“War is Africa’s perpetual ripe fruit.There is so much injustice to resolve,such desire for revenge in the blood of the people,such crippling corruption of power,such unseemly scramble for natural resources.The wind of power shifts and there go the fruit again ,tumbling toward the ground ,each war more inventively terrible than the last.”-
Cocktail hour under the tree of forgetfulness -Alexandra Fuller
This was my first thought after reading this analogy by Ms Fuller.
Reading through the wars that have plagued the continent,we seem to have developed a knack for coming up with more terrible ways to revenge perceived wrongs.
If it’s not tribes trying to correct historical injustices,its victims of Africa’s colonial past who want the wrongs that were committed then corrected now.
But can we really rewrite history?
We can only seek to understand it,learn from its lessons and hopefully never make the same mistakes again.
For Africa to ever move forward all ethnic and religious groups living here must acknowledge that this is home .
We can never claim to own a part of this continent or a part of any corner of the globe because soon we will be dust.
As Shakespeare says…as flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.
One moment we are here,the next we are gone.
Of what use will be theesources we fought over,the acreageso land we fought over and the power we mindlessly hang on be?
Recently these wars have taken a new dimension because now we are fighting under the guise of our beliefs.Think of the sectarian violence in Nigeria, where Chrisitans and the war in Somalia that has been driven by fundamentalists…it never seems to end.
Yet the underlying reasons for the wars remain the same power and resources.
Why do we find even more ingenious reasons to kill and maim each other?
The wheels of history grind on and todays wars will be history tomorrow but we never learn.
As soon as one fire is put out in one corner of Africa another erupts in another corner of the continent.
We cannot keep insisting in righting historical injustices half a century later or else we will always be looking backwards instead of forwards.
We need to learn to live with the scars past wars have wrought on us and swear that it shall never happen again.
We need to forget the prejudices we hold against other tribes,ethnic and religious groups and realize Africa belongs to none of us,it belongs to all of us.
We need to make sure the next generation of Africans be they black ,white,green or purple are not scarred by the mistakes of the past.
We need to find a reason to end the wars……