"We again rededicate ourselves in the struggle to emancipate other countries in Africa; For our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of the African continent." So said Nkrumah as the clocks struck midnight on March 5th, 1957 (he was ousted in a western-backed coup in 1966), and those words remain as relevant today as they did then. For who but the most naïve would declare that Africa today is truly liberated?
Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria's first president, spawned a philosophy of African liberation that identified five concepts for Africa's movement towards freedom: spiritual balance, social regeneration, economic determination, mental emancipation and political resurgence. Still relevant.
When it became clear that Patrice Lumumba wanted genuine independence for DR Congo (which meant control of its natural resources), the US government, in complicity with the Belgians, decided he was a mad dog who had to be killed. And so he was.
History will one day have its say, but it will not be the history that Brussels, Paris, Washington, or the United Nations will teach, but that which they will teach in the countries emancipated from colonialism and its puppets... a history of glory and dignity. - Patrice Lumumba, 1960
Tireless emcee and producer Teck-Zilla (from the Nigerian hip-hop collective Str8Buttah) has spliced together snippets of wise words from some of Africa's liberation thinkers and fighters with some hard-edged hip-hop beats to create a quasi audio-documentary called the Afro J.E.T.S. Club Project (for Justice, Equality, Truth and Sacrifice), and it's yours to download for FREE.
The words of those who made great strides for Africa ring in our ears today, and should continue to inspire until the continent achieves genuine liberation and economic independence. But while we remember their words we should not forget to ask ourselves: what am I doing to make great strides for Africa?
Additional vocals by Faisal Sahib and Lauren Roberts