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Cry my Beloved Africa

Essays on the Postcolonial Aura in Africa

Peter Vakunta

Publication Year: 2008

Cry My Beloved Africa is a compendium of essays having as locus the continent of Africa. It comprises insightful observations on the politics, governmental systems, political economy, cultural practices, educational systems and natural phenomena that impact on the lives of Africans. True to the tradition of French novelist Stendhal, the author intends this work to serve as a mirror that reflects the day-to-day living of the different peoples that inhabit the fifty-three nation-states in Africa. It is directed to contemporary Africa and to the relationship between Africa and the rest of the globe. The didactic value of the book resides in its suitability to the young and the old. The language is clear and free of sophistry.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Dedication

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Acknowledgment

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pp. v-

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Preface

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pp. vi-

CRY, MY BELOVED AFRICA is a compendium of essays having as locus the continent of Africa. It comprises insightful observations on the politics, governmental systems, political economy, cultural practices, educational systems and...

Contents

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pp. viii-

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1. The Trouble with Africa

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pp. 1-10

All too often, talk about Africa revolves around pessimistic undertones: “A continent for the taking”, “the lost continent”, “the Dark Continent”, “a continent at risk” and more. Why is this...

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2. A Nation a Risk

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pp. 11-23

You may remember Animal Farm, the 1945 classic written by George Orwell. Many in my generation had to read this book in order to pass the General Certificate of Education (GCE) examination. Over the years I have come to see the relevance of...

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3. A Celebration of Diversity

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pp. 24-25

The capacity to embrace diversity has always been part and parcel of the African mindset. Our cultures melt and spread into subcultures which in turn generate aggregates. In a bid to forge a common cultural identity and avoid asphyxiation...

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4. False Start in Postcolonial Africa

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pp. 26-30

The African continent has been described as a medley patchwork of disparate ethnic groups lumped together for the administrative convenience of imperial powers. This has meant doom for Africans. In his celebrated...

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5. It's a Battlefield

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pp. 31-32

A cursory look at current events on the African continent leads one to scream like Graham Greene did many years ago in his book titled It’s a battlefield (1962). The title of his work brings to mind the telltale history...

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6. Discourse on Gender in Africa

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pp. 33-46

Pregnant, bare-foot, and in the kitchen! This is the portrait of the legendary African woman. In his novel titled Monnè: outrages et défis (1990:135) Ivorian writer, Ahmadou Kourouma bemoans the fate of the African...

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7. African Time and Other Africanisms

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pp. 47-49

It boggles the mind to think that in this day and time, some Africans continue to uphold the antiquated notion of ‘African time’. All too often, one finds people of color walking leisurely into boardroom at 2:00pm to attend a meeting that was scheduled for...

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8. Manufacturing the Illusion of Freedom

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pp. 50-54

As the winds of change continue to blow over Africa, the continent’s intelligentsia and friends of Africa spend sleepless nights brainstorming on possible remedies that may cure the myriad maladies afflicting the continent. Africa’s most...

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9. Myth about Africa's Collective Amnesia

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pp. 55-58

It is hard to disagree with a weighty viewpoint expressed by a concerned Africanist. In an article titled ‘Away with double standards’ published in the July edition of...

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10. A Continent's Dirty Linen

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pp. 59-60

The geographical expression called Niger Republic is the shame of the African continent. After outlawing slavery a couple of years ago and making this shameful practice a crime punishable with up to 30 years in prison, the government of this tiny desert...

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11. Phantoms of the Past

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pp. 61-62

One of the contraptions conceived by the West to subjugate Africans was the myth about Africa’s barbarity. The white man arrogated upon himself the task of bringing light to the so-called “dark” continent. Africans were perceived as a...

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12. Path to Rebirth

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pp. 63-64

The term “renaissance’” has come to mean different things to different people. In this light, it is necessary to put the expression into perspective. The New Encyclopedia Britannica defines “renaissance” as: "rebirth, the period in European...

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13. Hitler in Africa

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pp. 65-66

Led by Adolf Hitler, the Nazis committed unpardonable crimes against humanity many years ago. The tragic event has been described by historians as the Holocaust—the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of...

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14. Aporia: Africa's Demo-Dictators

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pp. 67-72

It is tempting to dismiss numerous complaints about abuse of power in Africa as the ranting of Afro-pessimists. But come to think of it, the continent is replete with demo-dictators, compulsive megalomaniacs who are simply obsessed with power. Africa’s...

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15. Africa's Tsunami

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pp. 73-76

When cataclysmic incidents like tsunami (the undersea earthquake that hit the peoples of Asia very hard) happen, one is bound to take a second look at the situation back in Africa where many countries have been hit as well by...

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16. Rite of Passage or Unsafe Ordeal

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pp. 77-79

Africa is replete with customs and traditions that need to be revisited and challenged. Such is the case with the rite of passage, or what many Africans call the “circumcision school”. Circumcision is a practice whereby the loose foreskin at the...

Notes

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pp. 80-81

Works Cited

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pp. 82-86

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956715985
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956558735

Page Count: 100
Publication Year: 2008