While theories on what the continent will be going well after the great moment of fragility that the planet is experiencing, real leadership will depend on the ability to position itself sustainably in the national community, each woman, each man, as actor of collective well-being. But the time is also to honor the memory of the known and lesser-known disappeared, victims of the conoravirus.
If there is one regret, to remember from the period of confinement which is ending, it is that which relates to the more or less known, more or less famous disappeared, and whom their relatives, friends or admirers could not have consent only distant farewells, usually in thought, or in writing in some cases. That they were carried away by the Covid-19 or by some other pathology, their departure, in this context of current loneliness, remains fundamentally frustrating. Certainly, on social networks, some have suggested that we should, when the time comes, be able to pay this or that the tribute he would have deserved.
The sad truth is that no one will ever be able to restore, three or six months later, the immediate emotion aroused by the announcement of the disappearance of a Manu Dibango, for example. In the flood of disappearances, some have even been written off, so hectic was the pace at which disappearances succeeded one another. At the same time, others have been treated to media treatment that, for various reasons, they may not have had in ordinary times. So goes the new world into which, thanks to this pandemic, we have just toppled.
Marc Mapingou, not very divisive
Since we only generally have the writings to pay homage to them, why resist this ultimate duty! He was, of course, not one of those celebrities frequently cited for their special place in African news. But Congolese Marc Mapingou, who died on May 5, 2020, was far from unknown. He has inspired, and has not ceased to inspire respect, since most Africans discovered him, in 1992, as the young campaign director of Professor Pascal Lissouba in the presidential post-conference in Congo Brazzaville. But the professor will be ousted from power, before the end of his first mandate, by the former President Denis Sassou Nguesso, returned by arms. Marc Mapingou was then forced into exile. Twenty years later, he was still in exile when he became foreign spokesperson for Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, an unsuccessful 2016 presidential candidate.
On RFI, the journalist Sadio Kanté praised the humanism of Marc Mapingou, his generosity with discretion, and his great listening skills: “A man of consensus, not divisive”, did she say. This is more than enough to illustrate a useful life, appreciated beyond the Congolese community, by the African diaspora. Some might be tempted to see in such tributes the expression of the human being’s propensity to find qualities in all those who die. However, it turns out that we do not pay tribute to all those who die. And sometimes it is enough to look at the lives of the people concerned, to judge what they are worth, what they have represented for their community, if not for humanity.
Everyone has their place, their role
Who would, for example, have imagined that Evelyne Bourgi, this discreet lady, with a distinguished smile, who spoke little, but whose eyes sparkled with intelligence, was at the service of remarkable humanitarian causes, helping, what we counted , more than twenty thousand Africans and others to regularize their situation, if not to go underground, in France?
Incidentally, Evelyne Bourgi was the inseparable wife of Professor Albert Bourgi, renowned jurist, African from Senegal, whose contribution to democratic reflection in Africa was not negligible. Towards him go, at this precise moment, our most moved thoughts, by remembering us the formula, so just, of the singer, for whom, “The one of the two who remains ends up in hell!” “
A final tribute to Mohamed Ben Omar, Nigerian minister, also swept away by the Covid-19, at just 55 years old, and who will not have received only tributes from the press, during his too short life. However, no one has ever questioned his love for his homeland. The late Nigerian Minister of Employment, Labor and Welfare may not have been perfect, but he was far from lacking in quality.
The usefulness of visionary leadership
As it turns out, none of our idols were flawless in every way. No more Nelson Mandela than Dr. Martin Luther King junior, or Mahatma Gandhi. The best are just those who have had a little more talent to argue than faults.
And one of the main lessons that Africa should learn from the period of fragility from which it will have to come out with caution, is that the smallest qualities also are useful to the national community. Because, in a nation with visionary leadership, everyone has their own usefulness. You just need to know where to evolve each other, for the cohesion and solidity of the team. Thus, to reinvent a solid Africa after Covid-19, it is first necessary to know how to find a place for each citizen in society.
As in a good football team, overall strength depends on the tactical intelligence of the coach, the leader, who must know how to value the talents of each player, each actor, each citizen. The good game, the defensive solidity, the capacity to score goals, all this should, more than ever, speak to the intelligence of any good political leader.