Charles Onyango Obbo has written out an interesting article about the East African integration that singled out something interesting – African Colonialism.
African Colonialism is where fellow Africans rule over other Africans either politically or economically.Thus Onyango is calling those who are against East African Community as Anti-Kenya forces because they perceive Kenya to be the colonial force behind EA.
Well they are not wrong to question this because Kenya was just advantageous mot to have wars like Uganda which if it was in peace would be prosperous despite being landlocked.
In fact Kenya is at a time of failure because the Kenyan shilling is losing value without any gunshot or war .What if war breaks out ? Kenya’s economy will be ruined just War ruined Uganda’s economy and Zimbabwe and Nigeria .
Yet sub saharan Africa is having new imperial powers that being Nigeria and Kenya and South Africa.
According to Onyango, Nigeria has obtained Imperial Power in the cheapest way ever.
Unlike the British who used Bibles and Guns and Sugar to lure and conquer African kingdoms and nations , Nigeria has just employed the arts .
Through Nigerian movies , Nigerian Christianity, Nollywood , Nigeria has conquered the living rooms of most sub Saharan Africans.
Nigeria has become an Imperial Power because now they control the thought process of most Africans that are glued to Nigerian movies.
Their songs are ringing in the churches in Kenya and Tanzania and South Africa as people are also becoming aware of witchcraft and prayer and fasting.
So this why Western Christianity is giving way for Nigerian Christianity that is more African and deals with the situations that Africans relate to.
As for Kenyans , their colonialism and imperialism is via Business and Econmics .With the East African Community resurging , Kenyans are opeing up businesses in practically every East african country.
In fact South Sudan may be colonized by Kenyan companies .Already the banking industry is Kenyan owned, real estate is about to be kidnapped and who knows the oil might just bring Kenyan oil barons on board.
So whereas Nigerian Imperialists are using Arts , the Kenyan Imperialists are using Science –Money and Economics and Arts combined through Kenyan Media companies that are now East African companies -exporting Kenyan films and movies and series like Papa Shirandula and Mother in Law which are popular in East Africa across the board.
However the issue is do such ventures hurt the local people ? This is where the suspicion resides and it is valid.
Onyango is reading suspicion amongst other East African countries that are weary of Kenyan Domination .
It is obvious as we said last time Capitalism is a system of winners and losers. But an alternative to Capitalism would be to make everyone a winner.
As long as Capitalism is the system that has built Africa then be sure that the so called regional blocs will be Capitalistic in nature hence will create tensions and disasters.
Thus Kenyans and Nigerian Lords should not behave like the European Colonialists that conquered without mercy . That turned their bibles into guns .
They should be willing to sit down and pay taxes of that region, hire the local folks tow work in their companies and not copy the British who had to ransack the British Isles to get labour to work in their colonies.
These elites, Nigerian though especially Kenyan because they are building companies and shopping malls an d hotels , Kenyan should be compassionate and grateful to the locals who surround their business ventures in those regions by hiring the people, giving them substantial shares in their markets as a thank you.
That way they will face no backlash.If they do not a new Mau Mau Rebellion will brew against their brothers whom they will be calling thieves and colonialists …no different from the European colonialists.
‘Anti-Kenya’ forces should fear Papa Shirandula, rather than its economy
Posted Wednesday, September 21 2011 at 21:00
East African political parties met in Nairobi a few days ago and, predictably, squabbled and argued over regional integration.
There were the same old cries about how “Kenyans would take over”, “steal our land” and so forth.
It is common to hear the argument that “politicians will again kill the East African Community as did the first one in 1977”.
I say no, they won’t. One reason is that this time, apart from the headquarters in the Tanzanian city of Arusha, there are no “common assets” to grab.
So there is little incentive to break up the EAC.
Secondly, the EAC is no longer a small-minded English-speaking club of former British colonies, thanks to the entrance of Burundi and Rwanda.
Thirdly, among other things, this means that a break-up will mostly be through one country pulling out.
There are now enough countries in the EAC for at least three to remain in it and create a new type of common market and regional cooperation project (which is why, strategically, future membership for South Sudan and Republic of Sudan, unsuitable as the two might seem as partners right now, is strategically important in the long-term).
Fourthly, and most importantly, is that the role of governments in the EAC today really is not the big force shaping regional integration.
Earlier this year, in an article about the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood (the world’s largest in terms volume put out, though the quality might be crap) in The Economist magazine gave us a clue about how regional integration forces are playing out in Africa.
It said that the amazing thing about Nollywood is that it has grown in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and lately the world, with little to no marketing money spent on it.
In fact, there are many things, you could argue, that make it tough for Nollywood to spread.
The lousy technical quality, the juju-dripping dullings plot, and some of its nasty producers and directors who use deadly methods that include metal bars, baseball bats, guns, and all forms of torture against illegal distributors.
However, the ingenuity of the West African pirates and smugglers has overcome dangerous producers, border police and customs, the lack of roads and electricity, and put a bootleg copy of a Nollywood CD in every African home which is interested in the stuff.
Take a few examples in East Africa, beginning with Uganda “First Gossip”, soft-porn, and scandal paper, Red Pepper.
The Red Pepper is slowly becoming East Africa’s unofficial gossip newspaper published in English, without its owners spending a shilling advertising it in Rwanda, Kenya or Tanzania.
It is spread by the thousands of students from those countries who read it in Uganda when they go home on holidays and take the occasional copy, or spread its exploits by word of mouth.
Add to that, the hundreds of small traders who ply the Nairobi-Kampala-Kigali route by bus.
Now let us go back to that resentment and fear of Kenyans as land- and job-grabbers in the EAC.
Due to this distrust, some EAC countries have chosen to observe the East African spirit and do only “safe” business with them.
One of these areas is allowing Kenya TV stations, like KBC, Citizen and NTV, to broadcast signals into their countries.
Now there is nothing that the Kenyan state will ever do that will equal the effect of what The Citizen, KBC and NTV are doing to advance its interests in the EAC.
These stations are spreading a taste for Kenyan goods, jokes, and other cultural products that the Kenyan Government would not afford.
So there is your irony. Kenyan “cultural imperialism”, if you will, is far more harmful than its cooking oil, unga and labour combined.
I went to a remote village in eastern Uganda a while back, and the chaps there didn’t know about Tusker beer.
But when it came to Papa Shirandula, I couldn’t stop them talking. He, and not Tusker brewers EABL, is the regional integrator that rivals should fear.
A version of this article was first published in Daily Nation’s sister newspaper, Daily Monitor, in Uganda.
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