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African intellectual: 'Amilcar Cabral's spirit lives on'

Dr. Firoze Manji, an African intellectual and co-editor of a newly-published book on Amilcar Cabral, who led the war of independence in Guinea Bissau, has observed that his spirit continues to live on and his killers fear him even in death.


Dr. Manji, the Head of Documentation and Information Center of Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), made the remarks during an exclusive interview with PANA as he reflected over the killing of Cabral in 1973.

He said when he visited Guinea Bissau to pay respects to the memory of Cabral by visiting his mausoleum, which was in a military camp, there was no access for the civilian population.

'Perhaps this was because the military recognise that memorials are more about the future than about the past,' he said.

'For me this visit made me realise the importance of much of Cabral's writings and praxis, the profound importance of this revolutionary as well as some of the failures that we in Africa will need to resolve. How did Cabral end up here?' Dr. Manji asked.

He described Cabral as a scientist, a theoretician of liberation and a poet as well as someone directly engaged in working with peasants to establish a new society in the liberated zones.

Still reflecting  over Cabral and his work, Dr. Manji said the revolutionary learnt a lot from the peasantry and history.

'There is a preconception held by many people, even of the left, that imperialism made us enter history at the moment when it began its adventure in our countries,' he quoted Cabral was quoted stating.

Turning to culture, Dr. Manji spoke of Cabral as some one who placed high value on  people and their culture.

'Culture is an essential element of the history of a people. Culture is, perhaps, the product of this history just as a flower is the product of a plant,' he reiterated.

According to Dr. Manji, Cabral also looked at the 'nature of petit bourgeoisie', the vacillating class.

'My own view is that there are no real conflicts between the peoples of Africa. There are only conflicts between the elites,' Cabral reportedly said.

The book entitled 'Claim No Easy Victories, The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral' was edited by Firoze Manji and Bill Fletcher Jr. 

Pana/28/01/2014