When Black South Africans Forgot Their History

Mon, 20 Apr 2015 Source: Otabil, Kofi

I remember back in the day of apartheid when most African countries joined in the struggle with our fellow South Africans to end the apartheid regime. Most African countries saw it fit to boycott the apartheid regime in terms of trade sanctions, sports sanctions etc. The recent xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans shows that most of these native South Africans have forgotten their history or ignorant of their past. The recent xenophobic attacks indicates that there has been systematic and leadership failure. In time past, Kwame Nkrumah the first President of Ghana declared on the eve of Ghana’s independence in March 6, 1957 that .... “the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked to the total emancipation of Africa”. True to his word, some of our fellow brothers and sisters from South Africa were transported to other African countries for their education. I had the pleasure of staying in the same neighbourhood in Accra, Ghana with the former South African Deputy Minister for Communication Hon. Matlu; he attended Aquinas Secondary School here in Ghana. I knew his parents and his siblings were our friends. It is ironic that out of ignorance some South Africans have forgotten their history and thus sort to attack their fellow brothers and sisters from other African countries who showed them mercy in time past when they were in need.

I remember the International Students’ Hostel in Ghana that housed a lot of our brothers and sisters from South Africa. It is also on record that during the apartheid period, the headquarters of African National Congress of South Africa was relocated to Zambia for safety. It is incomprehensible to think a day was going to come when liberated South Africans were going to attack fellow Africans and behave in an unexpected manner. It’s a disgrace to see the once oppressed people forgetting their past so easily and behaving in an uncomplimentary manner. I’ve really restrain myself not to let my anger overtake my intellectual faculties to write unprintable words. To think that a local Zulu Chief started this hate sentiments that provoked this xenophobia attacks shows that the South African leadership has failed to inculcate the virtues and comradeship to the citizenry. It’s very sad to think that Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu and all those great anti-apartheid heroes have lost the legacy they sacrificed their lives in such a short period of time.

It’s about time for most African leadership to start rethinking, re-strategising and to redefine our common identity for the next generation. In fact we are tired of being called the Dark Continent. The next generation should be educated about the hopes and aspirations of their fore-fathers in terms of building a unifying African identity that seeks to thrive in excellence within the boundaries of greater friendliness and economic prosperity. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and all Pan-Africanists had a vision of a unified African continent devoid of boundaries. They laid down their lives to see a liberated African and to see the liberated African loving each other as one people with a common destiny to move the continent into economic prosperity. Let this be an awakening call to all those in leadership positions to have re-think of how to carve a new African image who is indeed capable of managing their own affairs. Let us endeavour to move the African continent from the caged description of corruption and everything negative into a continent that produces excellence, peace and prosperity for its people. God bless Africa!

Writer: Kofi Otabil

Columnist: Otabil, Kofi