By Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA)
“…I do not come from Ghana I was only born there; I do not come from Nigeria neither do I come from Zimbabwe my soul was only conceived there. I do not come from South Africa; I do not come from Egypt, my spirit was only programmed there. I do not come from Madagascar neither do I come from Libya my hair was only textured there, I do not come from Rwanda or the Expansive Sahara my structure was only geometricized there, I do not come from the Congo, I do not come from Ethiopia my color was only mixed there….I hail from the over 50 states on the continent, I come from Africa, Africa is my Country…” Extracted from Pharaonic Eagle Poem by Prof. Atukwei Okai
Africa has witnessed unprecedented Human Rights violations and catastrophe ranging from massive terrorist attacks that have claimed many innocent lives, to Ebola outbreaks in West Africa whose stigma is still being felt to date. The wars and conflicts in the Horn of Africa- Somalia, the Great Lakes Region- most recent being DRC, CAR, and South Sudan where many lives have been lost; massive loss of lives crossing the Mediterranean in pursuit of employment; colonization of the peoples of Sahrawi Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), the worst and most recent being the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa; all of which demonstrate the magnitude of the fragility of our societies.
Unfortunately when violence breaks out such as the xenophobic attacks that have occurred in the past few days in South Africa, it is the women and children who suffer the most although their plight is rarely highlighted. It’s a common trend that during such situations women’s sexual and reproductive rights are violated through rape and other forms of sexual abuse. As if that is not enough given the role of women as care takers they are the ones who bear the biggest burden of care during such crisis.
Our foremothers; Jeane Martin Cisse, Gertrude Mongella Mabel Dove, Ruth Botsio, Ama Nkrumah, Ramatu Baba, Sophia Doku and Dr. Evelyn Amarteifio Maria Ruth Neto and others must be disappointed at the legacy we are building today. After years of struggle and self -sacrifice to free the African people we ironically are enslaving our very own in ways that are incomparable to the era of colonialism.