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Are today's 'Pan Africanists' the most colonially-brainwashed?

07 Mar 2023 at 10:54hrs | Views
I am one of those who, at times, receives the fury of those who claim to be 'Pan Africanists' - on accusations of pandering to western interests, and being a victim of a colonial mindset.

My crime?

Merely criticizing the Zimbabwe regime's very high propensity for greed and cruelty, through the plundering of our national resources - thereby, plunging millions of ordinary citizens into unimaginable poverty and suffering - whilst, savagely subjugating any who may object.

The question is, 'Just how exactly does one define or classify a person as having African pride?'

Furthermore, who has the authority to set these guidelines - as well as the moral high ground to categorize those who are 'puppets of the west' and those who are 'proudly African'?

If these guidelines are even in place, can someone be so kind as to share with me!

Why I am posing these questions is on account of the obvious confusion and double standards observed amongst those who claim to be paragons of Africanism, and whose love for our values and customs is unsurpassed.

This is even more glaring in a post-colonial Africa - particularly right here in Zimbabwe.

For starters, what is so colonial-minded about speaking out against the deliberate impoverishment, marginalization and oppression of our own African people, at the hands of their fellow black leaders?

What is so wrong with condemning those who have chosen to enrich themselves with ill-gotten wealth derived from scandalous dealings - at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans, who have had to endure over two decades of poverty?

What is so anti-African about speaking out for millions of Africans, mainly Zimbabweans - whilst at the same time, standing up against rampant high-level corruption, sponsored and driven by the political elite?

In these supposed 'guidelines' on what defines a true 'Pan Africanist' - is loving one's people, country and continent synonymous with keeping silent (or even supporting) when the livelihoods of the citizenry are wantonly destroyed and turned into a living hell - by those who are meant to lead, protect and better them?

Please, help me understand!

Just because this ruling elite - at the forefront of ruining citizens' lives, and destroying a once prosperous country - are blackā€¦are we, then, supposed to keep quiet, as a sign of our patriotism and 'good Africanness'?

Nevertheless, my questions today go further than this.

There is a reason I am eager to learn more on what 'guidelines' are employed in defining what it means to be 'proud of one's Africanness'?

What makes some Africans believe they are more African than others - or, their understanding what being an African means exceeds the rest of us?

What I find rather disingenuous and counter-intuitive is how some of these proclaiming their unparalleled devotion to Africa and Africanness - themselves, voluntarily fled their own countries, particularly Zimbabwe - making their new homes in those 'pesky and imperialist' western nations.

Why did they abandon their own Africa, of which they claim to be so proud - more so, for the very countries they always accused of being 'enemies, who harbor intense loathing for Africans, and are out to destroy us'?

Surely, are they not terrified of being destroyed by these 'imperialists' - since, they have opted to abandon the African they 'love' - to reside right in the mouth of the lion!

Why not live comfortably and safely in their own Motherland - considering how these people, who supposedly love and appreciate the 'visionary and outstanding leadership' of these brutal repressive kleptocracies in power, especially in Zimbabwe - always praise and glorify how the country is developing, with citizens' livelihoods improving?

Why did they follow these 'hateful evil imperialists' all the way to their countries, in such places as the UK, US, and Europe - leaving behind the 'independence' which we all supposed to be enjoying, as we 'defeated' these 'monstrous colonists'?

These 'Pan Africanists' regard themselves as experts and gurus on how to define a proper African - to the extent of describing our views and understanding of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights as being 'foreign' - as if there is an African version of these globally acceptable tenets.

Yet, it always fascinates me when I watch them enthusiastically supporting European and British football teams - as opposed to those of their own Zimbabwe!

Do they not find anything also skewed about making a whole lot of noise in fanatical support of Manchester United, or Arsenal, or Chelsea FC - without ever showing the same hysteria for our local Highlanders, Dynamos, CAPS United or FC Platinum?

They love speaking and writing in English - in fact, there are some whom I have never heard using their own mother tongues in their many public engagements!

Am I to assume they are ashamed of their vernacular languages?

Or, could it be because, it is much easier to boast of their intellectual capacities using the Queen's tongue - since it enables them to use big and complicated words - something they cannot effectively do using ChiShona, IsiNdebele, ChiChewa, or any others in our country!

I will not even bother dwelling on the western lifestyle, education, and other creatures comforts they now enjoy!

Again, I ask - what, then, defines what being a 'proud African' entails?

Does someone only become 'unAfrican' when they oppose and condemn a callous heartless ruling elite - whose only purpose on earth appears to steal, kill and destroy - in the process, reducing millions of their citizens into destitutes and paupers?

Surely, can that be what post-colonial 'Pan Africanism' has been turned into?

A vehicle or tool for the sole purpose of defending villainous repressive African leaders - in spite of the fact that their misrule and corruption is harming ordinary Africans more than anyone else?

In actual fact, based on numerous investigations - this political elitist clique's corruption is benefiting criminal syndicates based in Europe and Asia - as most of those fingered in scandalous dealings in Zimbabwe are from such countries as Belarus, China, Russia, Britain, UAE, and many others.

Who, then, are the real people being 'unAfrican' or even 'unpatriotic'?

Please, let us stop hiding our heinous hideous activities - which have caused indescribable suffering amongst the ordinary people - behind the veneer of 'Pan Africanism'.

If anything, this only results in the younger generation perceiving this beautiful wonderful concept as something disgraceful and disgusting - which should be despised, instead of being embraced and cherished.

- Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782293975, or email

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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