Is Africa the Elephant or the Grass?

Is Africa the Elephant or the Grass?
Video Caption: 1 Diplo’s 2019 VMAs, Themed Suit

Is Africa the Elephant or the Grass?

Last week I was driving along Mombasa Highway, about fifty kilometers before Mtito Andei when I came across an elephant grazing peacefully by the road. I slowed down and parked at a safe distance, besides the road.

For several minutes, I just gazed at the elephant enjoying its late lunch, oblivious to the speeding cars and my calm stare. It looked so majestic that I felt that the crown placed on Prince Charles’s head on coronation day, belonged on this elephant’s head.

As I gazed at the elephant, I remembered something that Thomas Sankara, one of Africa’s greatest Presidents, once said in relation to elephants.

While addressing the Nonaligned Summit in Harare on 3rd September 1986, Thomas Sankara said that, “The Nonaligned Movement signifies this awakening and this refusal to be the grass that fighting elephants trample with impunity.”

As I gazed at that elephant, the gravity of those words sank in. An elephant is the largest living land animal. It weighs six tons! This is four times as heavy as the average midsize car! Now imagine two elephants fighting.

The grass they are trampling on, will indeed feel the full wrath and destruction of the fighting elephants!

For the six decades that most African countries have been independent, they have continued suffering the consequences of economically and militarily stronger foreign powers fighting proxy wars in Africa. Thanks to the cold war, Patrice Lumumba was assassinated in 1960, leading Condo down a freefall that it has never recovered from.

Current proxy wars continue to destroy Africa’s lives and environment. Russia is the puppet master behind the Wagner Group’s destructive escapades in Sudan, Mali and Central Africa Republic. France, Britain, China and USA are also still waging their own proxy wars in subtler but similarly destructive ways. It’s no wonder large parts of West Africa are fed up with France.

Africa must refuse to be the grass that fighting elephants keep trampling on.

Africa must instead become the elephant that triumphantly defends its territory from all intruders.


Bwak and the elephant

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