Comrade Makda reports from Occupied Azania (South Africa)

SWEDEN–On October 28, 2015, Secretary General of the African Socialist International (ASI), Luwezi Kinshasa and myself, Makda Yohannes, Chairwoman of the African Socialist International Europe (ASI-Europe) went to Occupied Azania (South Africa).


The goal of the trip was to build the African Peoples Socialist Party (APSP) by spreading African Internationalism on the ground. We also aimed to prepare for the upcoming Africa Must Unite tour that will take place in Azania in February of 2016.


We achieved our goals and gained supporters who unite with African Internationalism and will help to build for the Africa Must Unite tour.


Leadership is crucial


This was my first time in Africa with the African Peoples Socialist Party since Ive been organizing with the Party. What struck me the most about our brothers and sisters in Azania was the political maturity they had, even at a very young age.


They were very much aware of the class question and its significance. This was very obvious, particularly at a lecture held by comrade Luwezi at Wits University in Johannesburg, regarding African Internationalism vs. Pan Africanism.


It was very apparent that we won the people on our side during the discussion. There were some people who took a stance against the question of the workers being the leading force.


The majority of the people, however, understood the importance of the workers leading the revolution and not the African petty bourgeoisie, which is a slowly dying social force.


What I have learned after being taught the science of African Internationalism is that there is a constant war of ideas. We see it every day on the news and it is escalating because of the imperialist crisis, as imperialism desperately tries to survive.


Within the African colonized world, there is an evident war of interests between the workers and the African petty bourgeoisie.


This was very obvious when organizing in Occupied Azania, as the Africans of the petty bourgeoisie are trying to win space and get the masses on their side.


The masses however, especially the younger generation, want revolution and have no interest inturning the other cheek. They want to overturn this rotten system, just like the rest of the masses of the African World.


The only thing that is missing is leadership! This is why it was crucial for the African Socialist International (ASI), to show the masses that we have the same struggle and need to fight under the same organization as one people instead of as a dispersed nation!


It takes the African woman and man to make The Revolution; We are changing the narrative


African Internationalism teaches us that there are two kinds of contradictions.


The primary contradiction is vertical violence and refers to our relationship to imperialism and white power, which has been responsible for our oppression for over 600 years.


There is also horizontal violence (or so-called black-on-black violence) which refers to violence within the oppressed nation and expresses itself in many different ways as a consequence of vertical violence. This includes the relationship between the African man and woman.


I had the opportunity in Azania, on the second day of the trip, to talk about the question of women in the African revolution.


This was met with a great response, not just from the sisters that participated at the intensive, but from the brothers as well.


We had a very stimulating and educational discussion around the role that African men and women have played in history and in our tradition as Africans.


We discussed the backward belief that the only place for a woman is in support of her man or standing behind him and why it needs to change if we are serious about revolution!


The question of Same Gender Loving (SGL) or gay Africans was also raised during one of our discussions. This is something that has been discussed in many circles in the African world.


Is it an African tradition or not? Should African Internationalism defend the same gender loving African brothers and sisters?


To make it clear, the African Peoples Socialist Party will defend any African man or woman whether SGL or straight, because we defend any African life and oppose oppression in all forms.


I was happily surprised as we discussed because there are usually people who are ready to attack the same gender loving Africans, losing focus on the real enemy to our people which is imperialism and white power.


That was not the case, however, as the comrades clearly understood why it is important to include every African woman, man and child who is serious about revolution, into revolutionary work regardless of their sexual orientation.


The primary contradiction we face as a people is the violence from the State, which is oppressive in its nature. We are changing the narrative!


We are Africans because we say we are


It was a tremendous experience to be able to travel to Azania as an organizer for the African Socialist International, mainly because I have only been to Eritrea, East Africa where I am from.


This was my first time meeting sisters and brothers on the continent from another part of the continent itself.


The Party always talks about the significance of breaking the physical and mental colonial borders that were created by imperialism and uniting under one philosophy and one aim: the total liberation and unification of Our Africa!


I had the chance to meet and talk with a lot of sisters about revolution. The astonishing thing was that they, even at a very young age, saw themselves as crucial participants of the revolution.


They did not fall for the backward notion that we, as African women, will be by-standers who wish or hope our way out of this oppression.


They believe that we need to assume responsibility of freeing ourselves from imperialism by any means.


It is very important to recognize this stance and their role in building the Azania front of the African revolution.


When myself and comrade Luwezi were walking in the streets of Johannesburg brothers and sisters greeted us saying, Ethiopia, assuming I came from there.


I would like to point out the recognition of sameness, that regardless of where we are as a people, we see ourselves in one another and this is one of the many components of what constitutes our African nation.


This is a sense of sameness shared by African people everywhere. We are Africans because we say we are!


What we see in todays colonized world, not just in Azania, is that the African working class is tired of living in these oppressed conditions.


The younger generation, both brothers and sisters, are ready to take on the fight against imperialist white power and get free!


The working class wants to be self-determined. They can clearly see the backward stance of the African petty bourgeoisie as a result of the imperialist crisis, and are determined to fight against any force that stands between us and our freedom as a people!


This is what the African Socialist International predicted a long time ago. It is clear that the vision Marcus Garvey had about a worldwide African movement based on Africa for the Africans, those home and those abroadis in the process of becoming a reality.


Izwe Lethu! I Afrika!

We are winning!


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