Op-Ed
Video still via Twitter.

Off With Their Heads: Diversity Won’t Save the Royal Family’s Legacy

On the Royal engagement and why Africa never seems to catch a break.

During the Mau Mau uprising in 1950s, the British detained over one and a half million Kenyans in concentration camps. In these camps, men, women and children died of starvation, waterborne diseases and torture. The documents recording these atrocities were of course destroyed and the knowledge thereof hidden away because hey, long live the King!

Yesterday, news of Prince Harry's engagement to his girlfriend, the sexy paralegal Rachel Zane from "Suits," played by Meghan Markle, has created an epic media storm. This is normal for a royal wedding but the fact that Markle is of African American descent has had many people feeling all kinds of different ways.


The British royal family has ruled for the centuries and still are—sort of. In that time, they have colonized numerous African countries, murdered a great deal of Africans, disrupted and appropriated our cultures, initiated bloody wars, stolen our land, pillaged our resources and imposed on us their allegedly superior ways of doing things—the English way, good and proper.

Prince Harry has always been a bit of a "royal rebel." Unlike his brother William who has always borne the burden of taking the throne and thus having to tow the line, Harry has really been living his best life from chilling with the likes of Jay-Z and Kanye West to allegedly throwing naked parties with a dominatrix.

The dyed in the wool monarchists turn up their nose at the pair. He can do so much better than a young woman who is not only not British but, gasp, has ancestry from Africa.

Personally, I don't see how the monarchy itself is more moral than the African dictatorships that they so indignantly denounce. In 2017, why have we not gotten rid of this ridiculous notion of a lineage of blue blood in the same way we got rid of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution? Without all the gore, of course, but nonetheless they simply must go. The royal family is not a force for stability but rather a stunning representation of grievous class inequality. And so if anyone should be turning their nose up in disgust, it's certainly Markle and the rest of us as Africans who are still deemed not good enough to grace the lavish corridors of Windsor Court. Isn't that a load of BS?

I'm all for love: black love, interracial love, and everything in between. Harry deserves to marry whomever he wishes (Markle the same) and whether Markle has a black mother or not or hails from the jungles of Africa or not shouldn't matter.

So, while Markle is black, that doesn't mean the royal family's wrongs have now been righted and we can sweep everything that happened historically under grand Persian rugs. Not by a long shot. It runs far deeper than that. However diverse and 'forbidden' their love may be, it alone will never atone for the centuries of crimes against humanity committed by the royal family—no matter how dreamy their engagement photos may be. So let us not entertain the idea that it may or that it will. It. Will. Not.

What matters most for me, is whether this impending marriage will finally start a necessary and long overdue conversation. Perhaps not by Harry and Markle themselves but at least by the public at large as to the royal family's history of imperialism in Africa especially and its steadfast condescending perception of Africans in general till this day. I may be naïve but surely it's the uncomfortable and unavoidable white elephant in the room? I mean, it has to be. They'll be having tea with one of our own now.

popular

Black Twitter's Reactions to the Royal Wedding are Priceless

"When you're about to throw some seasoning on the proceedings."

The Royal Wedding happened this morning at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle solidified their union with a grand ceremony surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

Around 600 guests were in attendance for the affair, including Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba and Serena Williams just to name a few.

Markle is now the first melanin-possessing person to become part of the British royal family, as her official title is now Duchess of Sussex.

The entire event was streamed live on Twitter, and of course the internet had quite a lot to say about it.

Folks have been sharing their commentary all morning, with many on Twitter highlighting some of the ceremony's "blackest" moments, and sharing funny quips about pretending not to care about the wedding, but watching anyway.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of Jo Griffin

This Tanzanian Girls' Football Team Came Second in Moscow but Feel Triumphant

Meet the highflying Tanzanian girls' football team, stars of this week's Street Child World Cup.

With a huge smile and surrounded by some of her new friends from 20 different countries at the Sapsan Arena in Moscow, Asteria Robert, the 14-year-old captain of the Tanzanian girls' football team, takes in the atmosphere following the final of the Street Child World Cup.

"When we left we couldn't believe we could reach this level and we're so glad we got this far in the tournament," says Asteria, after leading her team on to the podium to receive medals and a trophy for coming in second place.

The Street Child World Cup is a football tournament for children all over the world who have experienced homelessness or are considered at risk of living on the streets. It takes place before the FIFA World Cup.

After a high-octane performance with many chances at goal, the Tanzanian girls were defeated 1-0 by a team from Rio de Janeiro at the stadium—a stone's throw from Lokomotiv, home of the newly-crowned Russian Premier League champions. Some of the girls slumped on the floor at the final whistle but soon gathered themselves to show sportsmanship and congratulate the winners from Brazil

The final game was live-streamed by Goal and seen by more than 130,000 people. In the stadium the team were cheered on by teenagers from across the world, banging drums and waving the Tanzanian flag.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Supplied.

Swaziland’s Rendition Croons About Love & The Hustle On His Debut EP ‘Art.Love.Magic’

Listen to Rendition's debut EP.

Rendition is a producer from Swaziland, whose debut EP we are premiering here. Rendition has produced for a handful of artists such as uSanele, Una Rams, Just Robyn, 80 Script, among others.

On the EP, which is titled Art. Love. Magic, and was recorded at Red Bull Studios in Cape Town, Rendition croons about relationships ("On My Way," "Need Some More," "Crazy Love") and the hustle ("Overtime"), with the aid of autotune.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.