Re-writing History – A call to join the 300
A lot of people tend to have a distorted view of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. While Madiba was a big player in the journey towards emancipation from the evil apartheid system; the truth remains that the struggle took an effective turn with the sacrifice of school kids as young as ten years old. I will go ahead and show you some quotes from the Soweto uprisings of 1976. This event marked the beginning of the end of the oppression. A principal figure was a 12 year old Hector Pieterson who was cruelly gunned down. The Hector Pieterson memorial in Soweto was named after the boy.
The Soweto uprising or Soweto riots were a series of clashes in Soweto, South Africa on June 16, 1976 between black youths and the South African authorities. The riots grew out of protests against the policies of the National Party government and its apartheid regime. 23 people were killed on the first day including several black teenagers. The riots continued and resulted in the deaths of 566 people, mostly black, until the end of the year.
The Soweto Uprising was a turning point in the liberation struggle in South Africa. Prior to this event, the liberation struggle was being fought outside of South Africa, mostly in Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe), South West Africa (later Namibia) and Angola. But from this moment onwards, the struggle became internal and the government security forces were split between external operations and internal operations.
– Culled from Wikipedia
This is not an attempt to teach a history of black struggle in South Africa. I am just about to link this to my dear country – Nigeria. Recent events in our country’s political landscape have shown that 2011 might just be our year of emancipation. The hard fought victory of Dr. Fayemi in Ekiti and the latest shame on PDP in Osun State brings such wonderful feelings. I bet you have also heard that Oyinlola had a thanksgiving ceremony in his home town – Okuku where he “Thanked God” for setting the state back several decades. I bet he is also thanking us for allowing him steal our allocations for that period and he won’t be prosecuted for hijacking power that never belonged to him.
This post is not about Oyinlola. I might get tempted to write another post about him and his fellow agents very soon. Most people don’t bother to register and vote because they have concluded that their votes won’t count. I bet they are having a rethink now from the various states where power was returned to the rightful owners. This means that if we register, vote and protect our votes in 2011, the Nigeria we have been hoping and dreaming about will become real very soon.
Going through the profiles of heroes and heroines of the Soweto uprising at the Hector Pieterson memorial; I covered my eyes in shame because they were very young. Teboho “Tsietsi” MacDonald Mashinini who led Soweto students in the struggle was a mere 19 years old in 1976. A lot of the dead and wounded were elementary school pupils. The fame and development enjoyed in present day South Africa was actually achieved through the sacrifice, in some cases death of kids.
And here we are in 2010 in a country that is not plagued by Apartheid but more evil machinery. An internal enemy that we condone because we think they are our fellow citizens. Just a few men and women, whose creed is to continue enslaving our polity via corruption and sheer greed.
But we stand a better chance than those young people in 1976. We have got the power! Most of them were not old enough to register and vote. And those who were old enough couldn’t vote because of their skin colour. We stand in the threshold of history, in a situation where we don’t need to face bullets but just decide to do what is right. Every young person owes this country a vote. That is the least you can do to positively propel our nation out of poverty.
But we will push people to do more. Come Saturday December 11 2010, 300 young people will be meeting to chart a course for a new Nigeria. These young people will not be holding a talk show but an impartation of the will to work towards emancipating Nigeria. The 300 reminds me of David’s men of valour and the film with the same title.
I have been given a mandate to get 10 young women and men who are willing to have their names written in gold. The meeting will have Dr. Tunde Bakare (Save Nigeria Group) and others sharing the blueprint of the plan to make 2011 the year of freedom for Nigeria. Are you willing to be a catalyst for change? Are you residing in Nigeria or will be in Nigeria this Saturday? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number latest by Thursday 9 December 2010.
Note that this is not a religious gathering. If you are a progressive and angry about the bad situation of our dear nation and willing to do something about it, you qualify to be in this meeting. Nigeria will be great! It starts with me and you!
Note: Don’t be scared about the reference to bullets taken by the young people in Soweto. It is just to show you there is no excuse not to participate in change. We have got a much more easier job to be done and we will do it with intellect and style.