The Ultimate Betrayal

("Saving For Old Age," by my father Elimo Njau, co-founder of Paa Ya Paa Creative Arts Center in Nairobi (in the 1960s and it is still standing today).)

It does not matter whether or not we are among those who let it happen.

We are all guilty. Actors and spectators. Eye-witnesses and plunderers.

We recognize each other in our indifference, our slow poison, our greed for power.

African First Lady So-and-so, Professor of this-and-that. We profess our concern for the enterprise and culture of Africa.

Tell me, modern day Judas Iscariots, what have you done with the joy and the power of the land?

Witness, as the people of Mayotte, voted to be recolonized by France.

A vote, of no-confidence in Africa’s independent future. The death, of a sovereign nation, the despair in a continent wrought by corruption, cruelty and brutality. A harbinger of future recolonizations in Africa.

It is my prayer that Africa is liberated from the human tragedy playing out, fashioned by the hands of leaders, incapable of governing: Abacha, Bokassa, Jammeh, Kibaki, Mugabe, Museveni, to name a few.

It is my prayer that Africa heeds the warning of Mayotte and its recolonization.

It is my prayer that we charge ourselves with the duty to demand, on behalf of mankind, humane governments; to encourage the winds of change; to stop the betrayal of the people of Africa.

It is my prayer that we do this in remembrance of the bones of our ancestors.

And one day we will rise victorious, our spirits liberated to shine freely amongst the living and the dead.

Because, Africa belongs to us all!

I wish you a Happy Easter.

Mama Shujaa.

Copyright © Hana Njau-Okolo 2009. All Rights Reserved


  1. Happy Easter Mama....lovely piece

  2. Happy Easter to you, too! Good article, and sad, too.

    Greetings from London.

  3. Thanks to you Cee, T. Allen-Mercado and A Cuban in London.

  4. Hello Mama - this is so true, and one of the things that are hard to grasp for people who see Africa from the outside. Why such a concentration of Mugabes over the years? Is it a consequence of colonization? Any black leader is better than a white leader? Is this what lets the corrupt, sadistic worms out of the woodwork?
    So sad, too, that people (like those of Mayotte) lose faith in themselves, their people and their continent.
    I never fail to find something here to make me think. I'm honored that you visit me and my rattlings...

  5. Happy Easter to you too!!!! May God answer those prayers for such a truly needed cause. Continue lifting up with your words of wisdown and encouragement!!!!!

  6. @Stine: Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Definitely colonization played a part with its tactic of divide and conquer and its attendant evils perpetrated against Africans: brutality, rape, murder.

    With regard to your question "Any black leader is better than a white leader?" Well, the continent of Africa consists predominantly of Black Africans, therefore naturally subsequent leaders in post colonial years would be Black Africans. And if I am not wrong, there are some White members of parliament (MPs) in South Africa today, still.

    It is unfortunate and true that corruption exists worldwide. It is as old as human beings. We hear about the rampant corruption in Latin America for instance. We all heard about the brutality and corruption in the old Soviet Union; oppression and corruption in Pakistan. The list goes on. Here in the U.S. the massive corruption is somewhat offset by certain basic infrastructures that are in place, some forms of recourse that ordinary human beings feel they can pursue.

  7. @Moto Mama: Thank you. Indeed, I believe good things are in the horizon for the continent.

  8. I'll be praying with you Mama S. Hope you had a wonderful Easter.



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