If one were to ask people in the streets of any African capital to name a union of states that readily comes to mind, they are likely to mention the United Nations, the United States of America and possibly the European Union. And the African Union? Oh yes, yes, I have heard of it, a few might say. And yet the Organisation of African Unity – as the African Union was called in 1963 when it was set up in Addis Ababa with 30 signatories – now includes virtually all the African states, and is 50 years old come Saturday.
This should mean something, shouldn’t it?… Seguir leyendo »
I must have been about 10 in colonial Kenya when I saw men, women and children in a convoy of lorries being forcibly removed from their land and relocated to some dry plains they called the land of black rocks. They sang a sorrowful melody, but one that described their love and solidarity in hardship: even when they picked a morsel from the ground, they split it among themselves. It was an image that captured vividly the ideals of mutual care and collective hope in the Kenyan anticolonial resistance. In my first trip to Europe, in 1965, virtually the entire village saw me off at the airport.… Seguir leyendo »
When Kenya goes to the polls on Monday, it will mark a generational change – no matter who wins. For the first time in its history, the country will be run by a leadership with hardly any direct experience of colonialism. There are risks to this development: the new leadership might trivialise what it means to be colonised, and the insidious ways in which imperialism is reproduced.
The outgoing president, Mwai Kĩibaki, is the last of the generation that led the country to independence, and for whom, whatever the policy, imperialism and anti-colonial resistance were not just slogans. They had seen blood in the streets and mass incarceration; the Hola massacre was mere smoke at the gates of hell.… Seguir leyendo »