Position:Letter to the Editor

Ever heard of Cabinda?

Two points, among others, make your magazine great! It is unapologetically Afro-centric and has well-researched articles. Keep the good job up. We Africans have few magazines of your class. Your article on Diego Garcia (Sept issue) especially made me to write this letter of request.

While in Germany I met an African brother who introduced himself as coming from Cabinda. On enquiring where that country was, he told me that it shared borders with the two Congos (Brazzaville and Kinshasa) and has access to the Atlantic Ocean.

According to this Cabindan, his country was a Portuguese protectorate until Angola attained its independence. Without any prior discussion with the people of Cabinda, Portugal handed Cabinda to Angola.

The Cabindans did not choose to be ruled by Angola, they do not share any border with Angola, they do not speak the languages of Angola except Portuguese. A great majority of Cabindans are refugees in Congo-Kinshasa while others are trying to eke out a living in Europe.

A group calling itself Cabinda National Movement is trying to bring to the attention of the international community, especially African leaders, their plea for national self-determination. Given your track record in research in such cases, it may interest your readers to investigate the Cabinda issue.

Radikobo Ntsimane

Berlin, Germany

Self delusion

Stuart Lamb ("Why are they in Britain?", NA, Letters, Oct) is a victim of self-delusion, race politics and generalisation. Perhaps he should come back to the UK (from Saudi Arabia where he is working) and run the crumbling public services.

To my knowledge, these services--hospitals, health trusts, public transport, etc--are supported by African nurses, doctors, bus drivers, guards and inspectors. The majority of carers at state and private residential homes in the UK are Africans.

I dislike self-gratification, but I want to tell Lamb that many an African in the UK is a graduate who pays tax and national insurance contribution to Her Majesty's treasury.

In addition, as a trustee of a centre of economic studies and development of Francophone African countries myself, we raise funds to promote economic development in French-speaking Africa. As of date, we are funding projects (school buildings) in Cameroon and Senegal.

Finally, I know of many African individuals and churches that are engaged in other projects (universities, hospitals etc) in Africa. The money for these projects come from the hardworking Africans themselves, nor from the British government.

The example given above shows that Lamb is wrong, like many of his peers, in assuming that all immigrants in the UK are living off the state. As for contributing to African welfare, you don't have to live in Africa to do it, you can do it from anywhere in the world. If Africans are living comfortable lives in the West, it is because they have worked hard for it and earned it unlike the white farmers in Southern Africa.

Opiyo Oryema

London, UK

America has forgotten

The people of USA have been the recipients of the choicest bounties--they have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other people have ever grown. But they have forgotten God. They have...

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