It’s a vast world, with many travellers coming and going. Some disappear almost as soon as they appear. Some stay long and die, unmemorable. Some have a short lease on earth but still manage to be known before death intrudes. Nd yet some have a long lease and also end up famous.
Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes. Anyway, Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba I the focus of this post. The Kenyan lawyer has been on the material plane for six decades at the time of writing and released an impressive oeuvre that should still resonate even after leaving the material plane.
In other words, he’s memorable. He’s released enough literature on law, Kenya and the African experience, literature in which wisdom is deeply embedded. Such knowledge is quoted all over the place.
What do you think about Africa, and what are the foundations of that perspective? Some poorly researched, iron and poo narrative? Whatever it is, after listening to some of PLO Lumumba’s speeches, you’re most likely to have an opinion change about Africa.
There is gloom. There is worry. There is fear. But there is also hope – a voice calling on a continent and its fractious units to toe the path of common sense and decency and get it right for once – or be recolonised. Scary? Tag along then as we explore some of that wisdom – the speeches.
On current leadership in Africa
Prof PLO Lumumba is unimpressed with the continent’s direction, with the plague of lousy leadership showing no sign of disappearing. In his speech, he had painted a gloomy future for the continent, warning prophetically that the continent might be recolonised in two and a half decades from now.
The summary is: Africa will be recolonised in the next 25 years.
Nigeria is the critical link to Africa’s greatness
Maybe this sounds so obvious given the fervency of the faith that followed Nigeria’s independence, the country’s size, and the expectation that it would provide leadership to the continent.
Speaking at the 20th anniversary of Stefanos Foundation in Abuja in February this year, the Kenyan professor had pointed out that leadership structure and institutional corruption were the most significant problems of the continent.
The professor believes that if Nigeria could get it right and take its place in the global scheme of things, it might propel other African countries into the same path of growth and development. So, it takes Nigeria getting it right for other African countries to get it right as well.
Africa might be at the table, but it isn’t getting much from it.
In one of his speeches, the professor had created an analogy of a table with several people (in this case, countries) at it. Africa is at the table, but Europe is eating that table. Which way, Africa, then? The professor is worried.
Africa isn’t working, but there is a way to make it work
If there is one thing Prof. PLO Lumumba stands out for, it is for always speaking his mind and proffering solutions to the problems plaguing the continent. Is Africa working as it should? The Prof doesn’t think so. But there’s a way, and he provided a solution in one of his speeches.
Pan-Africanism and the African Future
Pan-Africanism had captured the attention of many a black African before independence. It was the pedestal that ignited revolutionary ideals in the hearts of many Africans in the colonial era and led to the agitation for independence, which many countries obtained soon after.
What’s the state of the advocacy right now? Prof. Lumumba interrogates the past and the present and gives a glimpse into the future.
The Magufuli Ideal and the African experience
Tanzanian leader John Pombe Magufuli captured the attention of many around the world with his leadership style and how he sacrificed himself for nationhood. Prof. Lumumba had some good words about that style and its far-reaching impact on development.
But would leaders aspire for the Magufulification of Africa?
Corruption is the bane of the growth of the African continent
Since independence, African countries have been plagued by internecine warfare, with millions perishing. As morbid as it might sound, Prof. Lumumba believes corruption has taken more lives than warfare in Africa.
The Prof. dropped that morbid verdict precisely four years ago. But it’s relevant to this day.