Born on July 17th, 1962 in Kenya, Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, better referred to as P.L.O Lumumba is a highly renown Pan-Africanist, who has moved from countries to countries preaching the Pan-Africanism gospel to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all indigenous and diasporan ethnic groups of African descent.
He has been invited to many educational institutions, public functions from country to country, where his speeches have been absorbed by many.
Having read, watched and listened to many of his works and speeches, AEM notes some of the famous quotes he has given during his talks, which have inspired and called into action many of the souls. The quotes of course, are largely on Pan Africanism.
He has hailed the spirit of the founding fathers of Africa, whose ideologies were rejected and would have taken Africa’s growth to the next level. According to him, Africa, though she got her independence from colonialists, is still suffering from neo-colonialism.
In economy, politics, culture and even natural resources, Lumumba opines that we are still being ruled by the colonial masters.
Some of the African leaders he usually refers to in his speeches include Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso, Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Ahmed Sekou Toure in Guinea, Amilcar Lopes Cabral in Guinea Bissau, Ahmed Ben Bella in Algeria, Mwalimu Julias Kambarage Nyerere in Tanzania among many others.
Here are some of his powerful quotes;
1. When speaking during the remembrance of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, Lumumba talked about how Africa is still divided by colonial masters according to the foreign languages they speak;
” Let us understand an Africa that we are talking about, it is an Africa that today is divided into 54 countries. It is an Africa that has over 3,000 ethnicities and over 2,000 languages yet it is referred to as Anglophone African to suggest that their is a part in Africa which speaks English. They look at few leaders who speak French and say that is Francophone, they go to the former Portuguese colonies and say those are Lusophones. No other continent is referred to in those terms.”
2. While delivering a speech about ‘Making Africa work for Africa’, Lumumba talked about Africa’s economy.
“Let us look at Africa. A combined GDP of the 54 officially recognized countries last year is no more than $2 trillion. To give you a perspective, the State of California with a population of slightly under 39 million people, had a GDP of $3 trillion. The GDP of Burundi was no more than $2.3 billion, that is the same amount that the State of New York collects in one day.”
3. Talking about how Africa is attractive to ‘fake bilateral trades’ with European powers he said:
“Mwalimu Julius Nyerere said ‘When I hear the Europeans saying we should open our markets in the name of globalisation and they say the rules are the same, I laugh’ Mwalimu said, ‘It is like a boxing match-the rules are the same.”
“But you don’t put a lightweight boxer and a heavyweight boxer and say the rules are the same. It is murder! Imagine USA with a GDP of between $14 and $15 trillion is now entering bilateral talks with Lesotho whose GDP is $2 billion and say the rules are the same, it is a joke!”
4. Talking about elections in Africa:
“In Africa nobody loses an election. I was telling a friend of mine that Africa has a problem with counting votes. In other parts of the world they can have voters in 50 million, in hundreds of million but in Africa where voters don’t get past 10 million, when we are called upon to count our votes, we never can count the votes. It is an African disease-inability to count the votes.”
5.Talking about disunity of the United States of Africa ideology;
“Today, I move three hours to Togo, I have a Togolese passport printed in France, written in French asking you about immigration and Yellow Fever certificate. I fly one hour from Nairobi and now I have to grapple with Tanzanian shilling. I go to Burundi I grapple with the Burundian Franc. 50 currencies which are almost useless!”
6. In his speeches, he usually does not claim expertise;
“In my younger days I would have been more prescriptive. I would have pontificated but as I grow old I know that I do not have monopoly of wisdom and what I do is to share my thoughts with you, and to make suggestions which may not necessarily be true, but they constitute my opinion on the subject at hand.”