Saturday, February 26, 2011

The King and I: Reflections on the Brotherly Leader as he hovers on the brink

I have never met Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi  but unlike some, I remember very clearly the first time I heard his name.  It was not during his dramatic visit to Ghana for an African Union summit in 2007 when he led a convoy of 109 cars  across the Sahara desert and set up a tent camp in Accra for the duration of the summit. No. The first time I heard his name was when I  was 8 years old and my family (then resident in Southern Africa) were on holiday in Ghana for Christmas. In the sweltering December heat, we found ourselves stuck in traffic for a few hours all because a certain "Colonel Muammar Gaddafi" was visiting Ghana. It seemed like an eternity in hell. To this day, I'm still not sure why a state visit by Colonel Gaddafi had halted traffic but at the time, the seeds of bitterness and suspicion were firmly implanted in my 8 year old mind.

Over the years since, I caught glimpses of  the eccentric and mercurial Gaddafi as he has drifted through the international news for:
Curiously, in recent years, Gaddafi has taken a more than active role in African politics. As chairman of the AU, he led a clarion call  for a united Africa.To me his real agenda remained unclear. Was he thinking of a fortified and strengthened Africa? Did he have our interests at heart? Did he envisage himself as the leader of this united Africa? Perhaps a King of Africa?
Gaddafi and Berlusconi in 2010: Both making negative headlines in 2011
Last year, Colonel Gaddafi true feelings about Africa became more  transparent.  In  a state visit to Italy, he called for 6.3 billion dollars a year to stop illegal African immigrants. He was sure to make his case by pandering to base racist elements by calling for a prevention of a “Black Europe”. He tore the last shred of African dignity left by painting a bleak picture of invading and barbaric black hordes assembled outside the pearly gates of Europe. Interestingly, Gaddafi asked for the money not to reduce push factors within African countries that lead to migration but for money to beef up Libyan security.

But that was last year. In 2011, the world has watched  in awe as the once-strong Gaddafi is unraveling before our eyes. His very sudden decline would be more than comical if it was not having such tragic consequences.
Final Stand: Gaddafi in February 2011
Gaddafi is currently waging war against his own people and blaming his current woes on everything from the youth fueled by drugs from the West and now even Al-Qaeda has been fingered. After almost 42 years in power it appears that Gaddafi is confused as to where he ends and Libya begins. He appears to see attacks on Libya as attacks on him. He is promising to go down fighting and wants to take Libya down with him. The world is watching horrified but hopeful.  Are we  going to bid  farewell to the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi? Can I finally cross off the current occupant of the Number 1 spot on the list of African-leaders-still-in-power-when-I-was-in primary-school?

10 comments:

Kwegyirba said...

I was one of the people that always knew that this 'nonsense would not pass under the nose of Brother Gaddafi'... And I was right. He is killing them! God save us!

Abena Serwaa said...

@Kwegyirba: I still can't help but be horrified at Gaddafi's approach to dealing with the revolution/uprising/protests etc. I'm saddened by the deaths and also by the backlash against subsaharan Africans in Libya. When will this madness end?

PAA KWASI OTCHERE said...

The madness won't end nowww... but i'm waiting for the day.. "GADDAFI" is gonna step down..."Muammar Gaddafi is the leader of the revolution, He said..""I am a fighter, a revolutionary from tents ... I will die as a martyr at the end,"

Natural Nigerian said...

I like your banner. I went to Ada, Accra, Tema some weeks ago. Seeing your banner reminded me to put up the pictures...soon.

Regarding Gaddafi, I find it amazing that a human being is okay with the fact that people have to die in their thousands while he holds on to power that is clearly going to slip away.

Here's wishing Libya success against this tyrant.

Abena Serwaa said...

@Paa Kwasi Otchere Still wondering when Gaddafi is going to step down exactly!! Sad to see that he sees himself as a martyr in a battle against his own people!!

Abena Serwaa said...

@Natural Nigerian: Thanks!! Love that picture...I took it a few years ago. It is near the exact point where the Volta River meets the sea.I'm planning on using it for the cover of my thesis! I checked out your blog. Very interesting!

Regarding Gaddafi; it appears all those years in power have made him slightly delusional as he continues to hold his people to ransom.

brianakira said...

Khaddafi is Jew.

He was installed by the British.

His wife, Sofia Farkas-Wolf, from Mostar, is Jew.

His children are Jew.

Seif al-Islam (Sword of Islam) Khaddafi is a Jew.

David Cameron is a Jew.

David Milliband (UK "opposition") is a Jew.

Malcolm Rifkind (UK Intelligence & Security chief) is Jew.

Nicolas Sarkozy is Jew.

Valerie Jarret & David Plouffe (Obama's Seionor Advisers) are Jew.

EVERYONE who installed Obama and writes his speeches etc are Jew.

Abena Serwaa said...

@BrianAkira I'm struggling to understand your comment. Even if all these people are Jewish as you say...so what?

Anonymous said...

gaddafi was a great leader and charismatic personality. his legacy will live on, despite western propaganda.

Abena Serwaa said...

@Anonymous; Only time will tell how Gaddafi will ultimately be judged. I'm more interested in how the Libyan people view him and his legacy.