“The most prominent weapon that the oppressor has is the mindset of those oppresed ” .These are great words uttered by a South African born revolutionary , activist and liberator of the mind , his name Stephen Bantu Biko.His ideologies holds so much power and makes a lot of sense in today’s world where African people need to be psychologically independent from inferiority complex which further fuels dependency syndrome if the continent is to forge it’s own way of development.
In the month of September, South Africa commerates the life of this icon who died on 12 September 1977 . Biko succumbed to torture in the hands of the whites during apartheid regime in South Africa and that was the cause of his death.It’s been forty one years now since his death , but his ideologies lives on.
I used Biko’s quote as an escort in this blog to further cement the importance of psychological revolution in this era where Africa is recovering from the oppression era . For most parts of Africa , it’s been more than thirty or forty years since they attained independence , but the minds of people seem to be still bound in pre_ independent era.
To begin with , dependency syndrome is at it’s highest degree in that as Africans we are constantly rejecting who we are and continue to suppress the capacity within us to lead or bring about a new world order . One of the prominent qoutes of Biko was ” It’s better to die for an idea that will live , than to live for an idea that will die ” .It is this passion and commitment that Biko had that qualifies him to be one of the revolutionaries in Africa that died for a cause as their philosophies are being assimilated and used in political science in this post independent era. Unfortunately , this type of Resilience is scarce in this modern dispensation.
“Black people we are on our own ” , Steve Biko’s philosophy is very useful in making the black people understand what they ought to do and the power they held if only they can work together .He also further noted that being black is not determined by the black pigmentation , but by how we relate ,cooperate to one another which was one of the reasons for his political activism journey . It’s very imperative to decongest the feeling of self pity , inferiority because these were ideas instilled by our oppressors to make sure that we highly esteem them at the expense of our dignity , this modus operandi was to keep the oppressed at a compromising state where they have to depend on their oppressors for everything.
Furthermore , Africans should not fool themselves to think that they are free because they now have access to those places that were once a preserve for the white minority or that because they now attend schools of their choice and choose careers of their choice .All these are useless for as long as we are still extending our hands to our former oppressors to help us ,or to allow them to play a policing role in terms of how we ought to govern our countries for example no matter how hard we as africans try to expand our businesses , the world market is controlled by the superior powers like US , they always determine the prices of goods on the world market . I therefore don’t believe africans should allow outsiders to toss them around like that , only meaningful partnership should be tolerated .
As Christianity and European education was used to devide us ,so is democracy being used as a new dividing tool in this post independent era.When our liberation fighters staged a protracted fight against our oppressors ,they were united with one purpose in mind to be free . But after independence ,the oppressor knew that the only way he can still have influence in our lives is to coerce us to adopt democracy , again because psychologically we were not independent ,we never opined , but gladly accepted in the name of fairness and transparency in governance paying a blind eye to the fact that our oppressors never practiced democracy or even dreamt of it when they were subjugating us to all forms of inequality. Once again Steve Biko’s quote becomes relevant ” Black men you’re on your own”,indeed were on our own and its our responsibility to liberate ourselves psychologically and enjoy Independence holistically.