Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I have been reading about the latest activities in Guinea in West Africa. I am deeply thankful that I live in Zimbabwe and not Guinea where they have experienced nothing but horror since the French abandoned them to their independence in 1958. Today, fifty-one years later, their self styled leader, Captain Moussa Camara who assumed power in a military coup as recently as December 2008 is celebrating his status with the usual African impunity and lack of caring for his people.

Yesterday we read and hear of violent public disorder and ‘Red Berets’ loyal to Camara running berserk with firearms murdering at least a hundred plus fleeing civilians and raping innocent women in broad daylight and in public view. Admittedly Zimbabwe has been almost there, but not quite and it seems unlikely that we will get to those depths. Or am I just another optimist in Africa?

What will African leaders do about this state of Guinean affairs? No doubt they will talk about it for a while and talk a lot, blame the French for colonising Guinea and the West for abandoning the ‘struggling masses’. Then they will allow events to unfold as Captain Camara directs, which you can be sure, will not be in the interests of the ordinary people of Guinea. Self respecting African Americans with roots in Guinea can be thankful their ancestors were removed as slaves.

Colonialism invariably gets the blame for everything. But colonialism was as inevitable to Africa as it was to Britain in the dark and middle ages, as it was to the Americas and Australasia and parts of Asia in the 17th and 18th centuries. While Britain, North America, Australasia and more recently India have grown into modern day economic giants and much of South America is not far behind, what went wrong in Africa? Perhaps it was that colonialism in Africa was never fully consummated? And when it came time for the ‘winds of change’ they blew like a hurricane across the continent. The colonials unashamedly and without hesitation washed their hands of any responsibility, fled the aftermath of their creations leaving a leadership gap of untold proportions and the inevitable agony and destruction to those they colonised.

How long will it take for Africa to rise from the ashes of their destruction? A long time for the destruction goes on without any sign of relief. Even South Africa is showing signs of following the recent Zimbabwean route to hell and Guinea, fifty-one years after independence, sinks lower into oblivion with each passing dictator.

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