The African experience is a global struggle, we do not feel at ease outside the continent, and our only place on earth that we call home is overexploited, our lives threatened, making our existence a daily survival for us all.
Neocolonialism, bad governance, corrupted leaders, we had it all and today we want to say that we deserve better as a group. Africa has been lively these past days, from people creating hashtags and invading streets to fight against police brutality, rape, child trafficking, feminicide and more.
MOYO AFRIKA : This article aim is to allow us, African, to own our narratives, and stop wanting western Medias to portray our problem through their lenses with the negative perspectives that it comes with. Now we will talk together about what’s happening right now in every African countries fighting for changes till this day together, so that we can understand each other and be at the same level of information. Every country is represented by one of its citizen, to highlight whats happening with their experience and they have responded to 7 questions that will structure this conversation. Lets start now, what is happening right now among our folks?
Namibia : Namibia is experiencing a wage of cross-country protests calling for a State of Emergency to be declared for Sexual-Gender Based Violence in the country. The movement is youth led & is primarily powered & represented by young, mostly black women all around the country. The protests were sparked by the murder of Shannon Wasserfall; a young Namibian women from Walvis Bay that was killed by a friend & buried in a shallow grave. Her remains were discovered months after there was uproar on social media for Shannon to be found, with young women mobilizing to get the authorities and the community to get Shannons whereabouts.
Nigeria : Nigeria has been experiencing a very high level of police brutality from the Nigerian police force especially the SARS department. People have taken to the street to protest for the government to put and end to it but after 11 days of peaceful protest it was hijacked by hoodlums and that followed a massacre of peaceful protesters by the Nigerian army where over 15 people were killed. The weakest link (the impoverished are now out looting and destroying properties. )
Ps. This is not related to the Peaceful Protests across the country. But like the xenophobic time when Nigerians got word that their fellow countrymen were getting killed, these weakest links, used it as an opportunity to loot major stores and create chaos. They are the same ones the government uses to steal ballot boxes during elections.
Liberia : Rape have increased 50% during the pandemic. About 600 cases was reported between January to June in Liberia. President George Weah declared a state of national Emergency.
Zambia : For the past 5 years we’ve been dealing with a rise of police brutality , opposition political victimization at hand of our president , and corrupt leaders that have put us in debt of of $10bn.
South Africa : A lot, every single day we hear reports about a missing girl child or a woman. There’s a rapidly growing human trafficking syndicate in South Africa right now. If it’s not missing reports it’s rape and/or murder. There is a 6-year old girl named Amahle Thabethe that has been missing for nearly two years now with no trace. A day doesn’t go by without me thinking about her.
Cameroon : A conflict between the government and the english-speaking minority of NW AND SW Cameroon, known as the anglophones, has left over 4,000 dead and 900,000 people displaced. Villages have been burned down, schools have been attacked, people have been assaulted and kidnapped and men, women and children have been killed. Roughly 855,000 children are out of school and 1 in 3 people are in need of aid.
The Anglophone crisis in the #1 most neglected displacement crisis in the world according to the norwegian refugee council and Genocide Watch has declared Cameroon to be in stage 8 and 9 out of the 10 stages of Genocide. Stages 8 and 9 are Persecution and Extermination.
Ethiopia : In Ethiopia, the Oromo people are being raped, murdered, tortured, and thrown into prisons. The schools that were once shut down due to COVID 19 were opened up to become makeshift prisons that house people that oppose the government, and they are at high risk of contracting COVID 19 because they are in close proximity of each other. All this has occurred under Abiy Ahmed, who is no longer officially a prime minister as of October 5th. He jailed all of his opposition and has recently charged highly influential opposition leaders with false claims of terrorism. His military has no qualms about raping young children and women. Abiy Ahmed and his administration needs to be held accountable. He is a dictator.
Uganda : Police are killing and maiming people in Uganda for speaking out against corruption. Museveni is running again and if he wins this will be his 4th DECADE in office. Started during the COVID lockdown, they were violently enforcing curfews and hurting people unnecessarily
Cote d’Ivoire : The country is aiming to its elections after 10 years passed with the current president. After saying himself that he wasn’t going to be the next president, he decided after the death of one of his party member that unfortunatly died and was the one that was going to run for president, he will replace him. Now after days of contestations, bus destroyed, he still is running for president. The opposition maintain that « there won’t be elections in Côte d’Ivoire » and those events reminds us a lot of the crisis that happened ten years ago .
2) How are you feeling, watching this heated situation in your country ?
Nigeria : I feel weak, defeated, depressed and angry to watch all this happening in Nigeria. After watching the vague and emotionless speech of the president , almost everyone felt defeated. Like our requests fell on deaf ears. And people died for nothing, but we are encouraged by our fellow men who are still carrying out the peaceful protests in other parts of the state where there’s no curfew/ or other countries.
Namibia : We are emboldened by the fact no one else besides young people in the country being interested in actualizing substantive change, leaving us little room but to do it ourselves. Maybe of the young people had never done activism work before, so many were traumatised and are experience mild PTSD, but there is some psycho-social support offered to the protestors to help deal with the after effects. For me personally I am proud of all the civic engagement that is being re-imagined and re-introduced into our shared experience as Namibians.
Liberia : I’m really heartbroken and upset. Upset that our young girls are going through things like that. Also upset that I’m not back home to help as much as I want to. The only thing I can do is share awareness as to what is happening back home!
Zambia : Heart broken , in the last 2 weeks I have witnessed my father Chishimba Kambwili an opposition party leader , NDC president be wrongly convinced , and this morning witnessed my mother and my sister brutally handled by the police and on prisoned. Multiples videos have been shared all over social media , also a video of a NDC sympathizer also being brutally handled by Zambian police. To see anyone go through what we see on our phones , especially your family is the hardest thing to be previewed to. It’s so saddening.
South Africa : I don’t think there are any words that would best describe the exhaustion, fear and anger I have been feeling since September 2019. I sometimes feel like there’s no point in fighting when it’s quite evident that there might not be any changes, but we need to continue to get up and fight for our rights.
Cameroon : As a Cameroonian who was born in the united states, I feel angry because the future of Cameroon is being stripped away from us. If things were diffrent and I was born there I would not be able to have oppurtuntes I have today. Of course America is far from perfect but what is happening to the youths in Cameroon is unacceptable. The goverment soilders are mainly youhts, the amba boys are youths, people affected by violence the most are youths. The future of the world lies in africa and its so fustrating seeing all these leaders like paul biya in african countries throw the future away in exchange for more power
Ethiopia : I feel helpless because all I could do is raise awareness to the situation while having people here trying to dismiss what’s going on in Ethiopia.
Uganda : I’m feeling sad. I first heard of the SARS situation which is pretty similar and I thought it was horrible. To know similar things are happening in my own country is disheartening and heartbreaking
Cote d’Ivoire : I feel helpless, and disappointed, it seems like we’re moving backwards everytime, and every elections in this country rhymes with negativity like xenophobia and fear of a crisis
3) Is it the right time to say Africa needs better leaders and public services?
Nigeria : Yes, it’s safe to say that now is the right time Africa needs a better leader and public service because a lot of youths are now more woke and educated and we want and seek a better life like what our counterparts in other continent have in their. We need accountable leaders. No one should hold so much power at the top. It needs to be decentralized.
Namibia : Yes it can be said that. Young people in Africa have a different more interesting and nuanced idea of what it means to be african and live on the continent. we want to see our dreams actualized and our lives dignified. being passive and complicit in the plunder and pillage of our inheritance is not going to bring us the equality, justice and dignity for all that we require. I think more and more african youth are realizing that we cannot wait for elections to institute change, we must call for it all the time, everyday, with every breath we draw.
Liberia : Yes this has going on for awhile I think we need to evaluate and get rid of all those corrupt politicians and the only to be able is if we as the starts taking position in the government.
Zambia : Most definitely , we’re tired or our leaders turning a blind eye to civilians being killed and beaten. We’re tired of our leaders stealing from us and leaving our countries in debt. We’re tired of our leader aimlessly practicing dictatorship. Because that’s what it is. We’ve suffered enough , we’ve prayed , we’ve cried. When will enough be enough. Our public services are meant to protect us , not beat us and kill us. Wrongfully arrest us on false pretenses.
South Africa : The time to say this has long passed. It should have happened years ago. Many people living in almost all parts of Africa have been enduring pain and suffering from the hands of their leaders for years now. The imperialism has been going on for way to long and it should be stopped.
Cameroon : YES the time has never been better. The fact that this is a common trope amongst countless African countries makes some people believe that africans are corrupt. but really the common denominator is colonialism. “Independence” was a cover up and most leaders are puppets to france and britain. Independence was built for resources to be taken from these countries for as long as possible. Take a look at china which was a developing nation in the 1960s, they had the ability to trade, and run their own government with minimal outside meddling. now they are a “super power”. while the chineese government is highly controversial, my point is colonianlism never helped africans and it actually hindered our growth. eventually we would have formed into nations with our own names made with our own borders and started nations without having to give away our natural resources to europe,
when a leader speaks out against europe, they are painted as the bad guy and forced out of office. Look at Lumumba from DRC and what they did to him. They replaced him with a leader that they could control.
Ethiopia : 100% there needs to be real democracy !
Uganda : I think it’s obvious we need new leadership. It’s not right that some of our leaders have been in power for decades. Corruption runs so rampant and people can’t even speak out about it without fear of being killed or hurt. That’s disgusting and what’s the point of an election if it’s going to be rigged or Tampered with?
Cote d’Ivoire : It’s always the right time to call out our leaders on their lack of humanity and consideration for their own people. We deserve a better treatment and they need to treat us as they said when they wanted our voice to be elected.
4) Who created those movements ?
Nigeria :No one created the #EndSARS Movement. We all had just gotten to breaking point and decided to do something about it. Although, a man called ‘segalinks’ likes to take credit for starting it some years back, as he used to be the one Young people call when they have been unlawfully arrested and about to be extorted.
Namibia : The #ShutItAllDownNamibia movement has no leaders and is lead by the people, in this case the youth of Namibia.
Liberia : The movement started with protesting from back home in Liberia and other Liberians in the US
Zambia : A Few or us Zambians in Twitter , it was created after a video circulated of my mother and my sister being brutally handled.
South Africa : Like most movements, it was created on social media most likely Twitter.
Cameroon : The Anglophone crisis Movement in Cameroon has evolved at the end of 2016 after the government arrested anglophone leaders, blocked the internet for 3 months and deadly measures during a curfew.
Ethiopia : The #OromoProtests movement was started by the Oromo youth in Ethiopia.
Uganda : I’m not quite sure, but seems Stella Nyanzi started the movement when COVID started bc the government wasn’t giving out food or other assistance. She was arrested for “inciting violence”. I’m not sure if these protests are a combination of frustration with COVID and political unrest or they’re two different things
Cote d’Ivoire : We all create and spread our messages on social media but is it going somewhere ? Are people hearing it? Nobody seems to care.
5) What has to change ?
Nigeria : Everything. As at today, the SARS men are still out and back to their usual way despite the IG of police announcing their disbandment which he has done not less than 3 times in past years. The police clearly needs to be reformed. Our security status is currently on zero. Instead of security, we get extortions and being framed for crimes. to be very candid, nothing has changed, even though the government has disband the SARS unit and has created another one called SWAT they recruited the same members of the SARS unit .. so it’s clear that NOTHING has changed.
Namibia : The violent attitudes and dispensations that Namibian men display towards their fellow women and girl children. We are calling for there to be nation wide condemnation of the sexual violence against women and children and want the government to invest money, time and effort into re-educating the entire nation on the matter of SGBV.
Liberia : Nothing have changed except the National emergency that The President called for.
Zambia : Everything has to change , the current public service training needs to be completely abolished , leaders need to be held accountable for corruption. Judges , ministers even current presidents all need to be investigated
South Africa : Everything, but it should start with our leaders. They know, they are very much aware of what is happening in their countries, but they choose to turn a blind eye on what’s happening. If they were taking time to listen or just do what’s right cause they know what they need to do most of the issues we are facing in Africa would be non-existence. We are just asking for basic human rights and not to be killed.
Cameroon : We need the violence to end first and foremost before any real change is made. This crisis has crippled the economy of NW and SW impacted students, children, business owners, peoples well being, security and more. After the violence is ended there needs to be a serious talk about restructuring how the govermnet works so no matter who is in office abuses of power can never happen again. We also need to hold government, military and armed seperatists who are responsible for crimes against humanity responsible. Lastly we need to give the voice back to the people of SW and NW cameroon and let them decide whether or not they want to ceceed to become a federation or remian with la republique.
Ethiopia : Fair elections, the release of all political prisoners, the rapes and killing of Oromo people, justice for Oromo people amongst many other
Uganda : People need to be able to speak their mind and air their grievances to their government. Otherwise what’s the point of having one? People should not be criminalized for who they lobe or what they wear or who they support.
Cote d’Ivoire : I will be honest, we need another system that will fit us and protect enough our people from situations like this.
6) What are you doing right now to ensure your voices are heard?
Nigeria : I’ll keep sharing right information on my social platforms. We currently have a curfew so no going out. Also our new strategy is trying to see how to reach out to the “impoverished and tools for the government’s dirty work for us to re-educate them that they deserve better. A video I posted on my page is to the so called “thugs” from someone who speaks the language they speak. I try as much as possible to campaign and promote the movement online with the hastag #endsars
I also try to educate the illiterates amongst my community about what the protest is mostly all about
I have donated to the cause financial
I have also provided free food at the protest grounds
Namibia : The activists in the last few days have had consultations with the President and the Minister of Gender to map a way forward. Just today the activist met with the Police Chief, staff from the Correctional Services, the City Police and other instruments of the state that can help shape a friendlier policing culture that willactually protest women and children in the country. Great strides are being made and we are in consultations with the government on most of our demands, the information is shared with the greater movement and the work that we need to do to help change the entire nature of the situation, we are ready to do.
Liberia : I’m posting on my social media and spreading awareness so that people take it serious. I’m making petitions to help out.
South Africa : There’s an online publication that I founded, Culture Club, that is run by myself and a group of friends. Activism is one of our subject matters, I try to write as much as I possibly can about the gender-based violence, police brutality and everything else to raise awareness.
Cameroon : We are creating as much content as possible so people understand the essence of what is going on and what a solution looks like. We want to eliminate misconception about what is going on and remained an unbiased voice for revolution. We are encourging the cameroonian diaspora to get involved and support cameroonians on the ground the best they can
Ethiopia : Constant protesting, emailing representatives to get America to stop funding the Ethiopian government, phone banking, releasing infographics.
Uganda : I’m using social media to spread the word about what is going on
situations like this.
Cote d’Ivoire : Right now we are sharing information and spread the awareness across the globe.
7) What words can you say to each other ?
Nigeria : The entire continent is bleeding from bad governance and sheer wickedness. I hope our voices don’t fizzle out before change comes. People should be educated more on the harm the cause rape victims, and the government should also put very high penalty for rape perpetrator if found guilty
There should be more awareness program for rape victims to speak up rather than stay silent
Namibia : That we really seriously need to reflect on the psychological, spiritual, generational and physical cost of living at grave-sites and murder scenes. Africa is a place where a lot of dignity has been stolen by colonialism, apartheid and the systemic abuse and disenfranshisement of our people. Once we enter this reflection honestly we are amble to find the voice to say “never again” and mean it. The blood line of the country lies in our bodies, so if the change starts from within, it can flow through the rest of the nation state, changing the status quo from the inside out. This reflection of what it means to have dignity justice and equity for all is really what will set us free once we have understood the humanity of each and every african roaming this beautiful and magnificent globe.
Liberia : I am at loss of words. I can only say to my fellow that they should keep spreading awareness you don’t have to be from a country to help spread awareness on what’s going on. And I hope that everyone is taking care of third mental health and it’s okay to take a break from social media . Get your thoughts together and come back stronger. It’s very saddened and it’s just pure wickedness what they’re doing in those other countries
South Africa : We are all in this together, we are all fighting the same battles and we should carry on fighting hopefully one of these days change will finally be brought upon us.
Cameroon : The future is in AFRICA we the youths must fight for the future we want to see. no longer will we accept goverments who dont put us first. Lets not compete with eachother to get our voices heard, we are stronger when we fight together. Etritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Mobamzique, Namibia, Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, South Africa, Cote D’Ivore, Mali, Togo, Guinea, and any other african country going through a struggle that we dont know about, #JusticeForCameroon stands with you! #JusticeForAfrica
Ethiopia : Keep fighting for your rights as a human being, the prayer of the oppressed will be answered.
Uganda :The world is watching. Africans are waking up and the revolution is being televised. Things are bad, from Nigeria to South Africa to Congo. But we will all get through this. Change is necessary and it’s on its way.
Cote d’Ivoire : We better stand together and respect each other. Its time for us to be more connected, but i am deeply in pain about the situation around Africa today, and at the same time happy that we stand for a change, and a change is gonna come.