African unity and solidarity are no longer dreams. They must be expressed in decisions – Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba, captured shortly after Belgium lost Congo in 1960.

Today on time with the ancestors, we will have a look at the thoughts of one of the continent’s founding heroes, a Pan-Africanist and revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba. The man who dedicated his life to the fight against colonialism, exploitation and injustices and also played a critical role in Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium.

Today’s thoughts will be taken from a speech he delivered at the opening of the All-African Conference in Leopoldville on August 25, 1960. In this speech, Lumumba made lots of useful statements that demands critical consideration.

The first on the list we will look at is an excerpt in which he said that, “…The time of projects has passed. Today Africa must take action. This action is being impatiently awaited by the peoples of Africa. African unity and solidarity are no longer dreams. They must be expressed in decisions…”

The motivation for this statement is something we need to critically assess. It expresses an issue we face today in our struggle for total liberation and unity. Today’s Pan-Africanist sees the dream of unity and believes in it but prides him/herself mostly in rhetoric without real action. We need to see beyond the talks, the rants and take drastic decisions by drafting workable plans, mobilizing people with the right mindset and a collective effort towards the achievement of this dream.

Second on the list is a further statement the revolutionary leader made by stating that, “…We had to create a new system adapted to the requirements of purely African evolution, change the methods forced on us and, in particular, find ourselves and free ourselves from the mental attitudes and various complexes in which colonization kept us for centuries…” This statement makes lots of sense to today’s occurrences. It is irrefutably true that Africa needs to deal with the colonial legacies that were left behind, change our educational syllabus and mode of operation altogether, rebuild the continental structures and mechanisms to reflect and sustain our true values, among many others.

Patrice Lumumba Congolese first Prime Minister from June until September 1960.

Additionally, Lumumba stated that “Our goal is to revive Africa’s cultural, philosophical, social and moral values and to preserve our resources.” The call from this statement is worth our effort. The unique African values must be protected at all costs from the effects of globalization and colonial factors. Aside that, the deliberate attempts to erode the core values of the continent with alien practices must be resisted.

The final thought we can look at is the message of determination towards the dream of unity. Patrice opined that “..it is your duty (as a freedom fighter) to show the world and those who sneer at us that nothing can deter us from liberating Africa, which is our common aim. We can achieve this aim only in solidarity and unity. Our solidarity will have meaning only when it is boundless and when we are convinced that Africa’s destiny is indivisible…”

This is a call to duty. The younger generation must take up the fight from where these freedom fighters left it and push it harder. The ancestral knowledge bank is full of many things that we can learn together and apply to make the dream of Pan-Africanism a reality for the continent’s collective good. Till we meet next week on the Day With Ancestors, (DWA), kindly keep following updates on EyeGambia.

Best wishes!