Their refusal to mourn highlights the complexity of the legacy of the Queen, who regardless of widespread recognition was additionally seen as an emblem of oppression in elements of the world the place the British Empire as soon as prolonged.
Kenya, which had been below British rule since 1895, was named an official colony in 1920 and remained that means till it received independence in 1963. Among the many worst atrocities below British rule occurred throughout the Mau Mau rebellion, which began in 1952 — the 12 months Queen Elizabeth took the throne.
Africa’s reminiscence of the Queen can’t be separated from that colonial previous, professor of communication Farooq Kperogi at Kennesaw State College informed CNN.
“The Queen’s legacy started in colonialism and is still wrapped in it. It used to be said that the sun did not set over the British empire. No amount of compassion or sympathy that her death has generated can wipe that away,” he informed CNN.
Whereas many African leaders have mourned her passing — together with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, who described her reign as “unique and wonderful” — different outstanding voices in regional politics haven’t.
“Our interaction with Britain has been one of pain, … death and dispossession, and of the dehumanisation of the African people,” it added.
Others recalled Britain’s position within the Nigerian civil struggle, the place arms had been secretly equipped to the federal government to be used in opposition to Biafrans who wished to kind a breakaway republic. Between 1 million and three million folks died in that struggle. British musician John Lennon returned his MBE, an honorary title, to the Queen in protest over Britain’s position within the struggle.
Nonetheless, many on the continent keep in mind the Queen as a stabilizing power who led to constructive change throughout her reign.
Ayodele Modupe Obayelu from Nigeria informed CNN: “Her reign saw the end of the British Empire and the African countries … became a Republic. She doesn’t really deserve any award or standing ovation for it, but it was a step in the right direction.”
And Ovation journal writer Dele Momodu was stuffed with reward, recounting assembly her in 2003 in Abuja whereas overlaying her go to to Nigeria. He added that he had fled Nigeria for the UK in 1995, throughout the dictator Sani Abacha’s regime.
“I told her I was a refugee and now the publisher of a magazine. She told me ‘congratulations,’ and moved on to the other people on the line. I salute her. She worked to the very end and was never tired of working for her country. She did her best for her country and that is a lesson in leadership,” he informed CNN.
Momodu believes that the Queen did attempt to “atone” for the brutality of the British Empire. “She came to Nigeria during our independence and some of the artifacts were returned under her reign. That is why the Commonwealth continues to thrive. I feel very sad that the world has lost a great human being.”
Adekunbi Rowland, additionally from Nigeria, stated: “The Queen’s passing represents the end of an era. As a woman, I’m intrigued by her story. This young woman had an unprecedented accession to the throne, and with much grace and dignity did everything in her power to protect the country and Commonwealth she loved no matter what it took.”
It was whereas visiting Kenya in 1952 that she realized that she had change into Queen. Her father George handed away whereas she was there with Prince Phillip and he or she instantly ascended the throne.
As colonialism later crumbled and gave technique to independence and self-rule in what had been British abroad territories, the previous colonies turned a part of a Commonwealth group of countries with the Queen at its head and he or she labored tirelessly to maintain the group collectively over time.
She solid sturdy bonds with African leaders, together with Nelson Mandela, whom she visited twice in South Africa, and Kwame Nkrumah, with whom she was famously pictured dancing throughout her go to to Ghana in 1961.
In June, Prince Charles turned the primary UK royal to go to Rwanda, the place he was representing the Queen on the Commonwealth Heads of Authorities Assembly.
Following his mom’s demise, he now heads the Commonwealth, and can embark on a brand new relationship with its members, a couple of third of that are in Africa.
Some are asking whether or not he will probably be as efficient in constructing the group as his mom, and above all, how related it nonetheless is, given its roots in Empire.