Tribute to Wangui Mbatia
Par Le concierge du Musée le mardi 21 février 2017, 10:35 - Lien permanent
Hi Wangui !
I won't ask you how you are that time.
I have heard you left us, apparently against your will, what I was surprised about. It's not your way and I had been used, you to be finally released. Maybe there is some mess in Heaven and your views are needed. Afterall, considering the mess on Earth, I wouldn't be surprised it could have some consequences even in that so celebrated Kingdom. They have so many peoples to host : wherever I look around from my place in France to, let's say, the Mediterranean, just to speak from my neighborhood, I feel surrounded by what you helped me to understand from a Kenyan perspective. Dust from your eyes : “Western civilization would be a very good idea” is supposed to have answered Gandi to a journalist.
Even a creature labellized by the Social Forum, Alexis Tsipras, has been turned into a puppet of the Global Inquisition IMF' style, "adjusting" his fellow citizens in a way well-known by your compatriots. Speaking about “stupid cancer” as you said once, social security won't pay if the doctors give you no more than three months to live and an increasing part of the Greeks have anyway no more access to social security, while the Pharma Industry is reluctant to deliver drugs to a bankrupted country (I know, I know, Africans were not given access to that amazing achievement of the Labour struggles, and I would ask a Kenyan Presidency shameless enough to state to have saved your life the very day you passed, when they will save the life of ordinary Kenyans by building hospitals and promoting health rights instead of paying debts to sharks).
Trapped refugees (because our governments trapped them after having destroyed their countries, actually comparing with Kenya we have a very bad record concerning hosting refugees) in the Islands are frozing to death.
Exactly what you had taught me from a Kenyan perspective. The mainstream pundits have also some cultural hypothesis about Greek peoples to explain their situation... I watched back a video from Eric Toussaint, who did a terrific job in Athens with CADTM and a few others, in Jeevanjee' Gardens, explaining colonizing by debt. Apparently you were right, there were some bugs in priorities at the Social Forum (and to tell the truth they turned worst despite all your efforts to fix it preventively at the WSF in Nairobi : we were supposed to build another world and we were unable to stop the destruction of what was worth in it. But "it's a process in progress" quoting the 10 years old mantra). Here in France, we have now plenty of so-called progressists denunciating (in the media and teach-books) colonization in the past but who can't recognize colonization in the present, specially by debt, even on their behalf through the EU. Well, that's not as if we hadn't tried to get visas for Kenyans to travel to Europe to give the Kenyan perspective, which could have been helpful to understand the actual European one! But we never got them, if you remember. I remember I wrote that piece The wall of Schengen is colonizing our minds ... Reading back, I remember also I had hoped we could be an Embassy to lobby in Europe in behalf of citizens who can't travel and protest at the Headquarters of powers who contribute to rule them from outside : governements, II, Corporate, and even NGO's. Nairobi's clerk had the bad surprise to see us at the European Parliament during the customizing Jeevanjee'affair !
But Kenya entered tragic times during the presidential election in 2007. Exactly at the same time, the “Embassy” in Brussels succombed to real estate attacks after a long struggle against the local “socialists” but only “in ten days” (yes you screened the film "In ten years or in ten days" in Kenya, and now ten years have just followed the ten fatidic days), so the quiet poor neighborhood (Belgian standards) could let place to more taxable activities (if ever they pay tax) and my personal utopia of an office in the North runt from the South collapsed.
I feel a bit more like an orphan today. I had dreamt too much. The neighborhood in Brussels doesn't exist anymore, The colonial Museum in Tervuren, where you asked at the desk the list of stolen items from Africa to personaly bring them back home was refurbished, even the Paris train to Berlin doesn't exist anymore.
And you left us.
I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't buy strawberries at every corner in Rostock anymore.
I remember we were late for the train, you were to travel back to Berlin and from there fly back to Kenya. We had visited the inhabitants of La Coudraie, who were struggling against expulsion (and finally have won) to let place to a Mall. The station was crowded and I lost you at the exit of the tube. I had to climb on the top of the train stop and yell “Wangui” ! Nowadays I would be shooted dead by an anti-terrorist patrol...
Well, it's old story. I have the privilege not having seen you for ten years, so the very lively woman I met will never die and continue to accompagny me and help in the bad moments, when I am losing my sense of humor by fault of the so-called civil society. I suppose it will be the case with all peoples, to whom you gave so much energy and high spirit, helping to turn drama into Monty Pythons' Meaning of life.
I preferred not to mourn you but instead watched one of your favorite movie, Life of Brian. And I heard the enthusiasm and irresistible laughs of a village girl resurrecting my utopia and the bright sight in a very obscure world.
Thanks for all Wangui and rest in peace.