Libya and Slavery: Sheep without a Shepherd

Slavery_capture
Slave capture

For several weeks now, we have seen many people scream loud about the enslavement of Black people in Libya. I have seen Claudy Siar, whom I love, stand up outraged about the treatment of Black people in Libya, yet, I did not see him outraged when Libya was being bombed by NATO; I did not see him this outraged when migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea; I have not seen him outraged because MartiniqueGuadeloupe (where his family is from), and French Guiana, have been deprived of independence and are still Overseas territories of France today. I saw Samuel Eto’o and other footballers come out outraged, yet… I never saw Eto’o outraged that there are no roads to go to his village in Cameroon, I never saw him outraged that international companies exploit huge plantations in Cameroon without paying taxes (was he outraged when Lapiro de Mbanga was imprisoned for asking those companies to pay some little taxes?). I never saw these big footballers outraged that African youths are unemployed largely due to their presidents working hand-in-hand with European interests. Faure Gnassingbé, president of Togo even raised his voice against the enslavement of Africans in Libya, and was outraged! Are you serious, when he inherited the throne, presidency of Togo, after 38 years of Gnassingbé Eyadéma, his father’s reign? Alpha Blondy never said a word when Côte d’Ivoire was being bombed by France in 2011, yet today he opens his mouth for Libya, and wants the migrants to take up arms! Seriously?

Libya, the Prey of the West
Libya, the Prey of the West

I do not understand why we always act like sheep without a shepherd! Back in the middle of the 2000s, we were served with the genocide in Darfur, when Hollywood stars such as George Clooney came out in numbers claiming to care about the plight of the Black man, and saying that the Black people of Darfur Sudan were enslaved by their lighter skinned Sudanese brothers. This led to the creation of South Sudan, and Darfur, well… nothing happened in Darfur… so it had all been a scheme to split Sudan into 2, and take away its rich southern oil fields from the nation itself!

Children begging
Children begging

Do you think that African youths, if they had jobs in their countries, will not stay home? Do you think that if the FCFA was not this tax imposed on African countries (The 11 Components of the French Colonial Tax in Africa), they will not be developed? This outrage I hear should not be taken out on Libyans who had no say when their country was bombed by the Coalition that is NATO, but rather against our presidents who continue to stay in the FCFA zone (FCFA: France’s Colonial Tax on Africa), who continue to give at least 50% of our economies to France! France gets $500 Billions every year from 14 countries in Africa just from the currency, plus of course the free uranium of Niger, the free gold of Mali, the free plantations of Cameroon, the free cocoa of Côte d’Ivoire, etc. This has to stop! Our outrage cannot be taken out on Libyans, but rather on NATO, and now more than ever on those puppets that we call our presidents, who serve the interests of the Hexagon. Get out of the FCFA zone, and create jobs! Stop importing pencils, pens, and food, when you can grow and make your own and become sustainable economies to serve your youths! Africa is the continent with the youngest population, and with so many resources, and thus so much to develop! Africa is the future!

500 Fcfa_BEAO
500 Fcfa_BEAO

Yesterday, I heard a talk by Robert Bourgi who was the adviser to so many African presidents, good servants of Imperialist forces: MobutuOmar Bongo, etc; and he said that, what Africans were asking for was governmental alternance, i.e. election of new presidents. NO, we do not need new presidents who are just puppets of the West like Macky Sall or Alassane Ouattara who will sign off our future to the IMF and World Bank. We need a definite change, we want to be in charge of our economic destiny; we want to have our own currency, we do not want to pay a colonial tax when our forefathers died in WWI and WWII to liberate the French and the whole of Europe, when our ancestors were taken into slavery by Europeans to the Americas where their sweat was used to build Western economies. We want economic freedom to decide on our own terms whether we live or die. We will rather be poor with our own currency, than be a happy slave with a fake currency pegged to the Bank of Paris, which used to take 85% of our revenues and now takes 50%. All the same, We have had enough! So our outrage should not be at our Libyan brothers, because we do know that our true Libyan brothers will never do that, Khadafi fought for us Africans to be free from imperialist forces, but to our presidents, to our elites, who refuse to free us, who refuse to stand up and seize the moment! We, the people, want freedom, economic freedom! No More FCFA!

Maryse Condé: The Birth of the African Epic Fiction

Maryse Condé
Maryse Condé

Maryse Condé is a Guadelopean/ French writer.  She was married to a Guinean actor, and as such has always kept the patronym ‘Condé’ which hails from Guinea.  She is a strong writer, and in my opinion, one of the best female writers of African descent.  Her writing is deep, and encompasses a mixture of creole ancestry, and African culture.  She has had a distinguished career as a writer and has taught at several prestigious universities in the US and France: Columbia University, University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, UCLA, University of Maryland, University of Virginia, Sorbonne, and Nanterre.

She tends to write historic fiction where she focuses on racial, gender, and cultural issues. I am an avid reader of Condé’s books.  In I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem [Moi, Tituba Sorciere] she explores slavery, and black presence during the Salem witch trials (until I read this book, it had never crossed my mind that there could be Blacks in Salem at that time).

'Segu' by Maryse Conde
‘Segu’ by Maryse Conde

One of the best novels ever written on an African kingdom was that of the capital of the Bambara Empire  Segu [Ségou] by Maryse Condé, which is deep and resurrects a very well-known kingdom in Mali, as well as slavery at that time, tribal warfare, the advance of islam in West Africa, the clash of cultures between muslims and animists, as well as muslims and Christians later on, and finally the presence of the white colons and the start of European imperialism in Africa. Through her novel, one finds strong historical facts, such as the battle between Fanti and Ashanti people in Ghana divided between French and English (An African version of the French-Indian war), the presence of Yoruba people in Sierra Leone, the presence of slave communities of Yoruba descent in Brazil and Jamaica, the different historic places such as the Gold coast, the Slave coast, the Grain coast, the weakening of the Bambara by the Islamic conquest which left them vulnerable to any advance by the French colonizers, etc… The depth of this book makes it one of the best African epic novel. For anybody craving for a history of Africa in the 18th/19th century, Segu is the best out there!

Moi, Tituba Sorciere
Moi, Tituba Sorciere

Asked about the meaning of her writing, Condé says: Je ne suis pas un ‘écrivain à message.’ J’écris d’abord pour moi, pour m’aider à comprendre et supporter la vie. En racontant des histoires que j’espère signifiantes, je souhaite aussi aider les autres, ceux de mon peuple en particulier, à comprendre et à la supporter à leur tour. [I am not a ‘writer of messages’. I write first for myself, to help me understand and bare life. By telling stories that I deem meaningful, I hope to help others also, particularly my people, to understand and bare life as well.]

Condé has received several awards, including the Prix Liberatur (Germany) for Segu, the Grand Prix Littéraire de la Femme for I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, the Prix Carbet de la Caraïbe for Desirada, the Prix Marguerite Yourcenar for Le Coeur À Rire et À Pleurer (1999, Tales from the Heart: True Stories from my Childhood), and Le Grand Prix du roman métis for En Attendant la Montée des Eaux (2010). In 2001 she was ordained Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la France and in 2004 she was made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.  Please help me acclaim one of the greatest writers of African descent!!!  Enjoy this interview given by Maryse Conde to Elizabeth Nunez on Grioo.com   The website “ile-en-ile” provides a complete bibliography of her work. You will find a detailed biography of Condé on Kirjasto, and this interview of Maryse Conde where she discusses her book Victoire: My Mother’s Mother, about her grandmother.