Thursday, 29 November 2018

103rd birthday of Billy Strayhorn

(Born 29 November 1915, Dayton, Ohio, US)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

RENOWNED composer, pianist and arranger whose near 30 years (1938-1967) of collaborative work with composer, pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington has been the focus of expansive recordings, research and publications
(Charles Mingus Sextet, featuring Eric Dolphy, plays the Billy Strayhorn classic, “Take the ‘A’ train” [Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Dolphy, bass clarinet; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, University Aula, Oslo, 12 April 1964])
(Joe Henderson Quintet plays the Billy Strayhorn classic, “Johnny come lately” [personnel: Henderson, tenor saxophone; Wynton Marsalis, trumpet; Stephen Scott, piano; Christian McBride, bass; Gregory Hutchinson, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliffs, NJ, US,  3-8 September 1991])
(John Coltrane Quintet plays the Billy Strayhorn classic, “Lush life” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Donald Bryd, trumpet; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Louis Hayes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 10 January 1958)

112th birthday of the venerable Akanu Ibiam

(Born 29 November 1906, Unwana, Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

AFFABLE physician, erudite theologian, principled statesperson, works for 30 years in the Church of Scotland/Presbyterian Church rural medical programme in central and east regions of Biafra and who, in August 1967, returns to Queen Elizabeth II of England the three insignias of knighthood (OBEKBEKCMG) conferred on him by both her and her father, King George VI,  in protest against the instrumental role being played by Britain in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, when it and its Fulani islamist/jihadist-led client state Nigeria murder 3.1 million Igbo people, 25 per cent of this nation’s population, between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970, phases I-III of the genocide. This genocide, phase-IV, continues unabated since 13 January 1970. The Anglo-Nigerian genocidists have murdered tens of thousands of Igbo during this period.
Dr Ibiam’s towering position against the Igbo genocide is a challenge particularly to those clusters of the Igbo intelligentsia, especially in the diaspora, who have exercised a mortifying silence over the existential emergency that the Igbo face, currently, as the genocidists pursue phase-IV of the slaughtering… 

It is also a reminder of how deeply embedded British involvement in the execution of the genocide is as shown in that historic August 1967 letter of Dr Ibiam’s to Queen Elizabeth II in which he renounces the awarded 3-set knighthood from the English crown (see excerpts of letter below) and illustrated further by the calculated indifference of the Church of England, markedly its present leadership, to the genocide. 

Church of England

SINCE NOVEMBER 2015, during the course of the notorious génocidaire Muhammadu Buhari regime in Nigeria (, imposed on the country by ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron and ex-US President Barack Obama (first African-descent US president in 233 years of the founding of the republic –, 3000 Igbo have been murdered in expanded scorched earth campaigns by its military and adjunct Fulani militia terrorists across Biafra. Sixty per cent of these murders have occurred in Onicha and neighbouring towns and villages, southwest Biafra, which are all located in the Onicha diocese of the Anglican communion, part of the Church of England, one of this denomination’s largest population districts in the world. Neither the Church of England nor its head, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who has known Muhammadu Buhari personally since the former enjoyed an exponentially-lucrative post working for French oil company Elf Aquitaine in the early 1980s in the petroleum oil industry in Biafra’s Oshimili Delta, has condemned any of these Igbo slaughters of the past three years or offered public condolences to the aggrieved and traumatised Anglican communion congregants... 

(paragraphs 14-20 of Dr Ibiam’s letter to Queen Elizabeth II of England, August 1967)


YOUR MAJESTY, the British officials in Nigeria are fully aware of all these. They know that we are injured and deeply grieved people and had been cruelly treated by our erstwhile fellow citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria. The British officials not only knew the crux of the matter, but they also encouraged Northern Nigeria to carry out and execute their nefarious plan against us. They are angry with Biafra because Biafra categorically refused to remain as part of the Nigeria federation and political unit only to be trampled upon, discriminated against and hated, ruthlessly exploited and denied her rights and privileges, and slaughtered whenever it suited the whims and caprices of the favoured people of Northern Nigeria. To add insult to injury, Your Majesty’s Britannic Government, instead of being neutral in our quarrels or finding ways and means to mediate and bring peace to the two countries, has now taken it upon herself to supply military aid to Nigeria to help them defeat and subjugate Biafra.

It is simply staggering for a Christian country like Britain to help a Moslem country militarily to crush another Christian country like Biafra. This is just too much for me, Your Gracious Majesty, this act of unfriendliness and treachery by the British Government towards the people of Republic of Biafra who, as Eastern Nigerians, had so much regard for Britain and British people.

In the circumstance, Your Majesty, I no longer wish to wear the garb of the British Knighthood. British fair play, British justice, and the Englishman’s word of honour which Biafra loved so much and cherished have become meaningless to Biafrans in general and to me in particular. Christian Britain has shamelessly let down Christian Biafra.

I love the Republic of Biafra very dearly and pray that, by grace of God, she may remain and continue to grow and live and always act like a truly Christian country for all times.

I am, your Majesty

Yours Most Respectfully

(John Coltrane Quintet, “The believer” {composer: McCoy Tyner} [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Donald Bryd, trumpet; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Louis Hayes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 10 January 1958)

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Biafra Revisited (2006) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

76th birthday of Jimi Hendrix

(Born 27 November 1942, Seattle, US)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

ARGUABLY the most creative and accomplished guitarist of all time; collaborates with fellow artist Joan Baein a historic concert at Steve Paul’s Scene, Manhattan, New York, 29 August 1968, where they both perform free in a concert of solidarity with the people of Biafra being subjected to the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa by Fulani islamist/jihadist-led Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain with Hendrix additionally offering a personal donation of US$500.00 to Biafra, US$3600.00 in today’s value
(Jimi Hendrix and Joan Baez in hearty conversation during intermission at the special Biafra concertNew York, 29 August 1968)
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience plays Hendrix’s exquisite blues composition, “Red house” [personnel: Hendrix, guitar; Noel Redding, bass; Mitch Mitchell, drums; recorded: live, The Northern California Folk-Rock Festival, Santa Clara, San Jose, California, US, 23-25 May 1969])
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Hear my train a comin” {composer: Jimi Hendrix} [personnel as above, from film Jimi Hendrix, July 1973])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Biafra Revisited (2006) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 25 November 2018

49th anniversary of John Lennon’s decision to return MBE knighthood medal to Queen Elizabeth II over Britain’s instrumental role in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide

(Medal is sent back to Buckingham Palace, London, 25 November 1969)
ICONIC Beetle’s John Lennon sends back the 1965 MBE knighthood medal bestowed on him by Queen Elizabeth II of England over Britain’s instrumental role in the perpetration of the Igbo genocide with its client state’s Fulani islamist/jihadist-led Nigeria in which 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of Igbo population are murdered between 29 May 1966 and 12 January 1970 (phases I-III) in the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa…
Forty-nine years after Lennon’s towering stand, Britain is still deeply embedded in this most devastating, expansive, and longest genocide of contemporary history … It chiefly arms and provides robust political and diplomatic cover internationally to its Nigerian on the ground génocidaires who continue the slaughtering of Igbo people unrelentingly in occupied Biafra (phase-IV) and are now assisted by their Boko Haram and Fulani militia adjuncts, two of the world’s five deadliest terrorist organisations .

Nigeria has murdered tens of thousands of Igbo during this phase including the 3000 killed since October 2015 under the leadership of the fiendish jihadist Muhammadu Buhari imposed in office by ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron and ex-US President Barack Obama – first African-descent president of the United States in 233 years of the founding of the republic and the only US president in office who has actively supported the Igbo genocide in these past 52 years.
*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Biafra Revisited (2006), Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature (2011) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 23 November 2018

89th anniversary of ogu umu nwanyi Igbo or Igbo women-organised and led resistance against the British conquest and occupation of Biafra – the organisational feat involved in this challenge is a precursor to some of the tactical calculations being employed with astounding success currently by the resilient Biafra freedom movement’s restoration-of-independence mission against the genocidist Nigeria occupation

(Resistance begins 23 November 1929, Aba, Biafra)
WITH the initial mobilisation of 10,000 women which soon expands to 25,000 and joined by women from Ibibioland, Igbo women in Aba and its contiguous provinces, including Igwe Nga (Opobo) and Umu Ubani (Bonny), embark on a 2-month historic resistance against the oppressively expansive stretch of 50 years of the British conquest, paralysing the occupation regime and its myriad institutions of plunder in much of the east, central and southern regions of Biafra consequently; the occupation troops murder 55 members of the freedom movement during the course of the resistance
(Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe)

(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]) 

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Biafra Revisited (2006) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Thursday, 22 November 2018

81st birthday of Adiele Afigbo

(Born 22 November 1937, Ihube, Biafra)
DEAN of Igbo Historical Studies whose seminal books and papers, particularly Warrant Chiefs (1972)Ropes of Sand (1981)Ikenga (1986), K.O. Dike and African historical renascence (1986), The Igbo and their Neighbours (1987), The Image of the Igbo (1991) and Groundwork of Igbo History (1992) are foundational texts and references for the study of Igbo history and civilisation and international relations
(Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe)
(John Coltrane Sextet, “Blue train” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, Lee Morgan, trumpet; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Kenny Drew, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Philly Joe Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 15 September 1957]) 

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Readings from Reading: Essays in African Politics, Genocide, Literature (2011) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 18 November 2018

69th anniversary of the Enuugwu, Biafra, colliery massacre by the British occupation police

(Miners at the Enuugwu colliery, undated)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

ON 18 NOVEMBER 1949, 21 coal miners at the Iva Valley colliery, Enuugwu, Biafra, were shot dead by the British occupation police in response to the miners’ peaceful, popular protest for a pay increase, improvement in working and safety mine provisions, and support for the ongoing restoration-of-independence movement, begun in the 1930s and spearheaded by the Igbo, to terminate 64 years of Britain’s conquest of the constellation of states and peoples of this southwestcentral region of Africa. The murder of the coal miners constituted a new front in Britain’s 100 years war against Igboland and the variegated frames of Igbo resistance to it that parallel the very stretch of the British occupation of the states and peoples of this region of Africa it tagged “Nigeria”: especially the 1880s-1914 Ekumeku wars and resistance in Anioma, west Igboland, west of the Oshimiri River; the 1901-1902 war against the Aru in northeastcentral Igboland; the 1929 Ogu umu nwanyi Igbo/Igbo women’s resistance in Aba/Igbo eastcentral region.

The Enuugwu massacre, in addition to the organised pogroms against Igbo people in June 1945 (Jos, northcentral Nigeria) and May 1953 (Kano, north Nigeria) by the Fulani islamist/jihadist political leadership of north Nigeria, on the ground strategic client of the occupation, were dreadful precursors to the Igbo genocide of 29 May 1966-12 January 1970 (phases I-III) – in which Britain and Nigeria murdered 3.1 million Igbo, 25 per cent of this nation’s population, in the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. 

Cameron, Buhari, Obama

THE dual genocidist states have murdered tens of thousands of additional Igbo during the course of phase-IV of the genocide (launched on 13 Janauary 1970 and continuing) including the 3000 murdered by the current Muhammadu Buhari regime in Abuja since October 2015. Instrumentally, Buhari, one of the surviving vilest génocidaire-operatives who was an early recruit to this genocide campaign 52 years ago, was imposed on Nigeria as head of regime in March 2015 by the then British Prime Minister David Cameron and ex-US President Barack Obama, the first African-descent president of the United States in 233 years of the founding of the republic. Obama’s support for the Igbo genocide is the abhorrent legacy of his presidency.
(John Coltrane Quintet, “Stardust [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Wilbur Harden, fluegelhorn; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Jimmy Cobbsdrums;  recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 11 July 1958])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Biafra Revisited (2006) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 16 November 2018

88th birthday of Chinua Achebe

(Born 16 November 1930, Ogidi, Biafra)
Father of African Literature
Selected worksThings Fall Apart (1958) No Longer at Ease (1960),  Arrow of God (1964),  A Man of the People (1966),  Beware Soul Brother (1971), Girls at War and other Stories (1973), Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975), “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” (1975), Don’t let him die: An anthology of memorial poems for Christopher Okigbo (ed., 1978), The Trouble with Nigeria (1984),  Anthills of the Savannah (1987), Hopes and Impediments (1988), “Our Mission” (1989), “African Literature as Restoration of Celebration” (1990), Home and Exile (2000), Collected Poems (2004), There was a Country (2012)
(George Russell Sextet, “Ezzthetics” [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 8 May 1961])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe (2001) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why Donald Trump is great for Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Kindle edition out! Why Donald Trump is great for Africa by Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe and Lakeson Okwuonicha - for your copy right away from amazon: £7.70/US$9.99/CDN$9.99/EUR8,81/ ¥1,137/Aust$11.99/R$24,99/₹449.00


Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

134th anniversary of the start of the pan-European World conference on Africa subjugation and plunder in Berlin – 15 November 1884-26 February 1885

(1. infamous gathering in session)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

TODAY MARKS the 134th anniversary of the beginning of the infamous 15 November 1884 – 26 February 1885 European leaders’ Berlin conference on Africa. 

The gathering was chaired by German Chancellor von Bismarck to formalise the pan-European seizure, planned occupation, and irrepressible exploitation of the gargantuan riches of the African World which Leopold II, the génocidaire king of the Belgians, described predatorily as this magnificent African cake”. It was indeed to secure for ourselves [Belgians] a slice of this magnificent African cake”, Leopold II’s own haunting words, that this monarch and his private forces and those of the Belgian state and others elsewhere in Europe carried out a devastatingly reprehensible 30-year trail (1878-1908) of genocide against Africans in the Congo basin in which they annihilated 13 million constituent peoples (Isidore Ndaywel  è Nziem, Histoire générale du Congo: De l'héritage ancien à la République Démocratique, Paris: Duculot, 1998: 344).

The following countries attended the Berlin meeting: BelgiumHollandBritain, FrancePortugal, Ottoman empire”GermanyItalySpainAustria-HungaryDenmark, Czarist RussiaSweden-Norway, United States

THE catastrophic aftermath of this Berlin-assembly, essentially its state’s genocidist architecture (genocide in the Congo basin by Belgian Leopold II, Herero genocide, Nama genocide, Berg Damara genocide, Igbo genocide, Rwanda genocide, Darfur genocide, genocide elsewhere in the Sudan, genocide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ...) is the bane of contemporary Africa which the peoples, themselves, not anyone else, must dispense with to survive. This  dispense with to survive precisely encapsulates the historic goal of the Biafra freedom movement in southwestcentral Africa, the continents most peaceful restoration-of-independence movement and one of the fewest of its kind in the world, whose imminent victory constitutes a strategic breakthrough for African freedom.
(2. infamous gathering in sessionto formalise the pan-European seizure, planned occupation, and irrepressible exploitation of the gargantuan riches of the African World – this magnificent African cake”)
(George Russell Sextet here plays “Nardis”, a composition by Miles Davis [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, bass clarinet; Steve Swallow, bass; Joe Hunt, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 8 May 1961])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author of Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature (2011) and author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of Why #DonaldTrump is #great for #Africa (2018)

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the British throne, is presently on a week’s visit to west Africa. The following essay, “Britain, history, Africa”, first published in December 2006 and is a contributing chapter in Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature (2011), discusses the salient features that map out Africa-British relations of the past 400 years.

(Prince Charles: heir apparent to the British throne)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe 

Britain, history, Africa

IN A December 2006 article for the New Nation (the London-based weekly newspaper that appeals to a wide African people’s readership), former British Prime Minister Tony Blair writes that he feels “deep sorrow” for Britain’s central role in the European World’s enslavement of African peoples. This declaration is surely not good enough as Britain is the leading beneficiary of this holocaust. Blair should have apologised unreservedly to Africans across the world for Britain’s role in a holocaust that remains humanity’s most gruesome, most expansive, and most enduring (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe, 2001: especially ch. 1). Blair should have announced a comprehensive package of reparations paid to surviving Africans in Africa, Europe, the Americas and elsewhere in the world for this crime.
(Theresa May:... British Prime Minister)
IT must be emphasised that within 300 years of achieving the strategic control of Africa’s human and material resources, namely at the apogee of the African enslavement, Europe lays the foundation for the West’s political and economic hegemony of the world as we know it presently. This is a fact – “though largely erased and ignored in Western thought”, as Michel Beaud, the influential French economist, is keen to remind the European World. (Michel Beaud, A History of Capitalism: 1500-1980, 1983: 44.) Britain, the first truly effective Western global power, uses the gargantuan wealth it acquires during the course of its late 17th century/early 18th century pre-eminent role in the enslavement and mass exportation of millions of Africans to the Americas to consolidate its conquest of the Americas (especially the north/the Caribbean basin), embark on its conquest of India and other regions of Asia, embark on the subsequent pan-European (Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Italy) conquest and occupation of a (subsequently) weakened Africa, and lastly, but surely not least in importance, finance its 19th century industrial revolution which is the turning point in the development of Western capitalism.


Britain’s success on this score cannot be over-stressed. This was a country which, prior to the mid-17th century, was still a “cultural and scientific backwater”, to quote the graphic description made by Christopher Hill, the eminent British historian who is an authority on this period of British history. (Christopher Hill, “Lies about crimes”, The Guardian, London, 29 May 1989.)

By the beginning of the 18th century, Britain had established virtual world monopoly in the seizure and transportation of millions of Africans from their homelands to the Americas after displacing the Iberian states of Portugal and Spain. It used the enormous resources that accrued to it as a result to finance its burgeoning scientific and technological enterprises. Soon, as Hill further notes, Britain became the “centre of world science”. (Hill, “Lies about crimes”, The Guardian, London, 29 May 1989.) And to underline the sheer size of the wealth Britain was accumulating during the period, Charles Davenant, a late 17th century economist who studied the comparative worth of an enslaved African in the Caribbean and a worker in England, concludes: “[The labour of this enslaved African] is worth six times as much as the labour of an Englishman at home”. (Christopher Hill, “Lies about crimes”, The Guardian, London, 29 May 1989.)
(Olaudah Equiano: Distinguished Igbo-British intellectual of the 1780s-1790s England ... leading exponent of African freedom) 

WHILST studying the work of African labour force in the Guyanese sugar industry in the 1870s, it does not come as a shock to Joseph Beaumont, the British chief justice of Guyana, that it takes two to three days of work by the “best English laborer” (in England) of the day to complete a day’s work done by a typically enslaved African plantation worker. (Alan Adamson, Sugar without Slaves, 1972: 112.) “We have [in England] no excavating work so heavy as trench digging in Demerara [Guyana]”, Beaumont recalls, “and if the reader were to see a stalwart n[****] ... sweltering under the blazing sun throughout the day ... standing up to his knees and often to his hips in water, not only lifting (or more properly wrenching) 4000 to 5000 spits of dense clay ... throwing these twelve or sixteen feet clear on each side – not with a pleasant hammer throwing swing, but delivered straight from the loins at the end of a seven foot shovel ... I venture to think he would not only wonder at but admire ... the ‘lazy n[*****]’” (emphasis in the original). (Sidney Mintz, “Descrying the Peasantry”, 1982: 210)

During the 300 years of Britain’s ascendancy as the world’s principal enslaver-power in Africa and the Americas, leading members of its state establishment (especially in royalty, clergy, parliament, industry, academia, science and the arts) personally and collectively profited enormously from this unprecedented holocaust in human history. Cities such as London, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow became extremely rich, showcasing the spectacular transformation that each had undergone from being key destinations of prime investment of profits accruing to the British treasury from the enslavement of the African humanity. Thereafter, Britain became the epicentre of the intellectual activity of an ever-expanding collective of European World genocidist scholars, scientists and writers who offered the “requisite” cultural/scientific/literary rationalisation for the African holocaust. Influential members of this collective would include Spencer, Petty, Darwin, Lyell, Prichard, Reade, Locke, White, Knox, Marx, Hume, Lee, Farrar, Coupland, Egerton, Trevor-Roper, Conrad, Kipling, Carey, Haggard, Burroughs, Buchan, Mitford, Monsarrat, Ballantyne, Huxley and Blixen. (Ekwe-Ekwe, African Literature in Defence of History, passim.)

These practitioners, in a sentence, turned Britain into the creator, cardinal codifier, and pivotal publicist of pan-European racism as an ideology – to effectuate that strategic goal of erasure that Michel Beaud so cogently refers to.

The stupendous fortune Britain earned from this holocaust and the accompanying gullies of socio-economic devastation it unleashed across Africa and African survivors in Africa itself, the Americas and elsewhere in the world, ensured that a triumphant Prime Minister Salisbury confidently insisted, in a speech in London in 1898, that “One can roughly divide the nations of the world into the living and the dying ... [T]he living nations will fraudulently encroach on the territory of the dying.” (Sven LindqvistExterminate All the Brutes, 1997: 140) Less than 50 years after these remarks, the dire consequences of pogroms and holocausts would be felt much closer home to the heart of Europe rather than just the targeted lands further afield in Africa and elsewhere. On this, Sven Lindqvist has observed solemnly:
I am fairly sure the nine-year-old Hitler was not at Albert Hall when Lord Salisbury was speaking. He had no need to. He knew it already. The air he and all other Western people in his childhood breathed was soaked in the conviction that imperialism is a biologically necessary process, which, according to the laws of nature, leads to the inevitable destruction of the lower races. It was a conviction which already cost millions of human lives before Hitler provided his highly personal application. (Lindqvist, “Exterminate All the Brutes”, 1997: 141)
AS should be expected, the effects on Africans and their homeland of this earlier holocaust, have been grave indeed: the active human power of millions of future African generations were uprooted and shipped off to the Americas by European enslavers to work the cotton, sugar and tobacco plantations, excavate the gold and silver mines, and build new towns and cities in territories being conquered by expansionist European conqueror forces. In the process, as Cheikh Anta Diop has shown, Africa lost about 150 million of its peoples as enslaved, including those who died during the overland journey, crisscrossing west Africa and elsewhere, to conveyor-ships and the voyage to the Americas. (Cheikh Anta Diop, Precolonial Africa, 1987: 142.)

Soon, Britain and the rest of the European powers (France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Spain), who eventually occupied Africa, turned the continent into a reservoir of cheap labour for intensive and extensive agricultural and mineralogical exploitation. The African farmer was converted overnight into a “cash crop farmer”, a term that at face value has a dubious meaning as it is aimed to describe a farmer who cultivates assorted crops such as cotton, cocoa, palm produce, groundnut, cloves and sisal solely for export to European markets. The farmer who cultivates other crops, but for the home market, which he or she still sells for cash, is not a “cash crop farmer”! Instead, goes the conquest-economics jargon, the latter farmer is involved in “subsistent farming”. Considering that the overwhelming majority of Africans were, and are still farmers, these millions of people were, as a result of the European conquest and occupation, being culturally alienated at the crucial site of their economic activity with obvious far-reaching implications, which are still at the core of Africa’s current tragedy. If the African labour was not bound for agricultural activity, “cash crop”, or not, he or she was instead deployed by the occupation-state to the European mining corporations dotted all over the continent to extract various types of minerals including diamonds, gold, tin, bauxite, coal, copper, iron ore and petroleum products – again for export to the European World. All forms of taxes were imposed to expedite this European take-over of Africa, and the strategic spheres of the continent’s independent pre-conquest cultural, industrial and other forms of technological creativity therein were curtailed or suppressed.

IN EFFECT, African land and property relations were abolished by the occupation to make way for the seizure of land for both plantation agriculture and mining enterprises already referred to, or for the construction of new communication infrastructure, or for the direct population settlement by European immigrants as exemplified in east Africa (Kenya), southern Africa (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola, Namibia), west Africa (São Tomé and Principé, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde) and north Africa (Algeria). Again, Britain was the leading conqueror-state beneficiary during this phase of the direct occupation of Africa, having particularly seized lands with major population centres and vast and multiple natural resource emplacements: South Africa, Namibia (proxy control, post-1918 – after the defeat of Germany in World War I), Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania (post-1918, after the defeat of Germany in World War I), the Sudan, Nigeria, south Cameroons (post-1918, after the defeat of Germany in World War I), Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia. In each of these conquered lands as well as others, now arbitrarily carved out from hitherto existing African states, the European regime imposed its monetary system on society and also ensured that the terms for the exchange of goods and services, fundamental for the logical development of any socio-economic activity or relation, was inextricably tailored to the needs and expectations of the home market back home (in Europe). No doubt, the economies that emerged subsequently in Africa, particularly on the eve of the so-called re-establishment of the peoples’ independence from the mid-1950s, were structurally bereft of local needs and priorities. Instead, these were mineralogical and agricultural redoubts to service a European home market, and, at the same time, conduits for European emigration.

In summary, three distinct consequences on the African humanity can be discerned from the British-led (i.e. post-mid 17th century) enslavement of Africans or the African holocaust. First, the seizure and exportation of 150 million Africans from Africa to the Americas and elsewhere. Second, the destruction/near destruction of local populations and the dispatch of survivors/others into labour reserves/“townships” to make way for direct European occupation (particularly east/southern Africa) as from the 19th century, and, finally, the overall control of subjugated populations and the conversion of human and material resources to serve pan-European interests (rest of Africa), which has continued virtually uninterrupted to this day.

Kakistocracy and genocide

THE CONCERTED African drive, beginning soon after the Second World War, to free the continent of European control has yet to achieve its strategic objective: unfettered restoration-of-independence. Britain and France and Belgium and Portugal and Spain just won’t let go of Africa; for these countries, the phenomenal bounties of the African conquest are yet to be fully expropriated, despite the holocaust, despite the hundreds of years of occupation, and, more importantly, despite the insistence of the post-1945 African liberating mission. Starting from 1956 in Sudan, Britain (once again!) embarked on the construction of a constellation of kakistocratic states across the continent to precisely neutralise the emergence of this new, free Africa. Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia and others, as well as the Belgian and French derivatives of these monstrous constructs (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo Republic, Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon, etc., etc.) soon followed suit. In Nigeria, in 1966, Britain perfected, even further, the catastrophic tentacles of kakistocracy in Africa. (Herbert Ekwe-EkweBiafra Revisited, 2006)

In concert with the Nigeria state (religious, military, police, academic, bureaucracy, media) and the leaderships of key constituent nations in the country, Britain inaugurated the quintessential genocidal state in Africa: Nigeria. Britain and its Fulani islamist/jihadist-led Nigerian allies murdered 3.1 million Igbo people during the course of 1966-1970 in the most horrendous genocide of Africans not seen on the continent since the mid-19th century. At the apogee of the genocide, Harold Wilson, the British prime minister who oversaw the perpetration of this crime from his office and home at 10 Downing Street London was completely unperturbed to inform Clyde Ferguson (United States state department special coordinator for relief to Biafra), on record, that he, Harold Wilson, “would accept half a million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” the Nigerian génocidaires to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide. (Roger MorrisUncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, 1977: 122) And to ensure that the the génocidaires achieved whatever annihilative threshold on the destruction of Igbo people they had set for this mission in Biafra, Wilson duly reinforced and saturated the Nigeria armoury with assorted British military resources. Wilson was gravely effusive on the range and impact of Nigerian use of British arms in the genocide as he recalled in his memoirs: Nigerian military expended more small arms ammunition in its campaign in Biafra than the amount used by the British armed forces “during the whole” of the 1939-1945 war. (Harold Wilson, Labour Government, 1964-1970: A Personal Record, 1971: 630; added emphasis) Wilson’s government’s diplomatic mission military advisor in genocidist Nigeria at the time, Robert Scott, acknowledged his employer’s empirical evidence, albeit linguistically (at the height of the genocide, mid 1968- January 1970), that as the Nigerian genocidists unleashed their campaigns across Biafran cities, towns and villages, they were the “best defoliant agent known” (Sunday Telegraph, London, 11 January 1970).  Whilst Wilsons own preferred and projected death-wish tally for the Igbo was 500,000, which represented 4.2 per cent of the Igbo population at the time, his co-Nigerian genocidists on the ground instead murdered 3.1 million Igbo people – 2.6 million more or 25 per cent of the total Igbo population; definitely, the Nigerians had handsomely obliged their “massa” Harold Wilson’s extermination edict...
(Harold Wilson: ... “would accept half a million dead Biafrans if that was what it took..)
IT IS therefore extraordinary that in his study, Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice (2006), Geoffrey Robertson, a British human rights lawyer, a queen’s counsel, does not discuss the Igbo genocide anywhere in his 759-page text nor Britain’s instrumental role in perpetrating this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa. Robertson’s is clearly the case of a scholar who wishes to deny the most catastrophic of genocides.

Indeed, the mass murder of the Igbo, centrally organised by Britain, sets the grotesque precedence that would chart and characterise the defining features of African politics during the subsequent 30 years: Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo Republic, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, Sudan. A total of 12 million Africans have been murdered in these countries since the Igbo genocide.

As Britain (and France and Belgium particularly) would surely attest, the kakistocratic state of Africa, especially its genocidal variety in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Sudan for instance, pays handsomely. An examination of any index of statistical data on Anglo-Nigeria relations, or indeed Anglo-Sudan interactions, won’t shock for the very obvious.

As the Africans in a Nigeria or a Sudan languish in perpetuity in these perditions of “homeland” of British creation, the British continue to enjoy unprecedented levels of profits from these “countries”, day in, day out, receive net capital inflows from these territories, including those looted by thieving “leaderships” and officials, and appropriate critical resources from there at will ... Britain, and the rest of the European World, couldn’t ask for a more enabling environment to expropriate and expropriate the vast riches of Africa indefinitely.

FOR Africans, the next move in the much-sought-after liberation couldn’t be clearer: (1) dismantle the extant genocide state or quickly abandon their membership therein and (2) create new state forms of civilisation that expressly serve their own interests and aspirations – not those of others, including, especially, the notorious overlords of persons, groups and the “ascribed” African constituent nations or nationalities on the ground who carry out the day-to-day policing of this retrograde, hierarchical architecture of doom on behalf of Britain.
(Nnamdi Kanu: ... leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra ... Biafrans are poised to free themselves from genocidist & kakistocratic Nigeria ... Igbo freedom will inaugurate the age of freedom for African peoples with inestimable transformative possibilities...)


Adamson, Alan. Sugar without Slaves. New Haven: Yale University, 1972.

Beaud, Michel. A History of Capitalism: 1500-1980. New York: Monthly Review, 1983

Diop, Cheikh Anta. Precolonial Africa. New York: Lawrence Hill, 1987.

Ekwe-Ekwe, Herbert. Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature. Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2011.

Ekwe-Ekwe, Herbert. Biafra Revisited. Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2006.

Ekwe-Ekwe, Herbert. African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe. Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2001.

Hill, Christopher. “Lies about crimes”. The Guardian, London, 29 May 1989.)

John Coltrane Quartet. A Love SupremeVan Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 9 December 1964.

Lindqvist, Sven. “Exterminate All the Brutes”. London: Granta Books, 1997.

Mintz, Sidney. “Descrying the Peasantry”. Review (Fernand Braudel Center), VI, 2, Fall 1982, pp. 209-225.

Morris, Roger.Uncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy. London and New York: Quartet Books, 1977.

Robertson, Geoffrey, Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice. London: Penguin Books, 2006.

Sunday Telegraph. London, 11 January 1970.

Wilson, Harold. Labour Government, 1964-1970: A Personal Record. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971. 
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Resolution” {part-II of A Love Supreme suite} [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones,  drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 9 December 1964])

*****Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is the author, with Lakeson Okwuonicha, of the recently published Why #DonaldTrump is #great for #Africa (Dakar and Reading: African Renaissance, 2018) (

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe