Critical journal

COLUMNIST and publisher Andile Mngxitama is at it again. This time, his controversial but popular journal New Frank Talk carries an insightful interview with activist academic Ibekwe Chinweizu.

COLUMNIST and publisher Andile Mngxitama is at it again. This time, his controversial but popular journal New Frank Talk carries an insightful interview with activist academic Ibekwe Chinweizu.

Chinweizu, a Nigerian, is a critic, poet, journalist and pan-African philosopher currently based in Ghana.

In the latest issue of New Frank Talk, Chinweizu speaks about the condition of the black man in the context of race politics in the world.

And he does not have kind words about yesterday's liberation heroes post-freedom. In this issue, the journal seems to be unrestrained in its criticism of black leaders on the continent.

This is the fourth edition of the controversial journal, whose theme is about racism and how black people are at the receiving end of bigots even after attaining freedom.

While it could be too easy to dismiss Mngxitama's publication as a one-man crusade with a limited effect on society, New Frank Talk seems to be fast gaining ground among the elite, both black and white.

For example, when the publisher launched the third edition of the journal at the first Jozi Book Fair, which was held at Museum Africa in Johannesburg's Newtown recently, the who's who descended on the venue and engaged the author on a number of issues that the publication raised.

The debates were just as robust as they were emotional and controversial, with tempers flaring up.

A team of volunteers is now distributing the publication in the townships.

And according to the author, the sales are not bad at all.

"Surprisingly, we are doing very well at a Rosebank bookshop. Quite honestly, those were not the people we were targeting because a revolution has to come from the ordinary people and not the elite," he says.

"Black liberation movements are the global champions in the strange game of winner-lose-all. After all, black Africans are consistently stupid about power; always too quick to concede too much to the white enemy.

"In two centuries of liberation struggles, from Haiti to South Africa, blacks grabbed the empty hole in the doughnut and celebrated 'victory', while the 'defeated' whites held on to the dough.

"No wonder whites make saints and celebrities of black leaders after easily duping them, Mngxitama says.

"Those few they can't dupe, like Dessalines and Cabral, they get other blacks to assassinate," he quotes Chinweizu as saying.

"Chinweizu here provides us with a detailed, well reasoned and informed argument about what is wrong with Africa and how those of us who want true freedom must fight the next Chimurenga. Here, the history of the black liberation struggle is laid bare and our blunders are not spared.

"Chinweizu shows through our leaders, from the great Toussaint of Haiti and his 1804 brilliant black slave rebellion, through to Nkrumah of Ghana to Mandela and Mbeki of South Africa and its much celebrated fake liberation, that the black world has not yet produced liberators who are consistent in fighting for true black liberation," Mngxitama says.

New Frank Talk will be launched on Saturday at Kospotong Restaurant in Newtown, Johannesburg.

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