African Independence never happened. Of course we read about it in history books and our parents tell us about it. The fact is that they were inspired by its possibility and they even fought for it. Then they codified in our constitutions and raised on our flagpoles. They sang its songs and celebrated it year after year. But the harsh reality is that 50 years later Africa still languishes from the chokehold of colonialism. Foreign interests, backed by formidable militaries and economies still interfere with any attempt of African self-determination. Civil wars and coups disrupt any progress as we struggle to comprehend the foreign concept of nationalism. Our democracies are not much more than puppet governments, and the paradox of African wealth screams loudly as the most resource-rich continent continues to grovel and beg for the most basic necessities. I can only conclude that independence never really happened. And that which our parents fought for was never realized. It is at most an illusion.
But I want to explore the possibility of this illusion becoming a reality. Sigmund Freud introduced a concept in psychoanalysis which was later expounded on by Jacob Lacan and Jean Laplanche: deferred action. It is the concept that an earlier event in one’s life can later gain new significance, not because it wasn’t real at its original occurrence, but because that original environment wasn’t conducive for it to achieve its proper potential. If the African independence of the past is but an illusion, could it be a pregnant illusion, waiting for the right environment to give birth to a reality? And could this new environment be realized in the digital horizon?
In this blog I want to do two things: 1) I want to first expose current African self-determination as an illusion. But also 2) I want to explore the possibility of this illusion becoming a reality in the emerging digital world. I want to explore the possibility of an African deferred revolution.