African critique of Africa
The first crime and the first corruption of all centuries is perhaps the enslavement and colonisation of one people by another for whatever reason. For that reason, African intellectuals in the name of their intelligence can satirise Africa and critique African leaders for their thievery, political violence, laziness and other sins without lending weight to colonial fictions and myths about Africans.
The point Lumumba misses by a wide margin is that some African leaders were shaped in the way they are by colonial education systems and ideological indoctrination, hence the way they have led Africa astray. African leaders deserve to be bashed for their crimes against Africa and humanity, and that bashing does not have to defend the colonial and slavish wound that all Africans and all black people in the world suffer.
Africans exist in a political and legal world system that was not designed by Africa, where a world system was imposed on the continent in violent historical colonial encounters from which the continent may not recover soon. Speakers like Lumumba might think that we must be done with issues of slavery and colonialism by now, in 2017, but evidentially issues of slavery and colonialism are not done with us yet.
The beginning of any durable critique of Africa and Africans should begin with a baptismal observation that Africa produces its own history not under conditions and circumstances designed by itself, and Africa has been shaped by a cruel history conducted by its enemies and exploiters. Politically and philosophically, such critics of Africa and Africans as Professor Lumumba should be born again. That his name sounds like that of Patrice Lumumba should help him think again. Given his social power, intellectual influence and political example, Lumumba should be corrected as he is a powerful wrong model that enemies of Africa might use to do Africa down even more. THE dilemma of young Zimbabweans today in politics is the conflation of loyalty and exploitation. The failure is out of either ignorance or hunger as they struggle to distinguish between being religious to a cause and being tools of the political paranoid.
Should one decide to quiz the so-called champions of youth politics in Zimbabwe on what loyalty is, the best response you can get would be how one should be religious without reasoning and questioning any of the commands dispelled to them. A common mistake of failing to interpret the meaning of “nzira dzemasoja” is so popular among those who have become acquainted with passiveness. Such a disastrous thinking and practice renders the Zimbabwean youth as the best possible description and a definition of a most educated populace yet the least learned congress.
Youths, like other people in Zimbabwe, are thinking, creative and a diverse constituency. They are not intellectually or conceptually homogeneous simply by virtue of being young and energetic. Like other beings they are products of their circumstance and their response to those circumstances, many times they have fallen victim to their situation due to socially entrenched political ill norms.
Before we delve much into the commentary, it is good that we give a definition of youths especially in political spaces. A moment of digression to a discussion we had with my colleagues after a busy day at work, as we were concluding the day with a couple of drinks in one of the Bulawayo corners, one of the comrades presented a controversial understanding of the youth in politics. He aggregated and subdivided youths in politics into two categories that is the youth and the masses.
This aggregation can be used as a determent of their usefulness and their uselessness in political spaces. Tedious Ncube made two important distinctions between the youth and the masses. In his clarification, he defined the youth as a people conscious of itself in ways of politics, modes of thought and cultural heritage.
On the other hand, the masses masquerading as the youth is unconscious of itself; uniform and quantitative, devoid of specific political principle and cultural heritage and is without foundations and empty. This crop of the youth (masses) is the cause of this debate due to its emptiness hence becoming an object of propaganda, destitute of responsibility and lives at the lowest level of consciousness.
This crop of youth in its uncritical thinking has been an eminent threat to Zimbabwe’s democracy and the youth empowerment agenda, because of its naivety in thought it finds itself in spaces of significance, not because it deserves to be there but because of its accidental masquerade culture. This has been augmented by the current political Zimbabwean youth through a severe self-imposed patronage system.
The role played by young people in the strategies of rulers and in the ensuing outcomes has become a topic of interest in the discourse on political institutions. It can be argued that, besides obvious divergences in participation and competition, loyalty and exploitation differs in how much value each group of people provides to its political actors.
Over the past months, we have witnessed different young people making political inroads, ascertaining and affirming the youth voice in the political spectrum. Power contests, which are normal aspirations for any normal human being, are dispelled and confirmed through the youth voice young people have become the currency for political transactions in all political institutions.
Should an aspirant not get the youth certification, their political endeavours are slammed and we conclude you have no political legitimacy. I would be glad to give named examples, but my thinking is that, it is only true when we view this political paranoia as an ailment with a long-standing confusion of what loyalty is and what we mean by political exploitation.