Who was Amilcar Cabral?
Amilcar Cabral was an agronomist engineer, and one of the most inspirational revolutionary leaders of Africa, with a correct ideology and ability to efficiently organize his movement and nation. His motto was: Aluta Continua, the struggle continues. His campaign was built on Unity and Struggle.
Cabral always made unity a focus point of all his activities. The main reason why Cabral united 30 ethnicities, was because of his humility. He always made it very clear that a good leaders lives among the people, not above the people. Cabral knew and used the cultures of Guinea and merged them, focused on the idea that there is unity through diversity. Cultural diversity is a big asset, instead of big problem. Another special element about Cabral was that he always took special care for children, and created ‘scout clubs’ wherever he went. He said that when you take good care of the children, the progress of the nation is secured.
A very effective of method besides his humility and focus on unifying culture, was use of soccer in both rhetoric and training. He knew that soccer can be very effective in uniting people, teaching them about determination and hardships, and used it to great effect to unite opposing ethnicities. He also spoke in terms of soccer games when he talked about the struggle, so the people (his own soccer club) against the colonizer (enemy soccer club).
Cabral believed people needed struggle to liberate themselves, and his struggle was not about self-enrichment, but freedom, justice, and prosperity for all. He strongly claimed that normal people do not care about words, they only care about the betterment of their living standards. So he made it crucial to always put focus on his economic vision, and practical improvements, wherever he went. In this he used his profession as an engineer to full extent.
He continued the fight against patriarchy and empower women. Maintained culture as focus point for Africans to awake and reconnect to their proud history. He told others to pursue goals of liberation with full integrity: tell no lies, hide nothing from the masses, expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories.
Amilcar Cabral was also a great theoretician who shared his ideas in articles and books, as he claimed that the lack of ideology is one of the greatest weaknesses of revolution struggles in Africa. His central statement is also that a successful revolution needs good leadership, correct ideology, and efficient organization. He focused on the importance for Africans to re-Africanize and connect to their ancient history before colonial and imperial powers distorted their history. Furthermore, he struggles for both political and economic independence. Both are equally important for him. Freedom without better living standards would not be victory for Cabral.
Erik van der Zanden
Picture by Balou