African kings, queens and traditional leaders will be among high-profile participants at a one-day symposium being staged Thursday at The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Mona campus, to discuss a range of issues relating to slavery and which, the organisers expect, will change the long-held view that African royals had a hand in one of the greatest crimes against humanity.
The symposium, being held under the theme ‘Reparation and royalty, Africa and Europe: Exploding myths, empowering truths’, is organised by the Caricom Reparations Commission in collaboration with The UWI, the Centre for Reparation Research, and the PJ Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy.
The African leaders include Paul Jones Eganda, global chief and president of Ateker International Development Organization (AIDO) Network; his wife Queen Grace Eganda, head of Africa and Diaspora Royal Kingdoms Alliance, AIDO Network; Princess Nikiwe Bam of the Mpondomise Nation’s Ngxabane clan; Chief Dr Robinson Tanyi of Cameroon; Queen Cynthia Khumalo Mzilikazi III of the Royal Mzilikazi Kingdom (Zulu Nation), South Africa; Nana Enoch Aboagye Gyabaa III, traditional leader and human rights attorney of Ghana; and Paul Sande Emolot, Papa Emorimor III, King of Ateker Iteso, East Africa.
“There is a narrative that has been deliberately promoted by Europe seeking to assign shared responsibility for slavery with the tribal leaders and the kings and princes of Africa. “It has constituted an elephant in the room, both in developing relationships with the nations of Africa and in our just claims for reparation,” Patterson, who served as Jamaica’s sixth prime minister from 1992 to 2006, told the Jamaica Observer on Sunday.
For what is after all a long overdue step in the right direction.. a sitting together under one roof of the victims of history .. one would hope that more light than heat, more substance than shadows, facts not fictions will rule the day.
Thst egos, emotions, disruptive visceralisms , ignorance , dysintellectualisms and mutual loathing will be given no vent or path.
Just as important, an event this momentous must never be allowed wittingly or unwittingly to degenerate into fanfarisms and carnival-like escapes from realities in which grandstanding or frolick overthrows sober exchanges, cool minds and heads and actionable white papers.
And that the hidden hands of fifth columns/ phalanges , enemies intra or extra mural , historical revisionists, imperial apologists , eristicists, pseudoscholars and conflict entrepreneurs/ opportunists will be denied voices or impacts.
European ( and EuroAmerican ) traffickers of invented narratives along with their gullible buyers should be expected to want to hijack a purpose such as this using various cats’paws to promote “ alternative facts “.
It is the duty of the victims and offsprings of victims to avoid a play into their tunes.
Best wishes for a productive family affair.