Freedom Fighters of Africa are own a lot of respect and honour for being the backbone in the journey of Independence of their various countries.
Almost in many parts of the continent, there lies a tremendously violent and chaotic history of intense rebellions, battles, and movements carried out by thousands of zealous African independence warriors, top freedom fighters of the continent. All of these independence warriors battled, suffered, and often gave their lives to liberate their countries from colonial domination.
Below are ten freedom fighters in Africa and their philosophies.
1. NELSON MANDELA
Nelson Mandela was a South African freedom fighter. He fought against the apartheid system by the colonial Whites. At times this fight included violence, this was precisely because apartheid was a system of violence directed against the native black population of South Africa. For Mandela, nonviolence was not a principle but rather a tactic” (Munayyer). Mandela was seen as a caring and humble man who fought long and hard for the justice and liberty of his fellow citizens. He spent many years in jail for fighting for the justice of him and his people. He stood up for the rights of his people and what they deserved and risked his life for the equality of all. The South Africa legend will always be remembered for his dedication by never giving up the fight for justice and liberty to his people.
Nelson Mandela was the first president of South Africa who fought daily to bring liberty and justice to his people and in the end he was awarded for his heroic acts and selflessness. He became such an important man in history and a leading political prisoner and a prominent freedom fighter.
2. HAILE SELASSIE
Haile Selassie was the Emperor of Ethiopia who ruled from 1930 to 1974. He is widely considered a defining figure in modern Ethiopian history, and also the key figure of Rastafari, a religious movement in Jamaica which came up shortly after he became emperor in the 1930s.
Haile Selassie led the fight to defend Ethiopia during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War but failed and spent most of the period of Italian occupation exiled in England. He traveled to Sudan in order to assist in coordinating the anti-fascist struggle in Ethiopia, and returned to his home country in 1941 after the East African campaign.
Haile Selassie’s internationalist views led to his country becoming a charter member of the United Nations. He played a very important role in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity in 1963 and served as its first chairman.
The Rastafarian movement regards him as the messiah of all Black people.
3. SAM NUJOMA
Regarded as one of the best freedom fighters, Samuel Nujoma served three terms as the first President of Namibia, from 1990 to 2005. The Namibian revolutionary, anti-apartheid activist and politician was a founding member and also the first president of the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) in 1960.
He escaped and went into exile in 1960 in Tanzania where he was welcomed by Julius Nyerere.
Nujoma played an important role as leader of the national liberation movement in campaigning for Namibia’s political independence from South African rule. He led SWAPO during the lengthy Namibian War of Independence, which lasted from 1966 to 1989.
4. KENNETH KAUNDA
Kenneth David Kaunda was a Zambian politician who served as the first president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. The Zambian legendary leader was at the forefront of the struggle for the independence of Zambia from British rule. He founded the Zambian African National Congress when he broke away from Northern Rhodesian African National Congress after he became dissatisfied with Harry Nkumbula’s leadership. He later became the head of the United National Independence Party (UNIP).
Kenneth Kaunda will be remembered as a giant of 20th century African nationalism. He is a leader who, at great cost, gave refuge to revolutionary movements. He is widely regarded as a relatively benign autocrat who reluctantly introduced democracy to his country and an international diplomat who punched well above his weight in world affairs.
5. KWAME NKRUMAH
The Ghanaian politician, political theorist, and revolutionary Kwame Nkrumah is regarded today as a great African legend. He was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana. His radical vision and bold leadership led the Gold Coast (Ghana) to independence from Britain in 1957. Regarded as an influential advocate of Pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity.
He was awarded with the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union in 1962.
6. JULIUS NYERERE
Julius Nyerere, the Tanzanian anti-colonial activist and politician, also regarded as a great anti-colonial activist, governed Tanganyika as prime minister from 1961 to 1962. He then ruled as president from 1963 to 1964, after which he led its successor state, Tanzania, as president from 1964 to 1985.
He was a founding member and Chairman of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) party. Ideologically an African nationalist and African socialist, Julius Nyerere promoted a political philosophy known as Ujamaa.
7. SAMORA MACHEL
Samora Machel, the Mozambican military commander and political leader, is regarded as one of the freedom fighters in Africa. He served as the first President of Mozambique when the country became independent in 1975.
Machel, like so many others, suffered under colonial rule but was however committed to the transformation of Mozambican society. In his words: “Of all the things we have done, the most important—the one that history will record as the principal contribution of our generation—is that we understand how to turn the armed struggle into a Revolution; that we realized that it was essential to create a new mentality to build a new society.”
8. SERETSE KHAMA
Sir Seretse Goitsebeng Maphiri Khama was a Botswana politician during his lifetime. He served as the first President of Botswana, a post he held from 1966 to his death in 1980.
The legendary Botswana leader founded the Botswana Democratic Party in 1962 and became Prime Minister in 1965. He was elected as its first president in 1966, when Botswana gained independence.
Botswana underwent rapid economic and social progress during his reign as the president. Shortly before his death, Khama is famously known for the major roles he played in negotiating the end of the Rhodesian civil war and the resulting creation and independence of Zimbabwe, and the creation of the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference.
Furthermore, he exemplifies visionary leadership figure. According to his philosophy, one cannot singlehandedly steer a state right; there must be in place, systems which provide watered ground for such policies to take sturdy root.
Khama will be remembered for his footprints in the arena of politics in southern Africa. Through his ideologies, people no longer need to believe that due recognition of fundamental human rights and economic development are mutually exclusive, especially within Africa.
9. JOMO KENYATTA
Kenya’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, brought the light of independence from the British colonists.
He became very popular in the late 1940s when he spearheaded the African militant movement, the Mau Mau, to set Kenya free from its colonialists. As a result, Kenyatta was sentenced to seven years with hard labour. Upon release, his resolve and his followers were even stronger in the fight to set Kenya free.
He served as the country’s first Prime Minister. He later went on to be the first Kenyan President from 1962 to his death in 1978.
10. ROBERT MUGABE
Robert Mugabe who became prime minister of Zimbabwe in 1980 is regarded by many Africans as a great freedom fighter. He later served as the country’s president from 1987 until his forced resignation in 2017.
He dominated Zimbabwe’s politics for nearly four decades. Robert Mugabe was hailed as a revolutionary hero of the African liberation and emancipation struggle. Mugabe will always be remembered for his fight for justice and liberty as he helped to free Zimbabwe from British colonialism and white minority rule.