Africa’s Big Five: The Pain & Victory Behind the Story


Our heroes’ struggle for political independence teaches us of the sacrifice that must be made. Their heroism must transcend the struggle for political independence, and inspire a new generation of heroes that must sacrifice for the indigenous majority’s pursuit of indigenization and economic empowerment.

The legacies of a hero can only live on and find infinity within the cause of people and nation. Ghana will always commemorate and lay claim to Kwame Nkurumah, however much his heroism may reflect across the rest of Africa.

Patrice Lumumba, the iconic figure that most readily comes to mind when Africa is discussed in relation to its struggle against imperialism and racism. He lost power, he lost his country, and in the end, he lost his life.

Mr Kenneth David Kaunda of Zambia is one of Africa’s greatest politicians and liberators from colonial powers. Born on 28 April, 1924 in Lubwa, near Chinsali, in the then Northern Rhodesia and now part of Zambia, his father hailed from Malawi, formerly known as Nyasaland, and it was this legacy that would later become yet another challenge to Zambia’s first president after Britain had relinquished colonial power.

Jomo Kenyata’s heroism for his people’s purpose will forever be spoken of within the name of the nation and its people, Kenya and Kenyans. However, much of the West will take Nelson Mandela’s heroism hostage, it is South Africa’s majority black people that shall weigh his heroism with their present struggle, which long ceased to be political and has become economic.

The continent’s leaders have described Nelson Mandela as one of the greatest figures of contemporary Africa. Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama said: “It is no coincidence that in the years since Mandela’s release, so much of Africa has turned toward democracy and the rule of law. His utilization of peace as a vehicle of liberation showed Africa that if we were to move beyond the divisiveness caused by colonization and the pain of our self-inflicted wounds, compassion and forgiveness must play a role in governance.”

Senegal’s President Macky Sall said: “We have lost a giant, one of the greatest figures in contemporary Africa. No man of our time has given so much for the cause of his people, for Africa, and for the good of mankind. Nelson Mandela taught us courage, strength, forgiveness. He showed us that a human being could be better.”

This article was written by ASHLEY ADDEH


About Author

Born in Zimbabwe and living in South Africa, Miriro is a seasoned publishing editor and writer, having worked with leading brands in investment, business leadership and entrepreneurship. Passionate about Africa’s development, Miriro is also a dynamic marketing consultant with 10 years experience working with startups and large multinational corporations. With a heart for travel, Miriro spends her time discovering the nooks of crannies of Africa’s hidden gems, taking the roads less travelled, meeting the beautiful people and enjoying their food and culture. She enjoys tackling complex strategic challenges in the passion-to-entrepreneurship pipeline, particularly focused on the implications of 4th Industrial Revolution and workforce automation on Africa's travel and tourism industry.

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