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Opinions of Friday, 8 May 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

How Convenient: History Repeats Itself In Black Face

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
April 26, 2015

As of this writing, I had come across a news headline indicating the recalling of Nigeria's Chief Diplomat, or High Commissioner, from South Africa. At the same time, one of the first victims of the recent deadly bouts of anti-Black non-South African xenophobic attacks, Mr. Emmanuel Quaicoe, 48, was reported to have been buried in the very land of his brutal mauling. I wouldn't be surprised if Ghana's High Commissioner, whose high commission claims to have contributed some $2,500 to funeral and burial expenses for Mr. Quaicoe in Durban, received some hush money from the Zuma-led government of the African National Congress (See "Xenophobic Attacks: Ghanaian Buried In SA" / 4/26/15).

According to South African authorities, the deceased man, who hailed from the twin-cities of Sekondi-Takoradi, in Ghana's Western Region, died of an epileptic attack which had apparently felled Mr. Quaicoe about the same time that some urban South African youths launched an open-season of deadly attacks on recent African immigrants. Now, the coincidence is too striking for any critical thinker to cavalierly brush it off, by simply chalking it to "natural causes." Yes, an epileptic fit or attack could well have caused some of the bruises and cuts allegedly found on the head of Mr. Quaicoe's mortal remains. The problem, though, is that we do not know the actual circumstances under which the deceased suffered his alleged epileptic fit. And we can also not trust the South African government, which appears to have done a diddly little to stanch these bloody attacks against fellow African non-nationals of South Africa.

The recalling of Nigeria's High Commissioner to South Africa is reason enough to take the officially "diagnosed" case of Mr. Quaicoe death with much more than a pinch of salt. A bucket or even a whole bag of salt, maybe. Well, a couple of days ago, Mr.Kwesi Ahwoi, Ghana's High Commissioner to South Africa, was widely reported to have made the rather lame claim that the level of violence against Black immigrants in South Africa, like the late Mr. Emmanuel Quaicoe, had not reached the sort of intolerable proportions that would necessitate the wholesale evacuation of Ghanaian nationals. I followed his career while he was Minister for Agriculture a couple of years ago, and can almost comfortably say that the youngest of the three Ahwoi brothers does not come off to me as any remarkably bright or savvy personality. He has also been reported to have made the equally lame observation that Ghanaians in South Africa do not seem to be interested in reaching out to his office for assistance, without also explaining to news reporters what sort of assistance his office has for them, short of putting these hapless Ghanaian immigrants on the next plane, empty-handedly and flying them back to their homeland.

You see, you simply don't want to be hearing about the circumstances leading to the death of your relative, such as Mr. Quaicoe, from South Africa's resident High Commissioner to Ghana. Ms. Lulama Xingwana's first and foremost loyalty and priorty are not to Ghana and Ghanaian citizens. She is first and foremost the chief diplomatic representative of her own country, some of whose citizens have just reportedly demonstrated precisely what Black-Majority Rule means in South Africa for recent Black immigrants. And you thought Mr. F. W. deKlerk and his predecessors were the most depraved species of humanity on the African continent. Rather, you want Mr. Ahwoi, Ghana's chief diplomat in South Africa to be telling you the exact circumstances under which Mr. Quaicoe perished.

That said, I must quickly add that the last politician on Earth worthy of any Ghanaian's trust and confidence, you guessed right, is a Ghanaian politician! Which may also explain why the neighbors of the deceased man decided to have him buried in the so-called Rainbow Nation, probable violent circumstances surrounding Mr. Quaicoe's death notwithstanding. Well, the reason given by Ms. Xingwana for Mr. Quaicoe's demise eerily recalls some of the most memorable reasons given by the erstwhile white-racist Apartheid regime for the evidently violent deaths of Black freedom fighters like Mr. Steve Bantu Biko, of the celebrated Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), and Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) leader Mr. Robert Sobukwe. Did I hear the dear reader say that these men "slipped and fell on soap suds while taking their baths in their prison bathroom showers"? How ironically history does repeat itself, after all.

At this juncture, about all I can say is that God bless and comfort Mr. Quaicoe and his family, relatives and friends. And may God also see South Africa through this most painful moment of abject fratricidal hostilities into more friendly and peaceful times of Pan-African fellow-feeling and much, much better times. Nkosi Sikeleli y Africa!