Damn Right Africans Embrace Nationalism

By Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
For those Africans residing on the homefront, who are analysing the mood, sentiments and exact political temperature of their extended kith and kin languishing in the Diaspora, by their kneejerk reactions to the every move of current US President Donald Trump had better think twice.

Let the historical record show that this humble warning is rooted in love, but at the same time is a word to the wise that we do not have the luxury of forgetting our relationship to US-EU imperialism even for a split second.

When President Trump recently defined a nationalist as one who loves their country while at the same time emphatically stating he is not a globalist and that he wants to take care of the US first, the concept of smoking mirrors was on full display.

Those amongst our ranks who will remain obedient and loyal to the annals of history, who are blessed to have same rather unique platforms at our disposal, are obligated to remind the masses of our people at home and abroad that every atrocity US-EU imperialism has committed past and present, had been done in the name of not only God but nationalism.

The trick in this instance is to realise first and foremost that our daily tug-of-war with the captors and colonisers of our ancestors, means holding firm to the values and principles that best define our genuine resistance past and present.

We can only imagine the rhythm and volume of President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF’s laughter the moment they heard President Trump declaring undying loyalty to US nationalism, since they wake up every single day fighting to lift US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe that were imposed in the name of this brand of imperialist and white supremacist brand of nationalism.

If President Trump’s hidden desire is to have a place in history next to Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler, and the first leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Forrest, in the final analysis, that is his prerogative.

We remember the Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh telling the world that it is patriotism not communism that initially inspired him to fight for his country’s liberation. The North Korean revolutionary Kim Il Sung developed the Juche philosophy through Korean nationalism.

At Caribbean festivals our people, due to intoxication, wave the flags of Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, the Bahamas, etc, by the time they sober up, they remember we got there after being snatched from Mother Africa.

President Trump’s grandstanding on the question of nationalism is a harsh reminder that Mother Africa’s daughters and sons are entirely too casual and consistently inconsistent in expressing African nationalism.

We call to the carpet those so-called African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa but only scream Kujichagalia (which means self-determination) at the top of their lungs between December 26 and January 1 or those who only educate African children about our collective experience during the month of February, who are functioning from the illusion that this pseudo-political expression is in harmony with the contributions of Maulana Karenga and Dr Carter G. Woodson, the father of African History.

When former US president Barack Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus declared war on former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF, the masses of Zimbabwe, we expected Africans inside US borders to stand and defend them in the name of nationalism.

The deceased national heroes and their modern day incarnations in Zimbabwe remind the African world, they represented the revolutionary minority in the SADC region who had indigenous battle cries during their liberation struggle, when everyone else shouted “A LUTA CONTINUA!”

We are eternally grateful to both ZANU-PF and the PAC for screaming “Pamberi neChimurenga” and “Izwe Lethu iAfrika” everywhere they travelled and generated support and defence for their historic efforts.

This is the brand of African revolutionary nationalism that even the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China weren’t ready to digest, because at that juncture in history nationalism had been polluted by imperialist and neo-colonialist forces.

The nationalism we speak of forced Dr King and SCLC to recognize that Kwame Ture and Mukasa Dada, on behalf of SNCC evoking the concept of Black Power, first articulated by Frederick Douglass and Richard Wright, was exactly what the doctor ordered.

We suggest those who seek to turn our revolutionary expression, that highest expression of African nationalism, is pan-Africanism, therefore calling yourself a pan- African nationalist is the equivalent of wearing your shirt and pants inside out. We thank the pan-Africanist giant Ahmed Seku Ture for stating pan-Africanism is class struggle, meaning nationalism and pan- Africanism in the African context are not a deviation from scientific socialism.

President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF must be saluted and embraced for reminding us that our wealth is rooted in defending our land and people.

Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and External Relations Officer to the Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association (ZICUFA).

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