Thu, Mar 17, 2016
This has not only fueled disintegration among African communities, but also the birth of independent countries like South Sudan.
It has been a stern effort by African governments to sow the seed of patriotism among the citizens. A multi-pronged strategy has been employed which capitalizes on education curricula, radio talk shows, declaration of public holidays to celebrate patriotism, starting clubs and associations with the agenda of sowing patriotism, culture and traditions among other strategies. What the governments have not intensively done, is to warn about the dangers of chauvinism (patriotism gone bad). Chauvinism is poised to create more, new countries in Africa, which come at the cost of vehement rebel groups and bloodshed.
It is not only a paradox but appalling, that this bid to unite Africans has significantly disunited them by yielding patriotism extremists, call them chauvinists! With a keener look into the subtlety of this patriotism campaign, one cannot fail to see that the campaign’s failure is rooted in this paradox.
In the guise of patriots, certain groups of Africans have not only nurtured chauvinistic ideologies but also superfluously fronted them. This has not only fueled disintegration among African communities, but also the birth of independent countries like South Sudan. Such efforts of skewed unity are the springboards of disunity in Africa. It is as though the phrase “love your country” has been taken for “leave your country”.
One may argue that there’s a lot of marginalization among African countries, so the cessations are justified. Well, the pitfall in such an outlandish claim is in the failure to see that breaking away, to form a new country will only create more ground for marginalization. The problem of marginalization is rooted in the ego and moral fabric of African leaders, so is a moral issue which cannot be solved by breaking away unless the leader of the breakaway faction straightens this moral in them. For example, when The people of South Sudan championed their intense urge to break away from Sudan, citing marginalization, they succeeded in breaking away but did not or at least have not yet succeeded in curbing the evil of marginalization. This is mainly because of the egoistic agendas of the architects of this chauvinistic move to break away from Sudan.
It looks like the disintegration is not about to stop, when one looks at the rampant rebel groups hovering over the continent. Most of the rebel groups claim to fight in the name of restoring equality and peace. A more recent example that I know of is the unity of the Bakonjo tribe in The Democratic Republic of Congo and the Bakonjo in The Republic of Uganda, to disunite from their respective countries and form their own, joint republic called Yiira Republic. This chauvinistic act by this section of Africans is rooted in a multitude of disgruntlement ranging from cultural, historical, political and economic. Just like I wrote earlier, this cessation will not satisfy them but will lead to an Africa imbued with incessant warfare. Is mother Africa ready to nurse another baby nation, more so from the same region?
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Edrine Habasa is an autodidact bridge engineer, dialectician and knowledge enthusiast. He's also a debunker of falsehoods as he champions the truth.