From the southern tip of the continent to the eastern horn and down to the western coastline, the African continent has since cemented a new political trinity which is intrinsically linked by visionaries and enhanced visions for the motherland. And this intriguing trinity of persons and philosophies is connected by a common socio-political thread, since all of the continent is beset by the demons of gerontocracy, kleptomania, nepotism and frightening socio-economic underdevelopment which appears to be deliberately dictated by a certain diminishing class bent on fostering an oligarchy on the continent, while bequeathing stupendous wealth to dependants and inheritors of its estates.
But propelled by congenital love for the majority on the margins, and guided by tested political philosophies and the worthwhile experiences of other continents, Omoyele “Yele” Sowore in Nigeria, Julius “Juju” Malema in South Africa, and Robert “Bobi Wine” Ssentamu in Uganda; have since berthed to rescue Africa from the curse of the old tyrant and non-performing theories. And while this trinity which must be referenced by all political theorists worth their callings, is not physically connected by any sort of tripartite alliance, the avatars who champion it on a new transcontinental tripod, must be cross-examined for the tenacity of their unrelenting crusades which seeks to enthrone a new political order on the entire continent. Apart from the Christian and Catholic trinity of God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit; no other living trinity seems to befuddle, dazzle and inspire as that of Omoyele Sowore, Julius Malema and Robert Ssentamu. They all appear as one and the same incarnate of one omnipresent being. And there is a reason for this connectedness and political attraction.
Due in part to the ceaseless fervor which these three brave gentlemen have decorated their movements, the enlightened and progressive world has since stood up to acknowledge their immense contributions to new tantalizing debates about how the African continent needs to be compassed to safety, meaningful growth and development. This transcontinental influence is evident in the troves of disgust that emerges every time each of them is harassed by silencing agents of state, which begins to render them as individual, yet organically linked heroes on the continent. This is the heart of the new African trinity that is taking three sub regions and the rest of the continent by blinding storm.
Julius Malema’s most visible message from the Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa is that of land expropriation without compensation, which is a very divisive mantra in itself, and the restoration of dignity and humanity to the black majority, whose incontrovertible claim to a worthy existence, was once trampled upon by apartheid and its sympathizers across the primitive world. Juju’s message is alluring in conception but frightful in presentation; yet he has his detractors and admirers within the EFF and outside of it; but stands connected to Sowore in that he too desires emancipation for a once marginalized sector of his society, along with a general good for all. He seeks the reinstallation of the aboriginal positions of blacks in that geographical space called South Africa, but which he is constantly seeking to remodel as Azania, a name which the EFF finds handsome and befitting for all its etymological glory.
While Malema is constantly stalked by the African National Congress and conservative elements who have an ingrained reluctance to let go of the old order in politics and the economy, he finds ample room for expressions of his political philosophies within the room provided by the disenfranchised in black communities in South Africa and elsewhere in the southern tip of the continent. This is the reason he is growing in social relevance, academic theories and dramatic literature. He is the subject of the 2019 stage play, Defiance, which is directed by Eddie Thaba. The EFF, which is fired by Juju’s charisma and agitator rhetoric has since become a gadfly in South Africa’s national parliament where the sighting of the EFF’s red beret sends epidemic tremors down the spines of those who can’t stand the hurricane of change of the incoming revolution.
Malema’s scary violence of language and dreadful cloaks of rigidity, is offset by his abhorrence of bloodshed while the agitation for the righting of generational wrongs takes place within social and economic landscapes, which are regulated by laws of South Africa. He threatens fire and brimstone, but won’t fire a single shot to ring home his land reclamation shouts. This is the redeeming quality of his vituperations. Were Juju to bear arms, the former ANC youth superhero would lose all claim to relevance and civility in any part of the world, since Apartheid has since died a forceful death. Juju frightens whites with his linguistic capabilities of violence, yet he attracts blacks with an equal fierceness in speech. His selling point is his persona, his eloquence and the meatiness of his message, which consoles, inspires and gives hopes for land expropriation in his own lifetime. The only thing Juju seems to promise is economic emancipation. Nothing more. Nothing less. This is evident in the name he has chosen for his political party: the economic freedom fighters!
While South Africa has tried to frown at the ghost of Apartheid and the socio-economic trauma of landlessness for blacks, East Africa seems reluctant to show Yoweri Museveni the exit channel. Or is it that he has been shown the door consistently, but the old man has just refused to walk through the door, sustaining himself with legislative manipulations and outright arm-twisting of the populace? Enter Bobi Wine of the People Power Movement, who has since vowed to confront the political demons of East Africa buoyed by mass support from those who want to see the new Uganda and Africa prophesied long ago in basic independence forecasts. Bobi is angered that Museveni has pinned Uganda to his chest since 1986 as though it were a tag he alone must brandish! Bobi is another beret donning firebrand who is mesmerizing his domain and the continent with music and political philosophies. This is where he shares connecting bonds with Malema in South Africa and Sowore in Nigeria. All three of them are youthful. And all three of them are beret loving.
Omoyele Sowore is the new menace of the ruling class in Nigeria, yet a bride of the downtrodden. Here is also how he shares genes with his political commissars in South Africa and Uganda. The three subjects of this essay all have a liking for berets and change. While Malema and Wine are both parliamentarians, Omoyele is the only one out of the trio to taste political juices just yet. But he remains hopeful that he can become the president of Nigeria as ably demonstrated by his rounded refusal to go out of political circulation through the back doors recommended by unyielding hearers of his message of change and political inspiration.
Sowore is standing his grounds, refusing to yield as a sterling member of the new African political trinity which stretches from the south to the east, then down to the west of the continent. Sowore, Malema and Wine is the new political collective like no other, ever seen in these parts of the world, where sometimes, heroes can be scare socio-political commodities. Point to another enduring political trinity and one would apologize on this same page.
P.S: Steve Ogah is a Creative Writer and author of The African New Yorker.