News24.com | Failed leaders do not make Pan Africanism a fantasy

In his Mondli Makhanya all but calls Pan-Africanism a fantasy.

Pan Africanism is about restoring the dignity of African communities and minimising the effects of artificial colonial borders.

Makhanya focuses on the behaviour of some post-colonial African leaders and based on that, seems to dismiss Pan Africanism as epitomised by Africa Day as a useless concept.

We need to bear in mind that current African leaders have simply occupied the space left by colonial rulers and in most cases continue to use the powers, laws and methods of colonialists to maintain their own power and enjoy the benefits of unaccountable rulership. As such Pan Africanism cannot be judged on their behaviour.

In fact, most current African leaders do not embrace pan Africanism, because it would mean relinquishing or diminishing some other powers. There are a lot of perks that come with occupying the space left by colonial rulers.

Pan Africanism would mean Swazis in Pongola or Piet Retief would be able to resume socially interacting with their relatives in Manzini without the inconvenience of borders imposed by colonialists.

Basotho and Qwaqwa and Ladybrand should be able to attend weddings in Maseru without producing passports.

The Venda in Limpopo and the Venda in Beitbridge can attend each other‘s ceremonies or take a walk across the Limpopo for a beer-drink without risking arrest. The Tswana in Lephalale and those in Palapye con resume close relationship without inconvenience.

The Manyika in Manicaland and those in Manica Province should be able to attend rainmaking ceremonies under their common traditional leadership. The Tonga should be able to fish on the Zambezi without being forced to choose citizenship depending on which bank they want to build a hut.

The looting resources for personal benefit, such as Marange diamonds. Using the people‘s resources to build personal mansions. By that I am not hinting just at Nkandla but the Blue Roof as well. I will not mention buying bufalloes and hundred-thousand-rand Luis Vuiton briefcases while people die from easily treatable diseases. I will not mention always having cash to travel around the world with huge entourages while at home people cannot withdraw their own money from banks.

Who would want to lose those opportunities for the sake of a united Africa?

Mondli is right that the concept of Pan Africanism is not working. However, the people he chooses as a measure are actually saboteurs of the concept, not its promoters. Pan Africanism means empowering Africa‘s people through unity of purpose.

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