birth, so that their children would become a citizen there. These are Leaders whose children don’t attend school in Africa. These are leaders with all their investments abroad. Leaders who will die tomorrow, not in an African Hospital but in Europe, Russia, Saudi Arabia or Usa. Africa doesn’t have a government yet, or a constitution that is truly African, which recognises the similiarities and differences of the various ethnic tribes, religious and cultural groups in the Nation. What we have are revised constitution of France or America. What we have are illegitimate Regimes who rigged themselves into power with the blessing of the international community (USA, France, Britian, Canada and EU). Once the international commuinty recognises you as the leader of an African Country, even the voice of God which is the voice of the people will not disapprove of it. Herein lies the bane of African Society.

Nevertheless, what happened in Burkina Faso has now shown that all is not lost. Africans are down, but they are far from out. Like I wrote above; to any observant eye, the dismantling of structures of imperialism and Neo-colonialism is inevitable and only a matter of time. The world is getting more globalised, it is getting smaller, and African people have suffered enough, they are getting wiser, bolder, and more persistent in their pursuit of justice and equality. A lot of good men have died, many more will die but the blood of good men is the seed of our liberation. You can kill one man, two, three, a thousand men but as Thomas Sankara said; revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill [their dreams and] ideas.

Okoye Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo writes from Onitsha. You can reach him on twitter: @mr_charlze

The statements, opinions and views expressed in this write up is solely those of the author and does not necessarily represent those of Lyriversity.

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

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Comments
  1. Olisaeloka says:

    Nnam, ide gbu gom. You should start writing for newspapers. Very flowery piece of work.

  2. Echebi Joseph says:

    Thank you Mr. Charles. What an in-depth write up. I believe with you too, it is a matter of time.

  3. Richybone says:

    Am rating this as the best piece of work I’ve read so far for the year 2014. As short as it may look, it’s deeper than the deepest oil well u can ever imagine. It’s simply a work written with the ink of Truth, Sincerity and justness.

  4. LegendaryCJN says:

    You are in order boss…
    You have written well bro, and in line with Albert Camus ascertion, “Revolutionary writing must be conscious of the fact that it is remolding and reshaping the minds of the audience.” You are shapping a whole lot of minds.
    Bravo

  5. Anene Francis says:

    I second all the comments above. Keep it up mr Solar.
    * The commom masses has power (crowd force and in the polls). It is suppressed only when we allow ourself to be manipulated by our leaders. Violent revolution cause change but if not organized leaves a sorrier state. I prefer the polls but my people are blinded by propaganda politics. Demand and vote for credible representative and leaders at all levels which would force political parties file out flag bearers with poeple-oriented manifestoes, else we are not sincere about any change.

  6. Engr. Ezeh Emmanuel says:

    Mr. Charles you are good. I often startle at your imaginations of Africa, not just Nigeria. You seem to have much information than an average youth – your age do. It shows a feeling of concern and how much you want Africa to change. Am impressed by this write-up, and I must say you have a legendary way of painting pictures with words. Ride on seeker..

    • Ezeamalukwuo says:

      Thanks my good man. Your words of encouragement is very very precious in this period of Writer’s block. I am glad that you liked it so. Keep reading us, and commenting where necessary.

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