The 4th Generation Podcast
By Brian Olemo
The 4th Generation PodcastApr 23, 2022
Ep.#007 – The evolution of Pan-African Thought and Praxis ft Trevor Lwere
In this conversation with founder and chairperson of the Pan-African Youth Conference (PAYC), Trevor Lwere, we delve into a history and contextual analysis of the rise and evolution of the dynamic movement of Pan-Africanism both within and outside the African continent. We unpack the motivations of its early thinkers as well as the historical circumstances that birthed them. We question the necessity of Pan-Africanism for Africa's very survival in light of lessons from the movements intellectual ancestors and crusaders.
Wondering: what lessons we can draw from the earlier debates between Kwame Nkrumah and Mwalimu Nyerere regarding the pace of continental unity; takeaways from Thomas Sankara, and today's crop of leaders; how historical circumstances have necessitated a greater African unity; how events like the current war in Europe can inform the need for our strategic security; the threat of neocolonialism and imperialism; the importance of Dr. Achille Mbembe's question "Who owns the world?"; what your role is in Africa's protracted struggle for emancipation; this is the podcast for you.
SpeechesNyerere’s Speech in Zambia in 1966 on the possible conflict between African nationalisms and pan-Africanism Nyerere’s speech in Ghana in 1997 where he sounded the reminder that ‘Without Unity, There Is No Future For Africa’ A United Front Against Debt by Thomas Sankara at the OAU in July 1987 Kwame Nkrumah’s 1963 Speech at the first session of the OAU in Addis Ababa
PapersOpoku Agyeman's “The Osagyefo, the Mwalimu, and Pan-Africanism: A Study in the Growth of a Dynamic Concept.” Ayittey B. George's “The United States of Africa: A Revisit.” Vanessa Van den Boogaard's “Modern Post-Colonial Approaches to Citizenship: Kwame Nkrumah’s Political Thought on Pan-Africanism.”
My Inquiry Essay
The Evolution of the thought and praxis of continental pan-Africanism
The song played at the musical break is Bob Marley's "Africa Unite"
Ep.#006 - The Role of Technology in the African past and present ft Thomas Lesaffre - Part 2
In Part 2, we explore the effects of technology, particularly social media on the youth. We address some of the following questions;What do we make of the so-called "Twitter generation" and "digital natives"? What role has technology played in political mobilization and organization in the continent? What effect does technology have on the efficacy of youth involvement in politics and advocacy? What exactly is "The social dilemma"?
The 4th Generation family extends its deepest gratitude to Omar Belghith who has produced this Episode and the Episode on Sankara's legacy. We convey our best wishes as he continues on his revolutionary journey.
Ep.#006 - The Role of Technology in the African past and present ft Thomas Lesaffre - Part 1
In this age of "planetary entanglement" and "technological escalation", where "innovation has become the norm";Does technology inherently lead to better outcomes? Are we to be techno-optimists or techno-pessimists? Is Technology neutral? What (whose) agenda does innovation follow? To what (whose) needs do new technologies cater? What role has technology played in the colonization and exploitation of Africa? In light of the digitalization of finance, how do we perceive the role of technology in the financialization of the poor?
In Part 1 of this episode, I am joined by my politics and governance teacher Mr. Thomas Lesaffre in an attempt to answer the afore-stated questions. Mr. Thomas' Ph.D. thesis is centered on the "digitalization of finance."
The closing song is 13 We are also praying / Julius Nyerere by Didier Awadi
Ep.#005 - Dissecting Uganda's Political Present ft Surumani Manzi - Part 2
Part 2 features a critique of Uganda's opposition, the National Unity Platform (NUP) party & the person of Bobi Wine (Robert Kyagulanyi) its leader as well as his politics. Manzi makes a case for challenge of our time, a "transition" sustained by an answer to "ethnic question." He postulates that Ugandans, just like Bobi Wine himself, may be expecting too much from the "people's messiah". We discuss the problems plaguing grassroot politics in Uganda most notably poverty as Manzi recounts his trip around " a representative" sample of districts across the country.
Manzi offers a critique of the 11th Parliament including their ability to properly fulfill their principle functions. We make a case for young people to be politically aware and conscientious. In addition to eliminating pedestrian thinking, we search for the hope in a seemingly bleak political situation that unjustifiably drives many into apathy.
Ep.#005 - Dissecting Uganda's Political Present ft Surumani Manzi - Part 1
From President Museveni's seemingly unending reign in power, the emergence of a new face for opposition politics in Kyagulanyi Robert Sentamu (alias Bobi Wine) with his NUP vehicle to the nature of our 11th Parliament, this episode offers a critique through a historical analysis of the moving parts of Uganda's politics.
Our guest, political commentator, Surumani Manzi approaches these intricate topics through a balanced examination of history. By way of critique, we delve into the significance of key historical events (from the 1966 Kabaka Crisis that was a major turning point in Uganda's political history) that have shaped the ethos and modus operandi of the current regime. We tackle the challenges that threaten the stability of Uganda including balkanization of the country as well as the level of "ethnic consciousness." This episode also tries to make sense of the November killings that were featured in this BBC documentary as well as the recent attempt on Gen. Katumba Wamala's life. A case is also made for a shift of focus to preparation for a Uganda post-Museveni - effectively a "transition."
Surumani Manzi is a "civically and politically conscious Ugandan", a poet with the Lantern Meet and an author whose first book " They were Ugandan" - a short story anthology publishes soon. A very well read young Ugandan, Manzi also works with the African Studies Bookstore and is a critical observant of what happens in Africa's civic space.
To preorder his book; "They were Ugandan."
"Dr Wangaala" by Simon Kaate Nsubuga
Ep.#004 - "Thomas Sankara in 21st Century Africa" ft Thomas Lesaffre - Part 2
“The present generation of Africans is thirsty, searching for where to draw the moral, intellectual and spiritual courage to effect change. The waters to quench the thirst, as other continents have already established, lie fundamentally in history – in Africa’s forebears, men, women and children who experienced much of what most Africans currently experience, but who chose to toe a different path” and we dare add that Thomas Sankara was such a man (preuxeastafrican).
In part 2, we continue our discussion on Sankara's legacy and his relevance to politics and leadership in Africa today. The episode is punctuated by Gil Scott-Heron's "The Revolution will not be televised" and Didier Awadi's "16 La Patrie Ou la mort / Thomas Sankara".
Ep.#004 - "Thomas Sankara in 21st Century Africa" ft Thomas Lesaffre - Part 1
“Few young Africans have ever heard of Thomas Sankara. In reality, it is not the assassination of Thomas Sankara that has dealt a lethal blow to Africa and Africans; it is the assassination of his memory, as manifested in the indifference to his legacy, in the lack of constant reference to his ideals and ideas by Africans, by those who know and those who should know (Preuxeastafrican).”
In this 2-part series, show host Brian Olemo is joined by Siyabonga Michelle Hadebe for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the legacy of Capt. Thomas Sankara. The discussion is facilitated by University of Chiekh Anta Diop alumna Thomas Lesaffre who teaches Politics and Governance at the African Leadership Academy. We go into the nitty-gritties of Sankara’s politics and policies, his revolutionary struggle and his foreign policy including his unprecedented stance on women and youth in the state. We speak to his moral uprightness, his crackdown on corruption as well as increased government expenditure. We can all agree that in an epoch where role models are scarce in the political realm, Thomas Sankara is a leader worth studying and emulating.
If you have only heard of Sankara, seen his face at a protest or by any gathering of especially leftist political parties but you have no concrete knowledge of the man - this is the episode for you.
Watch this documentary on Thomas Sankara the Upright Man by Afrikanews on YouTube.
You can also read: "Thomas Sankara Speaks" & other resources on Sankara here
Justice for Sankara: https://thewalrus.ca/thomas-sankara-tried-to-liberate-his-country-from-the-west-then-he-was-murdered/
Role Model for the capacity of African transformation: https://www.thomassankara.net/role-models-for-africain-capacity-for-transformation-thomas-sankara/?lang=en
Ep.#003 - Youth voices in politics and governance; "The Ground Game" ft Obakeng Leseyane.
"I don't really think that politics are a choice for young people particularly on the African continent; it's rather an imposition." (Leseyane 2020)
As a tribute to 'Africa Day', this episode features a 2020 interview with social justice advocate, speaker, and consultant Obakeng Leseyane (ALA'17). In the interview, we discuss how the youth can assert their voices in the governance of their communities in order to ensure robust engagement. We talk the often not-so-glamourous side of politics - The Ground Game. Obakeng reminds us that "We should conceive politics from the ground up." We talk about ageism, how to engage criticism and/or critique as well as the "gradual" nature of change.
Obakeng also appeals to the listener to not only vote when eligible but to hold their leaders accountable. We explore the challenges to the effective political participation of young people (choosing political homes i.e., political parties, finances, critical mass etc.).
A few Quotes"We should conceive of politics from the ground up." "Elections are fundamentally determined by people that show up to vote." "Whatever platform you are given, use it to propel your own agenda." "Change is not an overnight thing. Change is not winning an election."
His TEDxPretoria Speech: "Enslaved By Poverty, Education Was My Liberation"
His Interview at SABC News: "African Perspective: Being young in Africa."
At Innovation Edge: "Make it Happen"
Ep.#002 - The 4th Generation Book Club: "The Green Book" by Col. Muammar Qaddafi ft Michelle Hadebe & Marouane ElBahraoui
The 4th Generation Book Club is a salon where we discuss a chosen text (or book) of political literature and analyze the main ideas in relation to the current political happenings. For our first read, host Olemo Gordon Brian is joined by Siyabonga Michelle Hadebe (ALA'19) from South Africa & Marouane El Bahraoui (ALA'19) from the Kingdom of Morocco for an in-depth study of "The Green Book" by former Libyan president and revolutionary, 'Brother leader' Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi.
Talking of Qaddafi's "Third Universal Theory," the Green Book came in three volumes that are addressed by the discussants in this order;
This article by the New York Times offers a brief breakdown and rather scathing analysis of the book and its author.
Ep.#001 - Youth political participation in Africa & apathy; The "Why" and "How" ft Trevor Lwere
To start us off, a November 2020 interview with Author of Visions at Dusk, speaker, and ALA alumnus Trevor Lwere (ALA’17). A current student at the University of Notre Dame, Trevor majors in Economics with a PPE minor. He also does a supplementary major in Global Affairs. Host Brian Olemo quizzes him on a speech he made during ALA’s decennial celebrations in which he made the case that “Even if we don’t take an interest in politics, politics will always take an interest in us.”
Trevor reminds us of “the why” we need to participate actively in the struggle for emancipation for our continent through seriously shaping & taking up our generational mission. Just like the cathedral builders, he locates our generation in the larger struggle that has been and is still going on for generations capping with a powerful quote, “To be an African in this day and age is to be in a state of perpetual resistance.” He also makes a prediction of the Ugandan election concluded a few months ago and validates his predictions.
Speech: Trevor Lwere: Youth, politics, and apathy.
A Crisis of Courage: Africa's 21st Century Challenge: A TEDx Talk by Rachel Nyaradzo