I am constantly looking for films set in colonial Africa. For some reason they are very rare. I wonder why? There is an old movie starring Pierce Brosnan (one time 007). Mister Johnson. And not many more. However, I found one recently on Netflix. ‘Palm Trees in the Snow‘ It is a lovely Spanish language historical romantic drama set on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea [not Guinea Conakry, and not Guinea Bissau, and definitely not Papua New Guinea].
Born Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara on 21 December 1949, in what was then called Upper Volta, Sankara was the 3rd of 10 children. He is remembered as a Pan-Africanist, a revolutionary, a president, a musician and an upright man. His parents wanted him to be a priest, he wanted to be a doctor, but when corruption prevented him from getting into medical school, he became a soldier. He was a very talented musician, who believed the power of music as a force for building community.
I often hear people say that Nigeria should be recolonised. I argue here that Nigeria was never colonised. Come with me on a short journey as I explore how use of language affects how we differentiate truth from the fiction of the past, how we perceive present reality and how we trace out a future from our yesterday’s tomorrows.
‘Together’ is the rhythm of all African music,
‘Together’ is the hidden meaning in every African’s name,
Africa and her diaspora,
The other and her other,
Together at last,
One of the tragedies of humanity is that people often think that equality means sameness and so people do not want or seek equality for those who are not the same as them. This is the politics of the other. This is the politics which means inferiority is ascribed to those who are not the same as those who have taken power from themselves as the natural order of things. Which is why everything is political. Apoliticalness is inscribed in the absence of struggle, the absence of subjugation. Sometimes silence is the loudest sound.
In the month of June 2018, so many Nigerians died. One is too many, but this, this is unforgivable. A state is meant to protect, or else it serves no purpose. There must be a reckoning somewhere, someday, because all our thoughts and prayers and self-glorying testimonies are an affront to the dead.
FACE has a knowledge-based vision for creative Pan-Africanism and we were certainly looking forward to introducing this vision to all our delegates. Two days before the Launch of FACE 2018, the weather forecast predicted rain…But lo and behold, launch day arrived and the sun emerged in all its glory! And so did all our delegates, proudly dressed in a wide array of African attire.
Text of my talk at the Launch of FACE [9/06/2018] outlining the initiative’s visions and aims.
Welcome. From the foothills of the Savannah mountains in Kogi state Nigeria. I say Okun. Ka bi se ri? In this UN decade of people of African descent, I say a greeting and a blessing for every town and city and village in which we the people of African descent are found. May the land beneath our feet welcome us. May our minds be at peace. May our hearts be at rest.
On the 20th of May 2018, I was invited by the Bristol Museum to give a museum talk about the Benin bronzes on display there. I was specifically asked to bring my expertise and personal experience to the conversation of why the destruction and looting of the king’s palace in Benin in 1897 is still such a problematic subject. I appreciate everyone who came to listen, there was real engagement with the issues and lovely conversations after the talk. The text of the talk titled ‘Benin Bronzes – a controversial past and present,’ is reproduced below:
I was very happy to be able to present different aspects of my ongoing research on legal education at the Socio-Legal Studies Association conference. My research, which is pedagogical as well as jurisprudential, examines what happens at the intersection of legal education, race as well as a history of changing ideas of what it means to be human.