By Mainda Simataa, General Secretary of the Economic Liberation Association (Zambia), 2017-09-18, http://www.elazambia.org
108 years ago on this day (18th September 1909), a world Legend and African Liberator was born! Kwame Nkrumah is to Pan-Africanism, what Jesus is to Christianity – a guiding light that illuminates the path of revolutionaries and righteous men in their quest for the spiritual and material liberation of mankind! Indeed, Nkrumah did for Pan-Africanism, what Jesus did for Christianity – both revolutionized the world and changed the course of political and religious history forever: and though one was a religious specialist, founder and spiritual liberator; and the other a Pan-Africanist specialist, founder and Political leader and liberator, both had that outstandingly rare and remarkable quality of selflessness as evidenced by their having totally and completely devoted their lives (until death) in the service of the poorest and most oppressed of mankind.
And while Christ has been gone for over 2000 years; Nkrumah has only been gone for over 45 years – almost a golden jubilee, and his golden visionary ideas of a liberated and all-powerful United Socialist States of Africa (USSA), has only begun to find their shine and true place in time – amongst a rising tide of radical and restless young Africans who have stumbled upon, and now appreciate Nkrumah’s prophecy – namely, “that a nation under the yoke of neo-colonialism is not master of its own destiny”…and Africa has not fulfilled its destiny yet, Africa continues to be the single most oppressed continent, the single child in the human race who continues to be the servant and victim of all other races! And this notwithstanding the fact that Africa is, in resource terms, the richest continent on earth, she continues to play a ‘third-world’ role – supplier of cheap raw materials and slave labour! Something went terribly wrong somewhere one would feel, but it is not something that missed the venerable Nkrumah, for Nkrumah foresaw and foretold, long before his death in his epic prophetic book, Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, that if independent African nations did not proceed to win Economic Freedom after winning Political Freedom, all the gains that were made at independence would be lost within a generation; and that is exactly what has happened. Africa has witnessed a complete reversal of freedom and a loss of its economic fortunes!
Nkrumah and the Fight against Neo-Colonialism
If Africa’s woes can be attributed to any one thing today, it can be attributed to the fact that we the living revolutionaries, and our political predecessors, have forgotten Nkrumah! We have forgotten his warning about neo-colonialism, and we have ignored his appeal to Socialism as the way forward, and all at our own peril! It was Nkrumah who coined the phrase – “Seek the political kingdom first, and all else shall be added unto you”. Nkrumah, unlike many of his contemporary African leaders then, was convinced, and had no illusions that political freedom was not an end in itself, but a means to an end. Nkrumah knew that the oppression suffered by the Africans was as a result of the deprivation and systematic robbery of Africa’s material resources, and exploitation of her labour resources by the capitalist world.
Therefore, the sole aim of political freedom was, and still is, to accord the African political leaders the power to wrestle back economic power, resources and labour, back into the ownership and control of the Africans; and for the benefit of the Africans. But as late great radical Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti once sang, ‘Africa missed the road’. Indeed, we not only missed the economic mark, but we were also messed up by capitalist puppet western-appointed black leaders!
In his last dying days in Exile, in Conakry Guinea, Kwame devoted the latter days of his life to writing and devising methods by which future African revolutionaries could unseat and unhorse what he considered to be Africa’s most dangerous enemy – neo-colonialism. In fact, it is recorded that a young band of hot-headed ‘firebrand’ revolutionaries once organized and armed themselves with AK-47 assault rifles and presented themselves for orders at the venerable Nkrumah’s house, urging him to sanction a counter- coup d’état to overthrow the reactionary puppet regime in Ghana that had conducted a coup against him earlier in 1966. Much to the surprise of the small revolutionary army, Nkrumah proceeded to disarm them of their AK-47 assault rifles, and then rearmed them with revolutionary books!
His last words to them were: “Study the ways of our enemies, before you can conquer them.” Indeed, true to Nkrumah’s prophetic words, the war against Capitalism and the present day economic colonizers – the neo-colonizers, subjugators and aggressors of the African continent and her peoples, calls more for the tactical use of brains than bullets.
Quo Vidas? Where to Now Africa?
Our mission today is therefore as clear and as relevant as it ever was: we Africans must fight to liberate ourselves completely, thoroughly and wholly – to rid our Political, social, and economic systems of western capitalist domination. We must make the education and healthcare and employment conditions of our people better. But to do all this we must remember Nkrumah. We must remember that to conquer the Economic kingdom, we must first seek Political Power; and everything that we want shall be added unto us. With economic power back into our hands, we cannot fail to conquer; we can then determine our own destiny as free people! The tide of history is on our side, and therefore, victory is ours in the final analysis! And for as long as Africa’s struggle for true and complete freedom continues, Nkrumah shall never die! His idea’s, and his dreams for Africa will live on from one generation to the next generation!
Long live, and a Happy 108th Birthday Nkrumah!
Long Live the spirit of African Unity!
Long live African Freedom Fighters!