Monday, January 19, 2015

The Significance of Martin Luther King Jr's Story to Africa in Particular and Humanity in General

Image Courtesy of Us Embassy Harare Facebook page
The life of Martin Luther King Jr should inspire Africans if not humanity as a whole. The period in which it is set, the plot in which it plays out and the outcome all tell a story-line of struggle, hope and defiance but above all faith and courage. All which the humanity of today needs.

A close analysis at Kings story will reveal an unimaginable tale of a strong human being who was able to rise above the prevailing situation and the propensity with which the situation was at that time was not easy and so for him to rise within that context must not only inspire Africans but also teach humanity a lesson. That which you believe in you must stand up for. I was personally inspired by Luther early on in life because having read the history of America and the tales of the slave trade and then reading about a young man standing up in that realm to find a voice and speak out against injustice is the most inspirational and selfless a human being can do for humanity. I am convinced that at that time with what was going on to black people he would have known the risks involved and the perilous outcome of his activism would have been one that he must have thought about and envisaged but that did not deter him.

The tragedy of Africa today is the breed of cowards that we are so much so that we lack enough revolutionaries who can stand up and challenge the status quo. The rot that is going on in our continent. Because as much as the untold suffering of African people has been brought on by foreigners it has also been brought on by our own leaders. And to challenge that we do not have enough Martin Luthers to stand up and start a revolution to change things for ourselves because in any revolution there has to be those that are prepared to stand up and say this is wrong and lead the people to freedom. And as Jean-Jacques Rousseau aptly put it, in Africa we are ''born free but everywhere in chains''

In Africa innocent young girls and women get killed and tortured and raped. And I wonder what their crime is. Two consenting adults of the same sex loving and caring for each other are condemned to life imprisonment but honestly can they be equated to criminals who loot state resources, kick the poor off their own land into the rain, empty state coffers for lavish holidays while premature babies die for lack of warmth because there is no electricity in public hospitals, the war lords who have killed and maimed innocent women and children and sent men to fight a war they know nothing about or politicians who waltz into offices and do nothing but loot and rape the people who voted them in. In this kind of Africa where foreign companies are permitted to come in and loot our natural resources because they have paid huge bribes to the leaders of the country and thus the majority will suffer for the few bourgeoisie to get fatter and fatter. Where we kill those who speak the truth, those who defend basic human rights and deny people their basic rights such as to just love each other even if the share the same sex if that is their choice so why should we bother with them.

In an Africa like that, there should be one or two Luthers to come out and stand up and lead a revolution for the people and march the people towards freedom. We need the Luthers that will do the inevitable even in the face of death even if they know they will die for it but they will do it.
And as he himself prophetically said “If a man has not found something worth dying for, he is not fit to live."

And by asking Africans to stand up like what Martin Luther King Jr did, another legend concurs with me; ''Whatsoever things common to man, that man has done, man can do,'' Marcus Garvey.

For the benefit of those who may not know Martin Luther King Jr here is a snippet from Wikipedia.
Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in theAfrican-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.

1 comment:

Dorothy Johnson-Laird said...

Great and provocative piece! We do need more Martin Luther King Jr.s to stand up in Africa and also the rest of the world.