Tackling liberation memory loss and white lies

24 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Tackling liberation memory loss and white lies

The Sunday Mail

Richard Runyararo Mahomva

COMMISSIONING of the Pupu Memorial Monument last week marked an assertive and important walk back to the past by the Head of State and Government, President Mnangagwa.

The launch site evokes the muzzled past of black excellence and points to posterity the once obliterated memory of African greatness.

In December 1893, the Allan Wilson Patrol was vanquished by King Lobengula’s mighty army, led by General Mtshana Khumalo.

The decimated settler forces have been recorded in our history as brave stalwarts of the imperialist cause, which was overwhelmingly fought by our people.

In the process, the formative success of our imperialist resistance had not been given due credit.

Therefore, the monument immortalises that once silent story of black victory.

The hushed tale of Pupu represents the many selective anecdotes of colonial historiography, whose collateral effect has been the justifying pillar for neo-colonial rationality.

The superficial superiority complex of whiteness has been predicated on the false victories and historical lies of colonial powers.

Consequently, this position has conceived excesses of white domination in the lives of our people.

Years after the fall of the colonial state, the predominance of the white lie continues to manifest through external interference in sovereign affairs of liberated nations.

Policymaking is still benchmarked in terms of colonially determined principles.

The efficacy of democracy is still couched in undertones of colonial imposing narratives.

Elections in Africa continue to be a subject of Western anthropological spectacle, as if Africans have no agency to create humanist political cultures.

Pursuant to the inferiority complex fabrications of our political-economy whitewashing, the continent is made to think that its models of development should be adopted from Western nations and their proxy international financial institutions.

This explains why the turn to alternative sources of capital and attempts to break the asymmetrical global political (dis)order by Global South nations is met with multi-sectoral resistance through neo-liberal-aided civil society organisations and pro-West propaganda machinery.

Such is the power of the white lie that emanates from a historically embedded sense of self-constructed importance.

The very purpose of colonialism was that of creating a systematic ontological downgrade of the colonial subject so as to justify an inferiority complex perpetuation for land theft, exploitation and the annihilation of African cultures.

After successfully inflicting their lie to dehumanise and vulgarise everything African, it takes a dedicated position for Africans to rewrite their past and deconstruct the prejudices of the white lie.

The commissioning of the Pupu Memorial is a noble step in retracing the story of black courage in dismantling colonialism.

This is a landmark milestone which exterminates the weaponisation of history to undermine the dignity of Africans.


The modern white lie

From the days of our armed struggle, white liberals, driven by a false sense of importance, would authoritatively articulate the course of our nationalist politics.

Oftentimes, they present themselves as if they were better placed to write and talk about our struggle more than our nationalist leaders, who bore the brunt of colonial repression.

Their dual acceptability among black nationalist and neo-colonial comprador elite circles makes them appear as credible figures to predict the “political future”, and yet in purporting to be “political seers”, they will be aligning themselves with whatever side of the future which secures their interests and political relevance.

Their association with our nationalist movements was, and is still, based on a self-arrogated advisory status, which culminated in some of them denouncing important turning points in the full realisation of our national independence.  They may posture to be advisers to nationalists and nationalist movements, but they would never swear any bona fide allegiance to nationalist parties.

But, all the same, they would want to be associated with nationalist decision-making bodies and financial regulatory authorities the same way they were involved in high-level processes of negotiated independence and its subsequent failure to nationalise the economy.

In the post-colony, their proximity to the nationalist movement is meant to preserve loot residues of the privileges they inherited from the colonial state.  Riding on their inherent sense of racial narcissist superiority complex, they will always make it a point to inflate their advisory/consultancy roles to black governments just to prove that as individuals, they are smarter than institutional systems of the state.

Such is the crisis of white liberalism and its continued validation in defining the future of the “independent state” in Africa.

In reactionary neo-colonial opposition politics, the same characters present themselves as master think tanks of regime-change missions, thereby asserting their self-involvement in opposition politics as more important than that of the card-carrying members.

Such is the mess of white liberalism Africa.

With all these forces of memory erasure, Zimbabwe and Africa must be ready to write themselves back into the future.


Richard Runyararo Mahomva is the Director for International Communication Services in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. Email: [email protected]

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