Freedom, which really is central to social processes, can be termed as one of human fundamental needs. Human development means expanding human choices that are necessary for the concept of freedom. Human development is the most important factor in improving social welfare, where freedom is an important tool for achieving it.
History has thought us that Africa did not gain freedom on a silver plater. It took the blood and lives of our forefathers to liberate Africa from slavery, even though our independency is still questionable.
Bob Marley once said it’s “better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.” The short phrase by the reggae legend shows that no matter how insignificant freedom might be to you, it’s much better than being enslaved. Here are the 6 biggest African Freedom Fighters worth celebrating:
Tafari Makonnen as he was born, is a known and powerful freedom fighter in Ethiopia. Renowned name known of him is Haile Selassie. He was born on July 23, 1892 in Ethiopia and died a hero serving his country on August 27, 1975, Addis Ababa.
Haile Selassie ruled as an emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 and remembered for modernizing his country. His efforts steered it into the mainstream of post-World War II African politics and achieve many more than just freedom for Ethiopia.
One of the renowned achievement of Haile Selassie is bringing Ethiopia into the League of Nations and the United Nations and made Addis Ababa the major centre for the Organization of African Unity (now African Union).
In 1935. Italy invaded Ethiopia, of which Selassie resisted the and fought back, but unfortunately he was captured. In May 1936 they forced him into exile of which he did not receive much support from the League of Nations.
Haile Selassie’s achievement was felt after he was murdered. Ethiopia’s progress declined in the 1970s and the longest dynasty in Africa was destroyed until then. The nation was hit by drought and famine, which killed 200,000 Ethiopians. High oil prices (see the Oil Spike 1973) were paralyzing the economy. The Soviet Union had a chance of extending its influence in Africa and financed the overthrow of the emperor by a rebel group of “revolutionaries.”
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Mostly remembered for the slogan “Forward Ever, Backward Never”, Dr Kwame Nkrumah is a historical Ghanaian president who led Ghana to independence. There is a saying that “When the race gets hard to run. It means you just can’t take the peace.” Kwame Nkrumah never gave the British a breathing space until he saw them out of Ghana.
His end came as a sad news even though he achieved a lot for Ghana and Africa. The National Liberation Council (NLC) carried out a coup on 24 February 1966, while Kwame Nkrumah was leaving for a state trip to North Vietnam, and overthrew his government.
Nkrumah was exiled in Guinea following the coup. His dear friend, President Ahmed Sékou Touré, received him with warm hospitality. The honorary co-president of Guinea was appointed Nkrumah as a support in his governance. On April 22nd, 1972, he lived in Bucharest, Romania for his last few years (about six years) before dying of prostate cancer.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Robert Mugabe was noted as one of the Africa’s longest-serving presidents ruling over 3 decades before his sudden overthrow/death. Despite his down-sides, we cannot undermine his achievement in the freedom fight against European evasion. He was born on 21 February 1924 to a carpenter known as Gabriel.
If you have been in the media space for long, you will notice Mugabe had been in the news for both the bad and good reasons. Whiles the western media only sees the unpleasant side of him, there are many other positive achievements of him to Africa and Zimbabweans.
In his political career, Mugabe’s first political defeat was in February 2000, when voters in a referendum rejected a new constitution that would have given him yet more powers. He constantly accused the Europeans and Americans of fueling conflicts and influencing regime change in Africa through illegal means.