Most welcome Sister Esther

Hearing that Esther Stanford-Xosie the indefatigable persona of a Pan African sister was homebound, my mind could not but flash back to those days of great Pan Africanists.

They are too many to mention. But coming to mind immediately and naturally could not have been any other then the Black Star Line. Of course, one cannot be talking of the Black Star Line without thinking and remembering Marcus Garvey.

And certainly Marcus Garvey to many a Namibian veterans of Pan Africanism is no stranger. That is why we have names of the likes of Garvey and Kangavi, all which have become local names, but indeed traces their origin to the Pan Africanist once known as Marcus Garvey.

Thus, the homecoming of Sister Esther is not only liberatory in itself, given her Pan Africanist ideological grounding, but indeed a reincarnation of great Pan Africanists such as Garvey, George Padmore, and WE du Boois, way back into black Pan Afrikan history, and more lately the likes Kwame Toure, Malcolm X, and not to forget in my own experience in Britain, the likes of Brother Berry Edwards and Brother Koka, may their Pan African souls forever live. And indeed Brother Berenge Bandele.

But more than anything else Sister Esther's Namibian homecoming cannot but infuse the necessary Pan African spirit that has been very much amiss in the struggle of the Ovaherero and Nama for restorative justice.

One must give the necessary credit to solidarity movements in Europe, and to a certain degree West America. But such solidarity cannot have been complete without the activism of Africans and descendants of Africans in the Diaspora. It can be the European Diaspora, American Diaspora, Carribean Diaspora and the Latin American Diaspora.

It has been conspicuously missing in the Namibian campaign for restorative justice, which is intrinsically and integrally linked to the global campaign for reparation for colonial enslavement. Not to mention the African connection which has also seem to be missing, at least politically as far as most of the African governments have been concerned, in both the groundswell movement for reparations for enslavement, and the particular campaign of the Namibian people against their genocide by Imperial Germany.

Thus, the presence on Namibian soil of Sister Esther cannot but be seen in this context.

Ester is expected in Namibia this morning from London, United Kingdom, where she is based, as a guest of the Ovaherero-Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation (OGF). Tonight she is delivering a lecture at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

To many Africans, and Pan-Afrikans, Esther needs no introduction because her dedication and devotion to the cause of Africans, wherever they may be, is well-documented and immeasurable to date. Close to home, South Africa, she was an active participant in the 2001 World Conference against Racism (WCAR), also known as Durban I.

In 2002, she became the UK/Europe region representative of the 10-member International Steering Committee of the African and African Descendants World Conference Against Racism (AADWCAR), the official follow-up to the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Intolerance (WCAR), which took place in Barbados.

As a result of Esther's community engaged reparations scholar-activism, she is currently completing PhD action research in history at the University of Chichester on the history of the UK contingent of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR), which 'recovers' the history of Afrikan and Afrikan Diaspora reparations thought, advocacy and social-movement-building in the UK from the 18th century to the present day.

As much she has become a friend of the Ovaherero and Nama quest for restorative justice, adding weight, intellectually physically and morally to the groundswell movement of Africans and Africans in the Diaspora who now stand squarely behind the struggle of the Namibians for restorative justice. This is through their various Pan-Afrikan institutions, such as the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) on which she once served as co-vice chair with Kofi Mawuli Klu of PARCOE, (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe).

One cannot but emphasise that Sister Esther comes to Namibia at a very critical stage of the Namibian movement for restorative justice. Despite being in existence for more than two decades, a critical mass of the indigenous African Namibian Africans, willfully, and/or due to self-imposed ignorance and ambivalence, remain oblivious to the quest for restorative justice.

This includes a core of the Namibian government leaders at whatever level, executive, legislative, judicial and/or bureaucratic. Hence, the reputable persona in matters of reparations for colonial enslavement on Namibian soil, her intellectual proclivities if not her strong Pan African ideology and sheer African resilience, is just what many of the pseudo Namibian intellectuals must have been needing.

'The Right of African Indigenous Peoples to Demand Restitution/Reparations for their Enslavement by Colonialism and Determining The Course and Nature of Such A Demand with Special Reference to Ovaherero and Nama in Namibia, Their Quest for Restitution from the Federal Republic of Namibia, Directly Engaging this (German) Government and the Role and Place of the Namibian Government?' is the topic Esther will delve into during tonight's lecture.

It will be followed by a discussion by a selected of discussants from governments, Namibia and Germany, if they positively respond to the invitation. This cannot but elevate the discourse on genocide and reparations to a new level hitherto unknown, other than the mediocre one Namibia has been subjected to most of the times. Not to mention that onwards indeed the matter must now be Pan-Africanised. Because this is the only way to for it reach its logical conclusion.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia