Event Date: May 26, 2007
Posted: June 06, 2007
Remigius Kintu was the feature speaker at the African Liberation Day Dinner organized by the Caribbean Historical Society. Gamal Nkrumah, son of Kwame Nkrumah, who was originally slated to be the feature speaker, could not attend due to the illness of his mother, who subsequently passed away. The event, held on the 26th of May 2007, commemorated the 44th anniversary of African Liberation Day and also marked the 25 years of existence of the Caribbean Historical Society. As guests filtered into the auditorium, the sweet sounds of pan music played by the Diego Martin based Ice Water Pan Ensemble were heard. The event was well-attended and the dinner was prepared by Kumasi Coalpot Services.
Orisha Elder Mother Valerie Lee Chee opened the event with an invocation, invoking memory of the ancestors, especially those that contributed towards the struggle. She called upon Makandal Daaga to call the names of a few of such persons which he did. The Kishan Seenath Dance Company then performed a religious Indian dance item that was well-received by the audience. The North West Laventille Dance Troupe took to the stage next, with energized dance movements in tandem to the pulsating rhythms of the African drums, performing a dance piece titled ‘Moods of Africa’.
Brother Valentino, fondly called the people’s Calypsonian, came to the stage and performed ‘One Day Soon’, ‘Lion Wake Up’ and ‘Ode to the Woman’, the lyrics of which were fitting to African Liberation Day. However it was his last song ‘Ode to the Woman’ that seemed to resonate most with the audience.
Terri Lyons, the daughter of the legendary Superblue, showed she can hold her own, with a dramatic performance of her 2007 Calypso ‘Ah Feel It’, which won her second place in this year’s National Calypso Queen Competition. She went on to energetically perform Ella Andall’s ‘Rhythm of a People’ which had members of the audience clapping and dancing along. The audience called her back on stage to sing some more and she obliged, even giving them a taste of her father’s famous song ‘Soca Baptist’. She finally left the stage to rapturous applause from the audience.
According to the Director of CHS, Nyahuma Obika, who introduced the feature speaker, Mr. Remigius Kintu is a native of Uganda and has spent over twenty years working on human rights problems in Africa. Mr. Kintu has therefore been able to acquire first hand knowledge of the present conditions throughout Africa and is presently working on a book titled ‘The Liberation Plan For Africa’.
Remigius Kintu, who then graced the podium, pointed out that there were ruthless policy makers imposing destructive policies on African countries, rendering supposedly independent countries susceptible to control. He marked that the liberation of Africa is not yet complete and listed five areas of focus in completing liberation. The first, he said, is the need to liberate minds from colonial control; the second, the liberation of the land from colonial vestiges; the third is economic liberation; the fourth, genuine self-governance and fifth, the unity of African people both on the continent and in the Diaspora.
Remigius Kintu remarked that in Uganda, the education system was designed by colonial interests, as in many of the African countries he has been. He said it is embarrassing the way in which the children’s minds are controlled and how they worship alien values and elements.
Remigius Kintu also pointed out that many of the problems being experienced in Africa stem from those who pretend that they are there to help, and singled out the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as institutions whose policies have been damaging to the African continent. He highlighted his experiences in the Congo, which he described as the country greatly endowed with the natural resources such as cobalt, coltan, gold, diamond, uranium, wildlife and timber. Remigius Kintu said that multinational corporations, mostly geared towards mining, are flocking to the Congo. The World Bank, he said, was financing exploitation of resources in the country bringing great suffering and environmental degradation to the region. He said that those in power in the Congo have granted companies the rights to mine minerals, with tax holidays of up to thirty years. He also highlighted the situation in the delta region in Nigeria where oil companies are wantonly destroying the environment as examples of the damaging effects of multinational corporations in Africa. He further spoke about foreign interests in Chad, Equatorial Guinea and the Sudan, concluding that where there is oil, there are problems.
Dara Anyika, secretary of the Caribbean Historical Society, giving the vote of thanks expressed gratitude to all the participants in the African Liberation Day Dinner Programme. She singled out the vision of Makandal Daaga as being instrumental in uplifting the consciousness of people, not only in Trinidad and Tobago but the world over. Anyika lastly thanked the feature speaker who she said was instructive in encouraging the audience to look beneath the surface to see the truth.
African Liberation Day Dinner 2007 in pictures: