The 2nd African Coloniser Wont use Bullets and Guns but Pen and Paper.
China’s massive presence on the African continent is common knowledge, but what has largely flown under the radar until now is just how dependent Beijing has become on its African partners. In a recent example, OPEC production cuts have led China to increase its imports of African crude oil to never-seen-before levels. In April, Beijing was on the receiving end of 1.48 million barrels a day, shipped largely from Angola and Nigeria.
This growing symbiosis between Sub-Saharan Africa and China brings with it several potentially damaging side effects. Many African countries feel they have to choose sides between either the “Washington” or the “Beijing” consensus on issues of financial aid and development. While Western financing comes with lower interest rates, funds are generally linked to criteria such as “rule of law”, implemented to engineer a certain level of political development in the recipient state. By contrast, Beijing’s financing creates results in a different framework: economic and strategic dependence with little heed paid to human rights or democratic standards.
In my country alone Kenya I can count numerous project headed by the Chinese and now collateral is being examined as the govt cant repay the loans in times. From my simple assessment Beijing is now holding the bull by its horns if balls would sound a little vigour. The eceonimies will not recover soon due to compounding depts, the citizens will be pushed out of jobs competitions sooner or later. That how the roots of Beijing colonialisation will run so deep that it could take even 2,000 years to decolonise if we are not careful. We must always know that unlike an apple that fell from the tree decolonisation will not be for free. We must be engaged in the work of the mind to achieve it.
Finally, the Chinese are here. Africans always complain that their languages can’t be the languages of teaching and learning instead of fighting for the indigenous languages to be turned into languages of teaching and learning. We need to stop being colonized from the tender age and one of the simplest way is by instilling our value to our children through our own language. It’s sad to note that even my own daughters can’t speak my language, that’s to the imposed education systems.
The Chinese have seen an opportunity in our weakness of hating our indigenous languages. History has taught us that every coloniser used language to launch their take over project. Today as we speak South Africa has joined other African countries in introducing Mandarin as a language in schools. Already 44 schools have introduced Mandarin, with the prospect of more to follow. The Global Institute of Chinese Language will train teachers to face the challenge of teaching this language in our schools. Every education system has an element of culture and language embedded in it. So has Chinese. This is a serious invasion. English and Afrikaans languages must call it a day as there is another imperialist coming to remove them from their long celebrated position.
The Chinese are not here to play; they are pursuing a well-calculated mission of taking over Africa. Within a decade or so Mandarin will spread throughout all schools in Africa. The Chinese will invest a huge sum of money to make sure their project becomes a success. Trust me to secure a job in Chinese firms you will have to have Mandarin as a criterion in a distant future. It’s important for us to note that today every major project in Indian Sri-lanka and Bangladesh is under china now. It wont be different for us.
The issue of the indigenous languages is becoming so difficult to achieve; it’s more like the expropriation of the land without compensation. The problems which make us fail to position indigenous languages properly is the attitude of the role players in policy creation and implementation, especially parents in schools. Most parents still think English is everything attached to the success of their children. Education is no longer regarded as the content and skills obtained by the pupils but the fluency in the English language. Today as the Kenya government releases the end of year results for 12 grades they should reflect and remember that the local languages are as important as the foreign ones.
A ministerial task team established by the department of basic education in South Africa has already recommended that history be made a compulsory subject from 2023 in schools from grades 10 to 12. The South African government is coming with a very clear position on the issue of introducing history as one of the compulsory subjects in their schools’ curriculums. The aim of the government, I hope, is to make sure that all pupils become conscious about their past to understand why they are where they are today and assist them have an outlook of the future they want. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? What have other governments in Africa done?
The question that quickly pops up is: What are the Africans governments doing in preparation for the roll-out of this project? Is the government going to offer history in English or indigenous languages to African kids? To decolonise the curriculums the government must start by decolonising the language of teaching and learning. The introduction of a decolonised curriculums of history is an opportunity to test the political will of our government. Irrespective of the research findings that kids benefit more when they learn in their home language, most of the developing countries, including South Africa, prefer European languages when offering education to their children and is an aspect that he Beijing is setting its eyes on seriously.
Our children need a sense of identity and belonging. We must allow our children to learn in their own languages in the early years. Let’s discard the wrong attitude towards our languages to save them from being endangered. Let us be proud of our heritage. Let’s get attached to our roots. If we do all these we begin to decolonise