I went to a really interesting event yesterday. It was a Kwame Nkrumah memorial lecture. Nkrumah died in Bucharest April 27th 1972.
The event was hosted by a Pan African Association, and it got me thinking.. exactly what is the role of Pan Africanism in the UK today?, and how does it differ from Pan-Africanism elsewhere, across the Diaspora. Does it still have a role?
The lecture was interesting, yet it was after the event that became in many ways most enjoyable. The food was great (I love good food) the conversations lively, and very funny, I laughed so much throughout the day through to night. People are so interesting... yet it did leave me with many questions.
Should the ideology of Pan-Africanism be cast aside, consigned to the bin of historic necessity? should neoliberalism be embraced in full as the only way forward?.. (do we even have a choice?)
Is it simply ethnocentricity?..or is it worth further exploration, and renewal for a new generation?
I remember when I watched Uhuru Kenyatta's speech on inauguration day he mentioned Pan Africanism without apology, yet It appears to mean different things to different people.
How do Ghanaians remember Nkrumah? and what place African Liberation leaders now in the hearts of the many?
An interesting point was made last night as we ate. One man felt very strongly that to 'use' slave ports as tourist attractions is wrong..out of order.. said he'd never go to one. Accused these countries of being detached from their own history, of making a mockery of a historic event that should be granted the solemnity of that of the Jewish holocaust.
I remember when I went to the Gambia, a tour to the slave port/s was on the agenda. My friend went.. the only reason I didn't go was because I was ill that day.
Sun stroke (of all things)' ha ha, little English gyal cant take a little heat !.." yeah v funny dude.. now just call me a doctor or piss off !"
What was my bad joke?
A lady on the panel had been a friend of Nkrumah. Behind her was a very large screen which seemed to be resting precariously on two chairs. "Shit!" I said.. "imagine if the screen was to drop down an 'lick out' one of the last remaining survivors of Nkrumahs time!!.. all at his Pan African memorial event!"... I have odd humour at times, but it was funny.. girl told me that was such a bad joke, I knew it was bad..but we couldn't help but laugh anyway..)