Black colonists: The bane of our society
Motsoahae Thomas Thabane Jr
AS we celebrate Africa Day, we need to take stock of where we are as Africans and where we are going. Recently I learned of a new term called “Black Colonists”. The first impression I got, being a black patriot I am, was that we could live in a world where we Africans can be given our place in history. This would be a world where we get to “conquer” the rest of the world; a world where we take our ideals, principles and Ubuntu to the world; a world where the colour of our skin and ethnicity is a source of pride and not looked at with scorn (which still happens to this very day). And the best part of it is that we would not be using primitive means such as sailing boats to look for spices in order to “conquer” the rest of the world.
However, my utopian thoughts lasted momentarily as I came to realise the true essence of the term. I realised that instead of us transmitting all that is good about being African outwards, Africa is being re-colonised again. Only this time, the colonisers have different faces, shapes and means.
These new colonisers are fellow Africans, they look and behave exactly like the Europeans, and some of us even refer to them as our leaders. They have created a situation in the “Animal Farm” whereby they fought for freedom but now it is difficult to distinguish between them and the farmers because they keep getting fatter while the rest are still starving.
Below are some of the few tendencies I have noted from these Black Colonists:
- The Black Colonists have adopted “I get to benefit first and the rest will follow”: This basically means that these people benefit from the resources of society and keep them for themselves. They become an elite within society with all the power while the rest get only scraps. And they give the rest barely enough to maintain the system but not enough for the rest to have sustainable livelihoods.
- The Black Colonists have put interests over principle: [analogy] I had a very informative discussion with an old man about history. He told me that once they had a meeting at the White House with American representatives and made a long heart-felt presentation about the effects of colonialism on their country and that they wanted the Americans to help them in their pursuit of freedom. After the presentation, the Americans told the delegation that they understand the Africans’ plight. However, they cannot assist as it was not in their interests and that if ever they gain independence then they should come back to America because it will then be in the interest of Americans to work with them. This is exactly what these colonists do; they will not give you the time of day unless they get to benefit something from what you ask of them.
- The Black Colonists have created delusions in society: Meaning that the concepts of “freedom”, “equality”, “reconciliation”, etc., become abstract terms because the very people that are supposed to be enjoying them are in the same material conditions as they were in the past. And some will ask “am I going to eat freedom and reconciliation?”
And the worst part is that these Black Colonists have monopolised these concepts, act as if only they have all the wisdom and only they are entitled to them.
There are countless other tendencies by the new Colonists and for emphasis I just mentioned the few above.
In conclusion, one always has to be weary because in matters like these you are not only supposed to criticise but one also has to advance a critical argument. Furthermore I refuse to be part of these armchair critics who are doomsayers and create a sense of despondency. These black Colonists take different shapes and forms, as stated earlier, so they can include politicians, church leaders, civic leaders, and others. What is apparent is that we need to stop these Black Colonists, but perhaps the HOW part of it can be the basis of the discussion. I will start by saying that I pledge, God-willing (and I do not use this term lightly), that I will not be counted amongst the Black Colonists one day as I aspire to have a meaningful contribution towards society in the future.