“He who feeds you, controls you”
in your wisdom, you echoed this and hope that it will put sanity and consciousness in hearts and ears of your Africa, but it’s sad that, this continent you spoke to in 50yrs ago, is still been fed by foreign mothers, who, we paid to in return a death cost for every single drop of her milk in our mouth. The case of my country, the Gambia in its contemporary dealing with EU, is a justification to what I asserted. We are shame and lost children but also among us, there are countries, with proactive leaders, who are moving on path of the course you took. in honor of African Liberation day, as we celebrate you, Steve biko, Malcolm, Patrick, Nelson, Nkrumah e.t.c we must also applaud the country of Rwanda and its true Pan-African leader for his great doings.
Equally, on this day, as we celebrate the day, we must recognize our strength to boost our revolutionary spirit in our fight to support, promote and protect our women. We enacted laws to promote their well-being and among those laws includes; Children Act, Sexual Offence Act, and other treaties. Not limited to that, we schooled them so to defeat the old illusion that “ women are meant for kitchen and house wives” consequently, this illusion negatively, impacted the lives of 90 percent of women in the 90s including my mum. But today, we have changed the trajectory, as many of our women attend formal education. In fact, the first teacher in my life is my ‘Nnaa’, all my teachers at first grade, at low grade, are females, and currently, my Islamic teacher, is female and a Fula !
However, we had some shortcomings, which we hope to overcome soon. Women still face domestic violence at home, at work force, some indecent men at authority, do take advantage of them. They use their status to subject them to their wants or they are send off, at our madarasas, some fragile imams and oustas, do take that as a leverage over them. All these are happening, but beyond that, we are fighting well and promisingly, winning the combat. Women are now an untied force; many now speak against injustice or any threat on their well-being and others now are doing well globally, exemplary, Bensuda, a Jury at ICC and her likes.
Apparently, we almost answered fully to the call of Sankara, which says that … “There is no true social revolution without the liberation of women. May my eyes never see and my feet never take me to a society where half the people are held in silence. I hear the roar of womens silence. I sense the rumble of their storm and feel the fury of their revolt”.
In the field of education, we almost doing great.
Unlike the days of 70s, 80s and 90s, today we have many African that attended formal education. Almost in all African countries, there is an enabling environment for access to education. It’s in fact, a right for all children in our Continental convention, the Banjul Charter and nationally, right to education is enshrined in all constitution within the continent.
Practically, schools are built in dozens throughout the sub region and many remote villages and the poor has schools at their door steps. We did not only have senior schools but also universities and colleges are prevalent more than before. Most importantly, in some countries, girls are given free education, among those countries includes the Gambia.
But notwithstanding, we still face some challenges. 50yrs today, the African cannot provide her children with quality education. Yes we have schools in numbers but the sad reality still is, 90 percent of her graduates yearly cannot made any meaningful product or development from what they read throughout their years at school. We cannot make our own roads even after going through engineering education, we can’t make our own Medicine and we still can’t feed ourselves sufficiently from our knowledge in agriculture. It’s ugly but is the sad reality of our progress as many.
However, beyond all these, to some bit, we still making progress. Imagine, today the University of Cape Town, is ranked 136th best universities globally. Thus at low pace but we still making progress I believed. The University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, is position 194th in the world, all this are evidence that we are doing progress to some extent in honor of the slogan of Nelson that “education is the most powerful weapon to change the world”
Unfortunately in the area of health, sadly, we did almost nothing. It’s sad and worst every day. Even after end of the colonial wall, we thought that, our women will no longer be at mercy of the village midwife, during child delivery but until today, the old sad story continues. Many died during child delivery at our remote villages and most sadly, is that, many still do lost their lives during child birth in our hospitals because our hospitals are ill equipped. Many in thousands died from curable diseases yearly not only because of the fault of the unqualified nurses but also the government that built hospitals unfit to address the needs of the suffering patients. Our case is sad. The government presiding over us is doing almost nothing to provide us with good health services.
Despite all our challenges and reality, I still believed in the course. I’m optimistic that Africa will one day attend a united front, wherein, with no regards to our different tribes, color, religion, social classification, political difference, we will collectively work in path to attend common objective which our falling heroes had embraced.
I’m optimistic, that one day, all African countries, can be led by true revolutionary leaders, who will win over all her challenges and successfully combat, corruption, poor education, poor health structure and poor agricultural structure and many more.
I’m hopeful that we will win the race against social injustice and every Ill roots in Africa. I’m hopeful that Africa will win and attend her dream, even if our every single progress will, seems two steps backwards to those who did not believed in the African dream.
Africa will win with time and Africa shall win in the end.
Happy African liberation day and hail to the falling heroes.
Authored: Assan Sanneh,
University of the Gambia Student
Upper grade – Faculty of Law.