21 December 1979

Lancaster House,  London

I am told the white man has finally decided to sign over the country to its rightful owner and I am trying very hard to be optimistic about this. Of course the battle has been won and this should call for celebration but I certainly believe that the fighting, they dying, the bloodshed- that has been the easier bit of this. Imagine that, thousands of men dying and that it is  still the easier part of this. And now the real problem arises.

We say we fought for independence but did we really? Can we say for sure that the lives of our people will be better say 20 or 40 years from now? Is there assurance that the people we have chosen. I laugh at the word chosen because we did not. Let me rephrase that. Is there assurance that these people who we have allowed to lead us with zero questions asked have our best interests at heart? Are we just a means to an end for them? A tool for them to get what they want?

I want to celebrate, jump for joy and scream independence but I cannot help this itch at the back of my throat that I just can’t shake off. This doesn’t feel right. Firstly because I don’t know which of these men takes over now and by what criteria? The white man didn’t ask for votes. These ones will, how far will they go to get them.

I want to say our troubles are over but people are people and the most basic human instinct is self-preservation. How far will they go to preserve the self? My pessimism has always been the bane of my existence, it sees the worst . It sees the worst in circumstances and sees the absolute worst in people. And I hope I am wrong about this. I hope my suspicions of these men are wrong. These men in suits who comb their hair like the white man and dress like the white man and try to try to talk like the white man. Will they not eventually turn into the white man because then what was the point?

I am in  no way saying the white man should return, I would never in a million years say that.  What I am saying is oppression is so much easier to take and so much easier to make sense of when it comes from somebody who does not  look like you or eat your food or speak your mother’s language.  When it comes from your brother, your fellow man, it is not only disappointing but it is far more insulting that anything the white man ever did to us.

But then again, my pessimism has always been the bane of my existence.