A Deep Dive into The Pride of an African Migrant

06 Mar

The Pride of an African Migrant: In Remembrance of Jimmy Mubenga, a Martyr of Globalisation, Murdered by the UK Border Regime on a British Airways Flight to Angola by Massocki Ma Massocki is available on Amazon:

Pierced Rock Press is proud to announce that, The Pride of an African Migrant, due for publication on May 4, 2020, is now available for order on as in paperback or hardcover.

However, bookstores, librarians and wholesalers will be able to pre-order on Ingramspark at 55% discount with a return policy starting on April 1, 2020

The Pride of an African Migrant is a contemporary mental, physical, and political odyssey. It is a personal and graphic account of an extended period spent by a migrant experiencing former Prime Minister Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ in all its finery.

A young man, Massocki Ma Massocki sets out from Cameroon, West Africa, to the paradise that awaits in Europe. But instead in the United Kingdom, he encounters racism, state violence, insecure jobs, and imprisonment in three different detention centres, destitution and begging on the streets, entrapment by drug dealers, and an arson attack.

He journeys from London, to Southend and Liverpool. He meets and tells the stories of other migrants. He meets Sarah Jane, a white Rasta woman who astonishes him by singing Burning Spear’s ’Slavery Days’. Sarah has her own problems but she is a lifeline to him.

At some point, Massocki encounters a new understanding of life, and this is at the core of the book. As well as Zen masters, Massocki also refers to and quotes among others Marcus Garvey, Mfumu Kimbangu, Sékou Touré, Patrice Lumumba, Frantz Fanon, historian Cheik Anta Diop, Ethiopian poet Lemn Cissay, the Cameroonian philosopher Ebénézer Njoh-Mouellé, and singers such as Bob Marley, Youssou N’Dour, and Fela Kuti.

Massocki documents his struggle for his own and other’s freedom and dignity: speeches about migration to students in Liverpool John Moore University, to his first class of meditation students, an open letter challenging Cameroonian dictator Paul Biya, his lone protests against the murder of Jimmy Mubenga by the UK Border Regime on a plane at Heathrow Airport, demanding freedom of speech inside Campsfield detention centre (for that he was ‘knocked down by 10 guards’), and
against his own deportation at Heathrow Airport (which provoked another violent reaction by guards).

The Pride of an African Migrant is subtitled ‘In Remembrance of Jimmy Mubenga, a Martyr of Globalization, Murdered by the UK Border Regime on a British Airways Flight to Angola ’. The book starts with a letter of condolence and consolation to Jimmy Mubenga’s family. The letter is titled ‘Our Hearts Are With You’.

There is a very productive tension between the teachings of Zen lightly touched on in this book, the calm of meditation, and the implication of the realization that for Africans the answer is not to chase a dream in Europe, but to stay and challenge and overturn the neo-colonialism of corrupt African leaders and Western financial institutions, military and governments.

There are some superb passages such as that comparing the spending on average of $7000 to get from Cameroon to the UK, with better results obtained from investing the same amount in an African
stock exchange, or like the young worker Aisya, staying in the country and with a fraction of that amount of money and building up a successful business.

Massocki writes: ‘The book’s goal is to inform Africans aspiring to migrate to the European Union or the US of the issues related to their plans so that they can be better prepared.’ But I believe its more serious and intended aim is spelled out in this passage:

‘My stay in the UK not only allowed me to demystify and destroy the
European myth; most importantly, it allowed me to understand that for
the young African, fighting for social justice should be imperative.
It is the only way to prevent the young African from dying in the
desert or drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, experiencing the same
humiliation and torture suffered by African migrants in Europe. Either
through protest movements for social change, we brave the dangerous
streets of our dictatorial and terrorist states, or as cowards, we
abdicate and accept death in the Mediterranean Sea or suffer the
humiliations and tortures reserved to African migrants in Europe.

Migration as a ‘revolt against misery’ is a theme developed from ‘The song of the traveler’s sung by Africans in Ceuta, Spain, who have crossed the Sahara. Such people are described as economic migrants. But as Massocki says:

‘The sea is dreadful, and for people to embark on such a journey,
there must be terror in the land. Yet, nobody acknowledges the
terror—at least the economic terror those ‘economic migrants’ are
running away from. African despots voluntarily keep systemic poverty
flowing in the land to control their citizens and stay in power.
Through so-called international institutions and multinationals,
Western powers financially terrorize African nations, causing deaths
to millions of Africans.’

The Pride of an African Migrant is a powerful book. The more I go back to it, the more I see its potential to change minds, those of migrants those of people not forced to migrate. I think its publication is very significant.

Massocki Ma Massocki is a columnist, activist and pan-Africanist. He has written columns for newspapers around the world as well as articles for regional and international organisations. Massocki has also given talks and conferences in Africa, Asia and Europe on Pan-Africanism and global issues. Massocki was born in Cameroon, West Africa.

The Pride of an African Migrant: In Remembrance of Jimmy Mubenga, a Martyr of Globalisation, Murdered by the UK Border Regime on a British Airways Flight to Angola by Massocki Ma Massocki | May 4, 2020


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