As always, we are enjoying the published dialogues, as they have diverse and high original quality as well as caliber and timber! However, occasionally, we may need to insert a correction here and there of factual issues or errors that we either peruse or notice, especially since many of these submissions may, in future, become quotable entities in dissertations and even published books.
For example, in Priest-Scholar Anthony Agbali's very useful submission (No. 57), he seemed to have forgotten that Brother Ayi Kwei Armah (or Ayikwei Armah) authored Fragments and The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born, but not Ama. Of course, Sister Ama Ata Aidoo, Ghana's former enlightened education boss, is a great scholar and author in her own right. In fact, I still remember enjoying several of her great published works, including the hilarious play, Anowa, in which a wife asked her husband, in a typical African linguistic fashion: "...Is your manhood dead?"
Also, one easily picks an interesting but ironic scenario from published memoirs of our past nationalist leaders (including Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe's My Odyssey). They include the fact that when Dr. Azikiwe returned to Africa from his educational or academic sojourn in America (with his "Zikism" ideological inclinations intact), the colonial masters were in control in both his beloved Nigeria and the then Gold Coast (now Ghana), where he first settled to practise journalism. Also, when Nkrumah (with his own indigenous ideological brand of "Nkrumahism"), Jomo Kenyatta, and Julius Nyerere returned to their respective countries of the Gold Coast, Kenya and Tanganyika (now Tanzania), it was a similar situation with the colonial presence.
Of course, as discussed in books (some of which Priest-Scholar Agbali mentioned eloquently in his submission) most of these early "native" leaders (or nationalists) did suffer initial intimidation and subsequent imprisonment in their nations of birth for orchestrated as well as committed political offences. Again, they were not assassinated or permanently maimed for their opposition to the colonial leaders! Instead, they did live on to inherit political powers through future electoral processes, unlike what we have seen in post-colonial Africa, when some of these same indigenous leaders turned independence into something else to prove Rene Dumont's book, False Start in Africa, prophetically true. Also, this is why Professor George Ayittey's 1998 book, Africa in Chaos (on whose back cover my blurb appears) will continue to stand the test of time in histo-political analysis.
The hazards (or dangers) inherent in returning home (to Africa) in our day has often prompted some of us to offer cautious lamentations of sorts in some of our writings. For example, in my own 1998 book, titled African Political Leadership: Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius K. Nyerere (with a foreword by Cameroon-born Professor John Mukum Mbaku of Weber State University), the sad state of political, economic and social affairs in many countries of Africa (including lack of press freedom, naked human rights violations, abject poverty, and the absence of democratic norms of all types) prompted me to quote, with glee, then retired General (now Nigerian President) Olusegun Obasanjo's powerful words about Africa's anti-colonialist struggles of the 1950s and 1960s. Inter alia, Obasanjo (and Hans d'Orville) in their 1991 edited volume, Leadership Challenge of Economic Reforms in Africa recalled that those anti-colonialsit striggles were "waged as much to end foreign rule, racial bigotry, and the associated indignities as to extirpate illiteracy and all manners of backwardness. Yet no sooner had colonial rule ended than our new rulers set about converting the revolution into one of fire and thunder against their own people," (Preface, pp.xvii-xviii).
That was also why, like reading about repression and exiles in Animal Farm, many political figures of Africa had to escape from their own independent countries to seek political asylums at the capitals of the very same former colonial powers. Therefore, the immediate query again is this: Is it a curse or a blessing to return home, if one wants to return to be a factor to be reckoned with? It is granted that if Drs. Aggrey, Azikiwe, and Nkrumah did not return home, they would not have influenced the younger generation for us to see their useful contributions to our contemporray African political and cultural histories. However, returning to one's African home today, without an appropriate preparedness and even some "toughness", can easily undermine one's life and overall safety! In Hausa, it can be an eventual yamutu, or "death". Of course, some countries in Africa (including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and in a few other places, where true democracy is being practised) may present some optimistic nuances for one's return to be meaningful! Should many of us try to do so? Maybe, so!