Africa today and the continued dismantling of matrices of systematic control.
By Temwani Nyama
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 7 of VARSITY News.
The recent celebration of Africa Day occurred both in celebration of the African identity and in commemoration of the inception of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. However, the celebration was shortly followed by the prominent events of the deaths of George Floyd and Uwa Omozuwa related to cases of police brutality in Minneapolis, United States of America and Gender-Based Violence in Benin City, southern Nigeria respectively. If Africa as a concept is understood to exist beyond its geographical conceptualisation as a global collective black existence, then these events contextualise contemporary Africa and the African identity in a particular way.
The abovementioned events (in both ‘geographical’ Africa and Africa as the Afro-diasporic space) exist alongside numerous similar experiences (both recorded and unrecorded globally). These then compose the black experience of violence as a continuum. The continued experience of violence on the black body is indicative of Africa’s continued existence in a matrix of systematic control. This systematic control refers to the various dynamics of power that pervade Africa, be it though institutional subjugation or violent interpersonal relations.
Having the African identity affords that we subconsciously share in these experiences of social death. However, this subconscious connection in the African experience of violence is also the means to robust and effective movements of activism in order to move out of matrices of power.
In the decolonial advocacy for justice, be it for Uwa Omozuwa, George Floyd, Collins Khosa, Sibusiso Amos, Mido Macia, Mgcineni Noki and the collective of miners of the Marikana Massacre as well as the many unrecorded black encounters with subjugation, this is how we reform Africa and the African identity, the afterlife of movements of independence that created projects like the Organisation of African Unity.
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