By Kambale Musavuli
For the past 8 years since Barack Obama started the Young Africans Leadership Initiative, I’ve witnessed how a group of African youth have been moved from being anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist to merely a class of petit bourgeois who are not fighting to transform the material conditions of their people but rather fighting to replace the current neocolonial agents and continue the brutal exploitation of our people and land.
When I read Fanon 10 years ago… I didn’t really understand why he was so angry at young Africans who had fought for independence for perpetrating the system. It is known that at the 1958 All African People’s conference Fanon asked people to take down the picture of Kwame Nkrumah which was placed in one of the rooms. He understood how the cult of personality will perpetrate the separation of classes and was not afraid to speak out against it.
Today in Congo, while the oppressed are fighting to free themselves from the effect of the primitive accumulation taking place in Congo, there is a petit bourgeois class who goes to embassies, UN, international fora speaking on behalf of the masses and preaching the story that Kabila must leave power yet they are not fighting to change the system that created Kabila. They are begging those who placed Kabila in power to support them in removing Kabila and presenting themselves as the future leaders of the Congo.
Let’s rest assure that while we may not be addressing these opportunists head on at this time, we know who they are and will deal with them in the real struggle on the ground with the masses. The battle is being waged on many fronts… and we are clear that this is a life-long battle to bring a better Congo to our people whereby the people control their resources and their land.
I leave you with these words from Fanon. 10 years ago when I read it did not make sense… but today, knowing what is being planned in dark rooms, Fanon was right:
“History teaches us clearly that the battle against colonialism does not run straight away along the lines of nationalism. For a very long time the native devotes his energies to ending certain definite abuses: forced labour, corporal punishment, inequality of salaries, limitation of political rights, etc. This fight for democracy against the oppression of mankind will slowly leave the confusion of neo-liberal universalism to emerge, sometimes laboriously, as a claim to nationhood. It so happens that the unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.”
The Wretched of the Earth (Chapter 3)