Dear African intellectual,

You are the reason. Your passive presence has sucked the African proletariat dry of their capacity; your nostalgic extravagances have pulled the peasant from the fruits of that revolution for which they shed their blood. Their brother dead! Their sister dead! Their children dead! And you send your children to private school. You sit in your three-bedroom house, complaining that you cannot avail of Sandton’s casinos because of the corrupt institution that is your government. You forget your roots and despise your grandparents’ village. You say Africans cannot think. Then you see your white friends travelling to Australia and New Zealand, and you try to do the same. You try to do the same, but you blame your corrupt government when your visa is denied.

African intellectual, you are useless. You are an unqualified, underqualified, and idiotic caricature of treachery. Just as you forget your mother’s language – your mother, who died! – you embrace the colonizer’s tongue. You struggle to break the chains that your inadequacy has forced upon you; you characterize these chains as neocolonialism, but indeed, the chains are the actualization of your uselessness. It is ironic that your own treason is choking the life of your class. Your betrayal is choking the life of African intellectuals and draining the continent of vibrancy.

Tomorrow morning, your neighbour’s cousin’s grand-uncle will wake up in the same hut he lived in for fifty years. Fifty years ago, he returned to this hut from the revolutionary war. He returned from the revolutionary war: his brother dead! Sister, dead! Children, dead! He was promised that the fruits of his toil would be compensated with the reality of his vision. When that grand-uncle today refuses to accept your plane ticket and your offer to set him up on the coast of Durban (in the best retirement home, of course), you shudder. You think that old people are ignorant, alien to reform, stuck in the past. Oh yes, you hypocrite. Stuck in the past, indeed. His brother dead! His sister dead! His children dead!

Dear African intellectual, your grand-uncle refuses your offer of Durban’s best retirement home. And of course, you would be angry. You read this, and as you read, you feel attacked. You are not useless, you say! What have you done? You ask this question with genuine curiosity, for you have not killed anybody’s brother or sister or child. All you have done is study, send your child to private school, and try to figure out how to avail of Sandton’s casinos next year.

Reader, this is the story of your life: a life lived in the spirit of living a fake reality, a dream of perfectionism that colonialism has sold you. In the same breath, you would as hardly criticize Europe for its cold-hearted exclusivity as you would those drunken, angry African peasants for their constant propensity for uselessness. And when those peasants come to set fire to your three-bedroom house, bomb your Sandton casino, and attack your Durban retirement home, that, dear African intellectual, is when you will set aside the book and pen for the mace and spear. But it is already too late.

The dream of real reality, free freedom: revolutionary revolution.
A Luta Continua

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