Mwerevu hates Mashakani so much so that he is always ready and willing to get rid of any stupid Mwerevu or a wise Mjinga who tries to show his fellow Wajingas the way out of Mashakani. To demonstrate just how serious Mwerevu hates Mashakani, the above fellas (save for JM) died in their 30s for their trouble trying to fight for the rights of the less fortunate in the society as well as enlightening and uplifting the standards of living of the hoi polloi. They worked tirelessly towards removing the darkness of ignorance and the thick gullibility veil that crowded the peoples’ ability to think of a way out of social subjugation. Mwerevu cannot stomach any of this nonsense. He can’t sit and wait to be dethroned from his swinging seat of comfort where scantily dressed divas surround him while taking turns to feed him with cherries and cheese.
We start off with Guy no. 2. He belaboured to have it sink into folks’ minds on how easy it is for an elephant to enter into a mouse hole than for a rich man to see the kingdom of God. He was told to hell with your elephants and your mouse holes. They nailed him on a big post atop a hill and forced Keriako Tobiko of the time to release Maina Shimoli from Kamiti.
Here at home, guy no. 1 tried to preach against creating a country of ten millionaires and 10 million poor people. He was told that his figures were unacceptably conservative and plans were underway to make 10 billionaires 5,000 millionaires and at least 44,994,990 poor people. He was also made to understand in no uncertain terms that the money and the land didn’t belong to his mother.
Guy no 4 renamed his country to “The land of the upright men” and he was told upright is not the only posture especially where you have to do lots of bootlicking. He brought about unparalleled reforms in his country and transformed it in a record four years. He also raised the middle finger to donors and colonial masters telling them if Burkina Faso happened to pay a single cent, any further, towards the foreign debt, they take the pleasure to refer to him as Ng’ang’a. The colonial masters not in any way prepared to pronounce Ng’ang’a had him killed by would-be-his-successor. In his Death, Africa lost a hero.
Guy no. 8 from Azania sang about ‘Mickey Mouse Freedom’, He quips in this song that the much exalted Independence and Freedom that our countries supposedly acquired is just but a phony PR stunt. His music is unbelievably therapeutic and captures the intricacies of the day to day life of the ordinary folks in the most archetypal ways. He was killed in a bizarre carjacking incident in Soweto.
Guy no. 5 sang many protest songs among them ‘Small Axe’. In this song he posits “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe, ready to cut you down, to cut you down!” He tells the Downpressed to “Emanicipate themselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds”. He also did another song dubbed “Them Belly full But we hungry. A hungry mob is an angry mob”. Though he was not killed like the others in this list, he was definitely a thorn in the collective flesh of the oppressors. I remember when we were young, our schools and or our churches arranged with renowned ‘counselors’ to come and indoctrinate us. They warned us against listening to reggae music which to them was synonymous with Bob Marley. We were told that Reggae music was the epitome of evil and the devil hums to reggae tunes when stoking his fire and pushing half burnt bodies further into his incinerators. It was a sure way of keeping us from his wise teachings.
Guy no 9. Patrice Lumumba. The Belgians, after dreadfully raping and defiling Congo in the most disgraceful chapters of colonialism, “gave” independence to the country and envisioned a situation where they would remain behind the scenes pulling strings as they steered the country towards their preferred directions. They didn’t want to give complete control of the resources rich country to the young Prime Minister. Lumumba reminded them that Congo’s independence was not handed on a silver platter and the country would forge its own path. This was not music to the colonialists. They would teach the young prime minister a lesson. A very bitter lesson.
A few days after the country’s independence celebrations, the Belgians influenced the Katangan’s to secede something that young Lumumba would emphatically oppose. He looked west for support but his pleas landed on deaf ears. He asked the UN to intervene. Nothing gave.
He threatened, while still looking West, to look East for support thinking that the West would bulge. They didn’t. He moved from mere threats and actually looked East. The West was pissed. So pissed they were actually fuming. “How dare he look East? That is as good as giving all the resources to our enemies in the East”.
By looking East, he had effectively done the final touches to his grave. The secessionists with the support of the CIA and the Belgians put him under arrest in extremely deplorable prison conditions. They would later tie him to a tree, shoot him to a sieve, cut his body into pieces burn and dip it in acid. Someone kept his teeth as souvenirs. Guy no 6, referred to Lumumba as “the greatest black man to walk the African Continent”.
Guy no 7, my favourite among the nine, is a true definition of a revolutionary. He goes by the name Ernesto Che Guevara. Che being a nickname emanating from his repeated use of the word in his spoken sentences. It is more or less like the Kikuyu’s Atiriri or Sheng’s Maze. Born in Buenos Aires Argentina, he would team up with the Castros to overthrow Batista the Cuban dictator. This would set his path to many places across the world to sow the seeds of revolution. Of these many places would be Congo-Kinshasa where he went shortly after the assassination of guy no 9 and spent 7 months teaching guerilla tactics to the revolutionaries. He was disappointed big time with guys who could not man their machine gun nests as instructed giving the government jetfighters the carte blanche to decimate the rest of the guerrillas undeterred. He left for Bolivia to foment a revolution. It is here that he would meet his death through execution.
On why he became a revolutionary he had this to say and I quote him verbatim. “After graduation, due to special circumstances and perhaps also to my character, I began to travel throughout America, and I became acquainted with all of it (poverty and suffering). Except for Haiti and Santo Domingo, I have visited, to some extent, all the other Latin American countries. Because of the circumstances in which I traveled, first as a student and later as a doctor, I came into close contact with poverty, hunger and disease; with the inability to treat a child because of lack of money; with the stupefaction provoked by the continual hunger and punishment, to the point that a father can accept the loss of a son as an unimportant accident, as occurs often in the downtrodden classes of our American homeland. And I began to realize at that time that there were things that were almost as important to me as becoming a famous or making a significant contribution to medical science: I wanted to help those people.”
Though they killed Che for his stance and fight against imperialism, he became a Legend, a cult hero among revolutionaries upon his death. His portrait is the most famous photo across the world surpassing even that of guy no 2.
I need not write about guy 6 and guy 3. This however doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the selfless sacrifice they made towards fighting for African-American rights to the point of paying the ultimate price. They both fell to the assassin’s bullet. Their legend lives on and like guy no 7 said, you can only kill a man but his ideas live on.