Joseph Kony Is Still At Large and It’s all My Fault

I generally like to reserve Friday posts for frivolity, but I have been requested to give my view on KONY2012. Please brace yourself for a rant.

Let’s call Joseph Kony what he is: a narcissist, a pedophile and a terrorist. Virtually unchecked, Joseph Kony has been carrying out his campaign of terror against innocent African civilians in Uganda, Sudan and the DRC since 1986. He and his goons have destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, raped countless numbers of women and girls, and ripped families apart. His tools are his power of persuasion, and that failing, the barrel of the gun. For over 20 years, this one man – who in interviews described himself as God Almighty – has maimed, pillaged and burned the homes and bodies of innocents while the world twiddled their thumbs.

Now comes this #stopkony / KONY2012 campaign, spearheaded by a group of white kids who hail from California. Their singular focus lies in the capture and conviction of Joseph Kony by the end of this year. And God bless them for it.

Can I speak plainly, reader? I am SO SICK of Black people and their twisted dogma concerning the “White Savior” Syndrome. Oh, you haven’t heard of it? It’s the belief in certain circles of the Black Intelligencia that because Black folk can’t do for themselves, White people have to come in and do for them, or more specifically, solve our problems for us. In the case of Joseph Kony in particular, one rather prolific individual on twitter summed up the KONY2012 (and implied White savior Campaign) movement by saying “the world exists simply to satisfy the needs – including, importantly, the sentimental needs – of white people and Oprah”. Prior to that, he says that “the white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evenings.” This message has been retweeted quite a few times on Twitter, and I do see why. At first glance, this all sounds very witty and well thought out until you think about it, at which point you grasp your head and shout:

Oh My GOD, Black people!!

We decry any effort to stereotype and homogenize us as a race, and then we turn around and do the same thing to white people? Just stop and think. Look at the world around you. The vast majority of people who identify with the Occupy Wall Street Movement are WHITE. The people that they are on a crusade AGAINST are WHITE. How then can we lump all white people together as saying they fund our brutal policies and then swoop in to try and save us from them? It’s an insipid argument, and one that must cease immediately, for it makes us look foolish. How would you react to the assertion that sh*t and chocolate share the same properties, simply because both are brown? Exactly.

All these Africans, sitting at home behind your laptops and your Black Berries, carrying on about how White people will not leave us to our own devices: You all make me SICK. If the victims of Joseph Kony’s terrorist acts were the children of MPs and businessmen, he would have been disposed of long ago. If Joseph Kony expanded his reach into the streets of Pretoria and was brutalizing young white South African children, I wager that there wouldn’t be a jungle dense enough to conceal him. If the people he was killing and raping were of “value”, African governments would ferret him out! If Joseph Kony’s campaign was preventing Chinese “investment” in the areas he is currently pillaging, there would be a special force unit whose only job was to secure his capture.

Here’s the rub. The only people at fault for not bringing Kony in is AFRICANS. What I’m about to say is an “oversimplification” of events, but I don’t have time to give anyone a history lesson, because you’re intelligent enough to do your own research.

We got our independence. We’ve since elected leaders whose only goal for their positions is to rule for life. Africa is not poor, but these leaders exacerbate the image and façade of poverty in order to garner foreign aid, much of which they pocket for themselves and their cronies. They then leave the reviled common man to fend for himself, providing just enough of the very basics in terms of public facilities to give the illusion of a working developing city. Joseph Kony lives in this barely bourgeoning East African city. He goes to public school and is an altar boy, perhaps he’s been sexually assaulted by a priest, perhaps not, I don’t know. But at some point he has a psychotic break because he thinks he’s God. Somehow he gets a hold of some uniforms and some guns, and armed with scripture he decides he’s going to establish a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments. Somehow, “thou shalt not kill” escapes him, but that’s only a minor detail. He pursues his dream of molesting little kids and eating their parents anyway.

Oh Black people. You like to complain and criticize. But where is the action, eh?? Why are we not staging sit- ins at our Ghanaian embassies around the world, demanding that OUR president take a firm stance on Kony until he’s captured. Why are Nigerians, Gambians and Kenyan’s not doing the same? Why are we not speaking out until our voices are impossible to ignore? Here’s a better question: Why did an AFRICAN not start the Kony2012 campaign? It’s because you people care, yes, but you don’t care enough

When the Save Darfur campaign was at its height, who did we see out on the Washington Mall at those rallies? White students! There was a sprinkling of Blacks here and there, but not en masse as it should have been. These are our brothers and sisters after all!

As a continent, we are guided by fear and mistrust of each other, and it is reflected in the leadership we appoint to govern us. We have few visionaries, and fewer leaders with balls. By the time we have a Laurent Gbagbo refusing to step down after losing an election, there is no appealing to the better side of such a man. He HAS no better side. So what did our ECOWAS leadership do? They threatened military action against him, but it was all talk, as usual. Gbagbo was not ousted until the French intervened. Was this a White Savior Complex? Hardly. It was yet another manifestation of Pervasive Black Apathy.

All this chatter about the group Invisible Children, heh? Instead of talking about the “damage” this video has done, has anyone given as much energy into discussing how to bring this man to justice? Why is Uganda now pointing at what the video has done “wrong” instead of discussing what they themselves have been doing wrong these last 26 years? MSTEW!!! If you really want to make a difference on the continent, stop sitting on your Black asses and bitching about what White people are doing. We have film makers. We have photographers. We have WRITERS. Any of these people could have brought attention to this issue, which is not a new one. Lisa Ling did a report on Joseph Kony is 2006! But just like the short lived outrage over blood diamonds, that too escaped our consciousness. Stop knocking people for caring.

Oh Black people. You like to complain and criticize. But where is the action, eh?? Why are we not staging sit- ins at our Ghanaian embassies around the world, demanding that OUR president take a firm stance on Kony until he’s captured. Why are Nigerians, Gambians and Kenyan’s not doing the same? Why are we not speaking out until our voices are impossible to ignore? Here’s a better question: Why did an AFRICAN not start the Kony2012 campaign? It’s because you people care, yes, but you don’t care enough

When the Save Darfur campaign was at its height, who did we see out on the Washington Mall at those rallies? White students! There was a sprinkling of Blacks here and there, but not en masse as it should have been. These are our brothers and sisters after all!

As a continent, we are guided by fear and mistrust of each other, and it is reflected in the leadership we appoint to govern us. We have few visionaries, and fewer leaders with balls. By the time we have a Laurent Gbagbo refusing to step down after losing an election, there is no appealing to the better side of such a man. He HAS no better side. So what did our ECOWAS leadership do? They threatened military action against him, but it was all talk, as usual. Gbagbo was not ousted until the French intervened. Was this a White Savior Complex? Hardly. It was yet another manifestation of Pervasive Black Apathy.

All this chatter about the group Invisible Children, heh? Instead of talking about the “damage” this video has done, has anyone given as much energy into discussing how to bring this man to justice? Why is Uganda now pointing at what the video has done “wrong” instead of discussing what they themselves have been doing wrong these last 26 years? MSTEW!!! If you really want to make a difference on the continent, stop sitting on your Black asses and bitching about what White people are doing. We have film makers. We have photographers. We have WRITERS. Any of these people could have brought attention to this issue, which is not a new one. Lisa Ling did a report on Joseph Kony is 2006! But just like the short lived outrage over blood diamonds, that too escaped our consciousness. Pick a side. Either be a part of the problem or be an agent for the solution, but for God’s sake stop knocking people for caring.

 

STOP!!!

Do NOT press “Comment”

As of March 11th,  we are playing a little game called “Get off My Comments section”. In this game, everyone STOPS commenting on this Kony2012 issue (on my blog anyway), puts all that energy into promoting the causes that they are passionate about, creates a viral video and sits back to watch the fruits of that labor grow. Okay?  Don’t be a spoiled sport.

The game starts NOW!

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102 responses to “Joseph Kony Is Still At Large and It’s all My Fault

  1. Carefully thought out piece. It is an amazing piece of information that escapes our attention.

    Few posts make me actually think about Africa and how we seem to keep burying ourselves in nonsense, rather than rise above such frivolous stuff. We have so much potential and yet, we fail to realise this.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. Cecil Valentine

    This is the BEST point of view i’ve ever heard. I wil say no more. you’ve sid it all. nuff said! God bless.

  3. God bless you……

  4. BAM!!!*Drops mic and exits stage left*. No comment here. Only a thank you.

  5. concerned African.

    Either be a part of the problem or be an agent for the solution, but for God’s sake stop knocking people for caring…..THE writer is so full of crap. YOU are either a product (parents)of the few that has made African what it is today and you are sitting your ass in some comfortable space vomiting this garbage or You are so totally confused and lack knowledge on the actual problems facing Africa. YOU really need to get your history lesson and facts in check. People like YOU are the reason why Africa is going backwards because you are so focus on licking the white man’s ass.

    • @concerned African: You said alot without saying much at all. What history lesson and facts is the author missing? What points do you oppose?

    • Seeing as your only rebuttal comes in the form of name calling and an absence of thought provoking reasoning (or any reasoning at all for that matter), I assert, and am confident that I am cognitively superior to you and will now rise from the chair that you assume that I am sitting on so that you can have a clear shot of my ass…which may now
      kiss.

    • I tried for a moment to walk away from this because you seem to be one who has weaned on the teat of idiocy since childbirth. Name calling and caps locking 3-letter words to shout out your point do not make you seem any more intelligent. What have YOU, (yes, I also know how to capitalize. Amazing isn’t it?) YOU done to be an agent of the solution? If your goal is to troll sites to get attention, then job well done. Malaka just made an obvious point that we, REAL CONCERNED AFRICANS, need to be the first ones to stand up and create global awareness for the problems we are facing. You have only made an obvious point that there are idiotic Africans out there with soap boxes and a wifi connection ready to voice their insignificant unwanted opinions. You may now go back to that utter failure of an existence that you call a life.

    • you make me sick with this unfocused comment, i wonder if you ever use your brain SHAME ON YOU, how dare you criticise such an insighted post?? U need help and fast.
      I concur with the poster that we r lazy and wait 4 whites to come save us, we realy need to start man up and suck-the-shit out of Konyi n people like you. Numb-nut

  6. MALAKA..God BLESS YOU!!! TRUER WORDS HAVE NOT BEEN SPOKEN!

  7. Mohamed John Lansana Sesay

    Oh!! We Africans!!!! we like to reinvent instead of inventing and helping each other to get out of the conditions and situation we are in!!!
    We need to accept things that should be accepted and move according to time!!!
    We believe more in the spiritual!!! than in the physical strength!! of doing and creating things that useful for all africans and the world as one!!!!!

    Let accept things that should be accepted, move according to time and more believe in our physical strenght and start creating a better Africa!!!!!

  8. Reblogged this on Soul Canvas and commented:
    I’m not one to comment on political issues because I don’t posses enough knowledge to do so, therefore I shall live vicariously through ‘Mind of Malaka’. The Kony 2012 issue has been quite the hot topic of late on various social media platforms and every time I form an opinion I read something else that alters it slightly. In addition to this post I have reblogged I shall post the relevant video that sparked the debate and links to articles that I’ve read commenting on the issue. As an African I feel it is important for us to be aware of such issues even if they may not directly affect us. Take the time to read this article and the others I shall post and let me know what your opinion is….
    Happy reading!

  9. Your post hits a raw nerve. You raise an important issue, about the so-called ‘White Man’s Burden’. Granted the video has done well around the world, but what does it do for the situation in Northern Uganda? Forget the vitriol, just the plain facts. In my opinion, even if it was done by a Ugandan (or any Black person for that matter) the effect would be the same. It is too simple and some facts are wrongly represented. For example, Kony is not No. 1 on the ICC list because he’s the ‘baddest’…no, it’s because Uganda, by itself, asked the ICC to help in 2002. It was first country to seek help, hence his number one spot. As for Africans seating on their bums, the post is spot on..when will the (intellectual) African carry his own burden? My guess is when Kony knocks on the presidents’ doors – a long time away. Funny, from the comments, Kony2012 evokes similar sentiments from Africans as Field Ruwe does..hmm

    • @Andrew: You raise some interesting points.
      “Granted the video has done well around the world, but what does it do for the situation in Northern Uganda? ”
      *It would call much needed attention to the plight of that region. These are children we are talking about, Kony is still at large and should be held accountable for his atrocities. I say get the message out by any means necessary. Africans had the same reaction to the documentay ‘War Dance.’ People complained it oversimplified the issues and that the creators of the documentary (who were White) were exploiting the situation, but in the end people who weren’t aware were informed and made contributions. In the end it doesn’t matter to me who spear heads the campaign, as long as it’s done.*

      “It is too simple and some facts are wrongly represented. For example, Kony is not No. 1 on the ICC list because he’s the ‘baddest’…no, it’s because Uganda, by itself, asked the ICC to help in 2002. It was first country to seek help, hence his number one spot.”
      * I’m not sure what you mean by it was too simple. Do you mean the format or delivery? & does how Kony got to the No. 1 spot matter? That he is is all that counts to me. I’m not suggesting that we should discount Uganda’s efforts to capture this monster, am sure they did what they could but I also believe they had the means to and intelligence to capture him; it’s been 20 years for God’s sake.*

      I’m not advocating people jump on board and donate to IC all willy nilly. Folks ought to research the charities they chose to give their hard earned monies to. Like the writer I take issue with people taking offense to the fact that a group of men who happen to be white took on a cause that we clearly need some help with; all of us (including me) had the wherewithal to resurrect this whole issue; we didn’t. If my house was burning and a stranger offered to help, I wouldn’t refuse waiting for some other person who looked like me to help.

      • @NM The reason I asked what the video does for Northern Uganda (and the places Kony traverses) is because attention by the world at large does not seem to do anything. By comparison, look at Syria, how many of us know what is going on…very many. Yet, the situation continues unabated. Look at Somalia too. So, the ‘much needed attention to the plight’ is the part that I don’t agree with. But, admittedly since I have not offered anything to the situation I appreciate the effort of IC. They educate the ignorant but I can place a bet (and Malaka will hold me to this I know) nothing will have been done by 31 Dec 2012. In my opinion, it has to be an appeal (as Save Darfur does) on the responsible governments to act and, perhaps, engage AU/UN peacekeepers. As opposed to appealing to the people in, say, the US or elsewhere to pressure the US Govt to maintain their advisors in Uganda.
        On simplicity – I meant that the video appeals to sentimentalism. Not the format or delivery but the facts. The example I took was that it is incorrect to rank those before the ICC as they do on the video. If that were the case, Osama would have been on the list at some point. Again pointing to the fact of playing on the masses. Another is the post-conflict repercussions that go unmentioned.
        As a last word, I appreciate their work in educating people as it has sparked people’s interest in the region but I am doubtful how it will end the conflict.

    • @Andrew: Thank you for being civil. :-)

      You are right, the attention given to Darfur didn’t abate the conflict but it helped some, if nothing else it helped facilitate peace talks however brief and led to the creation of the Republic of South Sudan. That’s progress albeit on a small scale.

      Capturing Kony and ending this conflict by Dec 2012 is a lofty goal, but I still appreciate the effort. Hopefully the attention this video has received will encourage the parties involved to explore other avenues on how to handle this situation. Maybe they can appeal to the AU/UN for peacekeepers as you suggested, although I don’t put much stake in anything the AU does really. Perhaps more Ugandan organizations and or individuals that have been laboring for this cause can reach out and join forces, they could use the visibility. They could also use that opportunity to update Kony2012 on the progress they’ve made and correct the mistakes reported; sharing information never hurt as they are aiming for the same goal, no? It’s all about working together, not dismissing and discounting what others are doing to help especially not because of the color of one’s skin.

      I agree that sentimentalism was cringe worthy in some parts of the video, but I also get that that is how you move people to action, by appealing to their emotions. Did they sensationalize the video by ranking Kony as #1 on the most wanted list by the ICC? Yes! But his ranking should be and is the least of my worries, he could have been ranked 50th as far as am concerned; that he is a fugitive and wanted by the ICC is all that matters. Our focus should be what was at heart of the matter in that video and what has been & is being done about it?

      We accuse Kony2012 of oversimplifying things and yet we do the same where Africa’s issues and solutions are concerned. If correcting the myriad of our concerns was that simple, why haven’t we done it all these years after independence? Consider the Internally Displaced People situation in Kenya for example, 5 years after the elections and people are still living as squatters in their own country. I’d have no objection to an international group that wanted to create a documentary about this issue. It doesn’t prempt other efforts made but contributes to the work needed to move the cause to completion. I am a proud Kenyan but not to proud to admit that the goverment has failed it’s people on this matter.

      Ok am off my soap box……thanks for engaging me. :)

      • @NM. Thank you. Quite engaging. Being Kenyan, I am afraid to mention the plight of the IDPs. I leave that for another post elsewhere. In the meantime, whatever the time, have a pleasant weekend. And yes, thank you Malaka for the post. Awaiting the next.

  10. concerned African.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLVY5jBnD-E&feature=player_embedded…may be y’all can learn a thing or two.

    • You are nothing but a walking contradiction. You clearly have the time and resources to get pertinent information out, but instead waste it all on posting insightful videos, with divergent talking points from the author. Go back, do some re-reading and reevaluation of your own, and maybe you’ll learn “a thing or two.” You, sir/maam, are part of the cause of Africa’s regression. I can’t believe I’ve been reduced to trolling a troll.

    • @ concerned African: That clip offers nothing new, if anything it lends credence to Malaka’s intial post and begs the question: What strides have Africans in general and Uganda specifically made since 2005? The only other time I heard about the plight in Northern Uganda was from the documentary War Dance that I watched in 2008. Given the response to Kony2012, it is obvious that alot of Americans hadn’t heard about the North Ugandan situation and I’d venture a guess that some Africans hadn’t either. Perhaps the video oversimplifies things but it doesn’t refute them. Would it have made a difference if it had gone viral in African nations instead and those spear heading the campaign were black or African?

      Keyboard commandos may be content with the snails pace at which the government is moving, but I bet the men, women and children whose lives were forever changed by this lunatic don’t mind the extra attention. Play politics with your own lives for a change. Sometimes I think we are so concerned with Africa’s image we throw all reasoning out the window.

    • It seems to be regardless of what the IC video will or will not accomplish the point of this blog anyway is to express discontent with the backlash against people at the forefront of the issue being white. I am one of those white people who went to East Africa to work with orphans of the AIDS pandemic and I most definitely received some backlash of my own.
      I myself am unsure as to what the campaign is going to accomplish that the governments do not already have in play. That being said I do think the one thing I can count on happening with all this is activists being born. It may not be to help with this in particular but to help children who need assistance somewhere, yes.
      But I am straying from the point. The blog as far as I read it anyway is not at all about the validity of the movement/charity but rather it is speaking to the desire that people stop pointing fingers at others based on race but rather if they are fired up, get involved themselves.

      • Please note I intended this post to be a few spots higher than it appears to be being placed. I intended it to be in response to Andrew above.

  11. Thank you Malaka! Love your “mind tinglers” both here and at your other site.

    It’s easier to criticize than to ACT. Way too easy to play the “the man” is holding me down. Cliche and old.

    • Well hello! You are the first person to admit to reading the “other site”. Glad to meet someone who doesn’t fear to sojourn in both worlds. *chuckle*

      You’re so right. These excuses are cliche and pretty soon, that dog won’t hunt anymore.

  12. Ok, I’m going to play devil’s advocate despite the fact that I agree that Africans need to be more proactive on the ground and off their facebooks, twitters but stating that this rant is ignoring some serious historical, social and political aspects of Africa.
    Most of African presidents, I should say dictators, are backed up by armies of soldiers and Western vultures who will stop at nothing against those who go against their financial gains.
    You can’t ignore colonialism, brain drain, China’s presence, US presence, the CFA, capitalism and its sister corruption that are affecting everything that’s happening right now.
    In short, rant or not, Kony2012 was simplified and wrong, this attack against “lazy” African diaspora or Africans in their homelands is also simplistic. WE ARE ALL responsible. I am too. Let’s all share in the blame and then maybe join those who are working whether they are yellow, white, brown or black.
    This is just a respectful disagreement.

    • Respectful disagreement is healthy, so I am overjoyed at your decision to campaign for Satan in this case. Your points have been received.

      Here’s the thing: my concern is that the terms “oversimplified” and “simplistic views” are going to become Africans’ new crutches to absolve themselves from action anytime there is a discussion on the subject of the continent. This space is a blog, not the encyclopedia Britannica. From tribalism to colonialism to modern imperialism and everything in between, there isn’t enough paper in the world to document the complex explanations for the state we find ourselves in now. The point of a blog is to inspire the reader to find out more on a particular subject, not to rely on it to be an exhaustive resource. We could discuss the complexities of our situation for decades. But wait! We HAVE been discussing this for decades!

      Look. I’m just a simple woman. I don’t like to complicate things when muddying the waters is not necessary. Most of us already know or at least have an inkling about the history that brought us here…the very same history that makes a Joseph Kony or PW Botha successful in Africa. The only question I care about and will continue to ask is “what do we do now?” What is our offensive strategy? The metaphor of the battered woman comes to mind. Some people would rather focus their energy on analyzing her abuser and spend hours determining why he comes home and kicks her everyday, and others simply want to make him stop. Period. Which group is right?

      I don’t expect everyone to agree ideologically on how to fix Africa, I just care about fixing it. Period.

  13. Was it Malaka who ended the war (atleast in Uganda, there is no more war for six years and counting) and pushed Kony out of Uganda? No. They were Africans who did. But Malaka found the news about Kony through Jason and the orgy of violence (using pictures of ten years ago) that his video is. Malaka could not have known that local African people have fought and convinced Kony many times to end the war. Those Africans Malaka is bashing have learnt the hard way about what is good for them and who cares about them – they know it is themselves to care about their issues. They did not make films that went on to win Oscars (like Jason’s will), but they saved themselves and continue to save themselves. They do not know about Malaka’s ranting and her smooching of Western Narcissism. Did she read all the war stories they wrote? did she check the headlines of Ugandan newspaper while the war raged? Did she? Does she know about the local people who in Teso formed the Arrow Boys group to fight Kony where the government forces refused to? Of course Jason, Malaka and group do not know. They just know about pushing for military intervention with a naive and misleading video, thereby leading to another war where the same communities will be terrorized.

    SO, these Africans who are tired of war try to speak up and tell the Jasons of this world not to bring back war through ‘well-meaning’ intervention. But Malaka tells these Africans that they should just stay silent and be ‘saved’! afterall the world does not recognise all they have done and the progress they have made. But this is not salvation Malaka! Maybe it is a crime to say these things to you because you may need to see the life of war yourself to understand that re-tweeting in a frenzy is dangerous for real lives — call it the arrogance of victimhood, but please Malaka, your school was not closed when there was a war — or maybe it was, but we certainly know that calling for military intervention and the frenzy for arresting Kony costs our blood — we know that it is traditional justice mechanisms that work for us, not the ICC! We are in fact irked that the ICC made it impossible for a peace deal to be signed with Kony in 2006!

    But, all you elites, accusing each other of elitism, surely do not know how it feels! In northern Uganda, six years after the war, we simply do not want your attention. We did not have it, and please stay with it! Win your Oscars and leave us alone. Thank you. But maybe you can help us with the Nodding disease that currently claims our children — maybe you can help us build schools! Maybe you can help us in other ways, but please, arresting Kony is the last (in fact it is not on the list) of our priorities. thank you for your attention.

    • Brian, I think your comment is a bit harsh on the author – and because of your personal experience you are missing the point of this blog. I think the underlying message goes way beyond Kony. for me, what I got from the piece and reading through the comments is that the author wants Africans to find a solution. I dont recall her actually mentioning military intervention – just a solution… be it local, tribal, whatever… just a solution to the MANY problems Africa as a whole faces. If you are just now starting to read Malaka’s blog then you won’t know that she campaigns for a number of causes. she shares her opinion but she ALWAYS tells the reader to do their own research. I think healthy discussion of topics is progressive, but posting unnecessary harsh comments when we are all trying to get to the same end point only continues to add to our regression. Please look up KBFF. org. it’s a non-profit orgznization that Malaka…yes Malaka started years ago to help children in Ghana. Same thing you are campaigning for in Uganda. After you find out more about the author, then maybe you will realize that her only campaign is a solution for Africa. we can only do a little at a time but we will get there. Harsh words and name calling are the things keeping us behind. Again Kony for me was just a metaphor for change needed. Thank you.

      • Maybe it is a bit necessary to be harsh so people do not use other people’s suffering to pick wars they have been keeping for centuries with their fellow elitist enemies the real ‘sufferers’ know nothing about! I do not see anywhere in this piece where the REAL concerns of the human victims of the WAR being called for by Russell and his band are considered as having VIEWS and OPINIONS about their own AFFAIRS! I just see a war of words between two sides of an elite that is on their own disagreements and that is out-rightly selfish! If this is about the people whose lives are on the line, listen to them. And when they speak, spare them the name-calling — they have Lived through it and have a basis to tell what works and what does not! afterall, the world slept for two full decades while they figured out how to deal with their issues – sleep world – sleep!

    • @Brian: Oh my word, I think you completely missed the spirit of Malaka’s post. Nowhere did she suggest that Ugandans ought to take a seat and wait for the Kony2012 crew to sweep in and save them, neither was she discounting and or bashing the work of the other organizations that have fielded this concern for years. Her post was questioning the outrage regarding this effort because it’s leaders aren’t black, thus the white savior attachment. It’s unfortunate that the world is not as familiar with other efforts made in this region, but whose fault is that? Do we then discredit IC’s efforts the last ten years because of that?

      I think the assertion that this campaign is an invitation for sweeping military intervention is a bit of a leap. Have a little faith in your government, there would be no military intervention unless the Sovereign Nation of Uganda permitted it.

      Again no one is discounting the efforts of groups like those you mentioned, neither are we doubting the resilience of the people of Northern Uganda. Malaka may not have ended the war, she may not have the exact experience as you(that doesn’t mean she can’t empathize), she definitely didn’t find out about Kony from Jason & co. She is a conscientious woman who called people on their folly of screaming foul at someone’s efforts when they themselves haven’t come up with anything. Read her posting again and try receiving it in the spirit in which it was meant, you’ll find she was addressing those that aren’t and haven’t done a thing. If you have and are then perhaps you can take your own advice and sit down somewhere and continue doing your work.

      Peace.

    • Brian B – Your responses are longwinded and completely misguided, and misguiding to other readers. With the “logic” you try to display here, I would be a leftist hippie for trying to get a better library built, while most the important issue in your opinion, say drug abuse, is on the rise in our schools. Both are important issues, but only one is given the spotlight on this occasion. There are too many issues to give the rightful attention to in this unfortunate case, she just chose one to comment on. Main case in point, the title of the blog. Read that, then read the article (really read it this time), then feel stupid for insulting Malaka.
      If you would spend as much time throwing “harsh words” at people for sparking intellectual dialogue as you would trying to make a difference in the many problems we face, guess what? You might actually make a difference. As jomul7 showed in an earlier comment, there is a less barbaric way to express an opinion in this age we live in, whether you agree or not with another individual.
      I know throwing inaccurate labels like “elitists” on someone who is clearly not, and grouping her with the same person she is opposing in this blog is a way of getting attention (maybe you just haven’t received your daily butthole tickling from your local sex offender today, so you feel a little more needy than usual), but your approach could be refined…..just a little bit more. Now whatever valid points you may make are going to be overlooked simply because you have purposely allowed your stupidity to overshadow them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a western narcissist elite meeting to attend in my McMansion with Jason to discuss a movie deal. It’s going to be epic.

      • Dag Kwaku. If I felt like Brian was worth my sympathy I’d feel REALLY bad for him after this. But seeing as he’s managed to alienate me with every stroke of his keyboard I’ll just say this: BAM!!

        What a walking contradiction. SMH

        Oh, say wuddup to Jason for me. I want in on the Oscar after party if you can score extra tickets.

  14. In case some of us are ‘serious’ about Uganda, Northern Uganda and ‘our’ suffering children, this is the HELP that they NEED right NOW! Not arresting Kony — Check here —

    • Brain – I am about to teach you a lesson in modern social media. The way you present yourself is the way you will be received. When you come to a site, and then insult the curator of that site AND her dedicated readers, and THEN naively expect to have them support your cause after this infraction, you lose groundswell support. You could learn a thing or two from IC. You have made the assumption that I am an “elitist” (a word you obviously just became acquainted with) and that I do not know that Africans are and HAVE been doing work on the continent. Assumptions do no one any good, least of all yourself. You could have found yourself an ally in any of the numerous people who frequent this blog, and possibly advanced your cause. Instead, you have been just censored and silenced on this space.

      Good luck with promoting your cause ELSEWHERE. I personally would never throw my weight behind someone so unnecessarily combative, presumptuous, and ascorbic. I might easily deduce that the people in the organizations you support are of the same ilk, but I will never know for sure. I have no interest in finding out, after “meeting” you. Now, the next time you go trolling someone’s site with an agenda, keep this in mind. It will help you. You don’t win people with the methods you are using.

  15. rogerdebudo.otim

    I was born in Uganda and I am a British white who lived in Gulu 2005-2010. No wonder I am confused!! ;-) I have not read all the comments yet however, I wish to sing your praises for adding a well needed bit of sanity into this ‘Kony 2012′ dilemma. Thank you.

    All I can tell you is that one of the main contributors featured in the YouTube video had to flee Uganda yesterday. Jesus said ‘suffer not the children to come unto me’. That’s where I am ‘at’ and have been since I was first caught in an ambush on the way back from Alero IDP camp between the LRA and UPDF in October 2005.

  16. Thank you so much for this blog post,First of all,I am Ugandan, secondly I couldn’t agree more with you and tried to express the same sentiments on twitter but there is only so much we can say with 140 characters. Some people are viewing this whole situation as a black and white outcome,but with most things in life, it is not as clear cut as it seems! This campaign was a chance for people(Ugandans) to sit down and ask themselves,why is our government so inefficient that even after 26 years of terror,Kony has not yet been caught(reflection). Instead we all want to complain about how bad we look to the global community and how they should stay out of our business(reaction) which we clearly cannot handle ourselves!

  17. I am a Ugandan whose initial reaction to the IC video was outrage and yes, I spilled vitriol and mockery over my Twitter page about the White Man’s saviour complex. By your definition, I am one of the elites that is holding Uganda (and Africa) back.

    But I am also a Ugandan who has done something to help rebuild the northern part of my country after the war. It isn’t a lot, but it was something.
    At the end of the day, we should all be helping – whether with ulterior motives or not, this surely does not matter much to a 15 year old abductee who we can pay school fees for or a mother who has the chance to start a tailoring business because of our contributions.

    As Bwesigye mentioned, the North is currently suffering the scourge of nodding disease. Why don’t we do what we can to help these families get the medical help they need?
    We can also support http://hopenorth.org and http://womenofkireka.com, local initiatives to rebuild northern Uganda.

    • Oh c’mon dude (or dudette). How can I accuse you of holding Africa back when you have just informed us that you are doing work at home? That is to be applauded! My critisim is reserved for people who complain and do nothing, and complain LOUDER when someone who doesn’t fit their definition of worthiness tries to fill a need (i.e. White people in this instance).

      I am going to re-iterate what A-Dub said: Kony is just a metaphor for change needed. Is he Africa’s only problem? Of course not. And we need to address the issues and circumstances that make his reign of terror successful. I don’t care if he has 300 or 3000 children in his army. It’s 300 or 3000 too many! If the governments of these victims were doing their jobs and seeing to these issues in the first place, we wouldn’t be talking about Kony today. These issues include health and sanitation, possible underlying causes of nodding disease. It is a horrible disease that no one has been able to find definitive causes for.

      I appreciate the spirit in which you approached this conversation. As for the 15 year old abductee, lets do them the courtesy of asking his/her opinion on Kony’s capture. We owe them THAT much at least, don’t we?

  18. The message of this blog post seems to suffer from a dissonance. You argue that black people have been homogenizing the efforts of white people, yet address black people and Africans as a collective? If your intention was to argue that the efforts of white people or Westerners shouldn’t be characterized under a single brush, you could have definitely made this point but not through downplaying the missteps of this campaign. There has been a great deal of criticism from development professionals, journalists, and academics who are white. To argue that its simply Africans or black people who have found fault with the message of IC’s campaign is patently false. In fact it can be argued that its likely just as many Westerners or white people from all quarters who are as unimpressed with the simplistic nature of the video as there are Africans. Your convienient narrative attempting to dress down Africans from within falls apart when you acknowledge this fact. There are many Westerners making tangible differences in the lives of Northern Ugandans, including those who work for reputable organizations such as MSF or War Child. If you want to make a post crediting the plurality of responses, you should refer to them. Downplaying the effects of a patently ineffective program helps no one. You make a reference to “Save Darfur” a campaign whose own founders acknowledged was flawed for similar reasons.

    As for Africans responses to Kony specifically, its beyond the pale to argue its on his victims that he’s at large. Seperate general power dynamics at play from the interests of people on the ground. In any case it was a military operation mostly led by Ugandan forces that has weakened the LRA to its state today.

  19. Malaka I liked this post though (or because) it posed some uncomfortable questions. I am a Ugandan who has lived in Uganda all my life and going by what passes for active participation in the war against Kony (as lauded by this blog and others) then I did not do my bit to end the war or bring Kony to justice. I didnt tweet, raise hell at an embassy near me, write letters to the UN Secretary-General, join a candle-lit vigil to bring awareness to the plight of the night commuters in Gulu, northern Uganda at the height of the conflict. All I did was read and watch the depressing news in the media each day, listened to stories of schoolmates and friends from the north about how their houses were burnt and how they managed to barely make it out alive, I wrote a few blog posts ranted in the bars and on-line forums about the ineffectiveness of the UPDF (Uganda’s army) to end the war, not too loudly because the government did like people who criticised its handling of the war or gave it too much undue attention (they had ways of dealing with them that scared me). But obviously none of that could ended the war.

    However, I knew of efforts of hundreds of Ugandans like Betty Bigombe (google her name and see what she did to try end the war) and of organisations like the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI)-also Ugandan- who without much fanfare and armed with the knowledge that the best solution to the problem that was the LRA would have to be a local one. There were many people who shouted themselves hoarse in different fora to get the Kony issue on the agenda but they were not given due attention for a long time. These people eventually managed to have Kony’s issue made international and even managed to bring him to the negotiation table in 2006. Again I didn’t do much to support these people though I sincerely wished them all the best and followed their progress closely.

    Having said that, it hurts to hear people say that when I voice my reservations about the usefulness of the Invisible Children’s STOP KONY campaign I am labeled a naysayer who should shut the hell up because “I didn’t do anything”. Whenever I point out like Andrew, has above, that I do not see any practical way in which KONY 2012 can bring an end to Kony, or add anything meaningful to the efforts already under way (which had were going on without people buying action kits) I am bundled with the so-called African Intelligentsia that just complains without offering solutions. When I see someone advocating for technological (I read military) support to an army that is in many ways complicit in the reason the war went on as long as it did, and I voice my reservations I am vilified by the likes of you and your ilk for being a stumbling block to peace.

    I could go on but I think I have taken up way too much space on your blog already so I will end by saying that Stop Kony is laudable and heart-warming initiative but you will excuse those of us who have had this conflict in our faces for as long as we can remember (I was 8 when I first heard of the rebellion in the north and I can say not a week has gone by, even in the 5 years Kony has been out of Uganda that I haven’t read or heard something about it-25 years and counting) and probably know a thing or two about what might or might not be productive when we voice our cynicism. You will excuse me when I point out what the possible negative impact of mass hysteria based on misleading information can be. The criticism ought to be taken on its own merit and not on the Kony-fighting credentials of the critic.

    Ps. Here is a link to Bishop Ochola of the ARLPI talking about the efforts to end the war and rehabilitate the victims http://www.insightonconflict.org/2012/02/bishop-ochola-arlpi/

  20. Great article, I wrote my thoughts on the issue too which I ended;

    “I choose to cut Invisible Children some slack because they have been on ground in Uganda for almost 10 years and there were a couple of Ugandan politicians and other local voices represented in the Kony 2012 video. Also, Ugandan military and intelligence will no doubt benefit from the training and assistance from the US military.

    Finally, we cannot lose sight of the fact that Kony is a criminal, he is a part of an ongoing war, and he needs to be arrested.”

    http://www.mynewhitmanwrites.com/2012/03/invisible-children-kony-2012-and.html

  21. As a Canadian voice, and a white persons voice I hope to add something. Without the video I’d never have subscribed to African reporters twitter feeds. So, that alone has done some good. It is getting people hearing African voices. But the video offended me. As a white person. It was too simple, for such a complex issue. Why, in fact, didn’t somebody from Africa make it? I don’t know why. But there it stands, and yes the makers of it will probably win an Oscar for it. I’m torn though between the dichotomy of the good and the bad of it. That is the struggle that I face, sitting here in Ottawa Canada. I am not donating to their organization by the way. I don’t feel it’s worth my $30. I’d rather donate to http://grassrootsgroup.org/ where that same money will go towards rebuilding torn apart communities.

    Yes, why didn’t more Africans speak up? They could effect change if they wanted to. Sometimes it takes an outside force, like a video to effect change. Maybe we will see some. I truly hope so. Thank you for your words Malaka. Nice rant that says a lot about what one African thinks. I like to hear voices speaking out. It’s doing “something not nothing”. I wish more speak out. And I wish for white people to listen. More power to each and every one of you. My thoughts are with you as you walk down the road.

  22. This may come off as dense, but not once have I thought a out this as a racial issue and I’m not sure how/why it is one?

  23. Brian, it is not a racial issue — yes it is not. But for people to think their knowing of a problem is solving it, and even to insinuate that the problem is not three-quarters solved by LOCAL initiatives is SAD and TRAGIC! Now, that we can tell you what is happening on the ground – let us add that a storm is being made in a tea-cup! Let us add that there are heroes and heroines on ground who have done much to see the situation pushed to where it is now — those heroes and heroines do not attract Rihanna’s tweet of course – so, do not feel guilty World, do not — just do your homework and see what is being done and please shut up and listen to the people who are directly affected — hear their concerns and how far they have reached – then complement them — do not patronize them – that is why Russell is getting the shove!

  24. Lovely piece, just lovely. I tweeted it and someone wondered if you are on Tweeter? Are you. We would love to stalk you! I am on Tweeter as @Ikhide and I just blogged a similar opinion:

    http://xokigbo.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/hurrah-for-kony-2012-and-africas-invisible-children/

    Please share your twitter handle on Twitter or email it to me at xokigbo@yahoo.com. Love your blog ;-)

  25. This is horrific.
    You skate over the fact that Africa has been in a state of socio-economic post-colonial turmoil since the 1700s, and the fact that the problems that began then are perpetuated and amplified to the way they are today-with lofty western and european governments financing chosen players/parties and rebel groups in which they enact a game of chess to fulfil their own needs-the raping of the land for the sake of natural resources, which all-out warfare would ruin (not to mention public backlash). Why has Musevini been in power for 25 years? Because he is supported by American governmental agencies that bolster his command and military for the sake of intimidating the Arabic enemy in Sudan (Khartoum donated funds and weaponry to the LRA. Do YOUR research). His atrocities and negligent handling of the Acholi like so many cattle are swept conveniently under the carpet while the large number of 30 000 plus child soldiers abducted (over the course of 20+ years, mind you) by Kony are portrayed as somehow more urgent than Musevini’s de facto dictatorship, and his allowance of a policy to simply kill homosexuals. Africans are not only disempowered in the media of Invisible Children, but also in their ability to make a difference at home when the very western powers you defend are funding the tyrants that crush them underfoot. Blame lazy ‘Black’ Africans and leave it at that? You honestly fucking disgust me.

    • @josef – yes it has been, but it’s time to GROW UP a stop blaming “the other guy” for Africa’s problems.

      So the question is what have YOU Josef have done to counteract this so called, 300 year and counting oppression of Blacks in Africa?

      I can tell you that Malaka and I have worked since 2000 for the causes of Africa and it’s children. What have you done Bro?

      Lastly, have we forgotten that it was Western involvement (more so the general masses than the governments) that was the final lynch pin that hung Aparetied? Did not the likes of Oliver Tumbo and Tutu crusade the west for help? Have westerners not literally poured Trillions and Trillions of dollars in to Africa? And to what end?

      Let’s grow up!

      • ‘The other guy’ is an attempt to make vague the european and western entities that CONTINUE TO OPPRESS AND CONTROL AFRICAN NATIONS. You dismiss this as ‘the past’, to let bygones be bygones. Well, it isn’t-it’s still happening. I appreciate you and Malaka have your small charity. I do. You know what else? If it were working, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. So let’s not talk about who’s doing how much, because for one, you know nothing of my contributions to Africa, and for another, you apparently assume that because I have criticisms I am all talk with no possible solution. I have plenty of suggestions. You want to talk about foreign aid? Let’s talk about how it has made African countries dependant economies, how corrupt governments supports and backed by America and other western and european powers take the majority of these donations, leaving just enough to function as a nation, and allow the appearance of a third world nation to continue rather than aid them immediately. NONE of those trillions ever reach the people in the way they were intended. How is that pouring trillions of dollars into Africa has brought us here? Through noncompliance of Black people who blame White people? Wrong. And do NOT get me twisted. I don’t blame whites at all, I blame condescending, bleeding heart westerners who don’t understand the issues and believe that throwing money at it will help. I am a westerner and I don’t donate to almost any cause because I am aware I would be causing a deficit in my own life while not helping anyone except the greedy and corrupt. You want me to help? You and Malaka start a foundation to build homes, schools, hospitals and water stations in your area. Open it to foreign investors with the assurance, absolutely, that 100% of my dollar will go to these services. Hell, I swear on my honour as a humane human humanitarian that I will fly to your country as my funds allow and work with my own two hands. THAT is making a difference.

        This is just a blog, right? For raising awareness, right? Consider me another ‘raiser of awareness’. And consider some other historical facts before you blame Africans for biting the hand that (patronizingly) feeds them. This blog blows up the Ugandan criticisms of Kony 2012 whilst still missing the fact that there are countless Ugandan grassroots organisations that do exactly what you and Malaka do. And they were not mentioned once by Invisible Children. No awareness raised there. For example, check out the Concerned Children’s Youth Association in Uganda. Educate YOURSELF on how much they ARE doing for themselves, and look at the reasons they fear open contradiction of oppressive rule before you make judgments like us all being lazy whiners sitting on our ‘Black asses’. Absolutely uncalled for and shocking.

      • And to say ‘Kony is the issue’ doesn’t diminish the fact that Musevini continues, CONTINUES to do horrific things from a position of power. Kony lashes out in desperation. And you seem to think that Kony is more important. Well I’ll tell you something right fucking now-he’s not. He’ll be caught, and Musevini will not be targeted. Because of Musevini’s brutal regime, the bad environment he perpetuates will only birth a Neo Kony. I promise you of this if the governance of Uganda does not change.

        And it’s not ‘so-called’ backing to Musevini, and you should know that if you’ve done your research. It is factual. This has nothing to do with black and white and every time either of you bring it upyou incense people and inveigle the issue. It could be a Japanese person who solves this issue and it wouldn’t matter-but it must be done correctly to help the land and the people heal and to prevent further atrocities and conflict. Military intervention from the US to fund a lacking Ugandan army? Coinciding with oil wells opening in Uganda? The fact that America funded the Ugandan army for over a decade while Khartoum, the West’s Arabic enemy city in the Sudan, funded the LRA.

        THIS is how powers far and beyond the woefully uneducated and marginalized people of Africa continue to oppress them. You are both very clearly educated and live happy, healthy, even (dare I ask?) wealthy lives. So don’t criticise the truly down-trodden when they have problems with those trying to ‘help’ them-they might see something that you don’t from waaaaay up there.

        I’m done.

    • Tell, me, why are you allowed to spew belligerence that targets ‘Black’ people and entitle your blog with the word Kony, then claim that this has NOTHING TO DO WITH KONY OR IC but only with Africans reclaiming control of, I guess, countries they just sort of stopped maintaining. Did you know Musevini spent over a million on his coronation ceremony? That he pockets several times as much for he and his aides? That he raised fuel prices by 50%, and when the opposition leader took part in an entirely peaceful protest of walking to work-on the first day of ‘protests’-Musevini, a dictator in power masked as a democrat on his 4th term, deployed riot police with tear gas…and that a 2 year old was shot dead in the face and chest. When I learned of that, my blood ran cold. Those are the monsters in power, they are the reason the ‘Blacks’ cannot reclaim governance and ensure that the socioeconomic issues like disease and poverty and unemployment can be dealt with (since Musevini clearly. doesn’t. care).
      And Musevini is backed by the US and will only be more entrenched in this if your ‘solution’ (because any action is better than no action, right? wrong) is allowed to go through. And if you don’t believe that a large group of people can be oppressed into cowed silence for fear of imprisonment or death, sister, you need to really start listening to these Ugandans. I know I was harsh saying you fucking disgust me…but don’t even get angry at that. You used as harsh words in your blog, and this is my very passionate and authentic response. You don’t even BEGIN to understand the bigger picture. So if you want change, start TRULY from the top down-topple those towers of power to allow those underneath-the displaced, the fearful, and yes, even Kony’s LRA abductees-to have a chance of seeing the light of tomorrow. Grass cannot grow where there is no light.

      • Marshall Grant

        Bro – your aiming at the wrong target. Yes, your boy Musevini is smoking from the same crack pipe as Kony, but aren’t they both crack heads? In other words, Kony is the issue of the day and the topic of discussion. So staying on point would be appreciated.

        Secondly, who cares that your boy Musevini is so called, backed by the US. So was the S. African Apartheid Government, but it was independently thinking white & black,Westerners that pushed pass the retoric of Ronald Reagan and the likes and helped the Apartheid regime topple.

        Likewise, these independently thinking kids are CHOOSING to FOCUS on Kony (note the key phrase here, “choosing to focus”). And perhaps after Kony is hanged at the Hague we will focus on your boy Musevini.

        Hey! Here is a great idea since you sound so passionate and all…Why don’t you do what these White Western kids have done and create a world wide movement using, video, social media, campaigns, fund raising etc. and focus on Musevini going down in 2012? Or is Musevini still at large and it’s all YOUR fault?

      • Josef – you are right on the money! Context is important before people rush to use specific issues to make their long-held points among themselves! Finally, someone who knows about Walk to Work stands up and says it as it is!

  26. I loved the title of this blog. I said to myself, ‘Here at last is someone who not only feels strongly about Kony and the plight of African children but who also takes responsibility!’

    Malaka, which Ghanaian embassy, what date and what time will you stage a sit-in demanding that our president take a firm stance on Kony until he’s captured? I know our president is yet to make public a strong position in the matter, and I know that Kony still roams free.

    The blog itself was a disappointment. Change will come when you, Malaka, can write: I, Malaka, like to complain and criticize, but where is the action, eh? Why am I not staging sit-ins at our Ghanaian embassy, demanding that my president take a firm stance on Kony until he’s captured?

    Be the change you want to see in the world.

    • Marshall Grant

      No, we’ll not likely stage a sit-in at the GH Embassy, but about 8 years ago we started a non profit focusing on Africa’s children called the Korle Bu Family Fund. And just last year we as a family spent over $20K helping children in S. Africa. Have you given yet? Let me help you: http://kbff.org/donate

      The point is YOU do something. A. Kuffor, what have you done sir or madam? Frankly I can say my wife (Malaka) and I are the change we want to see. How about you?

      • Self-righteous Marshall Grant!
        You didn’t properly introduce me to the Family before you had your hands out for my money!
        It’s a’ight. I’ll ‘donate’ a few minutes to respond to you.
        Your zeal begs it, and it may serve in clearing up your loaded question.

        Sir, this blog post and the responses to it, I presume, are about Kony, the children he has savaged, and the children he continues to be a threat to.
        It shouldn’t be construed as an opportunity for self-promotion, cadging donations etc., etc.

        It’s unfortunate that you, Malaka, Teju Cole et al see this as an opportunity for cheap point-scoring. Nevertheless, Malaka has asked, ‘Why are we not staging sit- ins at our Ghanaian embassies around the world, demanding that OUR president take a firm stance on Kony until he’s captured. Why are Nigerians, Gambians and Kenyan’s not doing the same? Why are we not speaking out until our voices are impossible to ignore? Here’s a better question: Why did an AFRICAN not start the Kony2012 campaign? It’s because you people care, yes, but you don’t care enough’

        I guess, that could mean the ‘over $20K’ isn’t enough. Having done such good work in S. Africa, it’s time to head north, because what was done last year isn’t enough.

        Well, Malaka has named it aptly, she should claim it. Is she leading the charge or what?

        And, tell her that it’s so touching to find people in this age who are still hung up on skin color. Maybe there are only two kinds of people in the world, and you can’t ever tell them apart by how they look, it’s only by observing what they do: those who are lily-livered and those who are not.

        The former use the word ‘you’ when attributing blame and ‘we’ whenever they identify responsibility. I guess you could say they find their courage in numbers.

        • @A.Kuffour – Your argument is incredibly weak and you totally missed the point. You challenged my family to “Be the change” and I only showed you that we are being the change. And challenged you to be the change, since you continue to offer no solution, yet endless argument.

          Get over it Kuffour.

          • No, no, no Marshall. Don’t feed the trolls. It only makes them stronger. David S told me so, and he’s an experienced troll slayer. Ignoring them makes them weak!

          • Sir, Malaka has proposed one solution, already.
            I was just asking whether she would join in implementing it, follow through, you know?
            I guess y’all are too tired from the S. African exertions to do anything beyond words in THIS KONY issue. Fair enough. Words, too, go a long way.
            Oh, you can also make a donation to the Invisible Children Campaign, if you’ve not done that already that is. Very effective and convenient, too.

  27. I whole heartedly agree with the replies of Mohammed, A. Kuffour, and Josef. In addition, your response was vitriolic and harsh. A better way to approach the issue would be to mentioned the hundreds if not thousands of Ugandans who have been working to restore peace and stability. What will happen if the conflict is escalated and war returns? The best thing to do is to not support any more intervention. U.S. troops are already on the ground, so kindly allow them to do their work in DRC and CAR. Ugandans have to take control of their own destiny, though they might need help along the way.The key is that THEY enact change.

    You call for Africans to stand up and do something like Russel. The key is that whatever project is done is sustainable and helpful to the local poplation, unlike Stop Kony. What are you Malaka doing about the displaced people in your own country? With your blog you can inform others about how they can help you make a difference for those squatting in the slums.

    • there is no LIKE option for comments, but I can write it here and say I LIKE this comment!

    • Very true. You can’t just criticise-what are your solutions, other than a vague call to action?

    • @Maria: Noone is denying or dismissing the work Ugandans have done and are continuing to do; Malaka’s post addressed the individuals that are decrying IC’s efforts without having done a thing themselves. It’s unfortunate that local efforts haven’t the exposure Kony2012 has, but whose fault is that and what be done about that now? Respectfully I say all the energy being spent poking holes in the Kony2012 video could be used to shed light on the work Ugandans on the ground have done and continue to; like Malaka said there are photographers, film makers and writers who are just as if not more capable of doing so. You say “Ugandans have to take control of their own destiny though they may need help along they way, The key is THEY enact change.” That summed up the spirit of Malaka’s post.

      As for her responses being vitrolic & harsh, did you notice the language in some of the responses?! It’s unneccessarily foul & caustic.

      P.s: Malaka doesn’t have displaced people in her country, that would be me in Kenya. Trust me when I say am doing my part to help. I won’t hijack this blog space by posting links, that’s been done ad nauesuem and we have to stay on topic. As I said before on my response to @Andrew up top; it would be folly to resisit whatever help offered towards this cause.

      • Those Ugandan filmmakers have nowhere near the funding that IC does. Nowhere. Near. The only reason the video was a viral success is because IC spent $300, 000 on film costs to make it (over 5 times as much as they’d spent on film costs on ANY year previously) and over $800, 000 in production costs. For a 30 minute docudrama that focuses on the work IC does, and not on the Ugandans or the work they do. Tell me-where the hell do you think poor Ugandan filmmakers will get that money? How do they market it to hip young people in the Western world that need subtitles even when these Africans are speaking English? Yeah. Great suggestion-now justify it. That’s like saying ‘Homeless people are angry because businessmen studied and graphed their plight and are making money off of it. Clearly those homeless people should have taken the initiative in studying and graphing their own plight, and presented their findings on Wall Street.’

        I’m sure you can see plenty wrong with that comparison, and I’m sure you’re tempted to say it’snot analogous. Well, I say it is. The distance created by people of different languages and nationalities is the same distance created by class. The way that people in positions of power portray those that, any way you cut it, are not, is directly representational in the way IC portrays one side of one issue in a bygone era and also in the way a businessman’s statistics may only portray a socio/economic problem, and not the actual problems of disease, starvation, poverty and the like amongst the homeless. The fact that a Ugandan effort would not be recognised by the Western world without a western face symbolising it (Jason Russell) is the same way an executive would no doubt not waste his time with the problems of someone who truly doesn’t affect him.

        Now I believe IC spread awareness, and I believe a lot of people who didn’t know about Kony before know about him now. That is historical, and it’s amazing and great. However, the ethics behind the film and the way the organisation has operated and CONTINUES to operate are extremely questionable. To say that because awareness is being spread and ‘action taken’ (buybuybuysharesharesharelikelikelike) is a good end to unethical means…well, you can guess where I’m going with this. When people say ‘the ends justify the means’ I would definitely argue against that.

      • @Josef: You said “Tell me-where the hell do you think poor Ugandan filmmakers will get that money? How do they market it to hip young people in the Western world that need subtitles even when these Africans are speaking English? Yeah. Great suggestion-now justify it.”

        Are you insinuating there are no weathly Ugandans that can lend a voice to this cause if they so chose?! Talk about a defeatist mentality. Here is a suggestion: appeal to your country’s citizens(if you are indeed Ugandan). Get them involved. How do you think IC raised it’s capital?!

        You’ve trolled this site vehemntly objecting to every arguement that has been pro IC/Kony2012 and underscoring what CAN’T be done. You have gone as far as belittling the efforts Malaka and her husband have made but I have yet to come across a post where you’ve offered a suggestion!

        I gather from your posts you have some solutions that can be implemented. I say stop the whining, complaining and the general negativity and channel that energy to a cause you feel passionately about. Sheesh!

  28. ive just read this and am felling stupid…we as Africans really should do more. its all i can say…

  29. Okay, I lied-I’m not done.

    You have to cure the disease, not treat the symptoms. The LRA and other rebel groups came about BECAUSE of Musevini, and as long as brutal regimes exist there will either be A) disempowered, wary, untrusting Africans and B) rebels. Consider the metaphor of the human body. A malignant tumor, lodged deep in the chest, causes cancerous growths throughout. By undergoing chemotherapy, these growths are diminished, but the rest of the otherwise healthy body also suffers…hair and teeth fall out, organs are damaged, there is constant vomiting and ultimately a loss of general health and years of life..Unless invasive surgery is performed to remove the tumour itself, the problems will continue, the growths will multiply, and the chemo will kill the host.

    Musevini and others like him (not solely him!!) are the tumours. BECAUSE they are in positions of power and neglect their duties they are corrupt and their corruption affects their nations, growing and multiplying with their corruption. Foreign aid is the chemotherapy. While the money may placate these horrible leaders and allow westerners dialogue and trade, it only worsens the problem if the money is misused (as has been in many cases, including Uganda). And then, the country falls into disrepair.

    So cut out the problem. Cut it out and help heal the body with 100% direct financing of healthcare and education. That is the only answer. You want Kony? So do I. Pressure the goddamn UN forces already stationed in the Congo to swell their forces and ACT. In fact, we should all be trying to get a Congolese perspective on this. Oops-the camera was aimed at Uganda…

    • Marshall Grant

      @josef – since you have clearly turned this conversation into a pissing contest by belittling our non profit, spewing your endless bloviation, and continue to be off topic; I will ask you again – pray tell sir, what have YOU done for Africa that has had such a tremendous impact on society? Furthermore why don’t we ALL know about it?

      • Marshall – why are you asking such useless questions. The guy already said (like 30 comments and 5000 contraditory words ago) that he doesn’t donate to ANY causes because he is selfish and he doesn’t want to take money from his home – and be put in an uncomfortable position. I know you may have missed that. I stopped reading too at some point.

        • OMG A-Dub. This guy is just wearing me out! He’s not even flogging a dead horse. He’s whirling a bull whip in the air at a mythical Pegasus. He’s made leaps, assumptions and asinine accusations about me, my family, my money. Sweet merciful Jesus. Does he have a JOB??

      • Malaka – he has no job – he is a student. He said so somewhere along the line

    • At this point this is just comical. Hey everybody! I want to introduce you to a new blog. It’s called “Mind of Josef.” Mind of Malaka will be vacating this space shortly.

      In the interim that MOM still exists on this URL, I want to propose a game called “Get off my comments section”. In this game, everyone STOPS commenting, puts all that energy into promoting the causes that they are passionate about, creates a viral video and sits back to watch the fruits of that labor grow. Okay? The game starts NOW!

      • Media representation that skews the way the issues are in actuality are unethical. It’s not about creating viral videos, and if you think it is, sister, I feel sorry for you. In response to Marshall, this is in no way a pissing contest. For one, I did not belittle your organisation, and if I did, I’d like a quotation that implies so. If I cannot explain myself, I will freely apologise and concede my own stupidity.

        If you’d like to know what I’ve done for Africa, I can tell you that not only have I donated to Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International (groups FAR more reputable than IC), I also make damn sure the people around me who care about the facts as much as I do and ARE IN FINANCIALLY READY POSITIONS TO ASSIST moreso than I in issues like this, that matter to me. I spread awareness the old-fashioned way-through discussion. Also, when my older brother travelled to Africa to build water pumps for his work as an engineer, my entire family donated money towards this.

        This is not a question of ‘how much’ anyone has done, but whether they are making a distinctive effort, and for which reasons. You know why I can’t ‘do more’ for Africans? I’m a Canadian who has to be concerned about my own well-being, as well. This does not mean I am selfish, it means that if I’m broke and have to scrape by just to live under a roof and have something in my stomach, I cannot do any more than speak my mind. And before you say anything, I’m a student, I can easily justify spending my time behind a computer screen for long periods at a time.

        So, once more, I ask you: how is it that the people have failed themselves? What action should they take? YOu have both ignored key issues in my argument and chosen to become offended at the perceived tone of it. This is not a scholarly debate in the least. And Malaka, if you want us off your comments, you’d better realise that this is a dialogue, and no progress can be made without dialogue. If you choose to silence your audience, you will soon lose your audience.

        • I want you to stop commenting and start ACTING! Do the people who make policy and affect change read these comments? No. It’s them you need to be sending 6 paragraph responses to, not me. After all, my “little organization has done nothing to improve Africa”, has it? Do I need to expound further for you? Because if I do, I feel sorry for you as well.

          Oh, and this may come as a shocker, but I feel it incumbent upon me to inform you: You are NOT my audience. And I am sure that this is not a space you ought to patronize often. It’s just not a good fit bro! We can agree on that…right? RIGHT?!?

        • @josef – Earlier you said, “I appreciate you and Malaka have your SMALL charity” (emphasis on SMALL); and then you tried to dictate where we choose to focus our Charity by saying, “You want me to help? You and Malaka start a foundation to build homes, schools, hospitals and water stations in your area.” you belittled our charity thus showing you aren’t interested in intelligent conversation but endless argument and bloviation.

          I applaud your nominal financial contribution to those two organisations, now do more. My wife and I have dedicated our ENTIRE lives to the causes of Africa and its children. Have you or are you just talk?

  30. Pingback: On Profits, pundits, and getting shit done (Part 2) « Flourish and Flow

  31. by refering to us as “Black people”. you stereotyped us as well, and mind you not all of us refere to the non-colorued a the “whtieman”. You cannot just collectively bash us as black people , some of us have alternate opinions about the issue. There is no such thing as black people, we all have different biases, perceptions and opinions about the struggles on the african continent. Some people are trying to survive the day alone let alone travel 1000miles to capture a man named Kony, hw do you expect these people to do anything about Kony, practically every country on the Continent has its own Kony.Email me and I’ll show some misconceptions in you peice

  32. I just wanted to post to voice my agreement with this piece. I am a supporter of the KONY2012 movement and while there is some justified criticism of it, the mention of the white savior complex provokes such an emotional response in me that I cannot be effective at dismantling such an argument. You, on the other hand, summarized everything I felt in an intelligent way.

    What has been most disheartening about the response to the video is that so many have missed the point. It seems that the IC is taking the blame for the fact that people who watched completely misunderstood the group’s intentions and then used social media to misrepresent the group’s case. For example, the video led me to believe that Kony was no longer in Uganda, yet the overzealous tweeting and retweeting of SAVE UGANDA by those who misunderstood somehow led to the criticism that the IC willfully made it seem that the people of Uganda were still in immediate danger. I do not see how this fair and unfortunately this is just one of several examples concerning the video and the IC.

    At times, I think we as people just want to see the negative in everything and everyone.

    • I can’t tell you how refreshing your view is. It makes the point precisely!

    • If any of you have Facebook, check it out:

      http:/

      This isn’t about intentions, it is about fact, and what IC ACTUALLY DOES TO HELP, and not just how they portray themselves in their own, high-production media. Read the facts that prove they are corrupt and you’ll understand WHY these criticisms came about. It has nothing to do with negativity, because even now, arguing openly with Malaka, I can easily support her organisation, no strings attached.You know why? She is an African helping Africans help themselves. But it doesn’t give her the right to feel proud for it (and I mead proud as in superior and self-satisfied, not in the sense of fulfillment-I would also feel very fulfilled in a job helping my fellow person, but I would not feel the need to rouse and condescend others for their efforts in comparison to my own).

  33. Malaka, that’s just wrong.
    I’ve already sent a long essay exposing deficits and questionable funding by IC to that same organisation, to its critics, and to the people that support it. And me as a ‘powerless’ Canadian could not possibly sway the minds of people overseas. So I do exactly what IC allegedly wants-I spread awareness through discussion and attempt to rouse the people around me who can cause real change. The end. Don’t question what I do, for it is not the issue. The topic is what ‘Blacks’, what ‘Africans’ have done, no? Okay then.

    Secondly, I did not emphasize small…you did. I simply used the word. What you infer is not what I imply. I will not apologise for this truth. Compared to IC, Doctors without Borders and Amnesty International, yes, your charity is small. Sorry. Deal with it. This is the context we’re talking about. I have no doubt you do incredible work-but like I said, I don’t want to throw money at an issue unless I am certain I am making a difference. I never ONCE said that ‘your little charity has done nothing for Africa’. Do NOT put words into my posts and misrepresent me. I didn’t ‘direct’ you on what you should do, rather I hypothesized the ideal charity in my own eyes. I gave you a situation where I would have zero criticisms, so you could see that were there truly a non-corrupt charity, I would back it. I don’t shit on your charity; you two should be proud, and continue. But after my own considerations I feel that ‘action’ should be just that-addressing DIRECTLY the issues of health, education, etc. in parts of the world that desperately need it. Maybe you disagree. Luckily, YOUR charity isn’t the subject at hand…so let’s stay on topic, eh?

    And now YOU’VE started a pissing contest.
    1. I’m not all talk. You must stop provoking people in this manner, because it only cause anger and further argument. No one is a humanitarian out of spite…and if they were, it would be for the wrong reasons, not because people actually need their help. You are a couple of provocateurs (there is my first true accusation), and yes, you are trying to make a difference-but I believe you could do better through constructive dialogue. Your current way is very clearly bothering a few people besides myself.

    2. I don’t have to dedicate my ‘life’ to Africans. I live in Canada. I have to dedicate my life to myself, my family, and the woman I love. And I work harder even then so THAT I have a surplus I might send to Africa. Don’t tell me I’m not doing enough when doing more would constitute a complete change of my life, leaving behind my dreams in Canada, the love of my life who will continue being in university for years after I left, and my family, who I am myself a pillar supporting. I believe in helping Africans reclaim their own power, yes, in reclaiming responsibility. This does not require me to make it my life’s work. But it’s remarkable that Malaka and Marshall, you two, have. So keep up the good work?

    And Malaka, this is your blog. It is an area where you speak openly on the internet, and also have it commented on. This means two things-one, you DO have an audience. It is whoever happens to read this. Since I happened to be one of them, I am a part of the audience. Simple as. If you disagree, feel free to look up the definition of ‘audience’, because it has nothing to do with theatrics, and more to do with the witnesses of words, sounds, or events. I see you lauding people that agree with you, and attacking (yes! attacking, and misconstruing the words of) people who disagree with you-not your cause. Not the fact that you do amazing work. With you, your post, your view on ‘Blacks’. I don’t care if you have a different opinion than I do, I can respect it. But so long as you refuse to acknowledge my opinion and call it ‘bloviation’, then yes, I will continue to argue. This is not a Socratic dialogue, it is one where you allow yourselves to feel superior for ‘having done more’. Than ‘Blacks’. Than Brian up there. Than me. And my brother and sister, I reiterate-you know may know NOTHING of my contributions to Africa, and I don’t owe those explanations to you, either. On the othe rhand, I’ve explored your site and appreciate and support you (in spirit…as you recall, I’m broke).
    And that’s it. No criticisms on it.

    So before you start furiously typing a reply, consider these things. Consider I’m not belittling your efforts. COnsider that perhaps I am defending those criticising the Kony 2012 video, because they raise very good points, and that, coupled with what I myself know of their mishandling of funds (all of which can be seen if you compare income statements from 2007 to 2012 on the IC website), I don’t believe that they are doing much in the interest of the people they continually claim to represent, and Jed Jenkins, their director of ideology, freely admitted that only 37% of your dollar goes towards their ‘programs’ (and when broken down, it’s more like 25% ever reaching the people) while 20% goes to employee salaries and 40% to their media. You know why? He himself admitted that they are not an aid organisation, and ‘don’t intend to be’.

    Malaka, Marshall…you may bring aid to your community. Invisible Children does not. Before you criticise the critics, consider, VERY CRITICALLY, all sides of the issue. It is not enough to say ‘these Californians got up and did something’, because it’s not the case, it just isn’t. They were ‘looking for a story’ and now they are commercialising on a horrific conflict as opposed to bringing to light the very real and immediate (YES! MORESO THAN KONY!) issues facing Ugandans today.

    If Africans are to be able to speak for themselves or create viral videos, shit, let’s buy some computers and fund an internet connection for them. Waaaait, that doesn’t seem like a good use of funds that could be used to improve lives, now does it? Exactly.

    Awareness raising is FREE. It is opening your mouth, putting up posters, protesting. Not watching, making, and ‘sharing’ videos. If that were the case, everyone would be ‘aware’ of Brad Pitt, would be ‘aware’ of the events of blockbuster movies. Video rental stores would be knows as ‘purveyors of awareness’. Invisible Children had the chance to make a true documentary and turned it into a 30 minute ad for their organisation, giving more airtime to the heroic team at IC than the people they say they are helping. When more money goes towards awareness than actual aid in an organisation, that organisation is NOT to be trusted.

    In short, IC is taking action, yes…action to line their own pockets. Many Ugandans agree with me. And you know what? Many of my white Canadian friends agree with me too.

    • Josef – please leave and never come back …. and take Brian, Maria and the rest of your crew with you.

      I couldn’t even get through your last post, but one thing I will point out is Malaka mis-spoke. She meant to say “targetted” audience. Yes, anyone can be in an audience but they may not be the ones the person is targetting. All of you “liking” each others comments in one breath and contradicting each other in the next.

      NM tried very hard to make you see Malaka’s point of view here and her intentions with the blog. It was not meant to be a thesis or dissertation on all the happenings in Africa – they are too many to list in “blog-forum” but you all fail to see the point of the blog. DISCUSSION is great … insults and curse words are pointless. We can all disagree with one another and we can all curse but that doesn’t help the situation does it?

      Case in point : Fuck you Josef I think you smell like shit damning piss. What did that do? Nothing, right? So was all that neccesary in your comments? I will admit – I didn’t read half your comments… they were longwinded – and contradictory every 3 sentences. So I will say here, if you are thinking of responding STOP … HANDS OFF THE KEYBOARD… Take yo’ ass elsewhere and be that “pillar” on some one else’s blog. There is no room for the likes on you here. I will not allow you to continue to spread your poison on someone who I CARE about. Be gone!!!! You too, Brian!

  34. @ NM: March 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Invisible Children did not start off by appealing to their peers for money. They were wealthy university students that flew to Africa in order to ‘find a story’.

    If there were any wealthy Ugandans that were not corrupt, the country probably wouldn’t be in the state that it is. You claim I am trolling and shooting down points, but you are shooting down my points. The wealthy Ugandans are the corrupt that do not allow their money to trickle down. That is one of the cruxes of my argument.

    And yes…I AM constantly shooting down IC. Because beyond their unethical video they have an unethical organisation. If you would like further proof of my studying into this and have facebook, feel free to read up:

    http://www.facebook.com/

    And if you can’t find any post where I offer a suggestion, you must not be looking hard enough. I don’t have a clear-cut plan, a magic solution. But I stand by my points: 1. Kony may need to be stopped, but Musevini MUST be stopped for Uganda to heal
    2. We can never achieve this with Invisible Children pushing for the American government to cosy up to Uganda
    3. I thereby do not support IC, AMerican intervention, or the current Ugandan government.

    So I guess my suggestion is simple…STOP MUSEVINI AND FIX THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT BIRTHED MEN LIKE HIM AND KONY. How? Directly fund healthcare and the construction of hospitals and schools. Get them clean water. Stand back and allow them to use the tools we’ve given them instead of doing the work FOR them.

    Is that a good enough suggestion for you? I’m sorry I don’t have the money to buy several HD cameras. I’m sorry I don’t have the money to fly to a failing African nation. I’m sorry I don’t have connections and the input from advertising and marketing geniuses, like IC does. I am a privileged Canadian, and I am STILL disempowered. And you expect Ugandans to be able to just up and make a difference? That’s absolutely ridiculous.

    • Now wait just a minute.

      This guy is on crack. If a Somalian pirate can garner an artitri boat and some rocket grenades to carry out his piracy campaign, you’re telling me an educated Ugandan film maker can’t raise the budget money to produce a 30 minute film? HAHAAHAAAAA!!! Talk about patronizing! *deep belly chuckle*

      Oh dear. I’ve had such a good laugh at Joker’s expense. Thanks for playing dude.

  35. Josef – I can’t leave you with the last word here. Malaka’s dedicated readers may never forgive her for allowing such a travesty.

    As I said earlier – your comments are contradictory in every step. You support Brian in calling Malaka an elitist in one second then you turn around with a self proclamation of being a “privileged Canadian”. Dedicated readers – you all know Malaka is as far from elite as Earth is from Pluto so please don’t let this person taint your views of her.

    Secondly – “little drops of water make a mighty ocean”! I am SURE in all your 13 years of professional schooling you have come accross that saying somewhere. Don’t belittle what her charity does in one breath then tell everyone to do the same thing she is doing in another. Maybe if you spent time reading your own comments you will realize that you have come full circle on the same things Malaka’s post talked about. But it is her use of the english language and its many nuances such as metaphors and similes and those hateful tricky things that have confused you and your friends. It’s ok. I too find them troublesome at times but I try not to show my ignorance so blatantly.

    As I said – BE GONE! You were comical at first but now you are like the tapeworm that you just can burn out of your skin.

  36. I think it will serve this blog right to respect the opinions (however varying) of people who comment. This goes to both the author and her supporters and those who do not quite agree.

    Trivializing the issue by via name calling makes us all look silly

  37. Pingback: African voices respond to hyper-popular Kony 2012 viral campaign :: MedellinStyle.com

  38. We need to act positive as africans more especially the youth, Looking at africa as a whole all the head of states are failing us.We need to revisit the kind of leadership we are having as to whether are they problem solvers or orligarchy who enrich themselves. My concern emanates from these questions how, when, what, why?`s of the problem.

  39. Pingback: African voices respond to hyper-popular Kony 2012 viral campaign

  40. otuogbodor, Okeibunor A.

    I seem to agree with u on the ‘sit n watch’ attitude of our black brothers cum leaders, they do pay lip service and use bourgeois terms n polices to mask issues, being practical is what they lacked.However man’s inhumanity
    against his fellow has no color or creed,therefore who fights for justice and its entrenchment do count or matters to me but the genuineness and the sincerity of each fight, appreciation should be given for such and disapproval to criminal intents irrespective of the color.

  41. Pingback: Joseph Kony Is Still At Large and It’s all My Fault « mbokayabakoko

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