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SIBONGILE MAPUTI | Prof Lumumba's leacture on Pan Africanism at UCT underwhelming

He resorted to praising the EFF and its leader Julius Malema, for what, only God knows

Professor Patrick Lumumba.
Professor Patrick Lumumba.
Image: Lulamile Feni

Prof PLO Lumumba lecture on Pan-Africanism at the university of Cape Town on Monday turned out to be nothing more than a regurgitation of unreferenced history 1 lecture notes. Lumumba came so underprepared if at all, and said nothing of significance in 35 minutes by way of scholarly standard and his acumen.

In fact, he sought to appeal on race, he failed and could not woo UCT’s Sarah Baartman Lecture Theatre that was filled to the rafters. Lumumba resorted to praising the EFF and its leader; for what, only God knows.

For a man who came with a CV as fat as a bull on a stokvel, the content of his lecture was as thin as a digital blank paper. I decided to sample quotes that received ululations from the solid crowd at UCT albeit at the comfort of my home and the generosity of YouTube.

“We must unite; we must have one currency; we must have one army. I am here to remind us that Africa shall not be taken out of the table. We shall never be enslaved again.”

At some point, Lumumba urged the congregants “to feel sad with him in seeing Africans” being mistreated in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Mediterranean Sea, Western embassies and on acquiring American citizenship through playing lotto.

“For how long?” he asked. “This is why I understand the EFF, and I decided to come here to celebrate the EFF’s 10th Anniversary.

“We must remind our enemies out there; because there is no shortage of them. I hear they are saying we are saying too much, and will say more. We will continue to talk but we are willing to act.”

At this point the man knew he was underwhelming, and was not making the required impact. He reverted back to the formation and foundations of the EFF. They were unshaken still.

“Doubting Thomases are reducing by the number, when watching the National Assembly in SA, they are shrinking by the number.

“South Africa is an anchor to the continent. It will give good hope to the continent. We refuse to give up. EFF is a representation of our refusal to give up.”

Before calling in all in attendance to be in the business of spreading the EFF messages to the rest of the continent, he reminded them that they were fighting a different battle that is economic emancipation. When the intended impact was still not forthcoming, he resorted to citing capital cities on the continent where the message ought to go.

At this point the lecture had turned into nothing but ageography lesson for grade 5s, as he cited the capital cities he remembered. The leader of the EFF, Julius Malema, was on his feet clapping. It was not clear what moved him. At this juncture, Lumumba even attempted a weak, irrelevant analogy of an eaglet being fed on chicken feed. There was clapping.

“Africans are eaglets and will be economically liberated, Africans will be equal to everyone in the world.”

He urged fighters to make a solemn vow that they should liberate Africa by ensuring that the chains of economic freedom were removed. He said the EFF and Malema must go out there in the next 10 years and ensure there is total liberation.

“We have complained for too long; we have agonised for too long and will not agonise anymore; we have philosophies for too long; we have intellectualised for too long; we will give meaning to economic emancipation.”

At least he did not call on the EFF to be rowdy or disruptive, but should have anchored Pan-Africanism and the seven pillars at least on scholarly undertakings. Well, let’s just say he forgot. The lecture was nothing more than drunk and underprepared leisurely preacher. What did Lumumba say that was of substance during the lecture. I guess the jury is out in this question.

• Maputi is a published isiXhosa author 

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