Cloud of colonialism hangs over Queen Elizabeth’s legacy in Africa

“I can’t mourn,” one wrote on Twitter, posting an image of what she mentioned was her grandmother’s “motion move” — a colonial doc which prevented free journey for Kenyans underneath British rule within the east African nation.
One other wrote that her grandmother “used to relate to us how they had been overwhelmed & how their husbands had been taken away from them & left to take care of their youngsters,” throughout colonial occasions. “Could we always remember them. They’re our heroes,” she added.

Their refusal to mourn highlights the complexity of the legacy of the Queen, who regardless of widespread reputation was additionally seen as a logo of oppression in elements of the world the place the British Empire as soon as prolonged.

Kenya, which had been underneath British rule since 1895, was named an official colony in 1920 and remained that approach till it gained independence in 1963. Among the many worst atrocities underneath British rule occurred throughout the Mau Mau rebellion, which began in 1952 — the yr Queen Elizabeth took the throne.

The colonial administration on the time carried out excessive acts of torture, together with castration and sexual assault, in detainment camps the place as many as 150,000 Kenyans had been held. Aged Kenyans who sued for compensation in 2011 had been in the end awarded £19.9 million by a British courtroom, to be break up between greater than 5,000 claimants.
The UK International Secretary on the time, William Hague, mentioned: “The British Authorities recognises that Kenyans had been topic to torture and different types of in poor health remedy by the hands of the colonial administration. The British authorities sincerely regrets that these abuses occurred, and that they marred Kenya’s progress in direction of independence.”

Africa’s reminiscence of the Queen can’t be separated from that colonial previous, professor of communication Farooq Kperogi at Kennesaw State College instructed CNN.

“The Queen’s legacy began in colonialism and continues to be wrapped in it. It was once mentioned that the solar didn’t set over the British empire. No quantity of compassion or sympathy that her demise has generated can wipe that away,” he instructed CNN.

Queen Elizabeth II on her way to the Kumasi Durbah with Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana, during her tour of Ghana, November 1961.

‘Tragic interval’

Whereas many African leaders have mourned her passing — together with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who described her reign as “distinctive and fantastic” — different distinguished voices in regional politics haven’t.

In South Africa, one opposition social gathering, the Financial Freedom Fighters (EFF), was unequivocal. “We don’t mourn the demise of Elizabeth, as a result of to us her demise is a reminder of a really tragic interval on this nation and Africa’s historical past,” the EFF said in a statement.

“Our interplay with Britain has been considered one of ache, … demise and dispossession, and of the dehumanisation of the African folks,” it added.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wave to a crowd of schoolchildren at a rally held at a racecourse in Ibadan, Nigeria, February 15, 1956.

Others recalled Britain’s function within the Nigerian civil battle, the place arms had been secretly provided to the federal government to be used towards Biafrans who wished to type a breakaway republic. Between 1 million and three million folks died in that battle. British musician John Lennon returned his MBE, an honorary title, to the Queen in protest over Britain’s function within the battle.

Nonetheless, many on the continent bear in mind the Queen as a stabilizing pressure who led to constructive change throughout her reign.

Ayodele Modupe Obayelu from Nigeria instructed CNN: “Her reign noticed the top of the British Empire and the African international locations … grew to become a Republic. She does not actually deserve any award or standing ovation for it, but it surely was a step in the precise route.”

Nigerian magazine publisher Dele Momodu met Queen Elizabeth on a 2003 state visit to Abuja, Nigeria.

And media writer Dele Momodu was stuffed with reward, recounting assembly her in 2003 in Abuja whereas protecting her go to to Nigeria. He added that he had fled Nigeria for the UK in 1995, throughout the dictator Sani Abacha’s regime.

“I instructed her I used to be a refugee and now the writer of {a magazine}. She instructed me ‘congratulations,’ and moved on to the opposite folks on the road. I salute her. She labored to the very finish and was by no means uninterested in working for her nation. She did her finest for her nation and that may be a lesson in management,” he instructed CNN.

Momodu believes that the Queen did attempt to “atone” for the brutality of the British Empire. “She got here to Nigeria throughout our independence and among the artifacts had been returned underneath her reign. That’s the reason the Commonwealth continues to thrive. I really feel very unhappy that the world has misplaced an ideal human being.”

Adekunbi Rowland, additionally from Nigeria, mentioned: “The Queen’s passing represents the top of an period. As a girl, I am intrigued by her story. This younger girl had an unprecedented accession to the throne, and with a lot grace and dignity did all the things in her energy to guard the nation and Commonwealth she cherished it doesn’t matter what it took.”

Commonwealth Queen

The Queen once declared, “I believe I’ve seen extra of Africa than nearly anyone.”
She made her first official abroad go to to South Africa in 1947, as a princess and would go on to go to greater than 120 international locations throughout her reign, a lot of them on the continent.
Elizabeth, then a princess, and Prince Philip step from their plane in Nairobi, Kenya, on the first stage of their Commonwealth tour in 1952.

It was whereas visiting Kenya in 1952 that she discovered that she had change into Queen. Her father George handed away whereas she was there with Prince Phillip and she or he instantly ascended the throne.

As colonialism later crumbled and gave approach to independence and self-rule in what had been British abroad territories, the previous colonies grew to become a part of a Commonwealth group of countries with the Queen at its head and she or he labored tirelessly to maintain the group collectively over time.

She solid robust bonds with African leaders, together with Nelson Mandela, whom she visited twice in South Africa, and Kwame Nkrumah, with whom she was famously pictured dancing throughout her go to to Ghana in 1961.

Queen Elizabeth II dances with President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, during her visit to Accra, Ghana, in 1961.
Nonetheless, there’s now a rising clamor for independence and accountability over Britain’s previous crimes resembling slavery. In November 2021, Barbados eliminated the Queen as its head of state, 55 years after it declared independence from Britain, and different Caribbean international locations, resembling Jamaica, have indicated they intend to do the identical.
Prince William and his spouse, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, visited Jamaica in March however they confronted protests and requires reparations throughout the journey. There have been additionally requires a proper apology for the royal household’s hyperlinks to slavery.
“Throughout her 70 years on the throne, your grandmother has achieved nothing to redress and atone for the struggling of our ancestors that occurred throughout her reign and/or throughout the whole interval of British trafficking of Africans, enslavement, indentureship and colonization,” wrote members of a protest group, the Advocates Community Jamaica.

In June, Prince Charles grew to become the primary UK royal to go to Rwanda, the place he was representing the Queen on the Commonwealth Heads of Authorities Assembly.

Following his mom’s demise, he now heads the Commonwealth, and can embark on a brand new relationship with its members, a couple of third of that are in Africa.

Some are asking whether or not he might be as efficient in constructing the group as his mom, and above all, how related it nonetheless is, given its roots in Empire.

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Halo, Saya adalah penulis artikel dengan judul Cloud of colonialism hangs over Queen Elizabeth’s legacy in Africa yang dipublish pada September 10, 2022 di website Enchantress Magazine

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