Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
Because African people at home and abroad are yet to be completely unified and liberated, it should be accepted that the manner US-EU imperialist forces function during the holiday season is not only detrimental to our psychological make-up but can no longer be culturally embraced.
One of the most innovative examples that magnifies so-called African American social and political expression is the holiday Kwanzaa, which begins on December 26 and ends of January 1.
Its founder is Dr Maulana Karenga, who was a founding member of us (meaning us as African people) and it stems from the Watts rebellions 50 years ago in Los Angeles that ignited urban rebellions which saw 289 cities inside US borders go up in flames between 1965 and 1968.
From its inception Kwanzaa has been perceived as a culturally uplifting alternative to Christmas, since Fortune 500 companies are without question guilty of exploiting the legacy and symbolism of Jesus Christ every holiday season.
As a consequence, Jesus has taken a back-seat to Santa Claus or as he is called in African and Caribbean nations, Father Christmas.
Whether we celebrate Kwanzaa or Christmas, the African world has a historical responsibility to rally around President Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe, this act of unity can and should catapult into defence and support committees for Zimbabwe all over the African continent and Diaspora.
During the 20th anniversary of the Million Men March, whose theme was “Justice or Else”, the Honourable Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, called on so-called African Americans to wage an economic boycott this holiday season.
During his speeches and strategic brainstorming sessions, Minister Farrakhan credited Dr King and SCLC with revolutionising the concept of boycotts during the protests in Montgomery, Birmingham and Selma.
The second day of Kwanzaa is called Kujichagalia, which stands for self-determination.
It would never be viewed as presumptuous if both the forces that take part, in the boycott led by Minister Farrakhan and those who religiously celebrate Kwanzaa, arrive at the conclusion that Zimbabwe’s Third Chimurenga be acknowledged on a pan-African scale as the embodiment of modern-day African resistance.
The very first day of Kwanzaa is Umoja, meaning to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Whenever discussions on the Zimbabwe question take place in the Diaspora, it has been too often overlooked that comrades in both ZANU and PF ZAPU that courageously put their lives on the line during the Second Chimurenga, never hesitate to tell the African world that the united Patriotic Front was the key to their victory against the British and Rhodesians on the battlefield.
One of the fundamental tenets of the Nation of Islam in the days of the most Honourable Elijah Muhammad was Unite or Perish, which the late pan- African freedom fighter Kwame Ture, never hesitated to mention.
It was the historical reference and inspiration he used, when pressuring the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan to take advantage of his position of occupying the centre ideologically speaking, which automatically positioned him individually and the NOI collectively to bring about a African united front amongst our organised formations in the US.
The third day of Kwanzaa is Ujima, which focuses on collective work and responsibility. In order to win the fight to lift US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe, it will certainly take a group effort, however, an objective political atmosphere is of paramount importance.
This simply means that national organisations and their spokespeople who either travel to Zimbabwe and have audience with President Mugabe have a historical obligation to learn about the grassroots efforts in our community where concrete projects, campaigns and initiatives are being developed aimed at strengthening ties with Zimbabweans and Africans in the Diaspora.
If they fail to do this before they travel to Zimbabwe, it sends a message they were simply on a fact-finding mission. Therefore, they had no real intention of following up on whatever they discussed with President Mugabe and ZANU-PF, or they were looking for an excuse to justify maintaining a safe distance from the frontline work being done on a daily basis due to an unwillingness to confront the Obama administration or the civil rights movement concerning Zimbabwe because they, through time, have emerged as the eyes and ears of the Democratic Party in our community.
Another crucial aspect concerning this dynamic is activists and organisations that attempt to pull wool over the eyes of President Mugabe and ZANU-PF and exaggerate the work they are doing on behalf of Zimbabwe.
These types of masquerades are worse than the Congressional Black Caucus working with both the Bush and Obama administrations to bring about regime change in Zimbabwe.
The Africans who celebrate Christmas understand that the Gospel of Christ represents selflessness and immeasurable sacrifice.
We urge every African who is a practising Christian at home and abroad to go back in recent history and study the deliberate and malicious tone US-EU imperialist propaganda outlets.
We feel this will automatically conjure up the image of Jesus Christ being crucified on the cross. While this is not an attempt to compare President Mugabe to Almighty Christ, this is to say without hesitation and apology, that US-EU imperialism represents the extension of Pontius Pilate and the Roman Empire.
The fifth day of Kwanzaa is called Nia which means purpose.
The veteran practitioners of this monumental occasion are well aware of the psychologically crippling narrative that suggests that Mother Africa is a part of our glorious past, however, not necessarily relevant in our present daily lives or in the immediate or distant future. This explains why the majority so-called African Americans view Zimbabwe in particular and Africa as a whole as foreign policy.
This contradiction challenges so-called African Americans who celebrate Kwanzaa to fight to lift US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe in the same manner that the civil rights icon and matriarch Ella Baker demonstrated when she boldly condemned Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia.
It would be criminal to celebrate Kwanzaa and in the aftermath vote for Hillary Clinton who is a co-sponsor of the Zimbabwe Democracy Economic and Recovery Act of 2001.
The sixth principle of Kwanzaa is Kuumba which means creativity.
If the practitioners of this glorious occasion take the time to carefully study the First, Second and Third Chimurengas, they will agree that everything from Nehanda’s revolt to the Crocodile Group, Land Reclamation Programme, Look East Policy are all steeped in humanism and originality.
The seventh principle is Imani which means faith, a crucial ingredient in the African revolutionary process.
This imposes a challenge on so-called African Americans who due to self-hatred and indoctrination have prematurely arrived at the conclusion they know what is best for President Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe.
What this suggests is that if so-called African Americans have the privilege of engaging Zimbabwe’s leadership they should do more listening than talking.
Each Kwanzaa celebration begins with libation what Dr Karenga refers to as Tamshi La Tambiko. It is a powerful ritual when we pour drops of water and invoke the spirit of our bravest ancestors who lost their lives on the battlefield.
We should make a concerted effort to celebrate all Zimbabweans that transitioned to the ancestors during the First, Second and Third Chimurengas. When we celebrate our resistance we intensify our African fighting spirit.
- Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and External Relations Officer of ZICUA (Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association). His email is [email protected]