The revolutionary must above all be willing to sacrifice himself/ herself, live modestly and fight the petit bourgeois tendencies that his or her education and privilege have made accessible to her or him such as shopping for name brand suits in the fashion capitals of Milan, Paris, etc. That doesn’t mean he/ she must return to cow hides but he/ she must adorn him/ herself with clothes produced locally, using local materials manufactured by local tailors and designers to promote the local industry and market. Can a revolutionary preach anti-imperialist ideology while stepping out of the latest imperialist motorcar and adorned in the latest imperialist fashions?
MIXING AND MINGLING WITH THE MASSES
Moreover, the revolutionary must do away with spending money on expensive imperialist cars like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Range Rover, etc. That money must be used to finance projects to uplift the living standards of the masses. Revolutionaries insult the masses when they drive around in expensive cars while the masses are hungry and have no access to medication, electricity, running water or incomes. If needs be, the revolutionary must travel incognito on public transport mixing and mingling with the masses to understand where they are coming from. That way they won’t need to worry about writing an ideology because they will pen it in collaboration with the people. However, if cars are necessary, they must drive economy class not luxury vehicles to carry out their tasks without placing a burden on the national purse.
AID MUST WORK TOWARDS ELIMINATING RELIANCE ON AID
A true revolutionary never seeks to rely on foreign aid but must find ways and means to make the most of the country’s rich repository of raw materials, human resources and cultural capital. If the revolutionary is to accept aid, he must obtain it by manipulating international disagreements no matter who or where it comes from, but that aid should not keep the country dependent on the giver. That aid should work towards eliminating the reliance on foreign aid. Aid must aid Africa to become economically, politically and socially self reliant.
STRUGGLE CREDENTIALS A MEANS TO WEALTH ACCUMULATION
When I look out and see the leaders in Africa, I can only conclude that they are counter-revolutionaries. They are reactionaries. They are not acting in the interests of the masses. They are working to protect their own interests and using their struggle credentials to further enrich themselves at the expense of the people. The leaders have amassed wealth and shut their ears to the cries of the starving children and masses. They act as if they have a divine right to rule and some will even go to the extent of bribing religious leaders and prophets to make ridiculous claims that their rule is ordained by God; they forget it is not God who put them in charge but the peoples’ vote.
AFRICA NEEDS NEW LEADERS
Africa needs new leaders with an African mentality, a clear liberation ideology and the political will to implement their promises to the people. Today our leaders have lost touch with reality. They’ve cut themselves off from the grassroots and live in ivory towers. They’ve no experience of how people live on a day to day basis. They’ve no experience of riding on public transport or spending a day working in the villages. They’ve lost touch with the problems and challenges ordinary people struggle with daily because they’ve cut themselves off from the people they represent; they’ve become intoxicated by wealth and power. With each passing day, they resemble the authoritarian regimes they replaced.
Africa needs new leaders my brother and sisters. Maybe that leader is you. Prepare yourself for the time when you shall be called upon to lead the people. And when that time comes Dear Leaders, don’t forget those people who called you to lead them. Don’t lose touch with the grassroots. In the words of Ahmed Sekou Toure, “To take part in the African revolution it is not enough to write a revolutionary song: you must fashion the revolution with the people. And if you fashion it with the people, the songs will come by themselves.”