An Afrikan is understood to be one who is indigenous to Afrika; whose originality cannot be traced anywhere else other than in Afrika. In addition to being an indigene, an Afrikan can also be those whose sole allegiance and loyalty is owed to nowhere else but Afrika. In other words, one cannot leave her country of origin, make a home somewhere on the continent and still want to be an European, Amerikkkan, Asian, etc. in Afrika.
Asked as to what guarantee he had for “whites” if his Party were to be government of the day in South Afrika/Azania, former Pan Afrikanist Congress (PAC) President, Zeph Mothopeng, said; “As whites we guarantee them nothing, but as Afrikans we guarantee them peace and prosperity!” The understanding therefore is that so long as one’s heart is in the right place, one is welcome in Afrika. There certainly is no exclusion.
However, there has been (and still are) Afrikans, i.e. indigenes, who have been traitorous to the cause of the Afrikan. Who can forget the likes of Moise Tshombe, who kissed publicly with imperialists without blushing during the era of independence in Congo-Kinshasa? He happily formed a breakaway state from the main country and with imperialists’ aid was put at the helm of the Katanga “government” and with imperialists’ guns and bullets was maintained in office. The consequence of such a treacherous move was the brutal murder of the great Patrice Lumumba and his comrades.
There are also Joseph Mobutu, Jean Bedel Bokassa, Blaise Compaore to mention but a few. These men (there’ve been women as well, Eugenia Charles for example) partnered with imperialists against our own people. They allowed themselves to be used by our enemies, foreign and domestic, to plunder/pillage the resources of our continent; exploit, torture and maim our people while doing the imperialists’ biding. And these are people who’re indigenous to Afrika and whose origin cannot be traced anywhere else but Afrika!
The question to be asked therefore is, is being indigenous enough for one to be an Afrikan? Shouldn’t the definition of an Afrikan be extended beyond the mere indigenousness of a person? Shouldn’t perhaps one’s role in and contribution to the affirmation of our continent and her peoples count?
To be Afrikan surely should mean one loves the continent and her people so much that one wants what’s best for them. And wanting what’s best for Afrika and Afrikans means never wanting to do anything to harm or hurt them in any way. It means seeking protection for Afrikans from various groups who’re hell bent on messing up with them wherever Afrikans find themselves in the world. It means playing your part in the righteous and relentless struggle to end the international Afrikan hellcast in the areas of psychology, kulture, economics, and in all the areas of life activity.
Like the legendary Peter Tosh sang; “I’m not gonna give it up/I’m gonna keep on fighting/Til Afrika and Afrikans are free!” That’s an expression of a commitment to the continent and her peoples. Being free means that the resources of the continent benefit her peoples in their entirety rather than a minority of imperialists and their lackeys; it means its social and political systems serve the people rather exploit them.
What then of those who’ve proved to be traitors to Afrika and Afrikans? In an essay titled ‘The Definition of Black Consciousness,’ Stephen Bantu Biko says; “Non-whites do exist and will continue to exist for quite a long time. If one’s aspiration is whiteness but his (or her) pigmentation makes attainment of this impossible, then that person is a non-white.” (Italics mine). That settles it then: indigenous how one may be, if one’s doesn’t work for the advancement of the Afrikan’s cause in whatever area of human activity one is engaged in, that person is not, and cannot be an Afrikan. At best s/he is a non-white.
Afrika is more than just a geographical entity bound by time and space. Afrika is a spiritual idea and as such, we are not only in Afrika but Afrika is in us. Non-whites, though they may be indigenous to and living in Afrika, they are most definitely not Afrikans because they work not for Afrika’s progress but for her regression. With love, brotherhood and unity we have to rehabilitate them. So that they too can be one with us and participate in Afrika’s restored glory.
*S. Malusi Maqubela is Owner/Director of Zimba Ramabwe (PTY) LTD, an Afrikan-centred Service Company committed to the Affirmation of Mother Afrika and her Peoples at Home and Abroad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.