South African politician Julius Malema,who leads the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, on Sunday, May 3 called on Africans to act on a warning from renowned Kenyan lawyer PLO Lumumba.
Lumumba had been invited to deliver a virtual lecture as part of the EFF’s Online Lecture Series, with Lumumba’s lecture widely circulated.
In his lecture, Lumumba fervently insisted on the need for Africa to do a way with borders if it were to thrive, reiterating the urgent need for unity among African nations.
“We express deep gratitude to my big Brother & friend PLO Lumumba for a revolutionary, inspiring & timely lecture on Pan-Africanism on the EFF Online Lecture Series.
“Africa let’s heed to the urgent generational call to Unite Africa. This is our only salvation. Africa Must Unite,” Malema stated in response to Lumumba’s lecture.
Lumumba’s lecture had seen him draw on the histories of countries including Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa to make his point, outlining the task of the younger generation on the continent.
“Kwame Nkrumah is not telling us from the grave that his ideas are set in stone. He is telling us that you, the younger generation, must now take the baton.
“This brings me to the speech that was delivered on March 6, 1997 by Julius Nyerere. Mwalimu had said that our salvation demanded that we are united.
“And he said that if Africans think they can respect their so-called boundaries in these little unviable countries, then God save them. But God is not in the business of saving those who have chosen to embrace stupidity for its own sake,” he asserted.
He observed that Nyerere had revealed that, after he retired as President, many people in other Africans which he visited did not know where Tanzania was, but recognized him as an African.
To drive his point home, Lumumba used the example of Africans in China allegedly being mistreated during the Covid-19 pandemic regardless of their nationalities.
“It is not our Tanzanian-ness, Kenyan-ness, Angola-ness or Ugandan-ness that matters. It is our African-ness. When the Chinese are punishing our Africans in Guangzhou during the Corona in China they make no distinction between Ghanaian or Nigerian, all they see is our black skin,” he stated.
The conversation sparked a debate in South Africa where xenophobia towards other Africans has been an issue.
While the EFF ordinarily opposes the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Malema has maintained his support for open borders in South Africa despite pressure from some of his supporters, touting Pan-African values.
Watch part of Lumumba’s lecture below: