Colonialism is a thing of the past. It’s the older generations who are responsible. It happened eons ago, get over it. There’s no point of being angry. It’s no longer relevant. Nothing can be done about it anyway.
These are words I’ve heard too many times; especially of late. I really don’t understand why it is so hard for people to simply pick up a book or even just open their eyes and realize that in actual fact, Colonialism is NOT a thing of the past and it is still very much relevant in today’s social, economic and political climate. The matter of the fact is that economic arrangements were created by former colonial powers to maintain control of their former colonies and dependencies after the colonial independence movements. This is how for example Kenya – Africa’s largest and the world’s third largest producer and exporter of black tea – can produce tea and have it sold back to us for a higher price. This is how; that despite the amount of tea that is produced in Kenya, the revenue is quite negligible in comparison. The same goes for a lot of other countries in Africa. Private, foreign business companies including multinational corporations continue to exploit the resources of post-colonial peoples, and this economic control is akin to the classical, European colonialism.
Furthermore, this business of Western countries feeling that it is their duty to get involved in other countries’ matters that don’t involve them is beyond me. Such nations behaving like colonial powers and dictating what must or must not happen in a foreign country is just another form of economic imperialism. If you want an example, just look at what transpired during Kenya’s recent elections. Western nations felt it was their business to express their views on what was happening in Kenya and even go as far as to say what should or should not happen in Kenya. The result? A conference held by Kofi Annan to “convince” a.k.a force into place a new system of government with a prime minister which is completely alien to Kenya. Soon with the way things are going, we’ll have a King and a Queen!
Finally, I don’t believe that it is solely older generations who are responsible. As far as I am concerned, our purpose here on this earth is to rectify the mistakes of our ancestors and make sure that we do not repeat those same mistakes. Therefore, if there are still systems in Kenya that continue to support a colonialist structure, WE are all responsible for tearing down those structures and refusing to support them. If there are laws in Kenya that still privilege foreigners over Kenyans themselves, it is OUR responsibility to ensure that these laws are done away with. If there are still major land distribution inequalities, it is OUR job to ensure that the land is equally divvied, so we can all look forward to a better, honest and just future.
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