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87 Chapter 5 Africa Must Get Rid of Colonial D Debris Nkwazi Mhango . Figure 1 Dr. Livingstone's statue, Mosi-oa Tunya, Zimbabwe Introduction Generally speaking, any heritage for any people or society acts as a link between the past and the present be it traumatic or rewarding. African heritage, as any heritage has two facets. It has positive and negative impacts on the society. As we Africans Strive for the 88 future, our heritage plays an important role especially selfevaluation . I therefore in this chapter look at African heritage as far as colonial debris or colonial legacies re concerned. I strongly suggest that Africa has to do away with colonial debris that–for long–have been treasured without underscoring the fact that such colonial debris traumatise our people. I see no logic whatsoever to emulate and revere–for instance–the effigies of colonial agents whose role in colonising africa is great. Ithink that time for errecting effigies of our people has at last arrived. Historically, we cannot deny the occurrences of some events such as colonialism, liberation and other struggles that Afica has always been involved in. we also consider the law of reprocity whereby two sides or societies complement one another. However, this has never been the case between colonisers and the colonised. Africa – currently – has many effigies of european colonialist while the West does not have any of African icons of liberation. To do justice to ourselves and those that colonised us, Africa needs to errect the effigies of her heroes and heroines. It is of no use whatsover –for example –for Arica to treasure the effigies, names and deeds of colonial agents be they merchants, missionaries, explores and colonial governors. So, pulling down all colonial effigies does not act as an act of decolonising the minds of our people, but also reducing or removing the trauma such effigies have caused to our people. When the status of Cecil John Rhodes at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, was brought down on 9 April 2015 after one student protested its presence amidst the college which was supposed to be a centre for critical thinking I was elated due to the fact his happened when I was writing this chapter. Such heroic and awakening act gave me more strength apart from motivating me. It assured me that there were people who were thinking like me. So, it was like the first litmus paper for my thoughts. One student felt traumatised by the presence of this colonial reality and its legacy. This informs us about how some of our people have been traumatised for years in places where the monuments of agents of colonialism that tortured Africans still loom high among them. What transpired at the UCT Campus must be a starting point 89 or a spark of what should follow as far as colonial mementos are concerned. Such uglier past needs to be erased from amidst us even if there are those who think that they are a part of our history. I tend not to agree with this. I don’t think if let say your ancestors were criminal you would like to glorify their criminality instead of trying to erase it. As Eyal Weizman once said that architecture and the built environment are a kind of a slow violence, figurines, and all symbolisms of colonial agents, is the architecture of colonialism which shows how Africa has nary divorced her colonial past. The existence of such disgrace amidst us, apart from traumatising us, shows how we need to decolonize our minds so as to see the trauma. The need to decolonise the African mind was long suggested by African scholars and political figures such as Ngugi wa Thiongo and Julius Nyerere, Paulo Freire, and others. So, too, we need to decolonize our streets, universities, rivers, lakes, national parks and with many other things with African tug. Africa needs the architecture of freedom and emancipation that will replace all this messy and contaminative colonial architecture she currently treasures instead of erasing. For South Africans, for example, the statues of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Shaka Zulu, Solomon Mahlangu, Steve Biko and other freedom heroes evoke hope and act as a reminder of the brutal past they went through. Such statues are the beacons to the future generation. For, apart from showing the brutal past, they preserve heroic struggle and resilience of Africans against colonialism and other imperialistic vices. So, if Africa wants to keep her brutal past...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9789956763252
Related ISBN
9789956763726
MARC Record
OCLC
938324138
Pages
376
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-12
Language
English
Open Access
No
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