Patrice Lumumba. Assasinated.
By Mamour Senghor, Dakar, Senegal
Reggae superstar Bob Marley was 36 when he died of cancer in 1981, Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba was 37 when he was assasinated in 1961, South African anti aparthied activists Steve Biko was 31 when he died in police detention in 1977 while Burkina Faso military leader Thomas Sankara was 38 when his close friend Blaise Compaore with the help of Ivory coast /France gunned him down. All these black nationalities and many others had one thing in common; they died in their thirties, the prime of their lives. They were all also committed people fighting to liberate Africans
The title of this story is from Ivory cost reggae star Alpha Blondy’s 1992 song “mystic night moves”. In the song he says “I heard the dreadful news last night…Bob Marley died…lion zion flew to his resting place”. So why are our black heroes dying so young? Is somebody killing them? Did Bob Marley die from metatastic skin cancer (melanoma) on May 31 1981 in a hospital in Florida USA. Was he killed by unknown enemies and the cancer used as a convenient excuse? Blaise Compaore who is still president of Burkina Faso twenty five years after soldiers assasinated his close friend and confidant. Shortly after Sankara was gunned down, Compaore was shown shedding tears on television.. He denied any knowledge of the plot to assasinate his best friend. Sankara’s death was however very convenient to Compaore. He has managed to remain in power for a quarter of a century.
Was he behind Sankara’s death?
Belgium, the colonial master of Congo did not like it’s nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba who fought and forced the Belgians out of Congo. They then connived with rogue army officer Mobutu Sese Seko and kicked Lumumba, first elected Prime Minister of Congo out of office six weeks later. Lumumber was was later assasinated. Belgium officially apologized for it’s part in the death of Lumumba in 2002. That apology did not and cannot bring back the firebrand Congolse nationalist leader.
Steve Biko was beaten to death by brutal Aparthied police officers in 1977. His death began the slow process that culminated in elections and black majority rule in South Africa 17 years later.
Lucky Dube. “The enemy will stand aside, while we kill each other”
On October 18 2007, Lucky Philip Dube, best selling South African reggae superstar was gunned down in what police later claimned was a failed car jacking. In his song “victims” Lucky Dube says
“Bob Marley said, how long shall they kill our prophets, while we stand aside
and look…little did he know that eventually, the enemy will stand aside and look..while we slaughter and kill our own brothers”.
Prophetic words considering that Lucky Dube was gunned down by some of his own “black brothers” in 2007.
Black consciousness leader Malcolm X was only 40 when he was gunned down also by one of his own brothers in 1965. An autopsy later showed he had 21 gunshot wounds inside his body. His only”fault” was standing up for the rights of African-Americans who had suffererd for more than two centuries after they were unceremoniusly stolen and taken to America.
Bob Marley. Killed?
It is time to end the endless senseless killings of black heroes around the world. The killings can only stop if we unite as a people.
In one of his most memorable quotes, Malcolm X said “If you are not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary”
Must we all die fightingfor freedom? Who will reap the fruits of freedom after we all die?