Robert Mugabe and His Contribution to Africa

Robert Mugabe Ave in Namibia_3
Robert Mugabe Avenue, next to the Parliament, in Windhoek, Namibia

Namibia’s Founding President Sam Nujoma has described the late Zimbabwean President Robert Gabriel Mugabe as one of the continent’s most iconic leaders who fought for the liberation of his country and that of Africa at large. “He will be remembered as one who stood firm when others wavered. He was an iconic Pan-Africanist,” Nujoma said.

Robert Mugabe_7
Zimababwe’s President Robert Mugabe chants Zanu PF slogans with supporters gathered at the Harare International Conference Centre in Harare, Wednesday May 3, 2000. Mugabe launched the Zanu PF’s election manifesto which bears the slogan “Land is the Economy and the Economy is Land”. (AP Photo/Christine Nesbitt)

Robert Mugabe’s contribution to the freedom of Namibia, and all of Southern Africa and Central Africa is so immense that there are streets named after him throughout the region; for instance, an avenue bears his name in downtown Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. He worked tirelessly for the liberation of most of Southern Africa, including his very own country of Zimbabwe. Many countries such as Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa (with the fall of the Apartheid regime), Angola, owe their freedom to his unwavering support. Even in the  Democratic Republic of the Congo, (DRC), his support, sending troops there, helped avert total chaos. Joseph Kabila, former president of the DRC said, “We will forever remember the worthy son of Africa, who came to our rescue when our country was victim of a foreign aggressor. The continent has lost one of its pan-African leaders, a hero of independence.

Don’t agree with everything you read online, in the Western newspapers. When an African leader stands for his people and is fighting for their freedom, the western press calls him a dictator, a heretic: Laurent Gbagbo, Muammar KadhafiKwame Nkrumah at the end of his life, Sekou TouréPatrice Lumumba, … When he serves western interests in pillaging his country, he is a democrat and a friend: Paul Biya, Omar BongoAlassane Ouattara,  Mobutu Sese Seko, and countless others. Pay attention and you will see… and since the media are controlled by the west, we get a different version, very far from reality.

Robert Mugabe - Fidel Castro in Namibia1
Map of Windhoek’s city center on the plate of the National Museum of Namibia, showing the Robert Mugabe Ave and the Fidel Castro St., as well as the Sam Nujoma Ave.

Everybody is stricken by some amnesia and forgets that the economic problems of Zimbabwe stemmed from economic sanctions imposed on them by Western powers such as the UK, US, and Europe. Before Mugabe fought for land restoration, he was knighted by the Queen of England, when he asked for the land of his forefathers to be returned to their rightful owners, he became a dictator. Go figure!

No wonder, Julius Malema of the EFF said “We must not allow our enemies to tell us how to remember [Robert Mugabe]; we know our heroes.”


Sekou Touré: Vive l’Indépendance (Time Magazine 16 Feb. 1959)

Sekou Toure, Cover Time Magazine, Feb. 16, 1959
Sekou Toure, Cover Time Magazine, Feb. 16, 1959

I had to share with you this Feb. 16, 1959 Time Magazine gem of an article on President Sekou Toure of Guinea, the first country to say ‘NO’ to France. As you will see, even the so-called ‘dictators’ of the world have graced the cover of Time Magazine when they were still ‘deemed’ good. Some of the article is a bit a mockery of Africans for wanting independence from their colonial masters, as it is referred to as ‘haste’ in the article (could you really have faulted Africans for wanting freedom?). Enjoy! The full article can be found at: Below are a few words.


Finally, Sékou Touré, 37 President of the new Republic of Guinea, a trim figure in a European busine suit, rose and raised his arm.
Vive l’indépendance!” he shouted, and three times the crowd roared back, “Vive l’indépendance!” “Vive l’Afrique!” he shrieked in a voice close to frenzy. Once again, the cry was three times repeated. There was no reason for Touré to do more. The crowd had seen and heard him, and that was enough.


Broad-shouldered and handsome. Sékou Touré is as dynamic a platform performer as any in all Black Africa. He is the idol of his 2,500.000 people, and the shadow he casts over Africa stretches far beyond the borders of his Oregon-sized country. As the head of the only French territory to vote against De Gaulle‘s constitution and thus to choose complete independence, he has been suddenly catapulted into the forefront of the African scene. ….

Part dedicated idealist and part ruthless organizer-perhaps the best in Black Africa-Guinea’s Touré should have problems enough just coping with the disruption that inevitably came with independence. But he, too, has dreams as wide as a continent. “All Africa,” says he, “is my problem.”

Samori Toure holding the Coran
Samori Toure holding the Coran

In a sense, he was born in the right place and with the right ancestry to favor a big role. Though Africa was, until the Europeans came, the continent that could not write, it had known its times of glory. Guinea was once part of the powerful Mali Empire that stretched from the French Sudan, on the upper reaches of the Niger, to just short of West Africa’s Atlantic Coast. When its 14th century ruler, the Mansa (Sultan) Musa, made his pilgrimage to Mecca, he traveled with a caravan of 60,000 men, and among his camels were 80 that each bore 300 lbs. of gold. … he turned the fabled city of Timbuktu into a trading center and a refuge for scholars.   … But the legend lived on of the warrior Samory, whom Sékou Touré claims as his grandfather.

Sekou Toure
Sekou Toure, one of Samori Toure’s grandson

When De Gaulle stopped off at Conakry on his swift tour of Africa before the referendum, Touré thundered in his presence: “We prefer poverty in liberty to riches in slavery.” Angrily, De Gaulle canceled a diner in time he was to have had with Touré, and the split was final. A few weeks later, 95% of the people of Guinea voted no to the De Gaulle constitution.


‘Women of Africa’ by Sekou Touré

Sekou Toure
Sekou Toure
African Woman
African Woman

So many of our revolutionary leaders have written books, poems, and essays.  The great Thomas Sankara, our African Che and president of Burkina Faso, wrote about empowering women, people, getting away from debt, and the Burkinabé revolution.  Amilcar Cabral not only wrote poems, but also revolutionary essaysAgostinho Neto, the first president of Angola, also wrote poetry, just as Senegal’s first president Leopold Sedar Senghor.  So it seems quite natural to find out that Sekou Touré, the grandson of Samori Touré, the only African president to say ‘NO‘ to France and de Gaulle, also wrote poetry.  So here, I leave you with a poem by Sekou Touré, on Women of Africa, and their rightful place in the revolution.

Women of Africa,

Women of the Revolution!

You will rise up to apex

You will journey endlessly

At a walking pace of the social Revolution,

To the rhythm of cultural progress,

In the train of economic boom

To the great and beautiful city

Of the exacting ends

And were in leading

Your brothers, your husbands and

your children…

Women of Africa,

Women of the Revolution!

Equality is not offered,

It must be conquered.

To emancipate the women

Is to rid the society

Of its blemishes, its deformities

The conquest of science,

The mastery of Techniques

Will open to the Women the way

That of intra-social combat

Rendering her “subject and no longer object”.

-Ahmed Sekou Toure

“Ôde à la Guinée” de Aimé Césaire

Aimé Césaire
Aimé Césaire

Aimé Césaire, le grand écrivain et poète Martiniquais, présente ici son Ôde à la Guinée… ce chant qui s’élève et embrasse la Guinée, ce pays si cher qui était le premier en Afrique francophone à reclamer son indépendance à la France, ce pays-là qui nous a montré à tous Africains, que comme disait si bien Sékou Touré: ‘nous préférons la pauvreté dans la dignité à l’oppulence dans l’esclavage.‘ C’est bien pour cela que Aimé Césaire a chanté pour la Guinée!


Ôde à la Guinée

Et par le soleil installant sous ma peau une usine de force et d’aigles
et par le vent sur ma force de dent de sel compliquant ses passes les mieux sues
et par le noir le long de mes muscles en douces insolences de sèves montant
et par la femme couchée comme une montagne descellée et sucée par les lianes
et par la femme au cadastre mal connu où le jour et la nuit jouent à la mourre des eaux de sources et des métaux rares
et par le feu de la femme où je cherche le chemin des fougères et du Fouta-Djallon
et par la femme fermée sur la nostalgie s’ouvrant
Guinée dont les pluies fracassent du haut grumeleux
des volcans un sacrifice de vaches pour mille faims
et soifs d’enfants dénaturés
Guinée de ton cri de ta main de ta patience
il nous reste toujours des terres arbitraires
et quand tué vers Ophir ils m’auront jamais muet
de mes dents de ma peau que l’on fasse
un fétiche féroce gardien du mauvais oeil
comme m’ébranle me frappe et me dévore ton solstice
en chacun de tes pas Guinée
muette en moi-même d’une profondeur astrale de méduses.

Aimé Césaire



Ode to Guinea” by Aimé Césaire

And by the sun installing a power and eagle fac­tory under my skin
and by the wind elab­o­rat­ing the passes it knows best over my power of tooth of salt
and by the black ris­ing along my mus­cles in sweet sap-like effron­ter­ies
and by the woman stretched out like a moun­tain unsealed and sucked by lianas
the woman with the lit­tle known cadas­tre where day and night play mora for spring­head waters and
rare met­als
and by the fire of the woman in which I look for the path to ferns and to Fouta Jal­lon
and by the closed woman open­ing on nostalgia


Guinea whose rains from the cur­dled height of vol­ca­noes shat­ter a sac­ri­fice of cows for a thou­sand
hungers and thirsts of dena­tured chil­dren
Guinea from your cry from your hand from your patience
we still have some arbi­trary lands
and when they have me, killed in Ophir per­haps and silenced for good,
out of my teeth out of my skin let the make
a fetish a fero­cious guardian against the evil eye
as your sol­stice shakes me strikes me and devours me
at each one of your steps Guinea
silenced in myself with the astral depth of medusas

from The Col­lected Poetry of Aimé Césaire, trans­later by Clay­ton Esh­le­man and Annette Smith.

Guinea: the country who dared say ‘NO’ to France


Dear all,

Last week was the second turn of elections in Guinea, and it only made sense to talk about Guinea. Well… Guinea is a country in West Africa whose capital is Conakry… it is a country rich in minerals such as bauxite, gold, diamonds, magnesium, etc. It is well-known for his first president Sekou Toure, who was the first to say ‘NO’ to France in 1958. In his own words, he said: “It is better to be poor and free, than to live in opulence and be a slave.” Guinea, thus became the only nation in French Africa to say ‘NO’  to the General de Gaulle and France. It was seen as a treason and an affront… and France never forgave Guinea, destroying files when leaving, withdrawing abruptly, destroying infrastructures, and breaking political and economic ties. I will not say much, but the video below says it all… Sekou Toure and the people of Guinea dared to say ‘NO’, and for that we, from French Africa, are forever thankful!

Sekou Toure
Sekou Toure

Je lance un appel à tous les Guinéens d’aller sur Wikipedia corriger l’histoire de leur pays. La définition sur Wikipedia est très incomplète! Nul part est-il mentionné le fait que la Guinée était le seul pays en Afrique Francophone à dire ‘NON’ à la France; et à cause de cela, ils ont été persécutés!