We continue to share the voices of the activists participating in the I Pan-African Congress of the International Socialist League that takes place in Nairobi, Kenya.
Venetia Kamulete, Malawi National Student Union
My name is Venetia Kamulete. I am representing the Malawi National Student Union. So the Malawi National Union is an advocacy organization that fights for students’ rights. We negotiate with policymakers like the government and issues to do with these fights, we are also championing the digital inclusion campaign and the #DataMustFall campaign. Basically, we negotiate with state authorities such as the government and other relevant actors as Internet service providers, to have accessible data packages for students to succeed in their education since they use online classes due to the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. Personally, I am happy to be here because I will bring a lot of knowledge back home and give this knowledge to many young people because it is for the youth. What I think about the International Socialist League (ISL) is that it is an excellent initiative. It’s a great tool. I think we needed this tool to just push everything, come together, spread awareness and come up with solutions. Because I think Africa needs to come together, and this organization is bringing that unity and that force that is going to help us go a long way. I am excited and looking forward to working with this organization for a better Africa and world. Thank you so much.
Wensislaus Tumbu – Tanzania
My name is Wensislaus Tumbu from Tanzania. I am representing the African Footprint Initiative, and we took care of promoting the importance of agricultural rice production. We are dealing with the problems of farmers and especially peasants, who face many challenges regarding their production. So I am glad to be here with the International Socialist League (ISL). I hope to learn many things from them, and definitely we will meet comrades from many countries. I’m glad to be here, and I’m looking forward to working with everyone. Thank you.
Esther Yiadom – Ghana – Media 4 Supersheroes.
My name is Esther Yiadom from Ghana, Media 4 Supersheroes. And what do we do as an organization? We represent women. In West Africa, women constitute about 40% of the workforce, and yet, we still experience a lot of social discrimination in terms of participation in politics, even in the home with domestic violence and matters like that. And so what we do, as women in the media, is that we highlight the issues that affect women to get the attention of politicians and state authorities. We notice that our issues are not being attended to. We sometimes organise protests so that the government listens to us and assists us. What I think about this project, the International Socialist League, is that it is time that we unify our struggles, not only the youth but also the working class throughout the world. We need each other, we have to unify our struggles, we have to show solidarity. We have to build a powerful force so that we can champion the cause of the working class. So I’m happy to be here, and I know I’m going to learn a lot. We will educate ourselves, we will learn from people from other countries, we will see how they are organizing themselves. From the point of view of the International Socialist League (ISL), how have they been able to build this league so far and what we can also pick up from them and import that same knowledge, the same skills and fervour into our jurisdiction. So I’m very glad to be here, and I definitely know I’ll learn a lot.
Ochievara Olunga – RSL / Kenya
Greetings congress, my name is Ochievara Olunga, a Pan-African revolutionary and a member of the Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL) in Kenya. What we do in Kenya, is organising and uniting the different masses of other people in a bit to build a strong revolutionary movement, so that it can impact in the political changes and the political goodwill for our mission. For this congress, we are very proud to partner with ISL, and we show our revolutionary gratitude to them for choosing Kenya as a nation where we can kick-start the ISL in Africa, and we believe these are the right steps forward towards building an international solidarity block. Because as we all know, socialism can’t be built on isolation. Socialism is something we have to build in unison. And that’s why we congratulate the leadership of the ISL for bringing this congress to Kenya. We believe that from the deliberations we will gather the experiences that people will share and the knowledge that will also have an impact on them. We’ll be very active in trying to strengthen our different organising front. I believe that we will be able to solidify and unite our revolutionary groups as we strike towards dismantling capitalism, neo-fascism, colonialism, imperialism and the puppet regimes that imperialism instals with us. So thank you, and we say welcome to Kenya, welcome to Africa.
Maxwell Magawi, National Students Caucus, kenia
My name is Maxwell Magawi. I coordinate the National Students Caucus, so this is basically the umbrella students’ organisation for the Kenya students movement. The Caucus is essentially trying to consolidate the progressive forces within the Kenyan movement. And one of our ways of doing this is trying to find synergies or seeking collaborations with like mother organisations. And that made us very close with the Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL). The National Students Caucus for all intents and purposes, the student wing of the Revolutionary Socialist League. For the RSL the Caucus sees plenty of conveniences because the Caucus is an organisation that was propelled by Marxist-Leninist ideology. We see the student movement as victims of a common system arraignment with the working class. For us, students are future workers and a good number of workers are former students, so it actually makes sense that we fight from a common fort.