Thursday, 23 March 2017

75th birthday of Walter Rodney

(Born 23 March 1942, Georgetown, Guyana)
One of Africa’s preeminent historians whose A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545-1800 (1970) and How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972) are compulsory references in the study of Africa and African peoples worldwide of the past 500 years
(Lee Morgan Quartet, “Gary’s notebook” [personnel: Morgan, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Barry Harris, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 December 1963])


77th birthday of Ama Ata Aidoo

(Born 23 March 1940, Saltpond, Ghana)
 Distinguished poet, novelist, playwright, academic
(Alice Coltrane Trio, “Lovely sky boat” [personnel: Coltrane, harp;  Jimmy Garrison, bass; Rashied Ali, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 6 June 1968]) 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

City of Westminster London’s (Britain) Olaudah Equiano commemorative plaque

(City of Westminster London’s (Britain) commemorative plaque for Olaudah Equiano, the outstanding 18th century Igbo intellectual and irrepressible exponent of freedom, at 73 Riding House Street, Paddington, London, where Equiano lived and worked and published his classic, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African in 1789. This building is now owned by the University College London.)
(Ornette Coleman Quartet, “Ecars” [personnel: Coleman, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Atlantic Studios, New York, US, 27 March 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 20 March 2017

Igbo question, Biafra mission

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE “Igbo question” is intrinsically linked to the Igbo strategic goal, presently, which is to end the occupation of their Biafra homeland by genocidist Nigeria – imposed since 13 January 1970. This is a structural facet of phase-IV of the genocide, launched by Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain on 29 May 1966. 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of this nation were murdered by Nigeria and Britain. 

Britain, which sought to “punish” the Igbo for leading the freedom movement to terminate 100 years of the British conquest and occupation of the states and peoples of this southwestcental region of Africa, supported the genocide right from from the outset, from conceptualisation to execution – politically, diplomatically, militarily. As a result, Britain and Nigeria subjected the Igbo to 44 months of uninterrupted, unimaginable carnage and barbarity perpetrated on a people. Pointedly, no single nation or people in Africa has suffered this extent of gruesome and devastating state(s)-premeditated and organised genocide in history.
(George Russell Sextet, “Thoughts” [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded Riverside Record, New York, US, 28 May 1961])
THE GENOCIDE CONTINUES unabated and Britain’s support continues unflinchingly crucial. For Britain, contrary to the often clanking histrionics of prevailing international politics rhetoric, its strategic alliance here, in this African region, has always been with the islamist, Arabist, north region Hausa-Fulani leadership which vociferously opposed the restoration of African independence from the British occupation throughout the 1930s-1960s epoch. The Igbo steadfastly led this liberation mission. 

It is Britain’s alliance with the Hausa-Fulani leadership, situated atop the prevailing congenital anti-African constellation-equation emplaced in its Nigeria, that makes up the Anglo-Nigerian amalgam that executes the Igbo genocide. It is also from groupings with this same leadership that both Boko Haram (currently the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation, according to the Institute for Economics & Peace, and the Fulani militia (see also the IE&P’s study on this militia) were created and unleashed to murder tens of thousands of Africans and others in these times.   


So, given the critical links between the salient features of the politics of the Nigerian occupation of Biafra and the overarching architecture of the genocidal campaign, it is the case that the Igbo termination of the occupation is at once the beginning of their freedom march from Nigeria and the implementation of an unprecedentedly expansive socioeconomic programme of reconstruction. The route remains Igbo freedom from Nigeria, an inalienable Igbo right with or without the genocide as I have argued severally. If the Scots, for instance, one-tenth of the Igbo population and without a genocide antecedent would wish to leave a union they have largely been exponential beneficiaries for 300 years (“Rights for Scots, Rights for the Igbo”,, the Igbo, surely, don’t require any agonisingly turgid historical and sociological treatise to wish to leave Nigeria.


Contrary to the amazingly ahistorical discourses on the nature of the state and its survivability in some circles, particularly in Africa where the extant eurocentric conquest social sciences curriculum essentially reifies the “state”, the state is very much a transient relationship in human history: Kemet, Roman “empire”, Ghana “empire”, Mali “empire”, Czarist “empire”, Austro-Hungarian “empire”, Ottoman “empire”, Portuguese “empire”, Spanish “empire”, British “empire”, French Indo-China, Malaya Federation, Anglo-Egyptian-Sudan, Central African Federation, United Arab Republic, Mali Federation, Senegambia Confederation, West & East Pakistan, Soviet UnionYugoslaviaCzechoslovakiaEthiopia, the Sudan... What has indeed been the enduring feature of the state in world history on this accord, thankfully, has rather been “divisibility”, “dissolubility”, “destructibility”, each the antonym of that 3-headed genocidist mantra mouthed off at random by quite a few spokespersons of especially the genocide-state in Africa.

IT IS THEREFORE not surprising that twenty-three (23) new states have, for example, emerged in Europe since the end of the 1980s. Even though a population of about 350 million, one-third of Africa’s, Europeans presently have more states per capita than peoples of Africa! And as history shows, the catastrophe is not the collapse of the state; the catastrophe is the attempt to destroy constituent peoples within the state as the Anglo-Nigeria amalgam has sought in Biafra since 29 May 1966.  Here lies the Igbo question and the historically grounded response of the Biafra mission.

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

60th anniversary of Spike Lee

(Born 20 March 1957, Atlanta, US)
One of the most prolific and distinguished film directors of his generation (releasing over 30 movies in a career, begun 1983, including the classic Malcolm X [1992]), actor, producer, writer, academic

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Thursday, 16 March 2017

190th anniversary of the founding of Freedom’s Journal

(First published 16 March 1827, New York, US)
First African American-owned and edited newspaper is founded by Rev Peter Williams and a group of influential African Americans in New York, and aptly named Freedom’s Journal
(Jackie McLean QuartetMelody for Melonae [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Walter Davis, Jr, piano; Herbie Lewis, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 19 March 1962])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

82nd birthday of Kofi Awoonor

(Born 13 March 1935, Wheta, Ghana)
Poet, linguist, academic, diplomat

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe