The passing of the longest-reigning British monarch has stirred emotions, and the renewed vocal criticism of her legacy among Africans left little to the imagination.
It's the end of an era and the world has been reacting to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died at the age of 96 this Thursday, as announced by The British Royal Family via their official Twitter account. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor will go down in history as the longest reigning British monarch, as she oversaw the people of Britain for 70 years. News of the queen's declining health had social media ablaze, with many either sharing their condolences or comedic jabs as the situation unfolded. Many African countries were subjected to British rule at some point in their history, so the diaspora had a lot to say about the monarch's Earthly departure.
As the royal family gathered to be by her side in Balmoral, Scotland, many took to the internet to point out the chaos and controversy that exists within the walls of Buckingham Palace. Above all else, Queen Elizabeth played an important role in the development of many African countries, and the diaspora at large. Here is what Africa had to say about the queen's passing:
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo shared condolences on the behalf of the West African nation.
\u201cMy thoughts and the thoughts of all Ghanaians, at home and abroad, are with Queen Elizabeth II, the British Monarch and Head of the Commonwealth, the organization of which Ghana is a proud member, and her family in these difficult moments. I wish her the best and God\u2019s blessings.\u201d— Nana Akufo-Addo (@Nana Akufo-Addo) 1662656748
The late queen's most memorable visit to Ghana was in 1967 when she rushed to the West African country to attempt to stop them from gaining their independence, and leaving the Commonwealth. The queen ended up dancing with former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah, and the scene was immortalized through photos and later television recreations of the queen's life. For many, the queen's visit was seen as a plot to maintain the exploitative relationship, show her support of Ghana's leadership, and have photo proof of her engaging with Black people.
DRC's President and former African Union Chairman Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi shared his condolences, while Martin Fayulu, Congolese businessman and leader of the Engagement for Citizenship and Development Party said, "She touched the lives of so many with her dedicated service."
\u201c#RDC_UK #ElizabethII @RoyalFamily @10DowningStreet @UKinDRC I 08.09.2022 #Kinshasa\nLe Pr\u00e9sident de la R\u00e9publique, F\u00e9lix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, exprime, en son nom et au nom du peuple congolais, sa tristesse suite au d\u00e9c\u00e8s de la Reine d'Angleterre, Elizabeth II.\u201d— Pr\u00e9sidence RDC \ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde9 (@Pr\u00e9sidence RDC \ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde9) 1662665912
\u201cI am deeply saddened to learn of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's death. She touched the lives of so many with her dedicated service. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family, British people, and those in the UK's Congolese diaspora.\n\nMay her soul rest in perfect peace.\u201d— Martin Fayulu (@Martin Fayulu) 1662664607
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta shared an official statement saying, "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a towering icon of selfless service to humanity, and a key figurehead of not only the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations, where Kenya is a distinguished member, but the entire world."
\u201c1/2\nPresident Uhuru Kenyatta has joined other world leaders in mourning Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who passed away on Thursday at her Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. \n\nRead more: https://t.co/iO5uN75H23\u201d— State House Kenya (@State House Kenya) 1662703338
While President-elect William Ruto shared his own condolences
\u201cI have received news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II and I send condolences to the people of the United Kingdom.\n\nThe queen\u2019s leadership of the Commonwealth for the past seven decades is admirable.\u201d— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@William Samoei Ruto, PhD) 1662665196
Kenya was the first country to witness the queen become The Queen. News of her father's death, and her ascension to the throne came while Queen Elizabeth and Princes Philip were on a tour of Africa -- attempting to maintain their dominance and "relationships" with the African countries which the Commonwealth managed to wrangle together. The Treetops Hotel in Kenya's Aberdare National Park is a location now infamously known for being the first spot in history where a young woman climbed up a tree a princess, and down as a queen.
Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba referred to Queen Elizabeth as "a great friend of Africa" in his farewell message to the British Monarch.
\u201cTonight, the #Commonwealth family is mourning Queen Elizabeth II.\nThe Queen was a great friend of Africa and Africa affectionated her in return.\n\nI would like to extend my deepest condolences to the British people, to her son, my friend His Majesty King Charles III and family.\u201d— Ali Bongo Ondimba (@Ali Bongo Ondimba) 1662661726
Gabon's relationship with the United Kingdom is one of the newer ones, as the Central African nation joined the Commonwealth in June 2022. The decision to become the Commonwealth's 55th member state was announced during this year's closing session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
South African opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) shared their opinion on the late Monarch's legacy.
\u201cEFF Statement On The Death Of Queen Elizabeth\u201d— Economic Freedom Fighters (@Economic Freedom Fighters) 1662665871
South Africa's relationship with the British monarchy is as complicated as it gets. The queen's ties to the country began in her youth, as in 1947 a young Elizabeth accompanied her family on a visit to the country, a short while before the National Party contaminated South African history. It was then that the 21-year-old Princess dedicated her life to the Commonwealth, as her speech was broadcasted from Cape Town. "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong," she said. The queen condemned South Africa's apartheid regime, removing the nation from the Commonwealth in 1961, before allowing them to rejoin in 1994, after their first democratic and multi-national presidential election.
Queen Elizabeth also looted much of the country's fine jewels and resources. To this day, the British monarchy owns 'The Great Star of Africa', a 530-carat gem mined in South Africa in 1905. It's estimated to be worth $400 million.
While President Cyril Ramaphosa sent condolences on behalf of the government and people of South Africa
\u201cOn behalf of the Government and people of South Africa, I wish to express my profound and sincere condolences to His Majesty, King Charles III on the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.\u201d— Cyril Ramaphosa \ud83c\uddff\ud83c\udde6 (@Cyril Ramaphosa \ud83c\uddff\ud83c\udde6) 1662699453
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa joined the parade of farewells via his official Twitter account
\u201cMy deepest condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the people of the United Kingdom, and the Commonwealth as they mourn the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II. \n\nMay she rest in peace.\u201d— President of Zimbabwe (@President of Zimbabwe) 1662658973
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said in his official statement, "The story of modern Nigeria will never be complete without a chapter on Queen Elizabeth II, a towering global personality and an outstanding leader. She dedicated her life to making her nation, the Commonwealth, and the entire world a better place."
\u201cMy family and I, and the more than 200 million Nigerians, have learned with immense sadness of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, and the end of her unique and wonderful 70-year reign. She was the only British Sovereign known to 90 percent of our population.\u201d— Muhammadu Buhari (@Muhammadu Buhari) 1662674483