Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaIndependence
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Independence Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Mbũrũ, Kenya Sep 14, 2006
Culture , Human Rights   Opinions
 1 2   Next page »


When we hear of the word ‘independence’, what comes into our minds? What does it imply to us on a daily basis?

Independence means autonomous, liberated, neutral, non-aligned, self-determining and self-governing or sovereign. It could also mean free-thinking, non-partisan, non-conformist, open minded, private, self-reliant, separate, unbiased, and free from any coercion either from any government, state, society or another individual.

A society has to be independent for its general social, economic, democratic and political systems to be improved and recognised. For an individual, independence is vital for his mental, physical and otherwise wants and his capacity as a person to be unique. He must also be credible and develop a positive attitude to whoever is making choices for him. When allowing an individual total independence, he is no longer regarded as a thing or less human.

Since a country or society and generally and individual is born with an autonomous thinking, then, how does one or the society lose its independence?

The Portuguese, British, Germans and Spaniards in the 16th century, or earlier, travelled to Africa, America, Asia and Australia to trade, explore and spread religion. This played a great role in usurping a society’s right to be in the control of its own affairs, in another view, a person’s self-possession was denied. He was no longer able to shape his destiny, which was then with another person. In general, the missionaries, explorers and traders attracted the attention of Europeans to their host countries. Once they established their missions, they (Europeans) asked for protection from their mother countries and the only way to get this protection turned out to be establishing political control and paving the way for the imperialists.

These explorers, missionaries and traders turned out against the indigenous. They sold them as slaves to their mother countries for cheap labour and advancement of their countries. The inhuman acts which some explorers, traders and to some extent, missionaries portrayed in graphic terms gave European governments a pretext for intervention. This is an example of how the colonised lost their political, social, economic and cultural independence.

Other people became colonized after losing a war. The Lobengula kingdom in Zimbabwe for instance, was taken over by European forces. Through a bitter experience, they realized that their swords, bows and arrows were of no help against the rifles and Maxim guns of the European forces.

Following colonization in some countries, colonisers showed racial segregation. For instance, in the former Azania, there was apartheid which means separateness. The psychology behind the apartheid was that each race was to develop its own identity with the Europeans making all decisions, and applying favouritism to their own. From the definition of independence this clearly shows a biased mental attitude that robbed the Africans of South Africa their autonomy, sovereignty and independence.

The imperialists, after capturing their colonies, took natural resources from them to develop their own countries and not the lands from which such resources were drawn. This lead to resource exhaustion and increased poverty. Imperialists also made the colonised lose their culture, traditions and wanted them to think and talk like them, for example, the French Assimilation Policy. Does this act not show the evil of colonisation that reduced the colonised to mere observers and sleep-walkers in their own countries that they were supposed to be living in?
The indigenous longed to regain their lost pride, societal values, wealth and genuine particularity. By this, natural and human drive, some were able to re-attain their independence after a hard struggle.

Independence led to internationalism and promotion of National Unity among countries. The National flags, National Anthems, Coats of Arms, National Constitutions and strong national political structures, with firm foundations and strict adherence to principles laid down in the laws of the land, are the tenets of an independent state.

The Kenyan National Anthem, as a factor of National Unity, calls on God to bless the country, bring peace, unity, freedom, justice and prosperity. It also calls on Kenyans to be ready to serve others, defend their homeland, and preserve its culture and cultural heritage and unity in Nation Building.

The factors of National Unity should emphasise that for a society to be independent, hard working, self-sacrificing, strong and concerned about other people's welfare a person’s independence needs to be vehemently protected. The ideas of what a society wants for itself puts the question of independence at a very important spectrum, thus a society has to fully realise and develop itself for the benefit of its citizens. Only then shall we experience a new hope, a new life in independence.

Countries that were colonised, were denied the chance to develop their own unity, togetherness and sense of worthiness since the colonisers looked down upon them. A question here arises: why did societies start afresh after regaining their sense of autonomy? Why, for instance, did Turkey abolish Arabic writing and Islamic institutions? Why did Kenya repeal certain sections of its constitution to pave way for a democratic multi-party democracy in 1990? Why did a divided United States fight in the North and South to become a United States of America?

 1 2   Next page »   


You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile

I am a researcher on educational issues especially in the rural areas, with much emphasis on girls' education.

As a trained journalist, I have a lot of concern with the handling of the education sub-sector in Kenya and take a critical role in viewing the reforms currently being conducted to integrate education structures for the sake of the youth in Kenya.

One major aspect, sadly, is that Kenya has been sovereign for over four decades but has been the only African country besides Somalia not to have made education compulsory, free and basic. For Somalia it can be understood - the country had been in civil strife since 1992- but for Kenya the politics of the day have played a negative role in reducing the promotion of education to a system sheer competition, instead of progressive

Apart from that, I write fictitious literature.
Currently I am working on prose on love and betrayal and a collection of poems.
You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.