Sunday, 7 October 2018

Out of Africa

Melania Trump wears a pith helmet on safari in Nairobi, Kenya.

I thought Mrs. Trump looked delicious in her pith helmet in Kenya but some accused her of looking colonialist

She shows that at 48 years of age she is a remarkable beauty, with great clothes sense and great wit, as with the 'I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?' jacket she wore on a trip to visit immigrant children. Some not very perceptive people thought she meant she didn't care
about the children, when in fact she obviously did care about them and not what people in the White House thought.

As a little boy I wanted a pith helmet. I finally bought one from the best hatmaker in Lisbon and left it on the train when I reached Salamanca. Damn.

By the way what was wrong with colonial rule? It brought civilisation to Kenya.

I heard a Congolese historian tell a shocked BBC man on the 50th anniversary of Congolese

independence that everything good in the Congo was achieved by Belgians. 'But you concede that the Belgians were not motivated by altruism?' 'I don't care what motivated them.'

Ethiopia which only had colonial rule for six years was unimaginably primitive as a result. When Dervla Murphy was there in 1964 the good roads and hotels dated from the six years that Mussolini ruled the country. When I went not so much had changed.

Alan Von Hohenberg Balladur comments: I was born in the Belgian Congo and my grandfather owned a large plantation in the Kivu overlooking Lake Kivu. He was also a district commissioner. The plantation employed many Congolese and provided a village, school, dispensary, chapel etc. Call it paternalism if you will but the welfare of the people who worked on the plantation was always of primary importance to my grandparents. After independence, they chose to remain and continue the project they had started. I '68, the plantation was sold to a Congolese politician for a pittance and my grandparents were given 48 hours to leave. They joined my mother in Cape Town. Years later, my mother went back and visited. An elderly man recognised her and amidst the ruins of the plantation came and asked her:"Madame, l'independence, quand est ce que c'est fini?" Since then, I've worked out there many times over the years and was contacted by the Congolese about taking over the plantation and resuscitate it. Long story but the DRC has become a lawless country with the citizens being preyed upon by their own government, rebels and the various UN "peacekeeping" contingents who roam their areas of operations and hold the local populations to ransom while raping and mistreating the local population. And the West seem not to be too bothered.

1 comment:

  1. The Belgians built some good things in the Congo but they were incredibly greedy and savage to the local people and shared a little of the fortunes that they made. Every nation wants to determine its own destiny. That's what Brexit was about isn't it?